Sometimes, a topic gets too big to tweet. This post was born in response to a thought-provoking question from Burlesque Toys, which links to this article.
I immediately dashed off a tweet with a couple of thoughts. I closed Twitter and settled down to work. Mostly. My brain kept lobbing out more ideas, and by the end of the day I had the basics of this post scribbled in the margins of my to do list 1. This is by no means an exhaustive list of things I wish I had known. If I were to write all of those down, this would be an encyclopedia rather than a blog post. These were the first ideas to pop into my mind after reading the article:.
- Sex toys are awesome, by yourself or with a partner – Growing up, I don’t think I heard a single word about dildos, or vibrators, or any kind of toy from a trusted adult. My mother did tell me once that it was “perfectly normal” to masturbate, but seemed rather eager for that discussion to be over. I figured out that vibrating objects held against my clit felt really good, but that was the extent of it. I was in my junior year of college before I owned an insertable toy, and it was years later before I used one with a partner. I was into my thirties before I fully realized the variety of toys available for all types of bodies and the fun that could be had.
- Choose sex toys wisely – This is a critical follow up to item #1. In the beginning, I wasted money and put my health at risk with stinky, phthalate-emitting, bacteria-retaining jelly toys. I wish I had known about the wonders of silicone, glass and steel sooner.
- Always have good lube on hand – Lube is another sadly neglected education topic. I was taught that vaginas are self-lubricating, which is of course true, but nobody mentioned that sometimes they don’t cooperate. Stress, medications, timing during my cycle… all of these disrupted my mojo, and before I knew better I believed I must have gotten a faulty vagina. To make matters worse, when I finally decided to try lube, I bought cheap stuff loaded with glycerine and parabens that left me itchy. Now, I have found Sliquid and all is right with the world.
- Do not try porn stunts at home – Seriously. Some films need a Jackass-like warning that the positions you are about to see should not be re-enacted unless you are a trained professional/Olympic gymnast. If a partner holds my legs up in a wheelbarrow pose and begins pounding at my vagina like he’s drilling for oil, I can assure you that any moans and screams will not be the good kind. Shower sex is awkward as hell, and for a clumsy person like me, likely to end in the ER. My worst porn re-enactment fail involved receiving oral sex while a partner held me up in a handstand. My arms got tired, blood rushed to my head and I begged him to put me down. He guided me to an upright position, whereupon I let out a deafening queef that I swear went on for at least 30 seconds. I didn’t think my LUNGS could hold that much air. I felt like a giant balloon, emitting grotesque flatulent noises and half expecting to be propelled around the room by the force of the expelled air. It finally stopped, but every time I moved, there would be another aftershock. Further amorous activities had to be postponed because we were both laughing so hard at my thunderous vaginal outbursts.
- Communication is sexy – You will never experience sex the way you want it if you don’t tell your partner(s) what you like. Do not assume that they can always tell from your non-verbal reactions what’s working and what’s not. And if there’s something new you want to try, your partner is unlikely to fulfill those wishes unless you speak up. I didn’t get that spanking I’d been craving until I shared that fantasy. Can it be scary to open up about your fantasies? Absolutely. But in my experience, the rewards far outweigh the risks.
- There’s more than one “right way” to have sex – While this could apply to positions, what I’m talking about is more than that. So many parents, schools and churches are out there telling us that sex to be saved for the person we might eventually marry, that sex is only OK when it allows for procreation, that sex should only happen between one man and one woman, that sex must always travel in tandem with romantic love, that wanting anything other than “vanilla” sex means you are broken and wrong and sinful. And it’s all a big, steaming pile of nonsense. Letting go of the restrictions and negativity frees you to truly enjoy sex in all its marvelous, messy, beautiful, chaotic glory. I had some incredibly awesome and fulfilling sex my senior year of college with a friend of mine. He was coming off a bad breakup. I was soon to head off to grad school and didn’t want the entanglement of a relationship…but the sexual chemistry between us was undeniable. We decided to try being “friends with benefits”, and to this day (16 years later) I’m glad I made that choice. As long as everyone involved is a consenting adult, we should all feel free to enjoy sex as we see fit.
There you have it. As I read over this post, I realize it could accurately be subtitled “Reasons Why I Started Blogging”. I write because reading other bloggers helped me remedy some of those things I didn’t know…I hope I can pay it forward by sharing my experiences here.
- Fear not, I use secret ninja coded notes for ideas that arrive at work. Only I know what I mean. ↩