*Salt n Pepa Voice*
Let’s talk about sex, baby (sing it)
Let’s talk about you and me (sing it, sing it)
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Nostalgia is always a great way to start a new blog post. If you’re not old enough to remember that song, listen to it here; and also, we can’t be friends *I kid*.
Alright friends. Here we are. I’ve wanted to write this post for AGES, but life, work and a zillion other things have gotten in the way. Mostly though, I couldn’t figure out how to talk about this subject while still maintaining modesty about my personal life, but also keeping it one hundo p. I almost wrote it under an alias to be totally honest. While I have zero issue talking about sex, I am a very private person and toeing that line seemed impossible.
I was inspired to write this post after umpteen thousand chats I’ve had over the years with girlfriends about sex and navigating the world of sex as women. I got to thinking about some of the things I’ve heard over the years and wondered two things:
- What I would tell my younger self if I had the chance? Or rather, what would I tell other young women in this image obsessed culture of social media, perfect bodies and hyper-sexualization of youth.
- What kind of tomfoolery have women have been told? (I’ve heard some ridiculous ish in my time — like outrageous).
Lucky for me, I have an incredible network and even more incredible friends. I asked my darling queens these exact two questions (thanks Instagram) and let me tell you, they rose magnificently to my call.
In honour of the women who blew my DMs the f*ck up, and in honour of the young women reading this, here are some of the things we want you to know. Note that this is a paraphrased compilation of what these queens told me.
*PS. Everyone here has a completely random initial pseudonym to protect their anonymity*
*I also fully acknowledge that much of this is written from a cisgender hetero-normative understanding of sexuality; so to my non-binary, LGBTQ friends, I’m sorry my perspective is not more well rounded – I’m mindful of and working on this*
PORN IS NOT REAL
90% of the women who responded to my CTA (call-to-action) told me the exact same thing. For the love of god, porn is acting and it is not real; that’s not to say that porn actors aren’t actually enjoying themselves during their scenes (that’s a whole other conversation), but at the end of the day, IT IS NOT REAL.
Don’t let yourself fall into the porn trap where you believe that you need to thrash around like you’re having a seizure, make baby seal sounds and have a perfectly bleached butthole to have great sex. Vaginas, penises, breasts and bodies in general don’t all look like they do in porn and that is a-ok. ~ M.R
Many of the women I spoke to reiterated the idea that porn creates a space where we think it’s normal to be able to do certain things, and in the words of my sweet girl “O.L” (her pseudonym)
Don’t let anyone make you think you should be able to comfortably take a 10 inch d*ck in your mouth or that you have to give a BJ for 40 minutes to be a worthwhile partner in bed.
CHILL TF OUT & IT AIN’T ALL ABOUT HIM BABY
This was an interesting content theme that came up and the best way to explain it is in my friend’s words:
I spent so much time worrying about him. I worried about my underwear and if he’d think it was cute, I worried about making sure my wax was perfect, about if he thought I was sexy, if I was shaved everywhere — I was so concerned with all that stuff that I forgot to enjoy the experience. I would tell my younger self to chill TF out and try to enjoy yourself ~ “J.M”
She spoke to me about how much time she wasted worrying and being anxious about things that at the end of the day, didn’t matter. A huge part of that worry for her was a result of the pressures we feel to be perfect, which are exacerbated by porn and what we see in this super curated inaccurate reflection of sex and intimacy.
Tied to this concept is the idea that sex is all about him — and honey child, IT IS NOT. Every single woman I spoke with said she would tell her younger self this exact thing. So often we see scenes of sexuality and intimacy that focus on the man’s pleasure and not the woman’s, and that is just ridiculous.
Here are some gems from the ladies:
I’d tell my younger self, and every woman in the world that the number one rule in the bedroom is that I finish first — no matter what. He’s going to get off with relative ease (most of the time), so your partner’s priority should be making sure you are getting yours. ~ “K.A.”
I spent a lot of time in my younger sex years worried about being “good” in bed and focusing on making sure he felt like a god. I was so worried about him and what I needed to do to please him — I was more concerned with his experience than mine. As I matured, I had partners who showed me that my pleasure is equally as important as theirs, and in the event that they got off first, I’m still always taken care of. A good partner wants you to feel as good as they do and their concern is making sure you’re just as pleased as they are ~ “O.M”
DON’T BE AFRAID TO SAY NO
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT
This theme was a tough one, because I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who hasn’t been here in some way or another. You know, when someone is trying to coerce you into doing something you just don’t want to do and they don’t seem to understand the word NO. Ugh the number of times I’ve heard my girlfriends tell me stories about this, ranging from a simple kiss, all the way to the darkest corners of assault is unbelievable.
I think I can sum up all of our thoughts on this one: It’s okay for you to say ISSA NO FROM ME DAWG about anything that you don’t feel comfortable with and that includes with your partner, your FWB (friend with benefits) or the person you met at the bar and took home.
On the other side of that coin is learning to ask for what you do want. Almost everyone I spoke to also said they would tell their younger selves to just be transparent about what you want (in life and in the bedroom). Never be afraid to ask for what you want — ever.
Closed mouths don’t get fed and your partner (if he or she is worthy) will want to please you as much as you want to please them. But they aren’t mind readers — if you don’t tell them what you like or don’t like then it can be really hard to get it right. Try new things, try old things; just make sure you’re communicating with your partner ~ T.W.
The general consensus on this one is that communication is key and speak up when you want something. For some people that is easier said than done — so a helpful tip when you’re trying to be open and honest (about anything in life), is to write down exactly what you’re trying to communicate and take it from there.
I think that these nuggets of advice are a culmination of life experience and perspective, neither of which can be gained without actually living your life. But in the end, I hope that this post helped someone out there to know that talking about sex (the good, the bad and the ugly) will help us all to realize that our experiences and sentiments, while different for everyone, are very often shared by others — you are not alone.
Until we meet again my loves!