We don’t talk enough about sex. I don’t mean the giggle fuelled conversations we have with our girlfriends about our latest escapades or the high fives guys share the morning after with their mates (I can only assume this is how they celebrate, I doubt they giggle anyway). I mean the raw stuff, the messy, awkward, realistic stuff we all sweep under a metaphoric rug. We also let ourselves be lied to about sex, a lot. We let movies and soap operas convince us that sex is always sexy, that the perfect playlist plays over our gasps and groans and that changing positions is never awkward or clumsy.
Maybe if sex was talked about more often from a younger age we’d all be a bit more open about it. I mean why all the secrecy? Sex is just biology, and it’s fun. Of course there is the danger of sexual diseases and pregnancy, but not talking about sex isn’t going to change that – ignorance never prevented pregnancies either. I know for certain that my kids are going to know what sex is – it will be no different to knowing that people go to the bathroom or that everyone brushes their teeth. It’s just something people do. But they’ll also know about condoms and contraceptives and that sex is for both of the people involved, you should be just as concerned about the other person’s pleasure as you are your own.
But for the sake of this post I’m going to assume every reader already knows about sex. I certainly hope you do anyway, otherwise I’m sure I will get some strongly worded Facebook messages from angry parents who didn’t want their children to know what a blow job was just yet.
If you haven’t had sex yet you’re about to learn some cold hard facts about what it’s really like. For those of you who have, I’m sure you will appreciate what I’m about to talk about. Please don’t get me wrong guys – I like sex. In fact with the right people, I’ve even loved it. Either way it’s almost always a good time. Don’t let the following information turn you off it. I’m just here to talk about what no one ever tells us. All the good stuff we already know about can wait for another post at another time. Just keep some perspective. The first thing – which I arguably believe to be the most lied about, covered up and completely bullshitted (especially within the entertainment industry) part of sex – is that it is fucking messy. In films and television shows the scene will open with couple falling through the front door kissing feverishly, seamlessly pulling off their clothes as they make their way down the hall and up the stairs (as though anyone could walk up stairs with pants around their ankles and a shirt over their head without it being perfectly choreographed by someone on set) before entering the bedroom and tripping onto the bed. Then they’ll groan and moan and you’ll see a hand grip her hip, manicured fingers scratch his shoulder, a finger slide down her spine and then they’ll fall next to each panting and smiling up at the ceiling. Now what you don’t see is sweat (you also don’t see foreplay but we’ll get to that later). Unless you go to the gym every day (which I know is becoming more and more common but I know plenty of us would still eat our weight in peanut butter before we stepped into one of the thousands of 24 hour gyms spreading through our suburbs like the plague) sex is going to make you sweat. Would you sweat if you ran around the block? What about if you did 50 push ups? Hell I’m pretty sure I break a sweat walking upstairs to the kitchen. Now add to that another naked body and a bunch of friction and there you have it, unavoidable heat and sweat that will make you regret getting under the covers before you got started.
The only movie I’ve ever seen that shows you the this is Titanic. If it weren’t for their honesty we would never have spent the last eighteen years of our lives attempting to mimic Rose’s hand print on our shower walls. But I do understand why movies like to keep things silky smooth and sweat free. But why didn’t anyone ever say anything about it? Why didn’t anyone ever laugh, point at the screen and say “lol as if, wish you were that poised instead of having to stop to catch your breath every minute John”. (Sorry if your name is John.) It’s almost as if we wanted everyone else to believe our sex was as good and as seamless as movie-sex. We all had movie-sex FOMO and wouldn’t own up to the truth.
I guess we probably should have figured it out on our own though, it’s not a big secret that physical activity makes you perspirate.
There is another part of sex that movies lie about – and if you’re squeamish or shy about this stuff it’s probably best you alt-tab back over to The Big Bang Theory or whatever it is you’re watching. TV shows and movies really got me on this one, I really had no idea that I’d just watched a complete lie. When the sex is all over, when they’ve both magically orgasmed at the same time and are just laying there, the female will do one of three things. She will either roll over and go to sleep, get up for a glass of water or some food from the kitchen with no pants on, or – and here’s the really hilarious one – just stand up and put on her dress and rush off to an urgent appointment of some sort.
See the problem? Well if you’ve only ever used a condom you probably don’t. But in these scenes you can assume they never do because if they did the man keeps it on for an oddly long amount of time after it’s done its job. These scenes are unrealistic because of semen. Cum. Man Juice. Sperm. What these scenes ignore, and what no one ever tells you, is that you should have paid more attention to the parts about Newton in science class. What goes up must come down. That stuff is coming out of you whether you like or not. As you lay there afterwards, you will feel it and it will be yuck. You’ll probably panic because you don’t want the guy to think you’re gross – and they probably will because god forbid your body does anything that they don’t think is sexy – but you’re not sure how long you have to wait to go to the bathroom without being weird. But trust me, going to the bathroom afterwards is not the worst case scenario. I kid you not, I once had a guy hand me a box of tissues as he rolled off of me.
Obviously if you have a steady partner this becomes pretty normal and you’re so comfortable with each other that nothing is weird. But I always find it awkward at the beginning of a relationship. Needless to say I was also pretty ticked off the first time I tried to just put my jeans back on and leave only to mortifyingly find out that that was not a good idea.
Another, more serious, post-sex lesson no one ever taught me is that you need to pee as soon as you can after sex to avoid UTI’s. This is something I am especially susceptible to, but it is very common for all women. I feel extremely betrayed by the sexual education in NSW for not having been taught this. UTI’s can lead to serious, life-long bladder problems and it some horrible cases, death. I’ve actually had friends diagnose themselves while listening to my problems, after years of struggling through them with no doctor explaining to them why and how it was happening.
It is completely fair if you’re sitting there reading at this rolling you eyes and swearing at me to just use a condom. That’s a totally valid point. When I first started having sex I always used a condom, so it took me a long time to personally experience the truth about ‘after-sex’. It wasn’t until I’d been with my partner a long time and gotten onto the pill and we’d discussed our options that we stopped using them. But honestly, let’s not all sit here and pretend we love condoms. They cost money, they make the guy a lot less sensitive, they can break and you have to hide them in chip packets or tissues before throwing them in the bin unless you live alone. One of the lesser talked about side-effects of using a condom is that it leaves lube on his penis, which – no matter how much flavouring they drown it in – is inherently unpleasant to put in ones mouth. Oh how delicious! How fun! A penis that tastes like sticky, slimy plastic! Oh I can’t tell you how excited I am to put that in my mouth!
The final thing I’m going to complain about is the lack of foreplay chatter in our lives. I think the best (and possibly only) reference to foreplay I ever witnessed was Seth Cohen’s hilariously awkward sex talk with Sandy (those eyebrows man) and his pitiful attempt to put the advice into action with Summer. Hardly a very good example of what we should all be doing. I truly believe that foreplay can be even more fun than the sex itself. But I spent a good portion of my early sexual experience thinking that we were supposed to rush to the actual sex in passion and lust. Sex can be great like that of course, sometimes you just want them then and there or there’s just not time for foreplay. But I was definitely wrong to think that’s how it was always supposed to be. The truth is though, was that that was all I knew. I had been told how to protect myself and I had been told that sperm and eggs make babies, but no one ever told me that there were ways of pleasuring each other that didn’t involve penetration or going down on a guy. That there was more to sex than the bump and grind.
I just think these are a few things someone should have warned me about sometime throughout the first 17 years of my life. I wish I’d had one of those cool mum’s that sits you down and tells you about all this inappropriate stuff in her weird and charming way before you’re ready to hear it, but I didn’t (not that my mum’s not awesome in her own ways – shout out to her and let’s hope she never reads this – sorry mum). If only it was possible to research this stuff online without being inundated with porn sites and pages of doctors who swear they can fix your erectile dysfunction. I can only hope that maybe this post will pop up in some search engines and teach someone something. Because I sure as hell wish I could send a link to it to a younger me.