The Necessary Lessons I’ve Learned About Sex, Intimacy and Pleasure

I had sex for the first time when I was 17 years old. It wasn’t romantic or emotional, but it was hot as hell and gave me something totally new to write about in my diary. In all honesty, I did not contribute a lot to the occasion, apart from a fuck ton of newbie enthusiasm and a general aura of disbelief. A few years and a few more partners later, I am a little less clueless and much more proactive when it comes to fucking. These are some of the lessons I have learned from getting up to no good.


1. My body is still my own during sex.

It is not my partner’s. It is not there to be used with no regard for my desires and needs. I have learned to be more present in myself when I’m having sex—to ask myself, “Is this what I want? Why am I doing this? Is this for me?” In the past I have let people project their fantasies onto me and it was unfulfilling and harmful. I have also let myself act out a performative version of sex one too many times. Now I know that my autonomy is of utmost importance and I appreciate the value of sticking to your guns about what you are and aren’t willing to do in bed. Much of the pressure to be something you’re not often doesn’t come directly from your partner, but from the insidious influences of sexualized society. I shape my own sexuality now; I do not let sexuality shape me.

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