things we wish we knew about sexual health & sexual intimacy in our 20s
...and maybe even now
Drunk on new hormones and pheromones, as teens and college freshmen we probably thought we knew a lot about sex. Oh, sweet naivety! A lot of us also thought we'd marry our high school sweetheart and believed a night of sweaty dancing followed by a romantic 2AM slice at Pizza Corner was going to transition into long term.
Just like the rest of adult life, we've learned most things the hard way - by experience. And maybe some advice from our parents. But there's one topic our folks and our schools don't really dive into. Realistic sex ed. And let's be real - the extent of sex education revolved around STI scare tactics and how to put a condom on a banana. So what are some of the things that older, more experienced us wish our younger selves knew?
NOT EVERYTHING FEELS GOOD TO EVERYBODY
Yeah, that thing that your last partner LOVED? It may not be something your new person likes - and vice versa. Or that thing you saw in a movie? (Porn, we’re looking at you here!) Don't act like something feels good if doesn't - it might seem awkward, but our older sex savy selves wish our younger versions knew how to say AND ask "hey, do you like this?" or "I really like when you touch me this way instead" Confidence and communication in the bedroom is super hot - doing something you don’t really like isn’t!
QUIT THINKING YOU HAVE TO BE PERFECTLY GROOMED TO BE SEXY
Sure it’s awesome to feel all put together - but don’t pass up a good time cause your legs haven’t been shaved in a few days or you feel a bit bloaty - the best sex usually comes when you let everything else go and can just enjoy the moment! As we get older, we learn that the only person that cares about unshaved legs, or a pimple in an embarrassing spot is you, not your partner ; ) Don’t worry about a little bit of jiggles, the way your boobs look when you’re in a certain position, or if your bikini zone is super smooth! Just focus on feeling good, when you get lost in the moment and not the superficial - sex goes from good to incredible!
EVERY VAGINA OWNER EXPERIENCES DISCHARGE
That's right. EVERY SINGLE ONE. Every person who has a vagina will experience discharge at some point - some even experience it daily. We often learn that discharge is something to be cautious of (remember those STI scare tactics I mentioned earlier?), but most times it is completely normal.
Not all discharge is the same and if you get to know your body (which we recommend you do), you'll notice constant change throughout the different stages of your cycle, such as ovulation and menstruation. Some of it is slippery, sticky, stretchy, thin, thick, etc. As long as your vagina is pain free and there are no abnormal smells, chances are everything is perfectly normal!
If you're still feeling unsure or notice something funky, we suggest seeing the fine folks at the Halifax Sexual Health Clinic! At the very least to ensure your vagina is happy and healthy.
DON’T FAKE IT! EVER!
For the love of god, no matter what you do, don’t ever, ever fake an orgasm. There’s so many reasons why it’s tempting, and there’s even more reasons why you shouldn’t. First of all - IT’S TOTALLY NORMAL NOT TO CLIMAX DURING SEX!!! Yep, we’re yelling that sentence. It’s so normal that 75% of women can not climax during sex alone. Our bodies NEED direct clitoral stimulation to come. And all of us that faked it, have created a confused generation of lovers - these young partners of ours got their sexual cues from real life women faking it (cause we thought we were supposed to), and porn stars repeatedly faking it (cause they’re paid to).
The female orgasm is a beautiful thing, and it often takes a bit of time to achieve with a partner, luckily our older self has reached that point of comfort with our bodies and sexual needs to tell our partners what we need. And to sometimes say, hey, an orgasm’s just not gonna happen (and that’s cool too). Maybe this is why everyone always said that sex gets better with age??
MALE ORGASM ≠ FINISH LINE
Um, it doesn’t! How many times have you been robbed of the orgasm you deserve? Probably too many. Unfortunately, many men (and women) think the male orgasm is the intercourse finish line - it's not! Just because a man orgasms doesn't mean their partner has.
Men have grown to believe they're allowed to be somewhat selfish when it comes to sex, but we're not having it anymore! Would you believe us if we told you sex is better for EVERYONE when both partners are feeling fulfilled? Seems like a no-brainer right? So, put in the effort! Many women will take a bit more time and exploration to reach orgasm, but the journey there is half the fun! You can also bring in some reinforcements such as vibes, stimulants, and this couples combo kit from Screaming O.
BEING INTERESTED IN SEX DOESN'T MAKE YOU A SLUT
We are a society that is obsessed with sex. We see it everyday through TV, movies, music. advertising, everything! We seemingly have no problem consuming the sex we subconsciously take in every single day, but for some reason we're still uncomfortable talking about it and shame those who unabashedly take part. So here's the thing... being interested in sex doesn't make you a slut!
Often this label gets attached to women, they wear a scarlet letter on their chest. But why are we looking down on those who enjoy something most of us enjoy as well? We don't have a clear cut answer beyond folks still trying to grapple with the still somewhat taboo topic of sex. All we know for sure is that safe, consensual sex is normal and healthy. While we're on the topic, it's okay to NOT be interested in sex too - not liking sex doesn't make you a prude. We just need to respect the decisions of those around us! The older we get, the more we realize that no matter what your interest in sex is, it’s totally normal and ok.
LADIES MASTURBATE TOO
Surprising? It shouldn't be. Masturbation is yet another double standard for men and women. We assume men spend all of their free time masturbating from the moment they hit puberty, but for some reason it comes as a shock to think maybe women masturbate too.
Masturbation is healthy for all and a great way to get to know your body. The more you know about your own body and what makes you tick, the more you can share with your partner to create mind blowing shared experiences!
Solo time is beneficial beyond sexual pleasure too! Masturbation has many perks such as building confidence, helping you sleep, releasing sexual tension, relieving menstrual cramps and reducing stress! It's always a win-win.SALIVA AND LUBE ARE NOT THE SAME
Contrary to what we see on screen and in some of our own personal experiences - saliva and lube are most definitely not the same thing. Lube is meant to last, add comfort, enhance pleasure and sometimes mimic a woman's natural body fluids. We can't say the same about saliva.
As sexual newcomers, some folks might not yet know about the miracle that is good lube - that's okay and why we're here. Lube is a great additive to any sexy experience, it enhances pleasure, pairs well with toys and makes everything feel slick and slippery.
We recommend lube to all bodies! And when we say lube, we mean GOOD lube - so try some of our faves: Sutil Luxe is long lasting, toy friendly and made with natural ingredients! Sliquid Silver is perfect if you're looking for something silky smooth, it's silicone based and can double as an incredible unscented massage oil.
SEX IN WATER IS BEST LEFT TO THE MOVIES
It might look super steamy in our favorite chick flicks - but sex in pools, bath tubs, and gently breaking waves is actually uncomfortable AF in real life. Water washes away our bodies natural lube and results in a ton of friction on our delicate lady bits. Not to mention the post water play irritation - UTI’s and yeast infections often follow up a sexy hot tub or pool interlude. So from our older self to younger us - have your frisky foreplay in the water, but hop onto dry land for any penetration. No matter how many times you see it in a movie or on TV!
DON’T TAKE MAGAZINE ADVICE or TRENDING TIPS as the BIBLE
We once read a tip from a top women’s magazine telling the masses of young women to put a doughnut around their guys penis and eat it off for a super hot encounter...36 year old us literally cringes each time we think about that tip. These days we hear a friend say coconut oil is a great lube, or that poly relationships are the new thing. Older us wants to point out, there’s a lot of golden sex and relationship advice online and in magazines - just don’t take it ALL to heart. Doughnuts, we’re looking at you!
DON'T USE SEX TOYS THAT HAVE A SMELL
Sure younger us was on a budget and opted for the cheap vibrator. When we opened it, we thought that "plastic" smell would wash off. It didn't! Eventually we ended up on a round of antibiotics for a UTI and then had to chase that with some canesten for a yeast infection. Our older selves know that if a sex toy has a smell of ANY kind - don't use it. It might be embarrassing, but just ask the staff for a budget friendly Silicone or ABS plastic vibe. Trust us, what you save on a cheap vibe, you'll spend on meds.
ENJOY SEX TO THE FULLEST
And be safe! Peruse articles and stay informed, come up with fun date night ideas, wear some lingerie for someone that deserves it. Be free in your body and confident in yourself - because you darling, are fucking fantastic!