The province of Alberta, here in Canada, has opted to make matters of sex, sexual orientation,* and religion OPTIONAL for their students. Parents can yank their kids out of school when they disagree with the premise at hand. [Story here.]
Religion? Okay. Fine. I’ll give you that. Make that optional. I not only understand having strong beliefs on faith, I respect it. I do not, however, understand refusing to listen to other views, not having faith in your children to be intelligent enough to hear more than one viewpoint, or shutting down education when it seems fit, because I feel that teaches children that the teachers and education itself are not credible.
I was sent the following question in a comment this morning, and yes, they were right, it is an interesting topic to write about. Time’s not on my side today, so this is a quick take on the question… a question that could unleash some interesting discussion, and I hope it does.
I decided that I want to wait until marriage to have sex, but I’m still a chronic masturbator and ok with doing stuff with guys that doesn’t involve penis-in-vagina sex. I guess I just don’t really trust anyone enough to go “all the way” with them. Do you think I’m a hypocrite?
You want the short answer? Yep, I do think you’re a hypocrite, more or less. Thanks for putting words in my mouth.
There is nothing that makes me snicker more than religious types (which I don’t know if you are one or not) who tell me they’re abstaining from sex until marriage, but that they’ve done nearly everything except things involving penetration.
It’s the same reason why Bill Clinton was lambasted for claiming he “did not have sexual relations with that woman!” I mean, come on. You’ll get them off, they’ll get you off, but when it comes to insertion, you’re gonna play the morality card? What the fuck is that?
Oral sex, manually-induced orgasms, it’s all intimacy, and it’s all banned off primetime TV, all right? It ain’t for the kiddies and the after-school special, y’know?
If you’re not comfortable having sex for one reason or another, fine, but be honest about why you’re not. Don’t claim you’re some sanctimonious person waiting for the right person or whatever. Admit that you’re scared. Admit you have trust issues (which you have done here).
It’s all right be to scared, but don’t cover it up with some vow of chastity. Don’t run from the situation just because you haven’t got the sack to ante up and face it. I think it’s dishonest to be chronically masturbating, allowing men to get you off, trading favours, but then claiming you’re “abstaining” from sex. Why? What’s the point? You’re already doing all the intimate things a person can do. You’re already investing in carnal pleasures. You’re already sinning in the eyes of most religions.
It’s the sexual equivalent of someone being issued a restraining order for not going within 100 metres of X person/place, and instead of just staying the fuck away, they stand day in and day out at a distance of 101 metres, toying with the allowed limits. How is that possibly honouring the spirit of the situation? It’s not. It’s a crock, is what it is.
I could be all nice and say, “Oh, I understand the ambivalence of not having sex,” and all that, but honestly, you’re already feeling guilty and like you’re breaking some code, or else YOU wouldn’t have asked if you’re being a hypocrite. If you have to ask, then you are. Pretty simple.
If you were abstaining from sex and not letting men finger you, not masturbating, not exploring oral, then you would not be a hypocrite.
But, you, honey, are a hypocrite, any way you slice it. I’m sorry if the truth hurts, but it is what it is.
You’re scared of intimacy, you’re hoping like hell you’re being Just Good Enough to be virtuous, and you know, deep down inside, that you wish you could be fucked silly, but you don’t have the courage or the backbone to go there, because you’re scared that once you give them what they’re really wanting, that they’ll walk right on out on you.
And maybe, just maybe, they will. And maybe, just maybe, those fears are valid.
When it comes to morality, religion doesn’t tend to offer shades of grey. Things are sins, or they are not, and you don’t get to have the decoder ring to decide just how much of one particular action equates a sin. It doesn’t work that way. So, if you’re toying with it anyhow, why not just fucking buy the full-meal deal and get on with it? You’ve not started to go up in flames with the fires of Hell licking all around you yet, so what are you so scared of?
Again, I don’t know if religion plays a part in your decision, so the “you” in regards to anything religious is rhetorical, not specifically YOU.
I just wish people were more honest about their actions, and this duplicitous “well, you can get me off, but you can’t come inside of me” behaviour is symptomatic of all the hypocrisy that surrounds us. I grow tired of it, that’s all.
(Feeling that I may have sounded a little harsh in this post, I decided to revisit it, as I know there are some “virgins” out there who are trepidatious about their sexuality, and I don’t want to add too much fuel to that fire. Check out my second take here.)
Had I actually been a guest on Sex with Emily last Saturday night as planned, question number one from them was, “Why is your blog so popular?” Why, indeed?
If I had to say why I wish my blog was as popular as it’s proving to be, I’d say it’s because I’d like to think I’m real. But that’s a pat little answer, isn’t it?
The thing about sex writing is, it’s so easy, in theory, to write about dripping, hard cocks, about the fury and the fumbling of two people coming together in sexual union – the passion, the intensity, the fun, the excitement. The pulsing of hearts, the throbbing of members, the vaginal swelling… we’ve all experienced these things, we’ve all been on both the receiving and giving ends of pleasure, and so it’s easy to relate to when we read about others’ experiences. And if it’s not something we actually can relate to, then it’s something we live vicariously through.
Not a lot of sex writers try to tackle the emotional content under it all, though, and the ones who do tend to inspire more loyalty from their readers. I tend to focus more on the emotional aspect of it – not just the emotions we show, but those we hide. Perhaps this is why y’all dig me. Or maybe it’s my irreverence, or my honesty about my own insecurities and desires and fears and dreams. Who knows. But these are the reasons I would like to believe my blog is popular.
And it’s something I thought about when I saw this “breaking” news on the BBC site. Apparently kids find sex education classes too biological. Gee. Really?
They’re right. It is far too biological. Everything about sex originates in one place: the brain. The brain powers our emotional response, spurs our physical response, and then our juices flow, action proceeds to happen (or not), and the rest is messy history.
Funny enough, in England, the biology of sex is a mandatory class, but “personal social and health education” is optional at the institutions doing the teaching. This latter course brings education about relationship and emotional health into play.
I must have missed the memo where relationships and emotional health were optional in my own life.
In a time when divorce is the norm, moreso than happy marriages, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate the ways in which we approach relationships. Maybe it’s time to acknowledge that the psychology/self-help departments of bookstores are the most popular non-fiction sections for a very good reason: We’re all so fucking clueless about how to deal not only with our own problems but any of the problems that might arise in our relationships.
I have a history of running from relationships when things get tough, which is why I’m stunned I’m even hanging around my present relationship at all, considering all the life-induced chaos within it. My first running-from-adversity relationship happened with a young guy named “JH,” my first real boyfriend. He fell, and he fell hard. He wrote me songs, played his guitar for me, and felt like the king of the town whenever I was around. I dumped him as soon as I saw that a divorce was imminent with my parents. I never told him why I was fucked up because I was too ashamed to admit my parents’ failure, and more ashamed to admit that I was weak emotionally.
I pulled the “but we can still be friends” bullshit and instead learned what it felt like to break someone’s heart. The guy fell apart and wrote a “you tore my heart to shreds” song for me, handed it to a friend to deliver to me, and within the week, stole a car, got arrested, and then never, ever spoke to me again.
Maybe if I’d had a better emotional upbringing I wouldn’t have fucked JH up as much as I apparently had. Who knows. I do know that I didn’t have a clue how to open up, how to trust, or how to react when the fit hit the shan. Instead, I’ve spent the better part of two decades slowly learning these lessons through bump-in-the-night, daytime talk shows, and brief flirtations with both self-help books and actual therapy.
And I’m not an exception, I’m the norm. Isn’t it time we change that?
As for “sex education,” it’s really a misnomer. I know that nothing I’ve ever had to deal with was taught to me by anyone with any authority. I learned through necessity.
I’ve had the fear of a condom breaking with a boyfriend before the age of 20, having to stroll self-consciously into a Free Clinic in order to get a morning-after pill, something I’ve had to take three times in my life. I once was so freaked out I was pregnant that I remember doing a pregnancy test ASAP after purchasing it – in the bathroom of a Subway sandwich shop. I never learned about the possible negatives of birth control pills until the last few years, because I was already so fucked up in so many ways that it just never dawned on me that my depression must have been exasperated by pill usage.
In short, everything I’ve ever learned about sex has come as a result of a need-to-know, and-now education, not before-the-fact. It has been a hard road getting to the place I’m at now, considering I was raised by sexually ignorant parents who weren’t comfortable talking about sex, and schooled by a high school that didn’t teach sex ed. Of my friends, I was one of the first to get laid, even though I was 17, and none of us ever talked about sex. When I lost my cherry, my only education was that provided by television and movies. I had no idea why the hell there was a wet spot, and it scared the crap out of me.
I didn’t understand all the emotions that came with sex, and I didn’t understand that a kiss was just a kiss, not an undying declaration of love. I wasn’t hurt by love; I was destroyed by it, and all because I was ignorant of the power relationships could have over us.
Teaching us the biology of sex does little to prepare us for the emotional overload that comes from relationships. Teaching us about human relationships and the dynamics of emotional response would far better prepare us for life and love, and it’s damned well time schools began to embrace that reality.
In the final paragraph of the article I’ve cited, some talking head spouts this sentiment:
“We trust teachers to use their professional judgement to decide which organisations can support teaching and learning in the classroom and which resources best support schools’ sex and relationship programmes.”
Jesus. Let’s not trust the teachers, okay? Let’s convene some people in-the-know to talk about what needs to be learned by kids today, and then create a program that includes all those essential facets, so as to stem relationship problems, improve self-esteem, and build emotional resilience. Violence in schools is greater than ever, bullying is at an all-time high, and divorces are skyrocketing.
Isn’t it time we learn about emotional health as part of our curriculum? ‘Cos we’re clearly fucked without it.
The sun was rising by 6a.m. this morning, and spring seems to be all around. A comment was left by an 18-year-old male, and I thought about when I was 18, the first time I made love, and how disappointed I was. I thought about the things I wish I’d been told back then. These are them.
Everyone tells you not to rush things. As a female, this is doubly true. Men can begin having sex younger and have positive results sooner, provided they know what they’re doing, but for women, more than 30% will not orgasm until well past their 20th birthday.
The best advice anyone can ever tell you about sex is this, it’s not about the orgasm.
Sex is about cartography and geography. Sex is literally the lay of the land. It’s about discovering your partner’s body – all of it. It’s about knowing how he or she reacts when you kiss the back of their knees, what favourite odd spots on their bodies you can suck and bite and have them shudder senselessly.
It’s about being in the moment, reacting to every little thing your lover does, either vocally or physically. It’s forgetting about end results and expectations. It’s here, now, and nothing more, regardless of what you might wish to make of it.
Sex is a language, and like any language, it takes time to learn the subtleties that distinguish an amateur from a master. Like any language, one can spend their entire lives improving their abilities and exploring ways to use the words. Writers become greater as their lives extend, orators become more powerful every speech they deliver. So too do lovers command skill as time passes.
Women take longer to identify with their sexual selves. As a young male lover, you need to be brave enough to talk to your woman before you have sex. You have to make a pact to tell each other when something feels comfortable or not, you need to express your fears and apprehensions, and if you have boundaries, you must state them, and they must be respected. You need to never take it personally when something’s not working. It’s biology, not you.
Women also take longer to be aroused. If she isn’t wet, she’s likely not aroused*. You could use lubricant, but then you would be jumping the gun. If she ain’t feeling it, honey, it ain’t happening. The more aroused you make her, the more you’ll realize how awesome it feels to take someone to that place. Take the time to really make a journey of it.
As a young female lover, you must lower your expectations. At first, things might hurt, but then they begin to feel incredible, if your lover has skill. Think of it as getting your ears pierced. Sex, like wine and blue cheese, can sometimes be an acquired taste for a young woman, but you need to get past the fear and apprehension. If you don’t feel like you can trust your lover, then you have no business sleeping with him.
In no place in our lives is trust more important than between us and our lovers.
You have to trust that if you said, You can do anything you’d like to me, that they would know where to stop.
You have to be patient. You have to know that the best sex of your life will not come until after the age of 25, if not after the age of 30. You have to know that sex is the physical manifestation of emotion. It’s spontanaeity, need, desire, passion, love, lust, curiousity, creativity, and eagerness balled up into one experience. It can be overwhelming when it’s great, and for new lovers, that can be intimidating and shut you down. Do not be afraid of the feelings, let go. Embrace it.
Making love is the physical act of making yourself vulnerable. When it comes to day to day life, we tend to try to avoid vulnerability. We do everything we can to not reveal our fears and failures to others. When making love, there’s nothing you can hide. It’s all there. You might as well give in to the moment and embrace the exposure vulnerability brings with it.
As you grow up, you realize the old cliché is true. If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger. The more you’re able to make yourself vulnerable in everyday life, the richer your relationships of all kinds shall be, the deeper your experiences with others will be. Perhaps you’ll be hurt easier more often, but the depths and richness of other relationships will far exceed the pale of a cautiously lived life. So too with sexual experiences. The more you trust each other and open up, the greater the sexual reward.
I’m old-fashioned and I don’t believe people should have sex until they’re 18 or so. I’m a pragmatic person, though. Whenever I do something new, I educate myself about it. I read everything I can, I learn what I need to learn, and I do what I need to do, and I do it well. The only time that didn’t happen was with sex, as I first slept with a lover at 17. As time went on, I educated myself and learned more. It changed everything for me.
The best thing you can do is head to your local independent bookstore that focuses on psychology and sexuality and scour the sexuality section for a book that speaks in a language that you relate to. Then, learn about the biology of the human form, not just what the bits and pieces are called, but how they will respond to your touch. I think it’s better to do this in a bookstore because there’s so much misinformation and opportunism on the web. Just my two cents.
But don’t take the authors’ word for what makes great sex & great loving. Take your lovers’ word. Every person’s body responds differently to touch, and you absolutely must know from your lover what is or is not working for them. You cannot just assume what you’re doing is working, since that twitch or shudder may be from discomfort. Ask. Let them tell you what they feel about what you’re doing, and again, do not take it personally.
It’s not about you. It’s about them. Never forget that.
If you cannot speak about sex with your partner, then your communication on everything else will be shit as well. You must be able to express what you want and need, because these are the things that are true to your core. If you cannot express these things, then what of any consequence, I ask, can you ever express?
And when you learn to be patient, to communicate, to react to each other, to trust each other, then you will be on the road to reaching sexual satisfaction together.
Don’t forget, it’s nice to feel pleasure yourself, but it’s incredible to know you’re providing it for another. Learn to enjoy the experience of giving, since that’s what separates the good lovers from the great: Generosity.
*There are SOME women with lubrication difficulties who sometimes never really emit the same signs of arousal as another woman might, so again, communicate and follow the signs. Does she look like she wants more of you? Does she look ready to take it a notch further? Use your powers of deduction, Sherlock. Better yet? Ask.
Creativity’s an organic process; I know what I want to write for y’all, but I can’t help it if something flicks the switch and something else comes out. This morning, I was sweeping the kitchen, dancing around, listening to cheesy ’80s music, when this posting occurred to me. Remembering some of this fodder made me laugh out loud, and I’ve still got a grin on my face. So, hopefully you find the diversion fun. I’ll deliver on the Vixen thing.
When I was in Grade 4/5, Wham! took the world by storm. As always, I was a latebloomer, and I fell for them in Grade 7. George Michael made me swoon. Those lips, those eyes, and oh, my god, that ass.
I would dance around my pink bedroom with Freedom playing on full blast. I dreamed of nothing more than somehow encountering my idol and having an affair. Surely he liked 13-year-old girls, I thought. I mean, eight more months and I, too, would be 13. We would kiss. Madly. Sex wasn’t something I’d be considering much for at least another four or five years, but kissing…
A year or two after that, I saw him walking down the street in Vancouver with this Asian woman on his arms. A few months down the road, she’d come to fame as his lover from the video I Want Your Sex, the famed torso upon which the pop star would write, in lipstick, “Explore monogamy.” I clued in pretty fast, guys like exotic chicks, not 13 year olds, and they liked sex, not kissing, and they liked flat little torsos, it seemed.
But that didn’t faze me. I still loved my George. When I discovered masturbation, George was there with me, that sexy bare chest in those little shorts he used to wear. I didn’t even have to imagine George doing anything to me. The fantasy was an album signing. He looked up. Our eyes locked. I creamed my pants. One glance from George, it seemed, was enough to do me in. Oh, George! (gush) Naturally, masturbation then consisted of dry-humping an interesting pile of teddy bears and pillows contoured in, frankly, very strange places, while holding a little teen magazine with the latest male hottie with a perfect smile on the cover. (Oh, GEORGE!)
Honestly, when I was young, I missed the bus to Hipville. It took me a while to grow out of dorkness. My mom was a bit of a hippy, and my clothes were often homemade and things like that, or just badly chosen. It wasn’t until I left private school (Catholic… think kilts and knee-highs, boys… ooh, tartan) and did public school that I finally found a clue.
George kept me company in those dark years. Corey Hart kinda helped, too, and Michael J. Fox. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been a Johnny Depp girl since 1991.
The best thing I ever did for my sex life in my teens, though, was to buy a pair of Doc Martens. My first weekend in them, Josh. Oh, Joshie, Joshie, Joshie. German and Japanese. What a fucking studmuffin. (I always remember my friend having to explain what a studmuffin was to her confused father. “Why, Daddy, it’s a stud you can really sink your teeth into.”) Josh was built for lovin’ – he was 6’4, broad shoulders, and lips that made for smothering, baby.
Yep. One kiss from Josh and I figured, huh, these boots are something. See, he spots me at a party with all our mutual friends, me and my 13-hole docs, and beelines over, commenting that cherry was always the sexiest colour for him. “Oxblood,” I corrected him. Our lips locked shortly after that for the ultimate in gropefests on the back steps. It was the first time a boy ever grabbed my boobs and squeezed and groped, the first time I knew what it felt like for a boy to fumble as to tried to get under the bra and over the breast, and the first time I ever had the distinct feeling of being moist in public.
Naturally, Josh told the world that it had been us who was making the camper a-rockin’, and a classic teen “But I’m not a slut, that was SUZY!” drama unfolded. But I learned something important then. Image was everything, and George wasn’t doing me no favours. I started experimenting with music and quickly found U2 and Front 242, and learned that bad was good, and haven’t looked back since. These days, I’m a punk rock poser-girl some of the time, but usually just a nitty-gritty indie rock kinda gal. No, no Docs these days, but my Skechers are kinda cute.
Funny thing, though. A while back, I had this guy I was sorta wooin’ after dinner. We were interacting, on the cusp of sex, but the nerves were in the way, so instead we were standing too far apart, with that invisible awkwardness barrier repelling us. My iPOD developed a mind of its own and suddenly Wham! spun on.
“Wake me up, before you go-go
Don’t leave me hangin’ on like a yo-yo”
Next thing you know, the boy and I were bouncing around the kitchen, laughing and singing, washing dishes, cleaning up, and naturally, a spot of water on the floor yielded a well-placed slip, and we collided into each other, against the counter, collectively gasped, locked lips, fumbled about, and the rest unfolded exactly as it should, upon my bed.
I guess our liabilities aren’t always what they seem, and the past is never as far away as we’d like to think. But is that so bad? That night, it wasn’t.
PS: Incidentally, of all my teen idols, GM’s the only one I still find sexy. Not my type per se anymore, but still has “it”.
I had an email from a woman who wanted to remain anonymous.
“So how is the world with a virgin on the other side of 30? How virgin you may ask? Too! I haven’t even had a kiss since highschool so…. Am I going to end up a lost cause? I don’t even know how to formulate my question, what exactly it is.”
I once wrote, “Getting published is like getting laid. Anyone can do it if they set their sites low enough.”
Getting laid ain’t hard. So that’s not your problem. Your problem is that you want to be laid by someone with standards.
My readers are probably wondering, “Man, bet she’s a dog.” No! I got a picture of this girlie, and she’s cute. A little makeup, some cute, revealing clothes, and a night on the town might be all it takes.
But being over 30 and a virgin and unkissed for so damned long, A.A., you’re probably filled with apprehensions about getting involved — and a whole lot of insecurities.
The thing about dating that gets forgotten is that it’s just about meeting new people. Today, it’s easier than ever. I wrote a rant about e-dating, but the dating itself has been pretty good. None of it has been painful or emotionally distressing. There’ve been some real pieces of work, this is true, but as a whole, it’s not bad. When it doesn’t work out, you walk away. That’s it.
So what’s holding you back? Confidence? Inability to meet new people? The way you dress? I’m not a fly on the wall and my crystal ball’s on the fritz.
If what you wore in the photos is a typical day out for you, you need to update and get some digs that better suit your body, and the colour grey don’t work on you. Have someone help you buy trendy clothes. Ditch those jeans you had on and get some with spandex in ‘em and wider legs that bring your hips into proportion — it’s more slimming, and much more stylish. A lower cut actually makes you seem taller and flatters your ass, too.
Get some nice cute shirts that are at least as low-cut as the v-neck shirt you wore, but get bright, fun colours that will have you be noticed. Personally, I was always opposed to things like hot pink, but I went and got me some snazzy pink and lime green clothes last season and have been really surprised at the interest they create just walking past men on the sidewalk. Get daring.
If confidence is the issue, join a gym. You might think, “Oh, I’ll join a girls’ gym–” WRONG. Yes, gyms are meat markets, but that’s what you want! It’s not that bad. You don’t have to wear makeup. Just have cute workout clothes and do your thing. You might even find you enjoy catching those sly corner-of-the-eye glances that come your way. Every now and then, a little objectifying does a girl some good. Besides, strong women feel sexy.
Another great idea for confidence is to join Toastmasters International, a public speaking organization, so you can brush up your courage for talking to strange men.
As for the question about being a virgin and whether there’s any hope, goddamned right there is. There are men who specifically do not want virgins. They want experienced lovers. Oh, well. There are also men who’ll get excited at the prospect at defrocking a woman, especially since the notion of finding another virgin when they’re also in their 30s is pretty much something that’ll get them a visit from the law enforcement.
Try to ditch your inhibitions. Do little things like forcing yourself to make eye contact with men at the supermarket. Smile at one hot new guy per day. Be brazen and start the occasional conversation. And when you feel you’ve made a big step like just talking to some random attractive man on the street, make sure you pat yourself on the back.
But most importantly, try the e-dating. It’s the easiest, most opportune way to get your face out in the world, especially since you’ve told me you live close to “a major city”. And if it’s something like Lavalife, you can post a profile for free. Write yourself a revealing, open profile and include a photo on your profile. You don’t need to publically disclose you’re a virgin, but you’ll have to do so at some point. You do want to say something like, “Looking for a lover who can and will teach me in the bedroom.” You can call yourself “an inexperienced, but willing to learn, lover.” And realize that if you write the profile well enough, you make it revealing enough, and you have a nice photo up there, you will get a LOT of responses. Then, it’s all up to how you handle things.
Hell, if you want, send a profile you’ve written about yourself to me in email and I’ll help you polish it up all sexy-vixen like. Trust me, I’m effective. ;) We’ll report back to the readers about your progress in a couple months.
Meet guys for a coffee. Don’t let the “online chatting” thing drag past a week. That’s just a waste of your time. All it takes is an hour to meet for coffee and you’ll know if he’s worth pursuing.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” The quote is from Oscar Wilde, and it’s as true as true gets.
Personally, I’m a little overweight. I’m not some sexy vixen non-pareil. I’m cute, I’m fun, and I’m a little larger than life both physically and personality-wise. But I’ve got confidence and I’ve got a great grasp of innuendo. I may not be every man’s cup of tea, but I’m surprised by how many men would indeed like a sip of me — and that’s because my personality’s infectious and I got a dirty grin. There was a time when I thought it was all about hip size, and the more outgoing I’ve gotten, the more I’ve realized how untrue that is. Trust me, I went through a dark age in my mid-20s and my self-esteem bottomed right out. In the last couple years, I’ve put all of the above to work for myself and I’ve really enjoyed the outcome, despite still looking for The One.
So, learn to dig yourself. Dress yourself in a new, brazen way, and force yourself to make daily baby steps. Smile at men. Play with innuendo. Start touching their arms when you talk to them. Sit closer to the men you’re around. Take a risk and get on the ‘net for e-dating. But love yourself. Get past the insecurities that are holding you back from being the effusive, sexy woman you know lives deep down inside ya.
And then maybe you’ll happen on a brave new world of satisfaction and sexuality. Good luck on the voyage. ;)
Anyone got anything to add to this advice for AA?