On Sex

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Today, I’m reflecting on the act that created each of us. Sex is one of those things I’ve never really talked about much.

Actually, I guess I’ve talked about it a lot — generally. Back when I was in high school, I was part of a very successful teen sex education program. Although as I said in every one of our many presentations, I was the token virgin and really didn’t know anything much, personally. People thought I was brave for saying so, often I got applause for telling that truth. To me I was more of a disclaimer in case I said something wrong or stupid.

But specifically, I’ve never shared much, though I have been asked to on occasion. To me, sex is one of those private subjects that is best kept sacred, and left out of the realm of social conversation. Maybe that’s why I never really have talked openly on the topic, and this post is probably as open as I’ll get.

Here’s what I want to say: it is absolutely possible to live in these modern times and have incredibly positive sexual experiences. This isn’t something I think I’ve ever heard others say, so here’s me saying it. I think that you too can make healthy choices and have a rich and healthy sex life. While I’m a long way from perfection, I believe I’ve had a rich and healthy life in that way.

Obviously, my sexual activity didn’t start in the teen years, I was 22 my first time. For the next decade, it was all her and only her. I feel extremely fortunate to have loved like this right away.

Later, during my couchsurfing years (traveling around the world as a performer, largely staying on people’s couches) and Burning Man period, people tended to think I was out “sowing my wild oats” or something. Nope. In contrast to many of my peers, I’ve never had a one-night stand or made love to someone I didn’t feel deep connection with. While this attitude acted as a natural repellent for the girls in high school, enough women have often found it attractive.

Perhaps this is a common kindness, but the people I’ve been with each told me that our experience together was quite unlike the others. Each was surprised by what they experienced with me, and without exception wanted more. Sometimes this got really confusing for them, which inevitably got awkward for me. Sex is primordial, rarely does anything about it make sense to the sense-making parts of us who like to make meaning and tell stories.

Several partners have asked me to tell others what I know. One former partner went on to teach classes to other women about what she learned of her own body by being with me. It’s all very flattering for this humble late-bloomer, but…it feels incredibly weird too. No, I’m not going to teach sex! I don’t even like to talk about sex, unless it’s in an intimate conversation with a partner.

It’s not that I’m ashamed of it. I feel very fortunate that I was never shamed or insulted about sex (not by anyone I was sharing it with, anyway). Yes, I’ve certainly had some comical and embarrassing moments! Those have a tendency to stand out in the memory, though they are surround by many other incredible and affirming memories that negate any lasting emotional damage.

I’m quietly proud of my carnal ability, though I know I’m nothing special. Just man with the same parts and pleasures as other men, and I’m not terribly masculine as men go. If I have any advantage, it would be my mouth. As one former partner of mine told her friend “every woman should date a beatboxer at some point in her life”. But even with that, there is no technique or special enhancement power that I’m aware of.

While we are all mostly the same, we are all also specifically different. Because each partner of mine was different, I was different with them. I was there to enjoy joining with them, and I did. I also did my best to ensure that they enjoyed joining with me. And without exception, they did. No regrets here, just happy thoughts.

The reason I’m posting this is that there are so many negative messages out there, I wanted to share something positive. As a cisgendered / heterosexual male raised in the San Francisco Bay Area around a lot of blatantly sexual craziness from a very young age, I came out just fine. Now in my mid-forties and living in Utah of all places, I’m not repressed either. My sexual encounters have been great! Not so many partners for me, it’s true. But then I started late and have been, I dunno, picky, I guess. It’s quality not quantity that matters, right?

Also, to share what I think I was being asked to share, I’d like to offer to you the only thing I’ve ever done in bed, in case you haven’t tried it yet yourself. This is either is either an anti-teaching or a meta-teaching, I’m not quite sure. Simply feel into the other person. With curiosity and with patience, feel deeply. Explore deeply, pay attention expansively. Play the edges, ride their breath. Enjoy yourself, no tricks, and please don’t be done when you would usually be done. There is much more to explore after, whether that be emotional or physical. It may not feel safe to go there (and in truth, it isn’t!) but in my limited range of partners it has always been very much worth going there.

That is if you’ve chosen your partner wisely. Please chose wisely, people. Messing around with people you don’t care about is a poor recipe for feeling cared about yourself. That’s how I’ve always looked at it anyway. While sex is profoundly physical, it can be much more than a physical act. Sometimes incredible and unexplainable things happen, it’s mysterious. Even if it’s a partner you’ve been with for a decade, you can still fully be in this mystery with them.

I can say that because at age 45, I’ve been in decade-long relationships with two women now. One from my first ten years of lovemaking, and one for the previous nearly ten years. It’s still good, it’s still incredible actually! We’re very practiced at opening and satisfying and loving each other.

Keep exploring. Keep opening. And most of all, please keep loving in the best ways you can. You are worthy of love, and I believe the love you have to give is perfect gift for carefully selected someone.

If you have that someone in your life now, lucky you! And don’t let up on that element of mystery. You know who they’ve been maybe, but not who they are now or tomorrow. Enjoy, and give thanks for this marvelous experience we can share!

And if you don’t have a partner currently, the last year has been a rough time to find someone, I’m sure. As things start to open up from lockdown, be mindful of what you want, and who you want to be that way with. Long stretches of loneliness make true connections and deep satisfactions even more cherished. Be loving of yourself by being vulnerable with others — the right others. Be as picky as you wanna be.

No judgements from me. Sex predates all the social rules we’ve since constructed, and whatever works for you, get consent and by all means go do that! Safely, of course.

I just wanna give a plug for intention and attention. It’s worth it to be picky! Waiting for the right person more often might just make you more worth waiting for.

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