Sex: What I wish I had known

lr407 14 February 2016

This week I have decided to take it upon myself to recount to you a list of all the things I wish someone had told me about sex before I started actually doing it myself. This will naturally also include some highly uncomfortable personal experiences, which I’ve decided to share in the charitable name of sexual education. You can thank me later.

Let’s start with the basics. I don’t like to patronise, but you would be surprised how many people are so painfully ignorant of the little things. Use a condom. Yes, they’re gross and weird and about as arousing as a hollow slug, but when the alternative is a baby, chlamydia or both, this one is a no-brainer. Upsettingly, some people have though I am stupid enough to fall for the notion that they are “too big”. In the name of research, I successfully stretched a condom over my head (which I have been reliably informed is massive), so we can bust that myth once and for all. Cambridge is stressful enough without worrying you have herpes. If you really hate them (a lot are not vegan friendly) there’s always the pill, the coil or the implant. All of these are free so there is really no excuse.

In my opinion, lube is invaluable. I keep mine in a discreet hand sanitiser dispenser by my bed, so people just think I’m super clean as opposed to a weird masturbation freak. If only they knew. On a totally unrelated note and 100% not speaking from experience do not get confused and actually slather said antibacterial over your rampant rabbit There is zero embarrassment in wanting or needing lube: it makes sex better.

And now onto the more serious talk. I think you’re ready for it. Firstly, consent is non-negotiable, and grey areas cannot exist. It’s yes or no and being unsure is never an excuse. It is also incredibly important to remember that men can be victims of sexual assault and rape too. Men face so much stigma in ‘admitting’ to having been assaulted. Even the phraseology is awful – the only person with something to admit should be the perpetrator.

Secondly, people’s sexual history is none of your business. Nobody should be judged on what they have or haven’t done. Thirdly, sexual identity and gender identity are not the same thing and even if differences don’t apply to you, they apply to other people and personal identity isn’t enough of a reason to not be aware of it.

Another important lesson: it is never OK to shame people for how they look when they are naked. For instance we all have preferences about pubic hair: I once went down on a guy who was so hairy you needed a weed-whacker to find his dick. Don’t make fun of this – pull the hair out of your teeth and move on. And if anyone ever tries to mock your locks, defy them by plating it up like a Viking warlord and growling with suitable menace.

Lastly, sex is about so much more than penis-in-vagina fun time. Using that as a benchmark for virginity is completely out-modish – the only person who is allowed to define when you’re a virgin no longer is you. Sex is about intimacy, not about cramming up all of the available orifices. It is also ridiculously erasing to non-hetero, or non-binary people. Virginity doesn’t define you anyway. Anyone who links your sexual choices to your self-worth is definitely Bad News.

As cliché as it might sound, sex (just like life) is about a journey, not the destination. As nice as that would be, nobody can expect to come every time. Sometimes the stress of chasing orgasms is a turn-off in itself. Try to please each other, folks. That is all anyone can ask for.