Maybe you’re asking yourself: what on earth is important about a sex blog?
TW; depression, rape
Where i grew up, sex education was a scare tactic, and something that the school district hired an outsider to teach for them. Our teacher was Sky, and even as an 8 year old i looked up to her. Despite the fact that my state’s regulations forced her to separate the boys and girls for their lessons, and despite the fact that she was forced to show us VHS tapes of people wearing lobster mascot costumes and using a picket-fence-gate to represent your vagina (the lesson here: don’t open the gate for the angry lobster trying to get into your yard). I looked up to her because for the 4 years she was the sex-ed teacher at my school, she endured the laughter and disgusted outcries of the 9 year olds she was trying to teach about periods (i’ll never know what the boys had to learn, other than they came out of the classroom in a daze and made wet-dream jokes from then ‘til graduation). Whether this was because she believed what she was teaching or was simply a victim of a flawed system, i looked up to her the way i looked up to all of my teachers. The problem, though, was that despite poor Sky’s most basic intentions – to educate – she was limited by a system rigged only to enforce abstinence. Beginning in the 3rd grade and all the way through my high school Health Class, we were taught that sex was scary. STDs (later changed to STIs while i was actually in high school) were shown to us in extreme (and scarring) powerpoint presentations. The penis was a mystery deliberately kept secret from the girls, and the uterus was only discussed with the boys in the context of pregnancy – aka, “don’t have sex because she will get pregnant, but if you’re married and in love, this is what pregnancy looks like!” Obviously, this shit was all extremely binary.
Somehow, by both the nature of teenage rebellion and also the good graces of my open-minded parents, i managed to get a better grasp on what sex was supposed to look like. Still, what sex was “supposed” to look like is deeply troubling for me to look back on.
As a 15-year old with her first real boyfriend, i was desperate to lose my virginity. I didn’t care that i wasn’t attracted to him, and i ignored the fact that his favorite band was slipknot – i just wanted to cross that threshold, thinking for some reason that virginity was some mystical barrier keeping me from being truly mature, and preventing me from having a good self-esteem. As i continued to be sexually active, i didn’t realize until years later that the boys i found myself with had coerced me into sexual acts. I was never taught consent, and unfortunately, if they were taught in the same system – neither were they. Sex was always something that the kids at my school paraded around like a flag representing popularity, maturity, attractiveness. I could weep thinking of all the kids in the same boat as i was. Sex was scary, just as i had been taught to think it was. As an adolescent I hated myself, i was awkward and unattractive and alternative, picked on relentlessly and never “chosen” among my friend groups. It was hard, as a teenager, to get a grasp on the way the gross feelings mixed with our intense needs for approval whenever older boys – and sometimes even men – would shout at one of us, or all of us, when on the street or at the mall. The desire to feel attractive outweighed the heavy feeling of wrongness in my stomach when these boys wanted to have sex with me. I didn’t understand the importance of consent. I thought that i was supposed to deny them repeatedly and then give into just letting it happen, even if it didn’t feel right.
My first experiences with “masturbation” could hardly qualify as such. At 14, i’d get onto the american apparel website and look for hours at the -as i realized when i was older- disturbing photos of young women, who we were supposed to believe were just modeling knee socks. I didn’t do anything to act on the feelings of arousal, but i was mildly addicted to tracking down images of partially-nude women, and found myself just staring at them, seated awkwardly in my chair, but never daring to go any further than just feeling aroused.
At 16 i realized that i was more attracted to girls. I met a girl who expressed a mutual interest in me, and even though i had a cold, i went over to her house for a sleepover. I was nervous and excited at the prospect of a potential same-sex experience, even if we just kissed, and was disappointed when i got there that she had just (literally just that day) gotten a boyfriend. I felt awkward sleeping in her twin-size bed, watching movies and avoiding one another’s touch.
At 17, I fell in love for the first time. He was the first person i’d ever had sex with that was comfortable, personal, and enjoyable. I confided in a friend that i had never had an orgasm, despite my sexual “experience.” In the last two years of my life i’d had sex more times than i could keep track of, and only now was i enjoying it; and yet, i had not climaxed. I’d find myself staring at the ceiling, sometimes almost falling asleep in the middle of PIV sex. My friends told me that i was a lesbian, and i believed them. The thought wouldn’t leave my mind; every time my boyfriend and i had any kind of sex, i couldn’t stop thinking that it wasn’t right. It didn’t matter anymore, that i loved him. I couldn’t shake the thought that what we were doing was not meant to be. We broke up.
At 18, i had sex with my first girlfriend (partner). It was my first time engaging in sexual activity with a vagina that was not my own. I loved it. I felt, finally, right about what i was doing. I loved the control that i had, i loved the feeling i could give to them, i loved watching them and pleasing them and trying new things. Our relationship, though, was deeply affected by the fact that we did not live in the same city. We had met online, and traveled back and forth as much as we could – but it was difficult because we were young. When i met somebody in person who expressed interest in me, a girl who i felt was beautiful and smart and kind, it shook our relationship badly. My heart beat quicker and deeper when i was around her, and when she’d sleep over we wouldn’t touch but simply knowing that she was nearby was enough for me. My partner and i broke up. It was messy. The relationship that ensued with the new girl was messy, too. My depression was building and affecting every aspect of my life. In high school when my health teacher covered mental health, I had suspicions that what i was learning applied to me. As time progressed, I didn’t understand the way it was affecting my personal relationships and friendships. I lived on my own, i was 18, i felt like i should have been an adult – but i felt like a monster, a moody toddler, needy and deprived, all at once. My sex life dwindled. I was confused. I lashed out on the people i cared about. I was borderline suicidal. I lost my job. I lost a scary amount of weight. I lost my girlfriend, and I missed my boyfriend. I was further confused, and angry at myself when we reconnected. I didn’t understand how i could feel something for him when i was so clearly a lesbian. I felt like i had to be one way or the other. I refused to accept that i was bisexual. I still had never had an orgasm, and asexuality was just a tiny flickering thought in my mind. I felt broken and wrong. I lamented my sexuality many times, between my back-and-forth relationships with my ex-boyfriend and the girl who could not be my girlfriend.
I had one of the most traumatic experiences of my young life when i was drugged at a party, found without any clothes on, and spent the next week barely able to move from my couch. I filed a report. I had a rape kit done. I lost a chunk of my friends. I was victim blamed. I was told that i was simply too drunk, and took my own clothes off. Both the police and the nurse who did my rape kit told me that i was drugged, but with no DNA available for testing, i was unable to move forward. I have never known who did it, and quickly stopped trying to figure it out. I am 100% sure that this event largely contributed to my developing sexuality; it spurred a shift in my identity, both physically and mentally.
By the time i was 19, things had reached a point that felt insurmountable. I’d somewhat come to terms with my sexuality, feeling that if anything i was fluid, and that was confusing but it was OK. But I felt alone, and I was drowning in my depression. I was lonely, and needy, but didn’t want to do anything more than kiss, and i couldn’t figure out why; i felt like there was something wrong with me. I isolated myself from my friends. I attempted suicide. I’ll spare the details of this part of the story, but in the long run, I decided that i probably fell somewhere under the queer umbrella and on the scale of asexuality. Now, three years later, i sit comfortably in this identity. I prefer either she/her or they/them, and sometimes i want sex – sometimes i don’t.
The point for me, with all of this, is that a lot of the things i have been through – mentally, emotionally, and physically – should have been covered in my sex education. But they weren’t. Everything i have learned about consent, sexuality, and mental health has been through my own research and experiences. Not everybody is as lucky as i am; the resources at my disposal are not available to everyone. I fear that many a young soul has felt trapped because they lacked proper sex ed, and has found themselves in even worse situations than i have. I hope that, by creating this blog, i can facilitate a positive outlet. Sex should be a positive thing! I sincerely, desperately, hope that by sharing my own experiences i can reach somebody who relates, who can learn, who needed somebody to tell them: it’s okay. And if i can’t do that, I hope that any other contributors of this blog can do so in my place.
I sometimes cringe at these memories, and am almost ashamed to publicize them. But the fact is, there was no worthwhile education to teach me consent, sexual acts, self-esteem. And unfortunately, i am not alone. These memories are not cringeworthy. Sexual experience is not taboo; for some it is a freeing, joyful, natural thing. Sex can open many doors for many people. I hope that the reviews, stories, interviews, and art works on this site contribute in any capacity to inspiring anyone to get sex educated, and to embrace themselves in their own unique, glorious, sex-y way!
I now work at a sex shop, engage in open discussion of sex with my loved ones, continue to research and learn, and through sex i have found new ways to embrace myself (literally) and my identities, as well as to support and celebrate the wonderful diversity of those around me. I have a wonderful, trusting, respectful partner, whom i am eternally grateful for – he supports me at all times, and is willing to stick with me for this crazy ride. And I’m starting a sex blog, because it’s fucking important.