I’ll be dedicating this week’s column to answering reader questions. You can submit your questions anonymously online at swarthmorephoenix.com/sexed.
What do you do when you walk in on your parents having sex?
Oh, that’s a sticky situation — in more ways than one! I know that it can be hard the first time you realize that your parents are not Barbie and Ken. They are built anatomically correct. Worse still, they use those “correct parts” to do things that just seem so wrong. But, rest assured, these things are not wrong and your parents want to get down just as much as you do.
So, what do you do? It really depends on what your relationship with your parents is like and how open your parents are. I’m going to assume that, when it comes to sex, you and your parents don’t talk casually about your respective sex lives with one another.
Now, if you barge into their room when the door is closed and they’re playing hide the salami, just walk away as fast and discreetly as you can. Your parents have a right to bone in the privacy of their room without worrying about you. You are intruding on a private affair and (hopefully) you weren’t invited. Flee the scene, hoping that you are still having sex at their age, and treat yourself to an ice cream cone or something for the trauma. Do not disturb them or interrupt. This is your mistake. Next time, realize your parents’ right to privacy and knock very loudly.
However, if this is a midday, afternoon delight on the living room sofa sort of deal, no discretion necessary. Make sure that they know you are there. Still, walk away as quickly as possible, but slam the door, or clear your throat loudly as you go away, or stomp up the stairs or do something that lets them know that you are there.
This is your way of saying, “Can you guys please remember that I’m here this week and take that shit inside?” You have the right not to walk in on your parents’ love-smash in communal places as much as they have a right to smash away in their private places. Chances are, if they see/hear you there, they will be more cautious next time.
If they bring it up in conversation (all superior forces forbid!), just laugh it off. Say it was no big deal, but you would really, really, really love it if you never had to see that again. Don’t, by any means, make them feel bad about it (especially, if you were intruding on their privacy). It’s not your job to make anyone feel guilty about sex. There are enough people in this damn country to do that already.
Everyone tells me that lesbian sex will be easier than straight sex, because “You have the same parts! You know what feels good! You’ll know what to do.” But knowing what feels good on my body is really different from a) having the dexterity/tongue skills to do it, and b) different from knowing what will feel good for HER. Help? -Scared.
Scared, sex should be enjoyable! If you are ever feeling ‘scared’ or pressured, just take a step back and proceed as your comfort allows.
Sex, whether straight, lesbian or otherwise, is an adventure. Don’t have lesbian sex because you think it will be the easy way out. It isn’t. Do it because it’s what you want to do and you’ve found a partner whom you want to do it with. If it does genuinely interest you, I advise you to find someone and, because of your apprehension, get to know them a bit and become comfortable with them before you have sex. This way, you can feel free to talk with them openly about sex, what you are ‘scared’ of, what you want, and your comfort level.
The logic that your friends are using is that straight sex is more difficult because each partner has different parts. However, as you point out, there are intricacies to lesbian sex, too.
Now, yes, you may feel more comfortable with the genitals of someone of the same sex because you have similar ones. You’ll be able to easily identify her passion nub and the vaginal opening … but that’s about it. Having the same body parts doesn’t necessarily mean you know what someone likes, another point that you make. Like I always say, everyone likes something different.
Further, cunnilingus skills are not a recognized Darwinian adaption. No one is born with an innate knowledge of how to munch a carpet, whether you are male or female. That’s something learned over time with practice and patience and changes with each partner. That dexterity and those tongue skills will only come with experience.
So, Scared, allow yourself some room to not know what you’re doing. Communicate with your partner about your apprehensions and explain that you just want free reign to explore without the pressure to be a tongue-twizzling goddess. Chances are, she will feel similarly or will understand your feelings because she once went through the same thing.
Once you’ve gotten it all out in the open, just start slow and have fun with it. This can translate into gettin’ on down there, Jacques Cousteau style, and exploring the deep or just talking dirty. There is no need to jump right to oral sex or penetration. Things like mutual masturbation, fantasizing or dry humping will give you the opportunity to get an idea of what your partner likes so that, when you do go deep sea diving, you know where to start.
Non-penetrative sex is also a great way to become intimate and build trust with someone before taking the plunge. Consult my columns on non-penetrative sex, penetration, and oral sex (all on The Phoenix website) for more specific details.
I know that the Swattie mentality is that you must surpass every expectation all the time, but, remember, you cannot get an ‘A’ on the exam if you’ve never been to a lecture. So, Scared, start attending those classes.
How do you know so much about sex?
When I started writing this column, I promised myself two things: 1) I would never publish anything that I would be too embarrassed to let my father read and 2) I would try never to write about things I haven’t experienced myself or give advice that I wouldn’t take. These stipulations prohibit me from answering this question. But, I think I’ve said enough.
Vianca is a junior. You can reach her at email@example.com.