About Last Night : Am I normal? 15-10-17

October 18, 2017

Q: At 22, I fear I’ll never have a relationship because I don’t enjoy sex. I had a few boyfriends in my teens, but didn’t have sex, only gave them blowjobs. I lost my virginity at 17 to a guy I really loved. I was gutted when he dumped me after three months. Since then, I’ve had a few casual relationships. I don’t enjoy the sex, but it’s expected, and I don’t want to be a “prick” teaser. My last boyfriend liked rough sex, and hassled me for anal. When I objected, he said I wasn’t normal.

A: Have you ever asked yourself why you have sex? Is it to fit in, to please someone else, to avoid losing affection, or to prove that you are normal? Unless you are specifically trying for a baby, the only healthy answer is, “Because it gives me pleasure”.

In this post-porn world, many young people are confused. Porn is made as entertainment, not education, but it is readily available, and is being accessed at a very young age. Sadly, the national sex education system is failing our children.

We would not let our children go in the sea without teaching them to swim, or warning them about rips, and sharks; yet we are too coy, or conservative, to prepare them for the internet jungle.

Recently, I heard of an 18-year old who was suffering from premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. He had started masturbating to porn at 14, and thought that there was something wrong with him if he could not last half an hour. In reality, porn is highly edited. They take breaks, and use “fluffers” and Viagra. The actor is just a life support system for a penis.

Porn also tries to include a variety of sex acts into a short amount of time. The object seems to be to go up in levels, like a computer game. Vaginal, oral, anal, facial etc etc proceed, in formulaic order. Many young women are reporting that they are being asked to have anal sex on a first date.

This is not how most people would explore, enjoy, and give pleasure, to one another if left to follow their desires. Like anything that brings joy, from carpentry to cookery, sex is a journey of discovery that can last a lifetime. There is always something to be learned, and practice makes perfect. Sex can only be satisfying if both partners want to play, are relaxed, and feel respected, and free to be themselves.

We need real sexual freedom. When the late Hugh Hefner started Playboy, sex was heavily regulated, and rife with ignorance, fear and prejudice. Homosexuality was illegal, as were, in parts of the Western world, anal and oral sex, and making home movies. In pursuit of sexual liberation, the Sexual Revolution lifted the lid on a Pandora’s box of pleasures.

The trouble is that, 50-plus years on, we now need to feel free not to have sex, or to limit our activities.

Both men and women would benefit from practising two fundamental strategies – always be a choice, and always ask for what you want.

Next time someone asks to borrow your car, wants you to babysit, needs a loan, or makes any request you do not want to fulfil, take a deep breath, gather up your courage, ignore your guilt or embarrassment, and say, “No, I am not willing to do that”, without offering excuses or apologies.

Practise asking for what you want. Do not be compliant. If you order a black coffee and a latte turns up, send it back. Challenge yourself not to say, “Oh, that’s OK”. If it is not what you want, you must say so, politely, but firmly. You deserve to get what you want as much as the next person.

Similarly, practise asking for what you want from a partner. If you hate back rubs, say so. Help your partner to give you pleasure by telling them how, or where, you would like to be touched. Most crucially, remember that you never, ever have to have sex just because you have engaged in some sexual contact.

Email your questions to abtlastnight@gmail.com

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