Does talking about sex bother you? Does thinking about talking about sex – and beyond general things – make your guts get all watery or runs icy fingers all up and down your spine? Do you hold true to the the notion that sex should never be openly discussed with anyone? Is it too much information? Does it embarrass you? Shame you? Is it such a private thing that you can’t even talk about sex with the person you’re having sex with? And if it does any of the above, have you ever asked yourself why it does?
Yesterday, I was having a discussion with a guy who told me that he often gets a lot of negative comments because he overshares the detail when he talks about sex and I understood what he meant because, let’s face it, when it comes to talking about sex, people are damned funny about it. Sex has always been considered as being no one’s business; you don’t talk about it, you don’t confess to having sex (even when it can be easily assumed that you are), and you sure as hell don’t provide any intimate details of whatever you’re doing… but you don’t want anyone else to know that you’re doing.
People who overshare – and, yes, I’d be considered one of them – are seen as being brave and courageous to openly talk about sex, generally or in great, embarrassing detail. I’ve spent a lot of time over the years wondering about the reasons why this is so hard (or so illegal) to talk about and more so since sex is such an integral part of our existence. Indeed, I’ve learned that one of the biggest sexual mistakes we consistently make is assuming that our partner knows how to have sex with us – and then we become disillusioned because they didn’t do it in a satisfying way, not just because they don’t know how to do it but because this is so private that we can’t even tell them how to do it to us… and some folks can’t share this information because they themselves don’t know… and that’s because of this “inability” to talk about sex, generally or specifically.
I can remember asking my parents about sex and watching them freak out because I asked them. Before they regained their composure, I could see and sense their embarrassment about being asked about this and, what would have been worse if I hadn’t already known the answers, they refused to talk about it other than to tell me not to do it until I grew up, fell in love, and got married. I remember when my father told me, “Boy, whatever you do, don’t you ever put your mouth on a girl’s pussy!” and the look he got on his face when I asked him why. It’s not that he didn’t know – he couldn’t tell me – something in his head compelled him to remain silent except to say, “Because I said so!”
I’ve been in relationships where I just couldn’t have a conversation about sex and the usual response received when I’ve tried to talk to my sexual partner has been, “Is that all you ever think about?” or similar things that are obviously designed to discourage talking about doing the horizontal bop. Especially in relationships, we not supposed to talk about anything we’ve done in the past (let alone anyone you did it with) and having current-time discussions or even talking about the future of any sex that might be had is just so damned difficult for some folks to do. I’ve seen reactions from embarrassment to outright anger over my audacity to want to have a talk about sex.
Even when it comes to having sex with men, I’ve seen guys who are obviously into this who won’t talk about it; they invoke “Actions speak louder than words!” or otherwise don’t see a point in talking about… and it’s really interesting to see this behavior and then wonder why this behavior is so persistent. Like, if I can tell a guy specifically what’ll turn me on and what won’t, well, that’s helpful, right? Nope – not if you don’t wanna hear it or you can’t hear it, let alone be of a mind to share similar information so that whatever sex you’re gonna have can be the best it can be.
How is telling you what my passions and desires are such a bad thing to talk about? How could I possibly know about these same things if you never – or can’t – even tell me what they are? Okay, great – you trust me to be as experienced as I’ve said I am and, as such, believe that there’s no reason to have a discussion about it and, really, that’s a silly way to behave. Yep, I know how to make love… but unless you tell me, I won’t know how to make love you specifically. Sure… discovering these things can be fun but there comes a point where trial and error just ain’t gonna feed the bulldog (odd saying, ain’t it?); it leaves too much room for mistakes to be made, for needs to go unattended to and to a lot of people, failure when it comes to sex is unforgivable. Yeah, I’m supposed to know some shit… but if we can’t talk about any of it, um, don’t you think that this is a problem?
A while back, in the earlier days of blogging, I wrote a piece that was incredibly detailed about some sex I was having… and someone commented that it wasn’t good for me to share things like that and that I should be ashamed of myself for doing it. Their comment amused me and I asked them why I shouldn’t write about it and why I should be ashamed… and all they said was that it was wrong for me to divulge such personal information. I pressed them by asking, “Why is it wrong?” and all they said was, “Because it is.”
Is it really? And if it is, why do you think it is? Obviously, I don’t have a problem with it – I never did – because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to have a problem talking about something that is so important in our lives. If I want you to know – and regardless to my reason for wanting you to know, why would it make you uncomfortable? If I asked about something – and because I believe I need to know (and for some reason again), why can’t you tell me? It has, at times, had me asking, “Are you that much of a prude that you can’t even talk to me about it (or listen to what I have to say)?” Yep, they’d come back and tell me, “I’m not a prude!” but, um, that’s not exactly the truth, is it, not when you have that conditioned aversion that’s preventing you to share the information; it’s too private, it’s too embarrassing and even when someone needs to know, they’re not supposed to know – ever. It’s like, “If you can’t figure it out, then you suck…” and, really, how many of us have found out the hard way what can happen when someone is left to their own devices?
I’ve had budding bi guys ask about sucking dick – how to do it and what it feels like to do it – and have had them just get all locked up when I tell them in explicit detail – now it’s TMI. I’ve asked them about their thoughts about it… and they’ve clammed up and just say something like, “I just know that I want to do it…” or “I guess the only way I’m gonna find out is to do it…”
Um, no – that’s not the only way in any of this. If you can talk and listen when it comes to sex, to me, that’s easier than going in blind or just letting fate decide things or leaving it up to someone else’s idea of what’s to be done and other such important factors. But a lot of us can’t do that, can we? Why is it that sex is one of the things in our lives that we’re willing to engage in and without any prior information? Why do we feel better about assuming that (a) people have a clue about sex and, importantly, (b) that they’re somehow going to be able to know exactly what are needs and desires – or even our dislikes and fears about sex – are if we can’t or don’t tell them… and then in whatever detail is required.
One of my favorite things: Asking a woman how she wants to be made love to… and many have not been able to answer the questions other than to say, “I’m not hard to please…” Yeah, right – sure you aren’t. Because they just can’t tell me what I feel I need to know, being able to please them is, in fact, a hard thing to do; I’ve considered myself damned lucky any time I’ve gotten it right… but I haven’t always gotten it right and not because I don’t know anything about having sex but because they refuse or are otherwise unable to provide me with the details that are necessary.
Because talking about sex is forbidden, even when it concerns the person you’re having sex with; talking about it with a “stranger?” Unheard of! Should never, ever, be done! Yet, if you ever fail when it comes to sex, think about why those failures have happened and maybe you’ll see – and as I have – that when it comes to this, it’s a failure to communicate and in the worst possible way. I just don’t know how we can be so fucking interested in sex but not want to be bothered with any of the details. We’ll lie like rugs, become defensive, evasive, embarrassed, etc., when a discussion about sex comes up, detailed or not, making us take chances with something that means so much to many of us… when simply being able to talk about it can be so helpful.
When it comes to sex – any kind of sex – we wind up learning by doing; we can learn to succeed and we can, more often than not, learn how to fail, how to disappoint, and how to be disappointed and all because of what is, at least to me, clearly a lack of information and one that exists because we just cannot talk about it or listen to it. It’s an inhibitor; it can hold us back and, really, can make us clueless about the things we know about sex; it can keep us from realizing our needs and desires when we can’t talk or listen. And if you can’t get past this, why can’t you?
I’ll leave y’all to give this some thought… provide you can do that.