This has been an interesting couple of weeks. Since the beginning of February I’ve spoken four times at colleges and universities, once at Zovo, a lingerie shop and I’ve been quoted 4 times in articles on the internet (and one of those is People Magazine which I’ll also be in their hard-copy). Much of this has to do with the 50 Shades of Grey, but not all of it. One of the articles is about sex positivity and one was about Valentine’s day tips with a little nod to 50 Shades. And one of the articles was really more about the BDSM community compared to the LGBT community than the movie or books.
It’s been heady and exciting and I love that I’m reaching so many different people in my quest to remove shame and bring joy to sexuality.
What I love most is speaking publicly, especially to students and to professionals like therapists and doctors. I’ve got 6 more such engagements scheduled in the next 4 weeks. Whew! And it’s so much fun.
I want to share something with you from my Facebook page. I posed the following to my followers and got almost 60 replies at the time I posted this. I am going to share my favorite replies with you along with my answer. I’d love to hear from you what you would say.
The last question we were asked at the Ask The Sexpert panel on Thursday was “If you could tell your college age self anything about sex that you know now, what would it be?” I’m curious how my friends would answer. I’ll share my answer later.
• Allena Gabosch So my reply to the students at the panel was that I would tell my young self, back in those early 70’s, that I didn’t have to say “yes” to everyone and that “no” was perfectly acceptable, even during the free love generation.
Here are a few of my favorites. Everyone had great responses. Thanks everyone!
• Know the erotic landscape of your own body intricately BEFORE allowing another person the freedom to explore you.
•..I’d say integrity matters, and is not measured by the type or frequency of the sex you participate in…but rather in the respect you afford your partners.
• “Your partners deserve your emotional presence as well as your skills and physical presence. Don’t be such a jerk.”
• It’s okay to ask for what you want. It’s okay to leave the lights on. There IS more than one position. But I would also tell myself..hang in there because the sexiest and most fun man you will ever love you won’t meet until your 40’s and after that, everything will be amazing (and the lights will be on!)
• “No, really, figure out what makes YOU feel good, rather than just being happy when your partner is happy. It’s so much more fun to enjoy the meal you make for others.”
• Openly communicate your likes, dislikes, and don’t know ifs… Also, never submit to peer pressure. Whatever you do, have fun and know there is nothing to be ashamed of. Oh, don’t get engaged to the first dude you do it with because you are told sex is only for “the one”.
• Be proud of your body. There is no perfect form no matter what the media shoves down your throat. You will get sexual attention heavier AND thinner, just be self-confidant and have fun.
• Seek out those who enjoy who you are sexually. Gently and firmly release your need to please those who shame you for who you are.
• Emotional boundaries & limits are as important and valid as the physical ones.
• It is really Okay to want the kind of Sex you are fantasizing about. It is not all about the patriarchy.
• Mine would be ” it’s ok to be you and you aren’t alone”
• Love isn’t a finite resource.
• don’t assume the guys know what they are doing… and you don’t need to just get used to anything.. don’t be afraid to tell them EXACTLY what you want and like… Oh and BTW college self.. news flash.. an erection is not a profound expression of love…
• I would say 1) you’re not defective, just kinky, and you don’t need to be fixed before you’re worthy of companionship, and 2) having sex with someone doesn’t mean you now owe her something (like marriage – it’s a generational thing). Sex should not create guilt but closeness.
• You don’t need anyone to “complete” you.
• Oh one more: Don’t trust public figures claiming expertise in sex and relationships if they are pathologizing your desires (Dr Drew set me back almost a decade when I was in my 20s)
• You are queer as a three dollar bill. The reason you never got on with girls is you have absolutely no instincts for them at all.
• Attraction—even mutual attraction—doesn’t imply compatibility, sexual or otherwise. Determine compatibility before wasting time on dead-end relationships.
• Your life, sexual and otherwise, doesn’t set itself in stone in your 20s, then go into a downhill slide. Your whole life is for exploration and it’s longer than you think. Relax a little.
• There is ABSOLUTELY nothing WRONG with what you’re doing. Enjoy it. Let the guilt go.
What an amazing bunch of replies. You can read all of them on my Facebook Page. (btw if you’re following me here and are not one of my FB friends, friend me please…send me a PM if you do), I’ll write about 50 Shades of Grey some other day.