Another question I get a lot a lot a lot:
“Does being a sexpert make your own sex life better?”
It turns out I’ve never written about this, apart from like one sentence. I thought I had, but apparently not.
The short answer is… “Knowledge is power.”
That said, we sexpert-y types tend to have far more mundane sex lives than you might expect. Well, I can’t speak for anyone else, but *I* have a far more mundane sex life than people seem to think.
I don’t, for example, have more orgasms or better orgasms than other people. I don’t have a magically peaceful relationship with my body – I’m a middle class woman in the 21st century and am therefore vulnerable to the same body image nonsense as every other middle class woman. I don’t masturbate everyday to “reconnect with my sexual spirit” (or indeed for any reason – like plenty of women, I’m often too busy or tired.) I don’t do wild, radical things and I don’t always communicate my needs and desires perfectly.
Here’s what lots of sexual knowledge DOES do to my sex life (and can do to yours):
It makes me more confident. I know what I like and I know how to read my partner’s body. Not having to worry about whether or not I’m doing it right (there is no right or wrong; there is only pleasure!) frees me to think about other, more pleasant things, like how my body feels.
It makes me more creative. Having seen a wider array of sexual activities than any normal person would ever care to think about, I have deeply grokked the idea that you’re allowed to do anything you want in bed. The sexual scripts that delimit most people’s choices in bed have been chucked out the window, and I’m happy to try anything I think my partner and I might both like. I can do anything I want with my hands, mouth, feet, legs, lips, nose, and hair to any part of my partner I choose. As I said above, this isn’t usually something wild and bizarre, but just elegant variations on lovely things like oral and manual sex.
It makes me more relaxed, and relaxation is the key to sexual pleasure. Social context has been stripped from my sexuality, so I rarely get tense about whether or not what I’m doing is normal, appropriate, or otherwise socially acceptable. There is only me and my partner and anything and everything that comes readily to hand.
The moral of the story is that knowledge banishes fears, and with fearlessness comes power.
Not to say I don’t get shy or feel awkward or worried or inadequate or incompetent sometimes. It happens. What’s different for me is how I deal with that: I relax into it, recognize it as an artifact of my cultural upbringing, and put it aside. Those negative thoughts and feelings are… well, they’re like your dog, really. You didn’t invite them into bed with you, but sometimes they might just jump in there on their own. You can let that shut down your sexual pleasure or you can firmly tell the dog, “No, down!” shoo the critter away, and get back to what you were doing.
This also role models to your partner what to do when such thoughts and feelings creep up for them, too.
That’s ultimately what I love about sex education, and loving sex education is ultimately why I’m getting so into having a blog!