It’s been a while since I wrote about the “theoretical” side of what this blog is meant to be about. For a while I thought it might be because I ran out of things to say, but actually I think it’s more down to the fact that, being in a new place and with new people, I talk less openly and less frankly about sex and relationships just now than I usually do. (Those of you who have met me in real life in the last few months will maybe find this hard to believe but it’s true).
The other day though I was talking to a friend from my undergrad on skype and I was filling her in, so to speak, on some of what’s been going on with me recently, when she said something like, “I wish I could be as comfortable with sex as you are. Maybe then I’d enjoy it more”. Of course sex is a human instinct and it’s something which, I think, should be as natural to us as eating, but for various reasons I won’t go into here but which the amazing Laci Green covers very nicely on her SexPositive youtube channel (it’s a fantastic channel, if there’s ever a question you have about anything to do with sex, it’s highly likely she has a video about it) it generally isn’t for most people.
This is of course largely due to the context we’re raised in, where sex is seen as shameful and not something openly discussed. There may also often, as in my case, be a strong religious element to this discomfort we have around sexuality and sex (I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic school until I started university five years ago. That was not a fun experience). Breaking away from the traditions we were raised with can be a challenging, difficult and uncomfortable thing for us to do, particularly if we still have close family ties.
In my own case I think other ways in which I’ve stepped away from my traditional background make it a bit easier for me to feel comfortable about sex; I moved away from home when I was seventeen and don’t go back very much at all; I’m only still in touch with two classmates from high school; I don’t eat the way my family or most friends from my background do (and you know what they say, it’s easier to change a person’s religion than it is to change their diet); I stepped away from my religious upbringing a long time before I came out even to friends, for different reasons. With so many past ties already cut it’s easier I think to let go of this old idea too. Obviously not everyone can or does want to step away like this, and I really have no advice to offer on this. I can only really tell you what I’ve done and why I believe what I do.
As for the enjoyment aspect, though, that could be linked to two things; guilt, whether conscious or subconscious, can stop you from really enjoying what you’re doing. Another aspect can be your self confidence or body image which I’ve written about before here. I really cannot overemphasise the importance of positive self-perception, confidence really is key, clichéd though that phrase may be. To be blunt, if you’re worried about the appearance of your legs/belly/neck/whatever it is you’re hung up on, you’re not going to be fully enjoying their hands on your favourite body part or be focusing on what you’re doing either. Neither of you will enjoy yourself as much as you could and that, more than an unexpected mole or something your partner hasn’t even mentioned having an issue with, is what’s going to make the sex bad. Always remember; they chose to get into bed with you. They already think you’re hot, you’ve already put that bit aside, that’s why you’re in that situation in the first place so really there’s nothing to worry about now except how you two get on physically in bed.