Sex is hard to talk about

I recently watched an old Dan Savage video where he answers the question “do threesomes ruin relationships?”. He answered that if there is a problem or some kind of lack in a relationship then adding another person into it for a charged sexual liason might very well ruin a relationship, but successful threesomes happen as well. It’s just that you don’t hear about the successful ones. The people having successful threesomes are not running around telling their friends and family about their hot three-way over dinner; they are not “out” about it.

Over the course of the last year, certain features of my life have enabled me to have regular fulfilling sex – including group sex – in the context of varied yet stable and emotionally fulfilling relationships. These features include being bi, being poly, having good communication skills to establish consent, having bi poly friends and places to hang out together. Safe sex is a top priority, as is consent, as is communicating openly about needs and preferences. If someone finds a new partner, this news is greeted with joy and maintaining other relationships and activities outside of this friendship group is also a priority.

The nature of this sexual contact is such that we find ourselves talking about being happy, being fulfilled, finding positive effects on our mental health and overall wellbeing.

Personally, I have been on a deliberate journey to make sex as positive an experience as possible due to starting from very negative beginnings. The success of this journey is a source of happiness and pride for me.

In the context of the wider world it seems clear that the more sex is talked about with children and young people in an open and honest manner the better their subsequent choices are and the more healthy they can be. Sex can and should be a topic of conversation that is as normal and natural as one’s other activities and hobbies.

As an activist, I would like to be ‘out’, especially about the benefits of group sex, which I have spoken about before. But when I imagined going in to work and someone asking me about my weekend and my reply being that I had a birthday party that involved a select guest list of comfortable friends and we all had amazing sex, I couldn’t see that being taken as an acceptable detail of conversation, even though I’m out to my colleagues in every way I can think of.

I have someone in my life who takes great pains and great pleasure in pointing out that I don’t know what the boundaries are of “normal” conversation and regularly go too far with what I’m willing to say. I find it emotionally draining to trigger someone else’s sense of discomfort (much more so than dealing with my own), even though in most cases of people being ‘out’, it is very much to the greater good that people are exposed to things so that they start to perceive them as normal, or everyday.

It is to everyone’s benefit if we can talk openly about sex (including lack of it), but the social pressure in the UK that bears down upon anyone who wants to start the conversation is weighty indeed.

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5 thoughts on “Sex is hard to talk about

  1. andytron

    I dunno, I think it can be a bit like talking about money – not something one should brag about, certainly not excessively. We all do to some extent, of course, but it’s important to take people’s feelings into consideration – certainly if someone you know is single and a bit lonely it really isn’t cool to go on about what great sex you’re having in front of them. Know what you mean about being “out”, though – very thought provoking.

    Reply
  2. Jake Stark

    This is an interesting take on the subject and certainly an unusual birthday party!

    my blog about the perils of threesomes is on my site – The Ikea Guy

    be interstign to hear what people think,

    good post

    Reply
  3. Ancelin

    Yes it would be good to be able to talk openly about it but I’m glad you added “including lack of it” and I agree with andytron about taking people’s feelings into consideration. I would not like to hear at work about a colleague’s amazing sex in the week-end because of loneliness/frustration. It’s all about consent: sometimes I consent to hear and talk about it, sometimes I am not in the mental state to handle it. It’s difficult to check consent in everyday situation.

    Reply
  4. Jake Stark

    Menage is a difficult thing to get right – I wrote a fictional description in my novel The Adonis – an extract of which is on my blog – comments welcome

    Jake

    Reply

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