Sex is one of those things that people are starting to talk more openly about, especially young people, but it’s a really personal thing that’s unique to everyone. I’ve had conversations with friends, partners and family (not fun) about sex and I often find it difficult to properly convey how I feel about sex, especially since coming to college.
The first thing is that no one ever tells you that sex kind of sucks sometimes. It can be really uncomfortable to openly communicate with someone during sex and I’ve felt guilty before when telling someone that I didn’t like something they were doing. It feels weird to be giving constructive criticism while completely naked, and not everyone is open to it or accommodating of it. It can be really frustrating to feel like the person you’re having sex with doesn’t really care that much about your experience.
I also want to talk a little bit about how intimidating sex can feel. Even if it’s not necessarily new to you, it can be really nerve-wracking. I’ve always felt self-conscious during sex, constantly wondering if I’m doing things right, if the person I’m with is enjoying themselves, if they’re going to tell their friends every intimate detail, if I even want to be doing it. Maybe I’m just neurotic but I find it hard to get out of my own head and just enjoy myself.
Media often portrays sex as this monumental, amazing experience complete with an earth-shattering orgasm (or two or three if you’re reading the right kinds of romance novels), but that has never been my experience (has it been anyone’s??). This is not to say that I haven’t had good sexual encounters, but I was stuck for a long, long time on the orgasm part. Everyone is different and we all have complex bodies that may or may not respond to certain things. I thought for a while that not ever having an orgasm with a partner meant there was something physically wrong with me but let me tell you, it’s totally normal. Despite it being common, especially for women, not having that big O can be really frustrating. Honestly, I thought it was just plain unfair. Why can my partner do it and not me? Why can my friends have one and I can’t? I still don’t know, really. I started thinking of sex as more than just a means to an orgasm and began making a conscious effort to enjoy the other parts of it. Do I want an orgasm? I mean, yeah, don’t we all? But does sex still feel good and enjoyable? Also yes. It’s hard to make blanket statements about sex but you just have to find what feels right for you and your partner. For me, it’s most important that I feel comfortable, that I can trust the person I’m with and that I can leave the experience feeling good.
All in all, sex can be weird, funny, awkward, but sometimes really fun and enjoyable. I think the true key is finding out what you like during sex, and being able to effectively communicate that to your partners. Now, that’s much easier said than done, and it takes some time to feel comfortable doing it — but it’s definitely worth it. Sex should be whatever you and your partner want it to be and you should feel good about it before, during and after.