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27 October 2008

What do you wish someone had told you about sex? [More:]It's a new project from Planned Parenthood.

I'll have to think about my answer for a bit. I remember after I first had sex, my friend (who hadn't yet) asked me "So, what'd you think?" I said "[ponder......]'s fun!" She said "Well duh, that's why people do it." The sad truth is, before I had sex, I had a whole lot of other reasons in my head that I thought were "why people do it," and honestly I didn't think it would be fun. I thought it would [be hot/ be sophisticated/ hurt/ make you an adult/ feel sinful or dirty/ make you somehow totally different from the day before/ etc. etc. etc.]. The simple 'fun' part wasn't the most obvious little carryall in the cultural baggage I picked up about sex.
I wish I'd have had sex with every girl who offered it to me. I was quite chaste until I met the woman who'd become my wife. I wish I had a few more plays in my playbook.
posted by ColdChef 27 October | 21:12
Yah, it's "Let's Talk" month, to encourage parent/child communication about sexuality. I can't think about what I wish someone had told me about sex right at this moment...
posted by Stewriffic 27 October | 21:14
At the orphanage where I was raised, we were forbidden to talk about sex until Mother Wolf led us out into the wild and left us there for our visions.

After several nights, the Great Eagle came to me and infused my body with a great power.

Later, after my human adopted family claimed me, I would tell them of this great power and how I'd been entrusted with it's care.

This is how I first hooked up with my babysitter.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 27 October | 21:18
"You are going to suck at this for a while. But eventually you'll figure it out. Don't be afraid to slap some ass."
posted by middleclasstool 27 October | 21:20
"It's not supposed to hurt. If it does hurt, you're doing it wrong. If you're doing it right and it still hurts, see a doctor."

And I could have done with a great deal less Catholic guilt around it, too.
posted by Fuzzbean 27 October | 21:24
"It's going to be awkward the first time. You're going to be self-conscious. You're not going to see rainbows and hear harp music played by angels. But just relax; it will get better."
posted by desjardins 27 October | 21:30
"Just because a guy is willing to have sex with you doesn't mean he likes you, loves you, or is even necessarily attracted to you. If he doesn't really know you, it just means he's horny. Don't expect any more than that."
posted by desjardins 27 October | 21:32
posted by treepour 27 October | 21:43
It's something that only other people have. Would have saved me a lot of time.
posted by Rembrandt Q. Einstein 27 October | 21:46
Oh, and this too: "Not only does God not care whether or not you masturbate, God doesn't even care about what gender you think about when you masturbate."

If someone had told me that in early adolescence . . . wow, it would have saved a lot of lasting-into-adulthood grief.
posted by treepour 27 October | 21:48
For reasons I won't go into, I was the recipient of a very liberal & frank version of the birds & bees lecture. Which, for all its' usefulness & detail, was all tactics and no strategy. So here's a bit of hard-won strategy:

"Willingness to dance with girls will pay dividends, no matter how awkward it may feel at the time."

And, uh, I want to take this opportunity to thank H., whose practical advice has brought joy beyond calculation over the years.
posted by Triode 27 October | 22:06
Wait - you're not supposed to see angels and hear harp music?

Then what in God's Holy Name was happening?
posted by Lipstick Thespian 27 October | 22:14
Honestly, I wish I had been advised to try it with people who were madly into and in love with me, while such people were around, instead of thinking it'd only work with people whom I was madly into. Thought I was doing the normal thing, but as a result sex has only ever been one more thing to regret having wasted, and nothing more. I doubt I would've believed it if someone had tried to warn me of it, though. After my family did a great job of raising me to have a positive view of all things sexual, it's kind of shitty how things have turned out. Unfortunately, no one's in love with me anymore, so testing the theory is an indefinite impossibility.
posted by notquitemaryann 27 October | 22:44
My dad was brilliant. He gave me The Talk, but didn't really give me any more than the basics, and stressed that I should use a rubber if I sleep with someone.

Then..... he kept a bunch of Playboys and Penthouses in his dresser drawer.

He pretty much covered the bases. ;-)
posted by Doohickie 27 October | 22:52
I wish that someone had explained the difference between being aroused and being in love.
posted by bunnyfire 27 October | 23:04
"It's not supposed to hurt. If it does hurt, you're doing it wrong. If you're doing it right and it still hurts, see a doctor."

Yes. This.

And that if it does hurt, it's not my fault. And if the first handful of doctors don't believe you, keep looking.
posted by rhapsodie 27 October | 23:06
But it will hurt the first time, for a few seconds at least.

I wish someone had told me not to make a big deal about the virginity thing. Since everyone builds it up to be this life defining moment, and then you go and do it, it lasts thirty seconds, half of which are painful, and you're sitting there going "THAT'S IT? WHAT THE HELL?!"
posted by kellydamnit 27 October | 23:14
"I can't make change for a fifty."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson 27 October | 23:18
I got the facts, but no tactics or strategy. I was supposed to disregard everything the nuns taught me about religion and morals, except the sex stuff. How I was supposed to know this, I don't know. I didn't have the "don't sleep around too much" talk until after the fact.

I did have a pretty good education from the nuns, actually. We had a whole six week unit on infatuation vs. love. There were detailed diagrams of male and female anatomy, complete with erogenous zones. Love, marriage, communication, and my favorite line: "Your husband will understand if you have trouble communicating. He won't understand if you can't balance your checkbook!" The big gaping hole, as it were, was the birth control thing.

For me, it wasn't so much about sex, as how to know if someone is taking advantage of you, or you're only thinking about the other person, and totally lose yourself in him/her. My abuse/advantage/taken for granted detectors were disabled at an early age, and it's taken forever to get them recalibrated.
posted by lysdexic 27 October | 23:30
That you should experiment with someone you trust to respect your boundaries. That sex with someone that you know you can back out at any time is far more relaxing than being with a pushy horny teenager who is scared you might back out.

That it's ok to admit to being nervous your first time. It's ok to take control, it's ok to try to make it easier to... 'ease you into things' so to speak.
posted by jonathanstrange 27 October | 23:46
hmm... "That sex with someone where you know..." makes more sense... sorry!
posted by jonathanstrange 27 October | 23:48
Always ask for the tradesman's discount.
posted by arse_hat 27 October | 23:57
That the contents of your father's t-shirt drawer isn't what sex is meant to be.
posted by brujita 28 October | 00:26
You people are geniuses. And now that my two kids are getting to that age, I'm gonna just send them here. No, really. Because they won't listen to me or likely to their questionable auntie.

I now recruit all you bunnie aunties and uncles for my kids.

Thing is, I don't expect y'all to do my kids wrong, and that's a compliment.

Miko, I'm looking at you for my girl. ;)
LT, puke, arsehat, seanyboy, doohickie, etc., for son. :) And everyone else.

Gotta go... Night, y'all.
posted by lilywing13 28 October | 01:48
I like middleclasstool's answer!

To that I'll add - there are two kinds of good sex - sex with trusted friends, and sex with true lovers. Both are learnful.

And, you deserve toys. There is no shame in that.
posted by rainbaby 28 October | 01:50
No one told me anything.
There are a lot of things i would have rather been informed about beforehand, but i don't know if it would have made sex better or worse.
Figured it out once i found out penises got hard (guess i'm suppose to thank V.C. Andrews or someone).

But the majority of people really don't know or know how to express it, and certainly didn't back then. i can't think i would have gotten any reasonable information out of anyone if they did tell me, but it's always beenů natural?
i have regrets but most of them have to do with people who don't really know what they're doing, one way or another.
People who think they know may be worse.
posted by ethylene 28 October | 02:31
That it's OK to have sex with someone if you both want to and that, if you have the chance of a threesome, don't turn it down, because it may be the last and/or only chance you get to find out if it's really all that.
posted by dg 28 October | 04:23
To that I'll add - there are two kinds of good sex - sex with trusted friends, and sex with true lovers. Both are learnful.

Quoting myself to clarify strangers are never trusted friends and the odds are very low that they are true lovers.
posted by rainbaby 28 October | 07:32
1. Drunk or intoxicated sex may sound fun, but it really ends up being very embarrassing.

2. Don't be afraid to masturbate to figure out what makes you feel good. And definitely don't be afraid to tell your partner what you like.
posted by TrishaLynn 28 October | 07:38
Some people are, y'know, horny. Other people are only interested in having sex with people for whom they have strong feelings. It's very important to know which is which.
posted by box 28 October | 09:37
I was in my late teens. Still a virgin. And ashamed that I was still a virgin.

An older woman, who was the gf of one of my friends, assumed my condition, and offered to set me up with a hooker friend of hers in order to "show me the ropes." Of course I demurred. (Hookers were the women in Tijuana who read and ate apples, etc. while my friends were getting off in them)

But lately I wish that I would have taken her up on it, and been able to be open in my inexperience, and open to this woman's potential teaching.
posted by danf 28 October | 09:37
I never really got "the talk", beyond middle school sex ed and "Don't have sex unless you're ready to get pregnant/have an abortion" from my mom (actually, pretty good advice IMO). All I knew about sex I read in romance novels/erotica and learned with MuddDude. Still, I wish someone had told me that the first time wouldn't be some Magical Moment, but rather be sort of awkward, a little bit painful, and deeply hilarious.
posted by muddgirl 28 October | 10:42
What desjardins said, most recently.
posted by Melismata 28 October | 11:06
I wish y'all were around when I got "the talk" (or at least the version my mother gave me, which was terrible and consisted of 'ladies do not discuss these things and sex is an evil thing and people who have it are evil').
posted by sperose 28 October | 11:17
it will hurt the first time, for a few seconds at least.

I think this is probably very individual. Everyone told me it would hurt, and it didn't, not at all, even a little bit. I had expected it to be painful and bloody and not very nice. That wasn't true, at least for me.
posted by Miko 28 October | 13:53
Never be afraid to tell your partner what feels good for you. I spent too many years not saying exactly what and where and how I liked it. Also, never be afraid to try anything new, whether it's with toys or positions or "games".

it will hurt the first time, for a few seconds at least.

This was true for me. In fact, I think the first couple of times were a bit uncomfortable (according to 16 year old me in my diary). Then I finally figured out what all the fuss was about.
posted by redvixen 28 October | 17:46
This was true for me. In fact, I think the first couple of times were a bit uncomfortable (according to 16 year old me in my diary). Then I finally figured out what all the fuss was about.

Bingo. Except I was 22ish? Complicated by Naval deployments. I think I was devirginized three or four times. Plus the UTI's afterwards weren't fun.

And one thing that's really never discussed is clean up and hygiene. Sometimes it's messy, and you're both responsible for cleaning up.
posted by lysdexic 28 October | 18:25
That the contents of your father's t-shirt drawer isn't what sex is meant to be.

Good point... I learned the mechanics of sex from dad's dresser drawer, but thankfully I learned what a loving relationship was from the example mom and dad set.
posted by Doohickie 28 October | 20:58
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