Speak Up On Sex

Nervous laughter, mixed perceptions, off-rhythm sweaty bodies, whispers of “oops, sorry”: We’ve all been there. In all sexual relationships, there comes a time when something is off, and the connection is not present. However, there’s one practice that is more likely to guarantee pleasure and happiness for you and your partner(s) every single time you get
down. It’s as easy as consent and communication. Unfortunately, many people
overlook this necessity because it’s not an emphasized part of the common
sexual script, which is dictated by our sex-negative culture.

Introduced by John H. Gagnon and
William Simon in the ’70s, the sexual script is a sociological concept emphasizing
society’s prominent role in determining how we believe we’re ‘supposed’ to
interact with each other sexually. The script we learn from our schools,
friends, family, television, music videos, religious institutions, innuendos and
culture gives us direction on how to feel, think and behave. This script, so deeply engrained in the subconscious, shapes how we detail certain events and assign specific roles to the people involved.

Think about it: How do we usually
see sex played out in the media? In how many on-screen sex scenes do two people
passionately burst through an apartment door, swallowing each other’s faces while
aggressively pushing and pulling at clothing and bodies, getting the last sock
off just before the lovers get to the bed?

The scene is directed to imply that
everything unfolds naturally. These people know exactly what to do to each
other and have simultaneous orgasms after a few camera angle changes and maybe
a couple sex positions.

What about porn? There’s so much
variety in porn that it’s impossible to
define under one script, but there seems to be a trend among high-budget,
heteronormative pornography.

The aggressor will grab his partner
and basically just use her holes until it’s time to cum on her face. There’s
very little, if any, attention paid to the person attached to the holes.

I mean, there’s sometimes a bit of
foreplay, but it’s just as frantic and aggressive as the sex. It’s used as a
means to an end, rather than an experience in and of itself.

The recipient of the penetration is
usually screaming in pleasure, but she’s rarely spoken to. Everything is
assumed, and there’s no explicit attempt to ensure a genuinely good time for
both parties.  

This is not how human sexuality
works. Everyone likes different things, so we can’t just use the same arsenal
of sex moves with every single partner and expect them all to enjoy everything
we do.

Further, everyone’s body is different. An act that might rock someone’s world may make another person super
uncomfortable. And the genitals should never be the only body parts engaged in
sexy times! Have you ever appreciated your partner’s ears, neck, hips or back?
It’s time.

Whether in the sex scene of a movie
or a porno, the audience never sees the most important aspect of sex: consent.
Real sex can never occur the way it does in popular culture because we aren’t given access to the conversation beforehand, in which the people
involved specify the things that they like or dislike.

So what can we do in our personal sexual
interactions to both avoid this issue of assumption and guarantee that our
partners enjoy themselves? While getting over this barrier may seem difficult, the solution is simple: Communicate!

It’s always better to get the
dialogue going before sex. The conversation can be introduced as easily as
asking, “What are you into?” or “How do you feel about _______?” Keep it going
as things get heated with “Do you like that?” or “Can you go a little to the

Communication can also be a very
sexy part of foreplay. Who doesn’t want to hear how worked up they are making
someone when they do x, y and z? Giving and getting consent is not only
necessary and sexy, but it will also improve your confidence. Rather than
wondering if you’re hitting the right spot or applying enough pressure, you’ll
get direct feedback and advice as to what will really blow your partner’s mind.

Guess less, ask more,

Connie Lingus

“Connie Lingus” PZ ’16 is a psychology and sociology major. Her sexual orientation? Queer, kinky and polyamorous. 

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