Written by Franki Le-Voguer. Originally posted on her blog here.
I’d like to consider myself a bit of a sexpert. After all, I did write a play on the subject and it seemed to go down rather well. It’s something that truly interests me in a psychological and scientific way, which is probably why I’m having such trouble enjoying it, recently. It’s difficult to lose yourself in the moment when you’re wondering to what extent your ‘subject’ has been influenced by the psychological effects of porn.
I’ll allow you to work out how I’ve managed to acquire such a vast amount of knowledge about the – quite literal- in’s and out’s of it all, but you should know that I’m inherently proud of my experience. Disappointed, yes. Frustrated, yes. But proud of the fact that unlike most people my age, I can tell the difference between a sneeze and an orgasm.
Once again, I am ashamed to admit that I may be generalising towards straight, cisgendered, white males. And you are right, it’s Not All Men. But, statistically through my…eh-hem, research, it’s enough men in dire need of the education for me to write this post. But really, all genders should take note. There are too many people in this world who are willing to put up with what is frankly, bad sex.
So I’ve brought it upon myself to share my sextpertise with the world. By law (probably, I haven’t checked) I’m required to tell you that I am in no way officially recognised as a voice of authority on the diddly do, neither am I medically trained. I’m just someone who has had lots of sex and watches sexplanations religiously. Enjoy.
Sexiquette. (Sex-etiquette…I thought I was being clever.)
Before you even jump in the sack, you need to make sure of the three things: Cleanliness, Consent and Communication. This is the kind of stuff your doctor tells you: wear a condom, get tested regularly, talk to your partner, make sure you have a clear and enthusiastic ‘yes!’ You’ve heard it all before, and there’s a reason: it’s important.
If you’re lost in the heat of the moment and really don’t want to spoil the mood by asking “Have you ever had ghonnorea?” then at least, please use protection. If the person with the penis doesn’t want to use a condom but you are on contraception, I would honestly suggest lying about not being on it until you either a) know that the person is clean or b) trust them enough to believe otherwise, so that you have no other option but to use a condom the first time. Or just be honest and say you’re not having sex with that person unless they wear protection. If the person with a penis still doesn’t want to use a condom, then that person is a twat. And silly. Tell them you have chlamydia. But you’re still hot, right?
Also, get yourself tested every three months. In the UK, there are free sexual health clinics dotted about everywhere and I promise you don’t have to be embarrassed. If you’d seen the statistics you’d want to help as much as those people do. And if you do happen to have an STI, please don’t be a dick and have unsafe sex. I’m not saying carry your test results round with you on a night out just in case, but be honest.
I can practically hear the fuckboy eye-rolls at the mention of ‘consent.’ “You can barely touch a girl nowadays without someone crying ‘rape!’” these days!” Well, yes. Because it’s fucking rude. If you touch someone inappropriately without their consent, you are committing a crime. It’s not petty, it’s common decency. There are some amazing examplesof how uncomfortable it is for women under constant threat of sexual harassment, but that’s another blog post. What I’m talking about here is a big fat line that a disturbing amount of my past partners have thought it perfectly okay to cross. Let me explain as simply as I can: No means no. Silence means no. Being passed out/intoxicated means no, as the person does not have the capacity to give informed consent. Not moving/responding means no. Pushing you away means no. Making out with you but not allowing you to place your hands in certain places means no. “I’m not sure,” does not mean “convince me,” and having to ask someone more than once puts unwanted pressure on the person to say anything other than ‘no.’ Anything other than an enthusiastic ‘yes!’ is a no-go area. It’s not sexy to push or persuade someone into doing something. The end goal is not your orgasm. Enjoy the goddamn moment for once. I forget the last time someone made out with me just because they wanted to kiss.
And please, talk. Make sure you’re both on the same page before you get diggy-down-funky. Or at the very least, talk about it in the morning before you leave. One of you might have only wanted the fuck, the other might have thought it was the start of something beautiful. You might both want to see where it goes. So buck up: ask the question. “Any idea where this is going to go?” No pressure, no assumptions, just the blissful loss of those childish days of waiting for a text message that may or may not arrive. If you know where you stand, you’ll know how to deal with it.
One last thing before we get to the good stuff: it’s not your business to ask how many people your potential squeeze has had sex with. What are you even trying to achieve with that question, anyway? As long as it’s safe and consensual and isn’t hurting anybody, you should be allowed to have sex with as many people as you want, whenever you like. It’s not a judgement of how much of a ‘bucket’ a person with a vagina is, either. The vagina can expand up to 200% it own size and still return to normal. In fact, if you’re bragging about how ‘tight’ she was, you’re literally saying how much you failed to turn her on because when aroused, the vagina expands. You don’t know how many times I’ve had to explain that to fuckboys.
If the person wanted you to know, they’d tell you. It’s not about shame, it’s knowing that the other person is only asking in order to judge you on either experience or lack thereof. The only reason it might be relevant is if you’re asking for sexual history in terms of having an STI, in which case the only thing that in your interest is their results.
Franki Le-Voguer is a playwright based in Liverpool. She is also the Artistic Director of the brand new Bespectacled Theatre Company which aims to dedicate itself to challenging perspectives and ‘Seeing Things Differently.’ She encourages female representation in the arts as well as discourse surrounding sexual and mental health education. She also doesn’t take much shit. You can follow Franki on Twitter at @froggielevog and her theatre company at @speccytheatreco.
Franki’s blog is available here.