Sex-Positivity – Self-Love – Starting the Revolution
The first really good friend that I made when I came to college had introduced herself to my suite by telling us that we didn’t know how to put a futon together—and then she proceeded to put our futon together for us. She struck me as brash and loud, and frankly, I was fascinated by her. I had never met anyone like her.
It didn’t take us long to start talking about sex. What we had done, what we hadn’t done, what we liked, what we didn’t like. I felt comfortable being open with her: I let her know about the full extent of my sexual experimentation, my queer identity, how I missed being noisy during sex after moving into a group living situation, etc. She nodded and told me that she was a virgin before telling me about her weekend dance floor make-out sessions.
The shock came later. We were having one of our run-of-the-mill conversations about sex, and I mentioned how much I loved doing “the lotus position” with my boyfriend: he sits on the bed on his knees, I straddle him, and he holds me. My friend made a face and explained to me that she only ever wanted to have sex in the missionary position, in a bed, in a bedroom. I was aghast.
“Why would you only want to do missionary?” “Why wouldn’t I only want to do missionary?” “Because it gets boring after a while! And, wait, sex only in a bedroom? Not even a car? Not outside? Not in another room in the house?” “Fuck no.”
I was completely flabbergasted. The first time I had penetrative sex, I was the one on top. I’ve had multiple escapades in bathrooms. My boyfriend and I are back-scratching, hair-pulling rough, and things like him picking me up and doing me against a wall, turning me around and having me from behind, or whispering in my ear how many ways he’s going to have me while we’re making out…well, these things turn me on immensely, and we’re some of the most introverted people I’ve yet to encounter.
My friend confused me because her desired sex life reminded me of something that my Baptist grandmother might partake in via the creation model of sexual relations, but my friend? The one that I had heard ball-bust I-don’t-know-how-many-people on a daily basis? The one who was one of the strongest people my own age that I had ever met? I couldn’t relate her desires for vanilla sex to her personality.
I suppose, though, that personality really doesn’t matter. Maybe sexual desire operates independently of that, or at least in tandem with it in a way that I never previously thought about. I guess that most people would be surprised when they first get to know me if they found out about the kind of sex I like to have. I while away my weekends watching Doctor Who and doing homework, I spent more of last semester planning what I would say in class than actually saying anything, I get nervous in social situations, I’d prefer to reread Harry Potter than go to a party…I guess I seem incongruous with my sexual desires, too.
But when it comes down to it, I’m happy with my sexual desires, as is my friend with hers. We couldn’t imagine being any other way—her as vanilla soft-serve custard, me more of a rainbow sherbet with sprinkles.
Maybe I’m like I am in the sack because I’m so shy in almost every other setting. Maybe my friend is like she is because she feels like she’s dominating enough in everyday life. Or maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s more complex than that.
But, most importantly, she’s comfortable, and I’m comfortable. So long as we’re happy, I don’t think it matters what desire looks like.