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Why It’s Easier to Talk About Bad Sex
But pretty damn hard to come clean about the good stuff.
Just because I write a lot about sex, that doesn’t make me a sexpert. Don’t worry, I don’t consider myself an expert in anything although I often write about my own life experiences.
|the image is taken from here|
And just because I’ve written a lot about bad sex, that doesn’t mean I should be prohibited from writing about sex at all. Sometimes people make judgment about who's qualified to write about sex, but that gives me pause to wonder when a person should be allowed to write anything.
However, I can see why some confusion among readers happens. I do write an awful lot about “bad sex” and provide some social commentary upon what it means to me. As a result, some people jump to the conclusion that I am bad at sex. That I must not really like it. Or that I’ve never actually had the good stuff.
Frankly, I’ve probably had more bad sex than good, but also for good reason. I didn’t always know that I was allowed to say no. I expected very little (actually, far too little) from the men I dated. And I didn’t always know how to create or enforce otherwise strong boundaries in any of my relationships.
It recently occurred to me that I haven’t given good sex as much attention as I likely should. That’s when I realized that good sex is admittedly more challenging for me to write about.
I still battle "guilt" about premarital sex.
Even though I’m no longer a Christian or religious person by any stretch of the imagination, old habits die hard. Overcoming the guilt I was taught to associate with sex hasn’t been so easy to do.
I know I’m not alone in this one, but guilt does make it harder to talk about good sex, and it’s actually one of the biggest reasons I make a point to write about sex at all. And even though my stories about sex can’t please everybody, I am happy to know that my words are helping somebody work through their own sexual hangups.
But I’d be lying to say there’s no residual awkwardness, or that my face doesn’t glow a bit red when certain people read my more sensational stories. I survived the purity culture of the 90s, but I definitely didn’t get through it unscathed.
I was married for a good two-and-a-half years, yet the marriage went unconsummated because I had vaginismus. And then I never actually relaxed enough to have an orgasm until I was about 31-years-old. Guilt can do really weird things to your head and your body.
Talking about good sex feels much more personal.
Clearly, good sex is in the eye of the beholder. So no judgment, right?
But the thing is… writing about good sex winds up feeling much more… revealing. A helluva lot more intimate.
When I write about bad sex, I can usually laugh about it. And others can laugh about it along with me. As in, yes, it’s crazy that I have put up with some very bad behavior from men.
At least I can laugh about it now and enjoy the relief of finally knowing better.
But writing about good sex goes beyond the mistakes of my past. It delves into more hidden and vulnerable desires which other people can read and possibly judge or misinterpret.
Then there’s the issue of my fatness.
Ah, yes, I am also a fat woman in America. That means there is an inherent faction of readers who firmly believe I have no business writing about sex. Or even having it.
One time, I took a risk to write about how fat bodies are sensual bodies regardless of opinions to the contrary.
Of course, some folks felt I was rudely “taking them to task” and dictating who they should be attracted to. But I saw it more as opening people’s minds to the notion that sensuality is so much more than skin (or flesh) deep.
Of course, it would be disingenuous for me to say that I am completely untouched by brutal comments regarding my sexuality and fatness.
There are many different kinds of good sex.
Let’s be honest, there are wildly different definitions of good sex. Gender can even play a role in how we define the good and the bad. Sex in and of itself can be complicated, messy, and even awkward — often due to the baggage that each person brings into the shared experience.
That’s not to say I’m not sex positive, because I am. I’m just very, very human. It’s taken a lot of effort to cross off my various sexual hangups. Again, I don’t believe I’m alone in that.
Within my entire sexual experience, I would say that the sex with only two or three of my partners was really good. Maybe even great, but… it’s also pretty damn complicated.
It’s complicated because you can have amazing sex within a shitty relationship. Partners can be attentive in the bedroom, but treat you like dirt in every other way. You can have good sex, but mixed feelings too.
Bad sex can improve upon better communication and more effort between partners. (Aka you talk about it.)
In my opinion, good sex can even be a mixed bag, in part because of the way a relationship morphs over time.
A while back, there was a partner who gave me nervous butterflies constantly. The first time we were intimate at all, I felt pressure for something to happen, despite the fact that he wasn’t pressuring me. I have nothing but good feelings for the guy and categorize our time together as good sex, despite my beginning awkwardness, and despite my having a hard time climaxing since I tend to lose my orgasm from time to time.
I’m demisexual, and yes, we can be kind of intense about sex.
Some people are really great at separating sex from a relationship. Not me. I am way too demisexual, which means I can’t even feel attraction to a man if I don’t also sense some esoteric, deeper connection.
That one’s tough for a lot of people to understand. Guys I’ve dated will say they get it, but that typically seems to be untrue when they’re pushing for sex and I’m explaining for the twentieth time that I’m not sure I feel that way about them.
That said, good sex deserves more attention.
I do plan to spend more time talking about good sex--as nebulous as that topic might be. I’ll still have plenty to say about bad sex and gender gaps, but I want to write more about the positive stuff too. Our culture won’t become more sex positive without every kind of awkward conversation about doing it.
Even though we’re apparently having much less of it for now.