25 Questions to Ask BEFORE Going to Bed with Someone

Most of this stuff is common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people won’t ask or refuse to answer the most basic questions.

1. Are you legally married, illegally married, married to the Mob, and/or actually a horse in a person suit?

2. Are you having sex with anyone else right at this moment?  How about now?

3. How many different sexual partners have you had in the last year?  How many were different but pretty much the same, really?

4. When was your last STD test?  SAT test?  Oil change?

5. Was the filter included?

6. What form of birth control do you use? Oh, a copy of The Watchtower on the bedside table?  Works for me.

7. What brand and size of condoms do you prefer?  Condoms.  C-O-N-D… oh, never mind.

8. What methods do you use to protect yourself during oral and anal play?  What do you mean by “fleeing?“

9. Are you monogamous?  Cats don’t count.

10. Have you ever cheated on someone?  (Include Words With Friends.)

11. Are you poly?  If yes, can I meet with your primary?  If no, who are those three names tattooed on your scrotum?

12. Have you ever kept secret lovers from your primary?  Have you ever won a primary?  If yes to both, should I call you “Mr. President” or just “Bill”?

13. How often do you like/expect to have sex?  Really?  …when do you eat?

14. Do you have any physical issues that affect your sex life?  Include children.

15. What kinds of sex toys do you enjoy?  Yes, I suppose “Lamborghini” is a good answer.

16. What turns you on?  This?  This?  How about this over here?

17. What turns you off?  What do you mean, “Questions”?

18. What are your hard limits?  Do you think it’s funny that I said “hard”?  No, no, neither do I, really.  Heh.

19. What are your soft limits?  How soft are they?  Mmm, soft.

20. Have you ever had a negative sexual experience that triggers panic?  Have you ever had panic that triggered a sexual experience?  Are you Trigger? (See question 1.)

21. What is your favorite way to orgasm?  What do you mean, “alone”?

22. What is your most common/go to sexual fantasy?  Do you supply the choir, the llama, and the ice skates?

23. What does “sex” mean to you?  How about “dyspepsia”?  “Onomatopoeia”?  “Frottage”?

24. Is there anything you’ve ever wanted to try?  My patience?  A case in The Hague?  A little tenderness?

25. If sex results in pregnancy, how do you plan to take responsibility for your actions?  Yes, I said “you,” Mrs. Bobbitt.  Why?

Get (off) their backs

Sex workers serve a remarkably valuable role in the world, bringing basic human companionship and touch to many for whom it is otherwise unavailable.  For this they ought be revered rather than, as so often, censured. (And I say this from a dispassionate vantage point as one who has yet to avail myself of such services.)

It is an unreasonably difficult vocation in so many ways.  That’s why I urge those of like mind to join me in underwriting their local sex worker support organization through donations of time, money, and/or goods like toiletries. My local one is HIPS (www.hips.org), but there are others all over the country.  Please help care for those who provide the great and caring gift of human contact.

The Unyuckable Yum

Some recent experiences both online and in real life have led me to consider the topic of validation.

It is not unusual, when introducing myself to someone as polyamorous or pansexual (or any other aspect of me that may not be in common experience) for people to be

a) confused;

b) dismissive; and/or

c) negative to the concept.

I’ve seen that happen to others in discussion groups as well, and a common rejoinder to a lack of comprehension is that anything less than a supportive response somehow invalidates the person’s statement about themselves, and that that shouldn’t be done.

Some sexuality conferences I’ve attended have adopted as a shorthand the basic tenet “Don’t yuck my yum,” meaning that if someone expresses a preference for something that they like, you shouldn’t talk it down, whether you can get your mind around it or not.

Leaving aside for the moment the question of whether someone should have just as much right to not like or understand something as I do to embrace or promote it, the response that disagreement = invalidation has always confused me.

Look, if an authority figure – a government, a parent, a discussion group moderator – is coming forth with disagreement or incomprehension, that has real consequences. Those people are in a position to take action to intimidate or suppress you from doing what you like. They cannot only yuck your yum, they can make your yum illegal or at least not allow you to express it.

But when someone expresses their distaste or incomprehension for my preferences or practices in person or in a discussion group, and that person is not a figure of authority, it does nothing — nothing! — to invalidate my belief. I don’t grant them the power to do so. Because the validation for my belief comes from within me.

I don’t need someone else to tell me that it’s OK to be poly or pan or a NASCAR fan or a Browncoat. No matter what someone else says about those things, they will continue to be true. Even if they’re made illegal, they will still be parts of me, as valid as today.

One might posit that if the person expressing a preference is a political candidate, they should be open to changing their view based on input from others, because they are asking for other people’s support and votes.  But this is very different from a personal preference which is yours and yours alone and which you do not seek to impose on someone else.  One’s social and sexual preferences and practices fall into the latter category. That’s why I consider my yums to be unyuckable by others, and why their opinions do not invalidate mine.

So while it would be nice if nobody ever yucked someone else’s yum, understand that your yucking does nothing to make it any less yummy for me. I hear your opinion and I respect your right to express it. You just sit there in your wrongness and be wrong. I’m sailing on the Good Ship Yum.

How powerful is polyamory? 

When you’re awash in love, having all of your needs met, in stable relationships, and with a full calendar that precludes taking on any more –yet you feel that yearning for even more connection, even more reward, even more love to give and receive.

To want all that even when it’s neither possible nor even sensible – that’s pretty powerful stuff.

If polyamory could be sold in powder form, it would probably be illegal, or at least controlled.

Sex is comedy.

I don’t mean it’s inherently funny, although it can certainly be that, especially if you catch a look in a mirror at the wrong moment.

But it’s comedy in that some comedians work hard to develop a killer routine. They know the timing; they know the patter; they even know and are ready for the likely heckles. They develop five minutes of solid gold, and hone it and run it over and over until it can’t miss.

And with the right audience, it kills.

Problem is, you have to find the right audience. And if the audience you have wants something else, sorry; that’s all you’ve got.

Good sex, on the other hand, is improv. You have some set pieces, some techniques, some ways of approaching the subject that are yours and yours alone. And you bring them out in response to comments from the audience, ideas thrown at you, seeing what pieces worked and which look like they’re bombing. Even the stumbles or miscues get turned into something positive. Next thing you know, it’s how you can make these three random objects work together in a creative way…

But the big point is, it’s interactive. It’s not something you deliver; it’s something that you create as part of a team with your partner or partners. And even though it’s never the same twice, it’s a joyful melding that belongs to you, together, in that place and time. And anyone who missed the show won’t understand.

But those who were there will be awfully glad they were.

What, *another* sex blog?

Well, yes and no. But mostly no.

This won’t be a place where we tell you 35 ways to please your letter carrier.  Or evaluate the latest earlobe stimulator.  Or tell you about everything my roommates and I did last night and who loved it and who ululated and who wound up sleeping with the chicken.

What we will do is talk (and sometimes laugh, and maybe once in a while speak in a raised voice) about pleasure.  About polyamory and relationships and getting along and not getting along — but most of all, how to live with joy and civility in a complicated world that often values neither.

Also, there will be quips.

Come on along!