As the month of February closes it's been our pleasure to share what we've learned. We communed with a collection—a consortium, if you will—of vulva owners, sex workers, artists, dominatrixes, and certified sex and relationship coaches to help us to explore our desires, our pleasure, and our sex lives with a little more intention.
As we recap, we are reminded with new information comes new questions. And the secret is, only you have the answers.
It’s no secret that the world and of course the internet is full of misinformation when it comes to sex education. We are fed narratives that perpetuate unattainable expectations regarding relationships and are shown unrealistic often damaging representations of sexual encounters. Beyond the actions or inactions that take place during this perceived version of “sex”, our world often does not include the myriad of bodies and identities that take part as well. As we educate, unlearn and connect with our community we want to remind you to tune in (with yourself) before you turn on (with a partner.)
We have compiled a short list of questions to ask yourself before taking it off, and getting it on.
Disclaimer: These questions come from personal preference and lived experiences and in no way are they to be considered medical advice.
1. Do I trust this person?
Trust is the be all end all when engaging in sexual, and physical relationships. Whether it’s your first time with a new partner or you are exploring a new sexual fantasy, kink, or position (with a current partner), trust should be your foundation. Building trust can take time but can also be achieved through clear and open communication.
2. Can I communicate with my partner(s)?
British researchers Lester Coleman and Roger Ingham, studying a sample of adolescents, found that only about half even discussed contraception with their partners prior to a first hook up. There are about a million and one other things on top of contraception that could and should be discussed. Including but not limited to barrier methods, STI status, sexual desires, fantasies, safe words, boundaries and more.. The point is, statistically we are not talking about the very things that can keep us safe and enrich our sex lives. Communicate more.
3. What do I want from this encounter?
Are you in a monogamous relationship, are you looking to be in one, or is this just a hookup? Understanding your needs and wants before entering into a physical encounter can result in a better, more satisfying outcome in the end with respect to each individual person's needs.
4. Am I excited?
This last question is to test our own enthusiastic consent. Peer pressure, alcohol and society influence our subconscious more than we think. Take a minute, check in. How does your body feel? How about your heart? At any given time you can pause or stop. You do not owe anything to anyone. Period.
Remember, these questions are just a starting point. No one ever regrets a quick check in before you go out, hook up or get off. Keep these as notes in your phone for easy access or as your background when you have a couple drinks. Protip, set a reminder alarm for yourself to go off half way through your night out. Nervous your date, partner or friend may see? FANTASTIC, what a great way to start a conversation.
Happy hooking up friends!