This is a post by one of my Spring 2013 interns, Rebecca. Find more posts from her and other current and former interns under the Intern Corner section. – Shanna
The first sex (and I use this term loosely to define all forms of sexual interactions) advice we generally receive is the just feel it method. I am not exactly sure what “it” we are supposed to be feeling, but don’t ask questions because that exposes your *gasp* “lack of knowledge” or your *don’t say it!* “lack of experience.” Because let’s be honest, using your crystal ball and 6th grade lesson on anatomy makes you an expert at pleasing your partner. Duh.
Anyway, just feel it. You want one thing to lead smoothly to another. It needs to be romantic. It needs to be smooth. It needs to be intimate. Don’t ruin it by talking or fussing.
Mmmmm yes. That advice is a little like getting thrown into the Olympic pole vaulting competition, in which someone hands you your vaulting pole and says to you “just feel it.” They then pat you on the back and send you sprinting towards a pole that is 18 feet in the air and parallel to the earth. Now I don’t know about you, bit if that were me I would take any advice you can get. But you know, I would this hunch that in about 15 seconds I would be feeling a lot of different things, and none of them would be what Mr. Just Feel It, was referring to.
Ways and reasons you get clued to the downsides of the just feel it method:
1) Someone gives you wise sexual advice, OR,
2) You realize your sexual experiences are continuously dull and disappointing, OR,
3) You, or someone you love, experience(s) a sexual assault
It might occur to you that the just feel it method doesn’t work. At all. Period. The end.
Not only does the just feel it method lead to a lot of miscommunications, but how on earth are you supposed to have decent sex? Did you know that there are six vital steps one must hone to have a successful pole vault? Nor did I (thank you Wikipedia). There are six! The approach, plant and take-off, swing up, extension, turn, and fly-away. Yup, like pole vaulting, sex isn’t a one-step endeavor. I think it’s time to start looking for some decent advice.
After searching high and low, low and high, and back around again, hopefully you stumble across the just communicate method. Now, that shockingly simple advice may be the best sexual advice you will ever receive in your lifetime. So…what’s the problem?
Let us return to pole vaulting for a hot second. Now you are at the start line, and Mr. Just Feel It transforms into Ms. Just Jump. Telling an Olympic pole vaulter to just jump is indeed the best advice you can possibly give them. Truly. It focuses them on the big picture. However, this advice assumes a certain level of skill (years spent honing the art of vaulting). For them, all they need to do is focus on what they already know how to do.
“Communicate” is the best advice you can give a professional communicator, but unfortunately when it comes to talking about sex we often find ourselves tongue-tied. In a society of “just feel it,” we have learned to keep our mouths shut in the bedroom. On the whole, we don’t know how to communicate our wants, desires, boundaries, and fantasies. Sex (again, in the loose sense of the word) is an art, a skill, a practice. And communicating around sex is also an art, a skill, and a practice.
Now, I am no communication guru (but good Lordisa I am trying), but I do have a few little tricks that can turn into a sexual revolution.
Curious? Check out Communicating in the Bedroom, Part 2!