Thank you to Kay for writing our first guest post ever! It’s awesome.
It’s a hard thing talking about something that is both deeply personal and broadly shamed in society. It is more difficult because, honestly, a lot of us don’t really KNOW what we want when it comes to sex. Or we have an idea but aren’t REALLY sure. OR we know exactly what turns us on but think it is something that we shouldn’t have to ask for and that our partner(s) should just KNOW. THIS IS A PROBLEM.
When we are small, before we learn to talk, life is incredibly frustrating. How do we get what we want? We scream and someone, usually our parents, tries to guess. Now as a baby our needs are pretty simple. Uncomfortable? Hungry? Tired? Frightened? Wanting attention? Who really knows because they can’t use words to say. All they can do is scream and hope that someone figures out that their diaper is wet before trying to put them down for a nap.
Then we learn to talk! We can ask for a snack (though we might not always get one) and say where it hurts or what is scary or whatever. But there are still a lot of things that we don’t know about and we are still learning about the world and becoming significantly more complex as people.
A good example of this is when it comes to gifts. Sometimes your grandmother gets you a lumpy orange sweater, even though you hate orange, and lumpy things, and don’t wear sweaters. Now imagine if you ask her, politely of course, if she would get you a green sweater vest instead (because, even though it may not be what you’ve always wanted, it is better than a lumpy orange sweater or maybe you really really like green and sweater vests) and you get it and hey you used your words and got what you wanted!
When it comes to sex, someone, though they may love you dearly, is going to try to give you the equivalent of a lumpy orange sweater or try to guess what it is that you want and mess up if you don’t talk about what you want. Your well intentioned partner may think you like sex a certain way and be completely wrong unless you take the time to, politely, ask for what it is that you DO want. Guessing at sex can be dangerous too because there are a whole set of unrealistic expectations out there and we have heard over and over again that “The One” will JUST KNOW how to please us. Which is really silly, when you think about it, because they may guess right one day but no one is a mind reader and they are bound to get it wrong eventually if you don’t communicate.
One more problem though, stemming from the way you were raised or the way society is or who knows what else… you may not have the words and understanding of yourself, what YOU like, and what is even possible. Spending some time thinking about this is the first step towards being really satisfied with your sex life and it is a never ending process.