You shouldn’t be having sex if you can’t talk about having sex. There it is. Plain and simple. If you are thinking about fucking and/or making love with other humans and you can’t talk about the act, it is worth examining whether or not y’all are ready to take this next step. With the exception of Michelle Obama and Cardi B, most of us aren’t born with the profound gift of articulately speaking our minds and unabashedly advocating for ourselves at all times. This takes practice, and flexing this muscle in our sex lives is no exception.
With backcountry partners, whether we are skiing, boating, or climbing, we have a shared vocabulary. We have systems in place that ensure our physical safety. We make a plan of action before we’re at the trailhead, call our drop before skiing a big line and plan to check-in mid-run from a predetermined safe zone. So why is it that when it comes to sex, we often go silent and intentional communication goes out the window?
Sex is the reason that we are all here today. In most cases, your father penetrated your mother’s vagina with his penis and ejaculated inside of her. His sperm made its way into her uterus and fertilized an egg, and here you are. Now that wasn’t so bad, was it? Now try imagining your parents enthralled in the heat of the moment, urgently ripping off each other’s clothes and engaging in ecstatic love-making and climaxing together. You are the result of that too. This whole “a baby comes when two people love each other very much” bullshit is, well, just that – bullshit.
Imagine this: one day in sixth grade, to your absolute horror, your teacher (and mother) got your unruly class’s attention by starting her social studies lesson with “today we are going to talk about sex.” Your whole class immediately falls silent, and you turn redder than a Taylor Swift album. Mortifying, right? Well, therein lies the issue – talking about sex should not be so shocking.
Talking about sex means being comfortable with owning your needs, desires, and boundaries. There is nothing sexier than sharing where your comfort levels lie around sex and intimacy. Many of us have sex, and even more of us think about it on the regular. Advertisers wield sex and sexuality as their greatest marketing tool. We have become numb to seeing half-clothed women on hoods of cars selling everything from NFT’s to ski boots. But if you can’t mutter the word “vibrator” without feeling ashamed or getting defensive about how you don’t need help to orgasm, pull out your journal and take a look at that.
If you are in a relationship and intend to sleep together or already have but can’t talk about what you want and need, take a step back and look at what is keeping you from facilitating what could be a really incredible shared experience. Talking about sex doesn’t mean immediately going into detail about your favorite kind of porn or how you were conceived (it certainly can!). These conversations can be as simple as verbally expressing your interest in having sex with someone.
Embarrassment and shame around sex can stem from all sorts of things, from past trauma to living within the confines of the patriarchy. But if the end result is that you don’t feel empowered or safe talking about sex, then let’s get to work. Try rolling some of these phrases around in your mouth.