Thursday, July 25, 2024

Shattered sex-pectations

It was 2008, and I was at my now-ex-girlfriend’s place. Her hand lightly traced my spine as we started kissing, and it only continued from there. Although we never actually had sex, we threw our clothes on the floor. After a bit of fooling around, she started laughing. Seeing my surprised gaze, she told me I sounded… female.

I stared at her, incredulous.

She smiled and shrugged her shoulders.

I couldn’t believe what I heard. But it had to be true.

That’s right. I reminded her of a woman.

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I remember being upset, angry and a little bit humiliated, and I’m starting to remember why: the social maze of double standards that revolve around sex. For example, a woman can emit a low, throaty gasp, but if a man sounds high-pitched, it’s laughable.

Why does that have to be the case?

I always wanted to ask her if she would rather I stay silent during sex, but I never did. In retrospect, I’m glad we never went the extra mile.

The point is, it’s OK to be you.

I’ve never viewed myself as one who oozes sex appeal. In my mind, I have the sex appeal of a potato. I wouldn’t be confident on the nights I’d go out to the Green Room with friends. I used to do that my first semester here, and even though I’ve been in a steady relationship for a couple years now, I always felt out of place.

My ideal night is sitting on a friend’s couch, eating Doritos and playing Magic: The Gathering while watching the original Star Wars trilogy.
And maybe a little sex now and then, but I usually go with the flow.

If I were single, I’d rather pick up a girl at a sci-fi convention.

It’s important that people know embarrassment and sex often go hand in hand, especially for nerdy guys like me.

Most people don’t want their embarrassing sex stories to be heard. They lock their secrets away in a cupboard and hope no one will ever find them. We sometimes visualize ourselves as sex gods when we’re really just human beings, a bit lost at times, trying to find someone to want us as badly as we want them.

After that incident happened, I refused to let anyone judge me for being myself. I encourage everyone else to do the same. Maybe even let a few secrets slip. It’s good for the soul.

What may be someone’s joke may turn out to be someone else’s pleasure.

Do we all have our share of embarrassing moments? Of course we do. The point is, they are always going to happen. What’s wrong with having them? If you trust your partner, tell them something personal. There’s nothing quite like having someone there to listen, even if it’s embarrassing to tell.

If your partner is a joy to spend time with, you know that person will not judge you based on superficial things, and the two of you are constantly discovering new and fascinating things about each other. Sometimes, it’s going through the real stuff with that other person that makes the sex so electric. You feel the current travel from head to toe.

The people who matter are going to be around for your tomorrow, and the ones who don’t matter don’t have to be there today.

Email Timothy Lyman at

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