Orgasm isn’t a necessary part of the sexual experience for everyone.
Ejaculation isn’t a necessary part of orgasm for everyone.
I have found that my most rewarding sex is when, for both/all partners, it is about the journey and not the destination. Sometimes orgasm can be the whole sundae; sometimes it is just the cherry on top. And sometimes, you don’t need it at all – it’s the dessert that the appetizer and entrée left you too full for.
But no matter what, if you had a good time and they had a good time, there’s no reason to have a checklist tell you that it couldn’t have been a good time because one of the tick-boxes is still empty.
People need food to live. It’s essential.
So we learned to cook for each other, and people built grocery stores, and then came restaurants, and the restaurants became chains, and people were fed and providers prospered. And nonprofits were started to provide food to people who couldn’t afford it or had challenges getting to it, because it’s a basic need, and everyone recognizes that.
People need water in order to live. It’s essential.
So we learned how to run pipes into people’s houses so water could be easy to get. And whole industries sprang up to purify water and to sell water. And people had access to hydration and providers prospered. And charities were created to help get clean water to people and places that didn’t have it. Because it’s a basic need, and everyone recognizes that.
People need shelter in order to live. It’s essential.
So we learned to build houses, and learned to heat and cool them and created a variety of dwellings in a variety of sizes and built sidewalks and roads to connect those houses to the other things we needed. And people got housed and providers prospered. And nonprofits were started to provide homes to many who could not otherwise afford them. Because it’s a basic need, and everyone recognizes that.
People need sex and human touch. It’s essential.
So we created rules that forbade the sharing of touch, or the selling of sexual comfort, and told people they were awful for wanting this unless it was with one specific provider for the rest of their life, and even then you really shouldn’t do it unless you have to. We told people not to educate each other about it. And we sent people to jail for daring to offer this basic, essential human service.
One of these things is not like the others.
That isn’t right.
Sex-positivity is a wonderful, liberating thing. It can also be a little vague.
Back in the day, ABC’s Wide World of Sports was appointment television in our house. Downhill skiing from Kitzbuhel, Austria; the world wrist-wrestling championships from Petaluma, California; figure-8 races from Islip, New York. The program skimmed from one to the next; after all, it was all sports, right?
“I like sex” is like “I like sports.” Cricket? Australian rules football? NASCAR? You like them all?
Some people do, and more power to them. And you may not want to start (or look for) a relationship by posting a detailed list of what’s in and what’’s out (although the rise of personal user manuals is a fascinating phenomenon that will be written about here eventually.) But being too general can invite misinterpretation and accidental (or deliberate) misunderstanding. “What do you mean, you don’t like having your ears tickled with boar bristles! You said you like sex!”
“I like some kinds of kink.” “I enjoy multiple-partner sex, but only with people I know well.” “I don’t have experience with a certain gender, but am eager to try.” A certain level of detail can start conversations and, perhaps more importantly, defuse others’ assumptions. It’s hard enough finding good matches without everyone thinking they’re in the game.
Society is full of “rules” about whom one can love. They attempt to define appropriate genders, structures, and even adult partners’ ages. All based on history, and all of which seem silly today.
People are attracted to who they are attracted to, he said tautologically. Once legally mature, chronological age really doesn’t enter into it.
The taboo on age difference between adults appears rooted in the idea that sex is for procreation, so people who are fertile should be with other people who are fertile. That doesn’t have much to do with romantic partnerships or recreational intimacy.
Young people can be attracted to older people and vice versa. As long as each side follows basic rules of respect and consent, and accept a “no“ when they hear one, there’s no problem.
Some other thoughts on the issue: https://pourvotreplaisir.net/2018/11/16/count-the-rings/
The songs celebrate it, the romance novels are full of it. A passion so intense it becomes a need.
But is it a good thing to need someone else? For you or for them?
A need is involuntary. You can decide to want something, but a need doesn’t emerge from a rational process. We don’t choose to need oxygen, or water, or touch. They are hard-wired requirements.
So if you say you need me, I don’t know if you even like me. You have a need. Today it’s me. Tomorrow it could be for a vodka gimlet or an Eames chair, I don’t know. But that expression of need doesn’t tell me anything about how you feel about me.
It doesn’t even say what you really need. My compassion? My reddish hair? My collection of Flintstones jelly jars? What part of me do you need, because it would be very improbable to need all of someone — or even to like everything about them.
Moreover, it sounds like a trap. If you tell me you need oxygen, it would be cruel of me to withhold it from you. “Need” implies a requirement for survival. So saying you need me puts an obligation on me to meet that need. That may not be your intention, but it can be a very real effect of the language.
If, on the other hand, you want me, I know that you have made a choice. That you find me appealing. That what you want is me, and not just whatever can fill your need. Want is personal; need is objectifying. Want comes from the head and the heart. It says that you could do fine without me, but you have decided things would be better with me around.
That’s warm. That’s flattering. And that’s not an ultimatum. It is the beginning of a conversation, not a demand.