Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Don't screw society, that's what it wants: the socialization of sexuality

My regular readers know that I adore sex with my husband. I love it. There aren't enough words for awesome in the thesaurus to express how much I enjoy this part of our relationship.

But I'm in a fairly small minority, I believe. While women everywhere are reclaiming their sexuality and enjoying themselves in the bedroom (and out of it!), I still hear more than my fair share of these sorts of comments in mixed company when the conversation turns to sex:
My husband wants sex! More than once a week! Whatever shall I do? Is there some way I can get out of this? I don't like sex! It's messy and it just doesn't do that much for me. 
She just likes to snuggle, and I don't mind,
which reeks of something very wrong to me. Of course that's a valid decision and a valid response under certain circumstances, but if the exploration of sexuality that would be required to arrive at that decision hasn't taken place, I'm sorry, but you've both been had.

My grandmother hated sex. Hated it so much that you didn't have to be around her long to realize it. She talked about my grandfather in their youth as if he was the biggest horndog. "His name was Freddy, and he was always ready," she would say he said of himself. They had four children together, and somehow she never got to like it.

Clearly they were both doing something wrong.

In the comments on my previous post, I wrote a response to faerie that seemed far more like a separate topic than a comment response.

"But maybe it's fair to say it was a lack of communication," as BNL once sang.
I think our culture has a lot of shame about sex - you're either supposed to be really good at it and like it a lot, or shut up because if you're not enjoying it, you're doing something wrong. Not that you and your lover just need to talk more, to find out what makes each other tick. In a lot of people's minds, sex is some kind of cookie-cutter, one size fits all experience, when in fact it's more of an individually crafted, tailored experience.

People don't like to be wrong, and in my experience and those I've read of others, they have a lot of problems just speaking up and saying "You know, this would be a lot better for me IF..." because that makes either them or their partner wrong.

But truthfully, I bet even the people who are happy with the cookie cutter off-the-rack sexual experience could enjoy themselves a lot more if they'd tailor it a bit.
Even if you're enjoying the sex you have, chances are a little communication could go a long, long way to making it even better. Mind-blowing. There's not a lover out there who wouldn't thrill to hear his or her lover in the throes of pleasure, or the hard breathing afterglow. It's a trip, taking someone to that place.

Your sexual relationships are yours, they belong to only you and your partner(s). It doesn't matter what society says you should or shouldn't do. Screw society. Or, wait, no, you're not screwing society. That's the point. You communicate your desires, what you think will work for you. Just like everything in life, you have to work for it to be really good. You don't expect to be a master bread baker on the first try - you learn new techniques and you keep trying until you get those beautiful, perfect, golden loaves.

1835 - Those folks knew some kink, eh? Everybody pick a favorite!

My grandmother actually tried to reclaim her sexuality in her late sixties. She asked my grandfather, in his seventies, to get a Viagra prescription. And my grandfather... asked my husband for sex advice, how to please a woman. My grandfather had never learned, she never told him he could make it better for her, I can only assume she didn't know herself. Being good conservative Baptists, they never went hunting down sexual self-help books. They'd just accepted their lot.

Funny, sad, awkward... but kind of sweet and awesome that they'd try. I know the Viagra wasn't actually necessary for them to be intimate, but when he was told his heart condition wouldn't allow him to take the drug, all that interest seemed to wane.

Although you could occasionally hear them giggling in their bedroom at night.

But if you've given it the solid try, you know, if you've communicated and you've both done your damnedest to enjoy each other and sex, and one of you still just isn't into it? That's okay too, although some alternate arrangement may need to be made for the best interests of all parties.

But don't give up on what could be the most magical, satisfying, mind-blowing experiences of your life without so much as a fight for them! Don't give up on the amazing intimacy and increased all-round good communication in a relationship that amazing sex can bring. The entire Internet is there to explore. You could start here. We did.

You have to start before you can be good, and you have to be good before you can be amazing.

Go, be spectacular with each other.


  1. Wow, I'm online and you just posted! Hi! *waves*

    I just wanted to say that you're awesome for being encouraging about this, and that last line made me laugh out loud. It has the ring of "Go forth and multiply", only without the progeny requirement.

    1. I was actually snug in my bed - when I finish writing a post late at night I tend to schedule it for early the next morning. More people seem to see it then. :)

      I'm so glad that line caused laughter - I never know how something sounds to other people until they respond to it. I get my husband to read things like this first sometimes, but he's not exactly my biggest critic.

  2. Conina,

    This is an awesome post. A year ago I was encouraged by blogs like yours to improve my performance as a lover. My wife and I enjoyed sex, but I wanted it to be "mind blowing." I decided that the best way to learn was to read what women wrote about in their blogs: long foreplay, scented candles burning in a dark room, some kink to spice it up, expert use of the tongue, etc.

    We are now having "mind blowing" sex thanks to the awesome ladies on the internet who share their secret desires.

    So thanks,


    1. Well damn, joey. If that's not reason enough to sex blog like there's no tomorrow, I certainly can't think of a better one.

      Thank you for sharing this; it's really nice to know.

  3. So awesome.

    I do think that there's a choice here to be made: some people are choosing not to prioritize sex, either for a particular stage in their life, or, sometimes, ever.

    Like you, I worry that when people make that choice, they're being influenced by factors like their lack of awareness of the possibilities of sex. If they know all the possibilities, and they still say, "Meh," because something else is more important to them (like, say, medical school, or surviving a war zone, or whatever) I think that's fine. If they're in a couple, and only one of them says "Meh," though, I think that's a BIG problem, particularly for monogamous couples.

    I made a deliberate choice not to date or have sex until I was A) a legal adult and B) out from under my parents' roof. I felt like the stuff I'd have to do to have a sex life just made it less likely that I'd enjoy it.

    I actually think that my choice to de-prioritize sex got murkier as I got older; once I was a legal adult and could get down to Planned Parenthood under my own steam and had sex partners, I know that I really wasn't fully aware of the possibilities or fully in command of my own sexuality.

    I was also really, really busy: building a career, a family, a life.

    I am glad I got around to claiming my own sexuality. I think it's one of the best things I ever did and it totally changed my life.

    1. You're right, of course. I did try to make it clear in the post that not prioritizing sex IS a valid decision, if it's a fully informed one, and that it becomes a problem in a monogamous relationship if only one of you is on that page. Perhaps I did a poor job, but I didn't want to over-emphasize it at the expense of the rest of the piece.

      I knew from an early, early age that sex (with intimacy) was really important to me; but I still avoided it with a partner until I was 20 (not aiming for that age, that's just when it happened), I think because of its importance to me.

      I'm glad you got around to it too, for what it's worth.

  4. Clearly they were both doing something wrong, lol. I have said that myself a time or two about people who complian about sex. If you aren't enjoying it, someone is doing something wrong. I'm not saying what works for me works for others. I'm just saying it is supposed to be fun and enjoyable and if it's not try something different.

    I have a friend who is happily married and says she hasn't had sex for over 2 years and they are both happy with it. That's great for them, but for me, not so much.

    It is the relationships where one or the other partner isn't satisfied that bother me. Do something to change the situation because it could be the best thing in life if they did :)

    1. Yeah, if everyone's genuinely happy and not going along to get along, it's all good.

      You're absolutely right; one partner shouldn't have to suffer. Communicate the issue and get it taken care of - almost no one actively seeks the misery of their SO.

  5. The reality is, we all have different bodies, different libidos, different levels of sensitivity, different things that turn us on or off, or way on or way off. Some of us can get so uplifted at a church service that we have an ecstatic experience speaking in tongues, and others of us may have never had any kind of spiritual or transcendent experience at all no matter how good the music or preacher is. Sex is like food. Some of us like food in general more than others. Some people love broccoli and hate pumpkin pie. I can't imagine it, but it is what it is. Some people aren't ticklish no matter how good the tickler is at tickling.

    1. *raises hand* Yeah, that's me, the broccoli-loving, pumpkin pie hating one.

      Like I said, if a person has explored his or her sexuality and found that there's honestly nothing in it for him/her, choosing to abstain is completely valid. But if the abstaining person is in a committed relationship, he/she also needs to communicate THAT to his/her partner so an arrangement that benefits both of them can be reached.

  6. I am just getting to this today, and I benefit from seeing all the great feedback and continued conversation. Sometimes it pays to be behind in reading. Sorry I can't think of more to add!

    1. I have some excellent, thoughtful commenters, that's for sure.

    2. Great post Conina. Prior to my relationship with my pet, I used to think there was something wrong with me because of my insatiable appetite for sex (one of the reasons I am such a big fan of "Californication"). Thought I had an addiction. Since being with her, I know that it is a natural and quite wonderful feeling that I am loving exploring,.,twice, three times, sometimes more a day. At age 43! Screw the blue pill, D/s is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

    3. Master49: That's awesome, and that's exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. Natural, healthy urges that don't fit society's ideal of "right" shouldn't be shamed, if the urge is for more sex or less than "normal." There's no such thing as "normal" anyway. :)

      D/s is pretty heady stuff.

  7. About all I can say to this post, Conina, is "right on, sister!" Sorry for being late to the party on reading this post--it's a good one!

    1. It's okay, Jake, I've been late to the party on lots of your excellent ones. I'm still feeling the effects of my 3-week visitors. :)

      Thank you!


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