From Secret Sex Geek to Beacon of Permission: How I Learned to Talk about Sex

I’ve pretty much been a sex geek my entire life. But for most of my life, that’s something that I hid from nearly everyone. Sometimes it made me felt ashamed, guilty, and embarrassed. I was raised in a fairly sex-positive home, but the insidious notion that sex is too taboo to talk about crept into my life regardless.

When I was in elementary school I really got a kick out of reading books that discussed puberty and sexuality, but I read them when no one was watching. Whenever I went to my friend’s house, I was very excited about secretly sneaking peeks of Playboy magazines I discovered there.

In middle school I spent a lot of time reading up about sex on sites like Scarleteen. I wanted to learn as much as possible. It was during this time that I learned how to delete browser histories.

Throughout high school I continued reading Scarleteen, and research about sexuality. When I was at the book store I would read through books about sex (but not buy them, of course, because that would be embarrassing). One day at a friend’s house we stumbled upon dildos in her mom’s room and even though my friends made jokes about it, I thought it was cool.

During college, I took women’s studies and psych classes that helped me become more sex-positive. We talked about queer porn, sex work, sexual health, and pleasure as a human right. I was meeting people who were sex geeks, too. I decided to buy my first sex toy, which led to me reading reviews, which led to me writing reviews, which led to me starting this blog.

I was finally in a place where I felt proud and unafraid of sharing my sex geekery.

All it took was being given a space where discussing sex wasn’t taboo. I wanted to provide that space for others, so Liam and I started telling our close friends little snippets about our sex blogging adventures. We were prepared for blank stares, dismissive comments, or awkward feelings, but none of that happened. Every friend we’ve told has been excited to talk about sex and sex toys with us. The only thing that had stood in the way before was the assumption that it was taboo to talk about these things.

Now, many of our friends know about our blogging shenanigans and enjoy talking to us about it. My best friend has watched me gleefully open packages of dildos. Liam and I have bought sex toys for friends. We’ve ranted about toxic toys with them.

I’m not that open with all of my friends and family because some people just wouldn’t be comfortable with it. And that’s okay. I’m more than happy to meet them where they’re at and plant seeds of sex-positivity.

I’m appreciative of everyone who has shown me, and continues to show me, that talking about sex is a positive thing. I’m happy that I have so many sex geek role models that helped me see the benefits of being open about it. I get to educate friends about body-safe toys and lube, show them the variety of toys that exist, and give them advice when they need it. I get to be a beacon of permission. And I don’t have to hide who I am and what’s important to me.

 

P.S. This post is sponsored by Love, Andrea. But, as always, all writing and opinions are my own.

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