A couple of weeks before Christmas, I was hanging out with a friend of mine. She and I lead so busy lives that it is almost impossible to get together. But on one of those cosmically fateful evening where she was available, and I was able to drop off my kiddos at their grammie’s, we decided to spend the evening catching up over a bottle of wine. (Cheesy, I know, but sometimes, I like to pretend I am Olivia Pope)
It was when we broached the topic of sex and all things sexual, that out of nowhere, she asked me, “So, do you have a strap-on?”
Yes, odd question, but it’s not what you think. I actually sell sex toys as a side business. This does not mean the question did not shock me, because it did, for two reasons.
One, she is happily engaged to be married, to a man, and the wedding is scheduled to take place in February. Two, she is one of the most, shall I say, ‘vanilla’ person I have ever met. We never actually go into details of each other’s sex life but based on her personality, I guessed I just assumed she will be the ‘turn off the lights, fluff the pillows, take off your clothes, missionary sex, kiss and goodnight’ kind of lover.
“Okay, I don’t mean to pry, (who was I kidding, I so was) but why do you need one?” I asked.
This was when she went into the details of how her man loves to be pegged (Google: pegging) and their sex life was mostly about her pegging him than the vanilla, missionary kind of sex I assumed she must enjoy. This led me to ask her how the heck that even began.
See, this couple is the most conservative kind – when you meet them. So, I wondered if their sex life was something they just happened to stumble upon, or if this was something one person was coercing the other to do.
My friend went on to tell me that they began this sex act about two months since they started being sexually intimate. They had both never done this before then. He broached the topic first and she was not a fan. A couple of weeks after the discussion, while they were in bed, pillow-talking, he showed her an adult video of the act on his phone. She admitted it looked really hot because the woman seemed to be having a good time being on the dominating end. She tried it once, twice and soon, they were both hooked.
It had me thinking: this couple found something really great that works for them because they are in a relationship where they are both comfortable speaking up about their sexual needs.
Do all couples really talk about their sexual needs these days? Like, have a frank discussion about their likes, fantasies, etc?
I once had a boyfriend who was pretty okay in bed, but he was so extremely terrible at stimulating the boobs. I kid you not, the way he grabbed on to them, you would think he was falling off a cliff and they were the only things saving his life. I never told him this in the 6-month duration of our relationship, because, honestly, I was not sure how to broach the topic without bruising his ego. I sometimes wondered, if I did end up married to him, would I ever have been able to tell him? I mean, would I just wake up 10 years into our marriage and just say, “Babe, you have been doing so and so wrong for the past decade?” His ego would have been bruised, battered, hit by a trailer, and discarded in a septic tank. I concluded that I would have most likely continued with the lie I told him then to get his mean paws off my boobs, “please don’t touch, they are really sensitive and I can’t handle all that pleasure at once.” (I rolled my eyes while typing that, like anyone will believe that you cannot handle too much pleasure.)
A woman once sent me a mail that she hates anal sex and it seemed to be all her husband wanted since she gave in once, about two years ago, and agreed to it. She lamented about how much pain she feels and how it is completely ruining their sex life. When I suggested that she spoke to her husband and explain her side of things, it was like I asked her to shoot herself. She vehemently told me that it was not an option. Adding that if she refuses, he might go out and get it from someone else. Personally, I would prefer a cheater than someone who assaulted my backdoor on the regular, but I digress.
Since she insisted that she was never talking to him about it. I was stumped, since that’s all the advice I got. Eventually, she left the conversation feeling dissatisfied.
So, why do we find it easier to have merge privates, but find it daunting to talk about the merging of said privates?
I eventually came to the conclusion that it might be because, growing up in Nigeria, a sexual conversation is almost seen as a taboo, especially when it comes to having the discussion with one’s parent or children.
I can, very vividly, remember the only ‘sex education’ I received from my parents. I was 13 and it was just after I had my first period. My dad and mum were sitting in the living room when they sent for me. If you grew up in an African household, maybe even most households, you know how it feels when both your parents call for you and solemnly ask you to sit. You start to rethink all your mischief and wonder if you’ve been made.
See my very ‘enlightening’ sex education lesson below.
Dad: I heard you got your period.
Me: (unintelligible mumble)
Mum: This means you are a woman now.
Dad: If a man climbs you, you will get pregnant.
Me: Okay (stands up slowly, and made to leave after a few seconds of waiting for any further declaration.)
Dad: Check if Ogbono still remains, then make Eba for me.
Suffice it to say, I was the most confused as I had ever been. Imagine telling someone your foot hurts and the person replies with, “If you drink garri, your brain will explode.” So, you kind of get confused I must have felt.
I mean, I had no clue what they were talking about. All I learned about sex, I learned outside my home. And when I started dating, I had no issues having sex, making sexual jokes or reading/watching adult material. But I get incredibly nervous and bashful if I actually have to sit with my partner and have a frank discussion about the act itself, I still do.
I have come to realize how important it is for couples to have a frequent sex talk. Even if you think you know what your partner likes, you might be surprised.
A 31-week pregnant woman recently mailed me, saying her husband decided he was suddenly into role-playing and bondage after seeing Fifty Shades of Grey. As we speak, the woman is petrified but she has some time, since she told him she will prefer to be that ‘adventurous’ after the baby gets here.
What I am saying is, it is important that you do not automatically assume you know how to knock each other’s sock off simply because you have been together for months/years. There is nothing wrong with checking in once in a while. Intimacy is the most important and cherished part of every relationship. This is why, when your partner steps out on you, you feel betrayed. You feel like someone took something beautiful you shared and went out to share with someone else. So, if it is so precious to you that you do not want to share, shouldn’t you put some effort into making it the best it can be between you two?
I learned to be a lot less shy when it comes to ‘the talk’ because I had to, for my writing career. But believe me, being this frank with others, and actually being frank with my partner are two different things. But I still try. And I really do hope you do, too.
Heck, our relationships, marriages, family and orgasms depend on it.
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Bobby Flowers