8 Things I Wish My Mother Would’ve Told Me About Sex
(Preferably BEFORE losing my virginity)
“Thanks for that sex talk mom, I learned a lot of useful, applicable information!” –Nobody, Ever
I never really had “the talk” with my mom.
I don’t blame my mom for her lack of sexual education — in fact, my teenage self even thanks her for it — because it would’ve been so awkward….
…and probably not all that helpful.
You see, my mother (like her mother) was raised in a religious household dominated by the fear of God’s wrath for the “defiling” of a pure, innocent temple of flesh before marriage (i.e. sluts don’t get into heaven). The Catholic religion, for those unfamiliar, regards sexual intercourse as a sacred means of creation intended for Adult Use Only — not as a normal, healthy outlet for teenage sexual expression (and certainly not “just for fun”). Talk of premarital sex — or even sexual “self-exploration” — happens in hushed tones drippingwith judgment, guilt, and shame (if at all).
…which is definitely not helpful for a horny teenager completely unbothered by the wrath of an almighty cock-blocker (sorry, mom).
So, let me rephrase. As a young twenty-something who has [finally] become confident exploring her own sexuality (and writing about it, to boot), here is a list of 8 things I wish somebody who felt comfortable talking about sexwould’ve told me about sex:
#1 — Pleasing the woman is the goal.
…just as much as pleasing the man (or other woman, person, or group of people involved).
Sometimes the greatest pleasures of sexual intercourse come from pleasing the other person, but not always — especially when you’re still learning what feels good for you.
Moments after losing my virginity (an awkward, semi-painful three minutes or so), my then-boyfriend asked me if I had finished. I had no idea what he meant by “finished”, but I said yes because I definitely wanted to be finished. It took a few more sexual encounters until he finally informed me that “finish” meant “cum” and women had the ability to do that, too — something I thought was reserved exclusively for men up until that point. I vaguely understood that women could orgasm during sex (though I wouldn’t actually do so until much later in life) but I never knew a woman’s orgasm could come with… umm, cum.
(As it turns out, though, science is still relatively uncertain about the process of female ejaculation, too.)
Long story short: I wish somebody would’ve told me that women cum, women orgasm, and women deserve just as much attention, foreplay, and orgasm as anybody else involved.
#2 — Sex can be smelly, sticky, messy, and weird… and totally normal.
When you’re a teenager, letting a fart slip mid-thrust or getting cum stuck in your hair can be absolutely mortifying. After you’ve had your fair share of sticky situations, though, you’ll be able to laugh about awkward noises and wet sheets — you might even take it as a sign of great sex.
A sex partner who makes light of an embarrassing situation and keeps going is a keeper; laughing at you or making the situation a ‘big deal’ is a deal breaker.
I once had sex with a boy who started convulsing during an orgasm. Seriously, every inch of his body started shaking and his eyes rolled back so far into his head that I could only see the white parts. For a solid five seconds I just stood there, frozen in horror that the boy who was just inside of me was now dyingin front me. Fortunately, he didn’t die — and I learned that orgasms come in all shapes, sizes, and intensities.
In summary: I wish somebody would’ve told me that sex is not always dry, sexy, and flawless like movie scenes portray.
Bodies do weird things, make funny noises, produce interesting smells, and secret various liquids — so plan accordingly. Lay down a towel, hop in the shower afterward, and reserve judgment for the way any body experiences sexual release.
Oh, and you should always pee immediately following sex to avoid getting a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) — especially if you have a vagina. If you do end up getting a UTI, though, a doctor can prescribe some meds to get you back in action in a few short days.
#3 — Your preferences will change.
Speaking of sticky, messy, and weird, there are a LOT of ways to have sex — and you should definitely try every option that speaks to you.
The most commonly referred to types of sex are P-I-V (penis in vagina), oral (genitalia in mouth), and anal (something in the butt hole, which requires lube every time) — but those aren’t the only ways to have sex with another human. You can use fingers, toys, tongues, or even toes; the sky is the limit when it comes to what you’re “allowed” to try (and enjoy) during sex.
As your sexuality matures, your preferences will, too. What doesn’t feel good now might feel good in the future (and vice versa).
Welcome to the spectrum of humanhood.
In order to keep up with the natural ebb and flow of your sexual desires, talk to your partner(s) about what feels good and what doesn’t. A great tip for dealing with a partner who has no idea what they’re doing is to simply focus on what feels good. Saying something like “I love it when you…” or “I would love to try…” is easier on a fragile ego than “Gross, stop doing that” or “What are you even doing?”
If you aren’t sure what to do, make it up. If your idea sucks, make a joke about it and try something else.
The options are limitless, so don’t think your sex life is hopeless if you hate doggy style or anal scares the shit out of you.
(…pun slightly intended).
In summary: I wish somebody would’ve told me you’re allowed to explore, play, try new things, and enjoy your body at every opportunity.
Every human is different, and it’s not weird to tell somebody what you need to feel good (or to admit that you have no idea). The fun part is figuring it out together!
#4 — Length will vary.
…and sex is not a marathon.
I used to think that it was completely normal to expect sex to last hours on end because that’s what songwriters and movie stars said. What I didn’t realize (until I had partners who lasted less than 20 seconds) was that the phrase “all night long” was grossly exaggerated and completely unrealistic.
In fact, according to a research study done in 2005 using 500 couples across 5 countries, the average length of sexual intercourse from penetration to ejaculation was only 5.4 minutes.
So maybe AC/DC can get “shook all night long,” or maybe it just made for a catchy song title. Either way, most people can’t last all night long.
Length of sex will not only vary between partners, but it will also vary between encounters with the same partner based on seemingly unrelated factors like stress and dietary habits. Sometimes you’ll be disappointed that sex only last 3 minutes, and sometimes you’ll be overjoyed that it only lasted 3 minutes. Quickies can be just as fun as long, romantic love-making (and any length in-between).
In short: I wish somebody would’ve told me that there are no “standards” for having sex.
There is no such thing as “normal” sex because there is no such thing as a “normal” body — every human is different.
Penis size will vary. Nipple size will vary. The amount of foreplay needed to spark arousal will vary. Everything is sex will vary, and that’s partly what makes it so exciting in the first place.
#5 — Porn will f*ck you up.
Seriously. Watching pornography (or “studying” it for sex tips, like I did) will give you the wrong idea of what sex is like in real life.
Websites like PornHub are not “deviant” or “wrong” by themselves, but the idea that pornography represents sex in real life is absolutely lethal for setting healthy boundaries, boosting sexual confidence, and building healthy relationships. Remember:
Porn stars are paid actors, acting. Not real sex partners, sexing.
Watching excessive pornography during masturbation can actually desensitize your arousal during sex because of the dopamine-reward system in the brain. Put simply, the more outlandish, varied, or “hardcore” pornography you watch, the harder it will be for your brain to attain satisfaction during less-than-novel sexual encounters (like one-on-one sex with unpaid, untrained humans).
In summary: I wish somebody would’ve told me the real reason why I shouldn’t watch porn — i.e. to avoid developing inappropriate expectations and negatively effecting in-person arousal — instead of saying it was “naughty” or “degrading” or “only for adults.”
…because porn isn’t healthy for adult relationships, either.
I wish somebody would’ve told me that the best resource for sex advice is a Google search — not a PornHub search (or maybe they could’ve just overviewed a few ideas of what generally feels good for the opposite sex).
#6 — You’re allowed to say no.
…to whatever, whenever, no matter “how far you’ve gotten” or if “you’ve already done it before.” So is your partner. When somebody says NO it means STOP. Period. Anything other than that is rape.
Unfortunately, rape is not uncommon. According to the CDC, 1 out of 3 women and 1 in 6 men in the US experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime.
And that’s only what’s reported. That doesn’t include all of the sexual violence cases that go unreported or reported but dismissed.
I already knew that rape was more likely for women then men, but I wish somebody would’ve told me that if it happened to me, it wouldn’t be my fault.
I wish somebody would’ve looked me straight in the eyes and declared that the victim of rape is never at fault — no matter how intoxicated they are, no matter what they were wearing, no matter what they said or agreed to do before changing their mind.
I wish somebody would tell EVERYBODY that no means no, no matter what.
#7- Great communication = great sex.
The best way to have great sex is to communicate what feels good and what helps you reach climax with your partner — but how do you know what feels good if you’ve never done it before? Let’s go over some basics:
While the first time is not pleasant for most, sex should never be excruciatingly painful for anybody. If it hurts, stop. Evaluate the situation and see if there is an opportunity to decrease pain (or increase pleasure).
If something feels wrong….
- Check the status of fluids. Does something feel tight or dry? Speak up! Grab some lube!
- Check in with your surroundings. Are you comfortable? Do you need to put a pillow under your hips or switch positions? Speak up!
- Check in with the co-pilot. Is your partner going too fast or not using enough pressure? Speak up!
- Check in with the control center. Are you safe? Are condoms available? Do you feel pressured to do this? Speak up!
If you think something “could feel better”…
- More lube. Seriously, lube is the best sex-ccessory, ever. It can turn painful chafing and torn skin into a fun little slip-n-slide (and you can buy it for cheap at almost any drugstore).
- More imagination. If one position hurts, try another one. Try lying on your stomach, lying on your back, crouching down on all fours, standing, sitting, legs wide, legs together, slower, faster, harder, softer, in a more rhythmic pattern, or via an alternative orifice.
- More conversation. Again, speak up when something doesn’t feel right or you think something else might feel better. If your partner doesn’t listen or refuses to do something different, leave. Get up and get out as fast as you can. Nobody has the right to touch your body in any way you don’t want to be touched. No means no and anything after no is rape.
In summary, I wish somebody would’ve told me that sex can be the most mind-blowing, earth-shattering, toe-curling experience you’ve ever had — but only if you communicate with your partner.
Sex should never be painful. If it is, it’s time to SPEAK UP and figure out a solution.
#8 — At the end of the day, it’s not that big of a deal.
Shout-out to the movie Mean Girls for the infamous quote, but you will actually not get pregnant and die from having sex as a teenager…
…as long as you use birth control — like condoms — correctly (which, by the way, sometimes break; if that happens, you can go to the drugstore and buy Plan B just to be safe).
Sex is natural, normal, and healthy behavior for every animal on this planet — including teenagers.
I wish somebody would’ve told me that as long as you’re sure you’re ready, you trust your partner, and you’re responsible with birth control and protection against STIs (the only thing they actually do teach in public school sexual education…) you’re going to be just fine.
If anybody judges you for your sexual preferences or number of partners, smile politely and “agree to disagree” on morals (or flash your tits and tell them to kick rocks).
Nobody is allowed to shame you for the decisions you make concerning YOUR body.
Whether you’ve masturbated to gay porn, racked up over 100 sexual partners, or have literally never even seen naked boobs in the flesh — you’re still awesome. Sex will never change that.
Although the conversation may be awkward, embarrassing, or even nauseating, we need to start talking to teenagers about sex.
I don’t mean we need to warn them about the implications of unprotected sex or scare them into not wanting to do it until they’re married — they get enough of that already.
In a five-year project on Young People’s Romantic Relationships, Harvard researchers found that 70% of teenagers surveyed wish they had received more information from their parents about the emotional aspects of a romantic relationship.
This goes to show that the best way to help curious teenagers is not to keep them in the dark about sex and romance, but to help them turn on the light.
We need to give teenagers a safe space to ask questions, discuss their experiences, and express their emotions.
We need to talk to them about everything we feel comfortable talking about and provide appropriate resources to help them figure out the rest.
They will probably roll their eyes, scrunch up their nose, or cover their ears, but trust me —
…it’s a conversation they want to have.
written by Rachel Clements
Latest posts by Favour Nwabueze (see all)
- My ‘Aku’ Experience - June 9, 2019
- My Wedding Anniversary: The Marriage Journey So Far - May 12, 2019
- The Womb watcher - May 12, 2019