Greetings, dear readers, and welcome to the very first installment of this week’s commenter-wide sex forum! As I previously mentioned, I’ll be here all week leading discussions related to sex and age. Let’s get started, shall we?
I’ll start the week off with something simple and see how it grows from there:
Do you think we become more sexually open with age?
Personal anecdote time! I know for me, I feel like my age makes sexual exploration a lot more difficult. I don’t want to pigeon-hole all 21-year-olds, but I get the vibe that people my age (especially college students, if I’m speaking from experience) don’t explore what turns them on sexually. I tried to have a frank discussion on different kinks with a group of friends once and the shudders were almost audible. I think we’ve been battered by Cosmo-esque sex advice our whole lives that tells us reverse-cowgirl is as uninhibited and wild as it should get that anything beyond that is “weird.” It’s kind of sad, to me, the attitude I see displayed by women my age; no one wants to be seen as weird or freaky so they put down any form of sex that isn’t vanilla. (Not saying there’s anything wrong with vanilla sex. It’s my main form of travel.) As constrained as I feel a lot of people my age are, it’s an improvement considering the attitudes I noticed in high school. As much as I loved making out, I remember keeping it on the down low in high school because any girl that enthusiastically talked about anything vaguely sexual was totally ostracized. Matter of fact, I was made fun of for my apparent enjoyment of steamy make-out sessions. Yeesh.
So maybe you do become more sexually open with age. I can’t speak from experience too much because I think there’s an obvious leap in sexual openness from high school to college, but what do Ye Older and Wiser Persephonies have to say? I look forward to hearing from you!
(Remember, this conversation can go anywhere you want it to, so feel free to explore the topic. If you have any particular area regarding age and sex you’d like to discuss more in depth, let me know in the comments and we’ll dedicate a whole day to it sometime this week! I like to think of this as a communal process.)
13 replies on “Let’s Talk Sex: Let the Festivities Begin!”
On a mental level, yes. That is I am more open to sexuality in its various forms. It’s been a rough road for me because when I first learned about feminism in college (early 80’s) sex positive was not part of the discourse. Among my peer pals who still identify as feminists (all straight BTW) they have not kept up with the latest news.
In practice, hello kitty no. I am an “old married” lady. My husband is shy, non verbal, and……”conservative”.
Also I have not fully purged myself of the very bad propaganda fed to me by my mother and other well meaning (concern trolling) aunties in my life. No, no men discussed sex with me except for my OB-GYN father, but those convos were limited to the dry lectures on biology, the mechanics of various contraceptives, and OB stuff.
My example is sadly typical for us 40 something East Asian gals.
I became active at 21 and am almost 24 now. The guys that I first slept with were jerks. I didn’t have confidence in myself and felt insecure about being a late bloomer. I’ve never had any issue talking about sex with my friends even before I ever had any but talking about with a partner made me blush. I really felt that the guys I was initially with ruined my image of sex. Most had one goal in mind and I had one case where one of then was abusive. Sex was not caring or even fun for me so to say I was closed off was an understatement.
Then I met my current boyfriend. We first started talking we talked about sex A LOT. In particular, anal sex. To go from not caring about sex to talking about it constantly really forced myself to examine what I was into and what I was willing to try. He gently forced me into openness but a lot of that comes with the trust level I have with him. Knowing that he was going to be gentle, let me do things in my own time, not get grossed out by some of the things that come along with anal etc. Without any of that trust I would still be closed off.
In terms of talking about sex with my peers, I find that before and after being active I was always more willing to discuss things. I grew up with a single mother who worked in the medical field so I had seen and heard it all. I also looked up a lot of things and was allowed to have the freedom to talk about things I didn’t understand. I was lucky with the household I grew up in and I feel that most of my friends were not that lucky. I always have to roll my eyes when people start saying “Not to be TMI…” or “Not to gross you out…” when talking about sex. I think if you have somebody that you know you can talk freely too about sex whether a friend or a partner than it allows you to be more willing to explore
I’ve had the opposite experience. When I was younger all my friend and I did was talk about sex. Sex this, sex that. We were like a crasser Sex and the City. I taught my less experience friends proper fellatio technique and tricks on common household fruit and laughed with a friend who mistakenly thought spit would work as proper lubrication for anal sex. Hell, when I bought my first vibrator, I let all my friends who asked have a go (provided the followed the rules for care and cleaning that I had printed out for them). We were always talking about what we liked and didn’t and wanted to try, because it was all so new and exciting. I guess we were just really lucky in that we were a really tight, non-judgmental group.
I think that as we’ve gotten older (we’re all in our mid-twenties now and although time has taken us on different life paths and to different cities we still manage to visit a few times a year) the excitement and exuberance we had for sex has worn off. We tested all those waters and know what works for us and what doesn’t, but its not something that needs to constantly be discussed like when we were 17. How that translates into ability to speak to our sexual partners about sex…I’m not really sure. We don’t talk about that sort of stuff anymore. :/
I started having sex when I was 17–I’m 22 now. My first few times were extremely painful, which was the main reason I didn’t enjoy having sex at that time and certainly didn’t experiment. But additionally the guy I was having sex with didn’t give a rat’s ass about getting me off. I was too naive at the time to realize that this was a HUGE PROBLEM. I broke things off with him pretty quickly because I wasn’t that into him and I didn’t have sex again until I started college a year later. The sex was much better this time because I had stretched a bit and my partner actually wanted to get me off (and did). We enjoyed each other for a few weeks and that was that. A few months later I got into a relationship that lasted a long time and began experimenting fairly quickly. I’ve continued being adventurous ever since, although there are a few things I won’t ever do again (sex in public and anal sex). I think in the future, I’ll continue experimenting and pruning at the same time. Experience (age, in a way) has a lot to do with my sex life.
I started late, becoming more sexual when I was 22. I never dated as a teenager or in my early years at college, taking a long time to develop trust in someone. And even when I was sexual, it was with brief hookups where I didn’t care about the guys, I was more into figuring out what I liked and didn’t like, not emotionally ready for a real relationship. A couple of years ago, I met a guy who became a casual FWB, and learned so much more about trust and intimacy, slowing down more and not being a user anymore. I don’t see him anymore, but it made me have a better understanding of sex beyond the physical moves, and thanks to having great guy friends, opened up my awareness of what a healthy relationship could be with trust and intimacy. So it took a while to really feel comfortable with being sexual or even just kissing and being affectionate, then learning how to connect with someone emotionally when doing it instead of just using them. I am 27 now, and feel much more grounded now, less experimental than I was when I was younger.
I think there are a few different kinds of sexual openness – being open with your partners about your needs and desires (shit, being open with yourself about them too), and being open to experimenting and exploring.
For me, I’ve definitely become more open in both respects, but I think I was always fairly open to begin with. I never had any kind of sex in high school (with anybody besides myself, at least), though I was constantly horny and really wanted to, and by the time I started having partners in college I had a reasonably good idea of what I wanted and didn’t want, and I never really felt afraid to assert myself. Gaining some experience really helped, though – the first time I was on the receiving end of oral sex, my partner had never given it before and asked me for guidance; I appreciated that, but I had no idea what to tell him because I didn’t know what worked.
I’ve definitely become much more open to and about being kinky as I’ve gotten older (for reference, I’ll be 25 in July, so still in the younger Persephoneer age bracket). Looking back on it, those interests and desires were there from a very young age but I didn’t know what to make of them and didn’t have a steady partner with whom to explore them until I was 22. Now I understand them and regard it as a really basic and essential part of my sexual identity, and I feel much more comfortable with it than I used to.
I definitely nod along with the idea of different kinds of openness, especially about being open with yourself. When I started having sex I think I had a very closed mind about what would get me off, and what was just “wasting my time.” It’s taken me the last 10 years (I’m 31 now) and a few different partners to realize that I’m *still* figuring it out: every now and then, I’ll be pleasantly surprised if I just suspend my judgement about a position, a new speed, a new pressure, whatever – and suddenly I’m headed to Pleasuretown. I think if you’ve convinced yourself you just don’t get off via cowgirl on top (or whatever) then you’re probably not going to. It was a breakthrough to realize that getting off for me is about 80% what’s going on in my head and 20% what’s going on with my ladybits – a breakthrough that came after a bit of experience.
I don’t know if it’s age necessarily for everyone. I know for me it was level of comfort with a partner. Introducing kinks slowly when you know you have a relationship with a person and know they won’t just immediately make a break for the door. I’ve only ever been with a couple of people, but I can imagine that if I started a new sexual relationship with someone I’d probably shift gears and head back to vanilla-land.
I definitely agree. I think that I’ve learned to become more open about sex in general as I get older, but I also think that I’ve gotten better at talking about sex/trying new things mostly because of my level of comfort with my current partner.
I’m definitely more self-aware than I was when I was 21. But I don’t think age and experience is the only determining factor.
In my sexual history, I sewed them wild oats between 19 and 22. Big time. At the time, it was rather more about quantity than quality, and I didn’t know enough about myself to understand what I liked, never mind articulate it.
In the ensuing years, though only a few, I have grown considerably, both as an individual and a sexual individual. And now that I’m with a long-term partner who I trust completely, I’m free to be both of those things in their entirety. Sexual openness, I think, has a lot to do with the understanding of self, something that most people need time – and age – to accomplish even in part.
Well said. I also engaged in some wild-oats sewing as a Youth. Much of the sex was not so great, but mostly because I didn’t know what I was doing or how to ask for what I wanted even as I began to figure it out. And at the time I didn’t care so much because I was having fun.
Now that I’m with someone I trust, it’s a lot easier to explore new things sexually. And this is far more fun for me than being with random partners I don’t necessarily feel comfortable with. It also leads to a lot more… creativity.
Huh–I would have said the exact opposite. For me, the period between about 17 and 22 was my by-far most experimental, when I was trying every possible kink I could. Of course, that was 90% due to the fact that I was living on my own with 20,000 other 20-somethings at college. Although I got around a fair bit in high school, I didn’t experiment much just because I didn’t have a place for it–living in my parents house certainly didn’t allow a lot of time or space for trying out S&M with three other people at the same time, for example.
And now that I’m in my 30s, I’ve calmed down a lot. I’ve been married for almost nine years, and in that time, my husband and I have tried pretty much everything there is to try, and now we’re pretty vanilla, because we’ve got two kids sleeping upstairs, and once the newness of crazy new positions and props wears off, they seemed to lose their allure, at least for us.
One would assume that talking frankly about sexual preferences would become easier with age, for a few reasons. You (hopefully) feel happier and more comfortable with yourself. You have more experience to draw upon. And, maybe, you realise that life is too short to have communication hang-ups when there’s pleasure to be had from being forthright!
I’m in my late 20s, and I certainly feel more comfortable talking about sex than I did 5-6 years ago. I don’t talk about it much with friends, but I’m happy to talk about what I want to do and have done to me with a partner.