What sexy stuff should you be ashamed of?

I am all about the no-bullshit, guys. Seriously. This is a zero bullshit zone.

So now I’m going to talk about something that I expect you’ve thought about, even in passing. People don’t talk about sex, and there’s this aura of shame and not-talking surrounding it like a forcefield out of Star Trek. Huge walls of shame and not-talking, in fact, even when it would make sense. And I’m not referring to times when it’d be completely out of place to mention sexytimes, like when you’re giving a business presentation – I mean when it’d actually be useful.

What aspects of sexytimes should you be rightfully be ashamed of and not talk about?

The obvious answer, of course, is FUCKING NOTHING. You should NEVER be ashamed of sexytimes. The only thing you need to concern yourself with is whether the stuff you do to induce orgasms aplenty is hurting other people who don’t want to be hurt. If everyone involved is enthusiastically getting it on, then you have permission to give absolutely no fucks about being ashamed.

BUT WITH THAT SAID

Look, this may be the 21st century, but old traditions die hard. And talking about sexytimes is difficult for people, because pretty much any mass media that isn’t the Internet demonizes the living fuck out of human sexuality. A woman can talk candidly about being in an car accident, for example. It’s easy, up to a point, to talk about getting hurt. But a woman who talks candidly about having sex? NOPE. LOL NOT ALLOWED, TEH WIMMINZ DON’T ENJOY SEX!

Which, by the way, is really fucking weird when you think about it for all of two seconds. Like, is it still a revelation to Fox News that women mostly have sex for fun, and both men and women are giant kinky freaks in bed? (Caveat: not including the asexuals in the audience here, of course.) Is this a revelation to ANYONE with a working brain? I don’t know, seriously…

But yeah, that’s how it is. All you lovely people reading this now? Congrats, you’re ahead of the curve, the way of the future. But the world is still largely run by straight white male assholes who think women have sex in order to manipulate men or because they’re doing their wifely duty. That’s what you’re up against in your daily life, and the aura of not-talking around sexytimes is changing verrrrrryyyy sllloooowwwwwwwwllllyy.

This all means you have to play the game of ‘who should I talk to and how much should I say, so they won’t freak out?’ It’s okay for you, personally, to give no fucks about what you do in bed and with whom, but if you’re going to be shamed or judged for it if you tell the wrong person, well, that’s another thing entirely. You have to be careful, until the world becomes a place where talking openly about sex isn’t considered a sign of mental illness or a character flaw.

First of all, if you’re having sexytimes with someone(s), then nothing is off the table. Remember what I’ve said before? If you’re going to get naked with someone and rub your bits together for the purpose of orgasms, then by default you have no shame about anything. You’re already past the point where shame is going to be a factor. So talk about everything! Do this to me, can I do that to you, goddamnit where’s the vibrator, don’t worry my spare lube is in the other drawer, hey not so rough please, do you think we could try this with me on my back, what’s your favorite condom flavor… and so on. There is no need to resort to infantile euphemisms when you’re balls deep in someone already, c’mon.

I’ve been with partners who referred to their genitals as ‘down there’, like they’re whatshername out of Fifty Shades, I shit you not. PLEASE don’t do that. And consider avoiding the words ‘cunt’, ‘pussy’, ‘dick’, or ‘cock’, because frankly they’re overused in porn and really unimaginative. Or ‘boobs/boobies’, because that makes anyone sound like they’re a teenager who’s just discovered how to masturbate. These body parts have names already, you know.

…Personally, I prefer to use phrases like ‘magical squishy fun receptacle’, ‘the cave of unearthly delights’, ‘meat missile’, ‘erection flavored lollipop’, and ‘nipple coasters’, but that’s mostly because I have the imagination for it and I find my sexytimes are infinitely enhanced by making the whole thing even more ridiculous than it is already.

Anyway, getting back to the point…

Engaging in sexytimes means no shame, even if your partner(s) have some shame going on. It doesn’t matter. It’s too important to talk about everything you’re doing while sexytimes are ongoing, or else you can’t be assured of everyone involved having a good time. In my experience, if you show that you don’t care, then they stop caring too, and the shame goes away.

For everyone who isn’t someone who has permission to give you orgasms, you have to be careful. Fellow Internet denizens of Tumblr, Livejournal, and other generally sex-positive places will likely know your feels and be totally okay with talking about whatever on the level of casual conversation. Offline Luddites who watch too much TV? Step lightly around them. The general rule is this: if someone has spent lots of time absorbing shitty attitudes towards sex and very little time absorbing healthy attitudes towards sex, then they are a baaaaaaaad person to talk to about sex. They will probably judge and shame you like whoah for doing the same thing they do, except you’re actually talking about it with words to other people.

Never mention it in a work environment unless the work thing you do involves sex. And even then, use the stupid euphemisms and stick to strictly vanilla stuff until you know it’s safe to talk about kinky shit.

Bear in mind that, for some people, anything but the missionary position is going to be considered kinky shit.

For someone who you’d like to get it on with, then… you need some special tactics. First of all, figure out if they’re a prude about sex or not. Spend enough time around someone and you’ll get a sense of how they feel about sex, even if all you’re talking about is knitting. Once you’ve gotten that far, then I have two methods you can try, if they’re not prudish. The first is the direct ‘as subtle as a brick to the face’ method: inquire as to whether they’re seeing anyone, let them know that you find them quite appealing, and offer to get freaky/start a relationship. The second is to use the slightly less obvious ‘invite them over for coffee late at night’ line and see if they pick up on your suggestive glances towards the bedroom. The upside of this is you get an answer pretty quick. The downside is that, depending on how things were said and how the object of your lust responded, you may not be able to hang out with them anymore because the whole not-talking forcefield around sex has now labelled you a weirdo in their mind.

Anything more subtle than this is likely going to lead to bad-comedy-level embarrassment due to misunderstandings. That or it goes too far into the domain of pick-up artistry, and frankly I got nothing but contempt for those assholes and their stupid mind games.

Now, if they’re a prude… well, you’re probably shit out of luck. Sorry. There’s no way to talk to someone about sex if their whole attitude to it can be summed up as ‘EWWWW’ or ‘How dare you speak of the thing which shall not be named!’ Seriously, there’s nothing you can do with that. Let’s be honest here, they’re probably not all that good in bed even if they’re attractive enough to float your particular boat. Refusing to know anything about sex usually means being bad at it, obviously – and that’s different from just being ignorant about it, okay? Ignorance can be solved. So do yourself a favor and find someone else with a better attitude.

Finally – Happy New Year and all that! I hope your holidays were filled with sexy fun times, and only a little awkwardness. This brain dump of whatever was brought to you by Shay’s random musings about sex.

//shay

Question time – social anxiety!

Meda asks this:

I’ve really been enjoying your sex and dating advice posts. Can I request one on overcoming social anxiety and depression and learning how to become sexual and date for the first time? I was physically and emotionally abused as a child, and I can’t interact easily with people now, even platonically, without feeling nauseous, unattractive, and annoying. Between fear of being touched and parents who tried to instil a disgust towards sex in me, I’m afraid to look up porn or masturbate. But I know the interest is there, and I want to overcome this. Any advice on taking the first step?

That sucks, man. Body shame is some grade-A nasty that no one should have to suffer through. Never fear, though – I got some no-bullshit advice for you.

So let’s start at the beginning, my friend.

Depression ain’t the same as social anxiety. It is horrible stuff that can and does wreck your life sideways. Go see a doctor about it, seriously. They’ll likely try you on a few different types of medication to see if any of them stick, and maybe send you to therapy, all that kind of stuff. And yeah, I know that shit is intimidating, but talking to the professionals is the best possible way to fix it.

Don’t believe any New Age bullshit about this. I mean it. Go see a doctor and get medical grade, high level help. If you got no insurance, go looking for free alternatives, or scrape together enough for a couple of counsellor visits or something. Really. Go do it soon.

Now, having said all that…

Brains are weird things, man. They’re more flexible than we give them credit for. This block you have going on is a defense mechanism – probably a pretty good one if it got you through a shitty childhood. Breaking through something like that just ain’t easy – but, see, you can make your brain do some pretty bizarre stuff. You might be able to route around it instead.

Yes, I’m aware this sounds like all kinds of odd.

So context matters. All this stuff you feel, it’s all in your head, and it’s tied int a way of thinking that’s been hammered into you since forever. Getting around it means you have to figure out a new way of thinking about the thing that’s making you feel uncomfortable – a way that doesn’t trigger all that nasty crap.

Example: for the sex thing, how about thinking about it clinically? Like, a huge ton of ingrained shame is holding you back here, so look for the aspects of it that have little or no shame attached, like academic research. It’s kinda the same thing for your body – if you’re afraid of being touched, and of masturbation, then try spending a while on Wikipedia reading about the actual science of orgasms, like you’re studying for an exam. Try examining yourself in the mirror, and say ‘Yes, this is the part of me that makes orgasms happen. Isn’t that interesting?’

It sounds pretty dumb, but there is method to my madness. This disassociates your way of thinking from the SHAME AAAAH stuff and forces your brain to make new connections between you, Meda-person, and the whole big disgusting world of sexy times, and hopefully these connections won’t make you puke. This becomes a new starting point from where you can develop your relationship with sex in a controlled way, at your own pace, and eventually you can bring yourself around to the scary concepts of pleasure and sex with other people and all that fun stuff. It’s like fooling yourself into thinking, ‘Yeah, this would be icky and dirty and wrong if I were actually engaging in sexytimes, but I’m totally not because this is FOR SCIENCE.’ Then, sometime later, when you’ve made the FOR SCIENCE part strong enough to stand on its own, you start to morph it into something more:

Yeah, this would be icky and dirty and wrong if I were actually engaging in sexytimes, but I’m totally not because this is FOR SCIENCE.

||

I’m totally not really engaging in sexytimes because this is FOR SCIENCE.

||

This is FOR SCIENCE and also WHOAH feels good man!

||

YAAAAY SEXYTIMES FOR ALL!

So hopefully this will lead around to you being comfortable with your own physical self, which is totally awesome. From that point, you kinda have to wing it when it comes to sexytimes with other people involved. Best I can tell you is that the process is more or less the same, except you have to explain to whoever you’re getting jiggy with that you gots some issues, and it’d be cool if they handled you gently and not get too weirded out by the whole thing. And, of course, it goes without saying that if they’re not willing to respect that or if they push you too far, you dropkick them off a cliff right back into Singles-town.

You NEVER, EVER tolerate anyone who thinks your mental health and safety don’t matter. EVER.

*ahem*

The nice thing about this method is that knowing a lot about something makes it a hell of a lot less scary. Like, if you’re terrified of spiders, and you surround yourself with pictures of spiders and articles about spiders doing their thing and plushie toys of spiders and whatever, and then you meet one in real life, they don’t seem so intimidating. You end up connecting them with ‘so that’s their thorax, and remember that article on how their eyes work’, instead of ‘AAAH CREEPY ALIEN THING DIE IN A FIRE!’

Does that make sense? It totally makes sense in my head. Total brain hack, man. Start reading on Wikipedia and see where it takes you. And watch Sexplanations, which is a great Youtube series where a very nice doctor lady explains all kinds of sexy things, and which is also more or less SFW as long as you’ve got your headphones on.

NOW

Social anxiety! I know this feel, bro. This could be fixed by anti-depression meds, but I ain’t gonna go there. So here’s my advice, because it worked for me – practice at talking to people where it doesn’t matter. Again, because interwebs, you can make a new username and pretty much become a new person overnight among a bunch of new people. So take the fandoms, for example – jump into one, immerse yourself in it, talk to other fans about it, and practice talking to people in the sure and certain knowledge that you can vanish, any time you want, and start over somewhere else. When the stuff you say has zero repercussions, you do get less afraid of saying stuff in general.

Apart from that, don’t be afraid of being wrong, or hurting someone’s feelings, or embarrassing yourself, okay? Shit’s always going to happen. Just remember you’re only human, and you will likely fuck up a lot. So if you’re wrong, be humble, and accept the correction. If you hurt someone, apologize sincerely, and make amends if you can. If you embarrass yourself, just smile, and laugh.

All those things you’re so scared of – I know what that feels like, in the back of your head, and the way it sometimes stops you saying anything at all. But see, they’re going to happen anyway, and they’re a lot less scary if you own them, and make things right when you have to. Just start with listening to other people. It’s easy to join in when they’re happy, and easy to stay quiet and listen to all sides when a fight is going down. And if someone tries to tear into you… listen to why they’re saying it, not what they’re saying. It’s really hard for someone to throw hate at you and mean every word, because actually hating people is fucking exhausting. They’re more likely being frustrated, or lazy, or lashing out because of other reasons, or all kinds of random crap that doesn’t hinge on you, personally.

(Also – best way to utterly defeat a troll? Psychoanalyze them. In excruciating detail. Once you start theorizing on whether their super-ego has had a positive or negative effect on their propensity for anonymous commentary, and speculating on the likelihood of their bad grammar usage indicating sociopathic tendencies, most of them tend to shut up because ANYTHING they post can be used against them.)

So yeah. For what it’s worth, my friend, this is my advice to you, with a side-bonus of inane rambling on the nature of the brain. May this wall o’ text serve you well.

//shay

When nothing you do seems to work

Welcome back to Shay’s weird relationship advice column, for all your actually-works dating methods needs!

So, now we should talk about when shit doesn’t work out and you can’t seem to find anyone who isn’t all kinds of crazy, or anyone at all. This happens. It’s also the thing that men’s rights activists get majorly upset about, and start stupid shitty programs like those Pick Up Artist books or whatever.

(If you’re a dude who’s considering buying into that shit, STOP. Just don’t. That snake oil is as bad as Cosmo and frankly all kinds of creepy to boot.)

Anyway, I dunno if this is more for the menz or the wimminz, but I like to think I write for everyone, so let’s just dive in.

First of all, your inability to get into a relationship doesn’t say jack shit about you as a person. Would you think something is wrong with you if, say, you dislike some of your co-workers? No? Look, people sometimes just don’t get along. It’s no reflection on either, it just is what it is. So don’t beat yourself up too badly if you had a few relationships that didn’t work out, or if you can’t seem to find anyone who shares your enthusiasm for mutual sexy times. It doesn’t make you a loser. It doesn’t make you anything but a person not currently in a satisfying relationship.

Second of all – get some perspective. Take a good, hard look at how long you’ve been searching and who you’ve been interacting with. If you’ve been talking to the same five people for the last year, don’t be surprised if you’ve had no sexy times.

See, it’s all about the law of averages. The more people you talk to, the higher your likelihood of meeting someone for whom you are their vision of sexy glory fun times. And this is true regardless of what you look like, I shit you not.

Thirdly – rule out the obvious stuff. You need a basic level of hygiene to go out and interact with other humans without scaring them off. If you don’t shower regularly, then no, you ain’t gonna get in the sack with anyone with a functioning sense of smell.

(Major caveat to that – gym sweat smell. For some people, the smell of workout sweat is the aphrodisiac of the gods. So don’t feel too self-conscious about that.)

Fourthly – find someone you trust who you know for a fact isn’t out to get you or batshit insane. Find several such persons to increase the sample size and get better data. Ask them if anything you’re doing seems like a bad idea – if there’s a pattern you can’t see, or a kind of behaviour you’re engaging in that’s an obvious red flag.

Don’t ask the people you want to date. They will lie to you ‘to spare your feelings’. Fuck that noise. You need brutal honesty.

Fifthly – once you get some feedback, don’t take it personally. You did ask for it. Just think about it a while, see if it makes sense.

Sixthly – the answer is not to change yourself to fit expectations. Let’s be honest here – that shit is like trying to move a fucking mountain with your bare hands and it’s about as successful most of the time. The answer is to find someone who is into your brand of crazy. If a friend tells you that people are put off by your incessant desire to talk about Pokemon, then you need to join a Pokemon forum and see if any fellow Pokemon lovers want to join you in unholy trainerhood. Trust me, it’s a lot less difficult than trying not to talk about Pokemon, if you do indeed love it like whoah.

Like everything else in this world, if some shit isn’t working, STOP DOING IT. It’s a stupid idea to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting to get different results. If you’re trying to meet people while being drunk in shitty bars and keep getting assholes interested in you, then maybe you should, I dunno, trying Internet dating for a while.

Finally – don’t think you can trick someone into a relationship. Because that is a shitty thing to do, obviously, and it has a reeeeeeeally low chance of working out. So even if you think being honest is going to lower your chances, just fucking be honest. It’ll likely save you a lot of pain later.

I hope this has been instructive, my friends. Until next time!

//shay

Things not to do in bed

I’m sure this is a burning question for all you young’uns who have just started having legal sexy times, especially if you’re not too experienced. What are the things that no one should ever do in bed?

Aren’t you happy that your friendly neighborhood Shay is here to keep you on the level?

First things first – there is technically nothing you can’t do in bed so long as you’re not breaking any other non-sex-related laws. So like, shooting up heroin in bed? Don’t do that. And if you’re breaking some sex-related laws (like all you poor bunnies living in places where homosexual sexy times are highly frowned upon), you have the singular obligation of making sure your partner(s) are into it and none of you are going to sustain any long term injuries.

So do your fucking homework on the BDSM, is what I’m saying basically.

Second thing – don’t attempt anything too ambitious. Like, if you’ve never had stuff up your butt before but you’re into anal like whoah, don’t try for a threesome with two dicks up there or something straight off the bat. You are DEFINITELY going to hurt yourself. For any new kink or fetish you want to try, start small and work your way up or in. Otherwise you’re likely to turn into the next hilarious story the ER nurses tell each other, and you may even make the evening news as that moron who did that insane thing in order to get orgasms aplenty and had to be rescued by well-meaning firemen who were just polite enough not to laugh their collective ass off.

Third and final thing, my dears – don’t do shit in bed that could hurt someone outside of it. Like, if you go in for sexy times for reasons other than wanting to get off or wanting to make babies, then there is likely something wrong and you shouldn’t be doing it. You know there’s a lot of stupid emotional stuff that’s made far more complex and painful with the addition of various pairings engaging in sexy times in order to spite someone, or get revenge, or a rebound, or… Fuck it, pick a reason that isn’t orgasms or procreation and it’s probably better if you just sat down and talked it out instead of fucking the issue away.

So there you have it. This ain’t an exhaustive list, but you get the idea. Happy sexy times for all!

//shay

About that Dating Scene…

Why hello there, my friends.

Oh, I’m still here. Just hard at work at a bunch of things that I don’t need you to know about right now. Still writing. Still trying not to lose my mind too badly.

I missed you. I hope you missed me too.

I’ve been wondering about dating, recently. Now, as we all know, dating is a shitstorm of random pain and rejection and who the hell knows what else, and so there are about a million guides out there that’ll sell you the secret formula to make it all work and to make your gender of choice fall into your lap. I happened to read some of these guides, and they were about the dumbest shit I’ve witnessed in several years, so now… now I have something to do, apart from my musings on sex, gender, kink or whatever.

Guys, I can totally give people dating advice.

Seriously. I’ve been around the block a few times. I could totally give better advice than most of that dumbfuckery. So here’s my first piece of advice, all you lovely dears who are unhappy in romance…

Forget all that bullshit you’ve read about there being one thing you can do, one tactic, one lifestyle. The very idea of it is flat out fucking stupid. Men, women are not clones, and the one who really likes your nice suit or giggles at your pickup line is not representative of all women – you’re just as likely to get one who’d prefer you to be wearing a gimp outfit and be gagged, and who gives you the cold shoulder because she thinks you’re just a fake. Women, there are guys out there who want to start a family. Or who want casual sex. Or a fuck buddy. Or who like to take it slow.

And good grief, there are many, many, MANY people who are just not into you no matter what you do, because there is this thing called personal preference. There are also many people who may possibly want to rip off your clothes on sight, even if you’re not wearing makeup/not ripped/badly dressed. Preference is a weird fucking thing.

So now I’m totally doing this. Because why the fuck not, right? I already talk about sex, I have no shame.

//shay

Funny after the fact

Now, I knew Cosmo’s sex tips were not the best, shall we say, but I never knew just how bad they were until I read this.

A couple of years ago, there was this great show called Futurama. It was and is the most awesome thing ever and I loved it so. There was this one episode where the gang crash landed on the planet of the giant Amazonian women, called (of course) Amazonia, where there were no men. Much of it was making jokes about male and female stereotypes, and boy, they could have gotten that really wrong. But it was funny and light-hearted, and played on a lot of the old Star Trek tropes about meeting alien women and sleeping with them, and it was great.

Anyway, this episode has a fantastic line in it from the leader of the Amazonians, when she’s asked what they know about sex: “All we have go on are ancient manuscripts and subscription to Cosmo.” (Yeah, the Amazonians talk like cavemen but they’re obviously smart, it’s hilarious.) At the time, I laughed at this. Having read most of the blog posts at the link above, it is now the funniest damn thing I’ve ever witnessed on TV.

They call sex ‘snoo-snoo’ on Amazonia. Their method of execution is death by snoo-snoo, and now it makes perfect sense, you guys!

I mentally substitute ‘snoo-snoo’ now every time I see the word ‘sex’ written on or in Cosmo. ’52 Snoo-snoo Tips To Make Your Man Hot’. ‘When Your Vagina Acts Weird After Snoo-snoo’ – actual text on the cover of Cosmo, I kid you not.

Snoo-snoo. Heh.

Anyway, Amazon updated the price and Dominion is free! Fly, fly my pretties! AAALLLL the free porn for you!

//shay

Sex tips

My torment by Amazon continues. Until then, let’s not let the lack of free porn depress us – time for some sex tips from a person who’s actually had sex, for people who’ve never had sex! (Unlike whoever writes Cosmo and whatshername from Fifty Shades!)

Don’t be afraid. No really, just don’t be afraid. You might be nervous doing it for the first time, but also horny and wanting things you can’t really name properly. This is going to scare you because you’re human. But it’s okay. Whatever you feel is normal. People have been scared of the unknown since the dawn of civilisation. Up to a point, you gotta trust your biological imperative to know what it wants.

Be sensible. Yeah, you can be horny, but come on – we’re not the sum of our animal instincts. They invented condoms and STI testing for a reason. Before you get all hot ‘n’ bothered, take a good, long, rational look at sex and make sure you’re not going into it blind. And no, I’m not talking about porn. Porn is unrealistic. Go to Planned Parenthood or something. They know their shit, they’ll make sure you know yours too.

Don’t get creative on your first try. Personal opinion time – if you’ve never done something before, you want to know the damn basics first. By this I mean your first time should probably be in a bed and naked, not up a tree dressed as a clown. You may want to fuck while dressed as a clown (and I am not judging, believe me) but one thing at a time, seriously. There’s a whole world of sexytimes out there for you to enjoy and in general there’s no rush. Best if you practice the boring kind of sex before getting kinky. If your partner wants to bring the kinky without you being ready for it, then you need to get a new partner who isn’t stupid.

Talking is okay. It is okay to talk during sex to make sure that all involved are enjoying themselves. I know people don’t talk in porn, but that’s because they have a fucking script – literally – that makes them look telepathic. Us normal people have to ask if it looks like our partner is grimacing in pain. No, it will not ‘ruin the mood’. It’s called being an adult who can articulate themselves without resorting to Jedi mind tricks.

Sexy stuff is not always sexy. And that’s okay as well. Personally, 90% of sexy talk makes me laugh instead of turning me on. I’d much rather be doing the actual fucking instead of talking about it, if you know what I mean. Everyone has their own preferences, and if something don’t get your motor running, then that doesn’t mean you’re broken or something. It just means you don’t get off on [insert sexy thing here that other people like]. (True story – I thought I was insane because I don’t enjoy French kissing all that much, but just the idea of a dick in lacy underwear makes me want to hump everything.)

Don’t sleep with someone who doesn’t respect your preferences. Don’t want to go down on a lady? Don’t want to take your socks off? Then don’t. Explain why by using your oh-so-clever ‘talking’ tactic mentioned above, preferably before sexytimes happen so everyone knows what the dealbreakers are. Again, it’s totally normal to have preferences and being forced to do something you really don’t want to do is a shitty move. (Addendum: you will sometimes do something you’re not into because you know your partner likes it. This is also normal and happens all the time outside of sexytimes. No, sexytimes are no different in that respect. Just don’t let yourself be pressured into it.)

IF IT IS NOT FUN, STOP DOING IT. Sex is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to have lots of sexy happenings, usually along the lines of everyone getting naked, rubbing body parts together in interesting ways, and ending in orgasms a-plenty. It does not have a script or a finishing line. It does not come with a magical set of instructions for producing said orgasms because PEOPLE don’t come with a magical set of instructions either. Basically, we’re all kinda making it up as we go along, but the one common factor to everyone is this: it is a thing you do, either alone or in company, and it’s supposed to be FUN.

And now I’m going back to crying at Amazon.

//shay