Thoughts from my study of Horror, Media, and Narrrative

Egging and a Side of Bacon

Which is most useless:  dating or girlfriends?

My colleagues and I were sitting around on a Friday night playing a game called “Apples to Apples,” where you essentially had to guess how another player would associate words.

“Who put ‘dating’?” asked Ross as he leaned toward the table. “Yeah, screw you.”

The thing that I enjoy about my job is that the people in my office are not just coworkers, but also good friends. I spend a significant portion of my waking hours with these individuals and would still hang out with them every day of the week and twice on Sunday (sometimes literally).

We continued playing throughout the early morning, eventually drifting out the apartment door and onto the street. I, as always, savored the drive back home after a night out as the cool air and city lights gave me a chance to clear my head for a bit. In the darkness, nothing existed outside of my car and I began to mull over my thoughts.

Throughout my life, I have generally been able to understand what my friends are thinking (part of the reason that I did fairly well in the games); I was highly confident that Ross would have thought that, given the two options, “girlfriends” were ultimately useless. Yet, as I talked to Kim the next day over coffee and an issue of Cosmopolitan, I realized that my knowledge wasn’t really intuitive but was due to the fact that I ask people questions.

When I’m with someone in a sexual relationship, I naturally want to know things like:  “What are your fantasies? What’s the hottest sex that you had? What’s the craziest sex that you’ve had? What are you willing to do (and not do)? What turns you on?” Cosmopolitan seemed to think that the only way to get the answers to these questions was by playing a game of “Truth or Dare” with your partner—something that I vehemently disagreed with. (I also don’t understand the ever-present article touting “100 Ways to Please Your Man” because I don’t understand why you wouldn’t just ask your boyfriend what he wanted you to do.) Perhaps it is my slightly different connection to sex, but I tend to ask these kinds of questions early in the relationship and I think that it’s important for me to share my answers as well.

Talking about sex is something that I do regularly (and for this blog!) and so it seems odd (but understandable) to me that others have difficulty mentioning these sorts of things. To me, the challenge that many young people face in this process is the judgment they might receive from their partners or from their friends. After all, anybody who has more sex than you is a slut and anybody who has less sex is a prude, right? But it’s important for me to talk sex even though it might make me occasionally uncomfortable because I believe that communication is part of a healthy relationship. I refuse to be embarrassed about sex and I have just come to own it. I also don’t have time to waste having bad sex.

I have mentioned the idea of discussion before, but I keep coming back to it because I feel that it is incredibly important. I believe that in order for young people to have a positive association with sex, they must first be able to talk about it without fear or shame. So, while the majority of the information on this site concerns sexual health education, which I think is valuable, I also feel that it’s not enough just to have information. Knowledge might be power, but people also have to feel empowered. I understand that the process is difficult, but talking about sex is sort of like sex itself—it’s awkward at first but the more that you do it, the better you’ll be at it.

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