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Women and Sexuality: Let’s Talk About Sex

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It has recently come up several times that I am, apparently, more open to talking about sex than people expect. I know that people aren’t assuming I am a prude, so what is it? Is it simply that a woman being comfortable with her sexuality and enjoying it is still considered taboo?

Back when Kinsey was doing all his interviews (accuracy aside folks), the published work dealing with male sexuality was quite a hit. However, when he turned around to deal with female sexuality it just wasn’t acceptable. It is ok if Eric talks about how he did his woman last night, but talk about his mom, sister, or daughter enjoying their sex lives too? No way.

Is it purely that the feminist movements over the years have focused on trying to not be an object of sexual desire? Were women too focused on being able to work alongside men in the job place, that playing alongside men in the bedroom was left behind?

I like being fun in the bedroom—or anywhere else I might be playing at the time—and I want to be good. I want to be able to talk to my friends about what makes someone good, as well as fun new things to try. So why is it that bringing up various positions or toys always gets a response like “I didn’t know girls talked about this stuff.”

Well yes, ladies and gentlemen, I talk about sex. Will you join me? It is really kind of fun.

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About Cara

  • jo.

    I talk about sex too, though if people around me are uncomfortable with it, it tends to make me uncomfortable to talk about it too. Do you ever feel like that?

    There’s this great book I keep by my bedsite titled “My Secret Garden: Women’s Sexual Fantasies” by Nancy Friday. If I remember correctly it’s from the 70’s and it’s interesting to read about real women’s fantasies and how many of them react to their own fantasies.

  • http://indemnification.blogspot.com -E

    Generally I try to stay away from subject matter that makes those around me uncomfortable. I guess what I really want to know is, why do women talking about sex make so many uncomfortable?

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joanie

    Having this discussion is both important and relevant. We cannot deny that we are living, physical beings, complicated/enhanced by emotions. Sexuality is natural.

    Women talking about sex always seems to come across as improper, scandalous, or very naughty. It can be all those things, or it can be educational, enlightening, informative, and interesting.

    This is definitely not the end of the conversation. We’ve barely scratched the surface.

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    I love to talk about sex with my friends but not the nitty gritty as it feels kind of weird to talk about which position was tried on which night.

    One tends to visualize and thats where I tend to draw a line.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    But you write porn – what does that make you – a pornstress?

  • http://indemnification.blogspot.com/ -E

    Right, I don’t even think we need to talk about the details either. But we shouldn’t get weird looks if we talk about sex in general.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    If you talk about sex too much, your vagina will explode.

    It’s more fun to not talk about it, then awkwardly go about a sex life with another n00b, for that’s the beauty in sex. That’s how to keep it sinfully innocent. It’s like the purity of a 3-year old boy from Toledo flicking that tiny little thing between his legs just to see what happens — all the while laughing that it flaps back and forth.

  • Bennett

    The scene from “White Chicks” with the dildo at the slumber party comes to mind.

    Funny flick, that.

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    Sure, I’m a pornstress , its a badge I wear gladly but what gets to me is that men have asked me time and time again whether I write out of experience.

    Which means- a) either they are visualizing me doing it

    b) they think I’m an adventurous slut.

    Most don’t respect the creativity that goes behind writing erotica.

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    Springsteen recently said on his VH1 Storytellers performance he thought talking about music was a lot like talking about sex. Can you describe it? Should you?

    I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t have your conversation over here. The bit got a laugh from the crowd on the DVD. I chuckled, too.

  • http://indemnification.blogspot.com -E

    And perhaps there are parts of sex that shouldn’t be discussed by everyone all the time. Like your personal details as to what positions you did and what props you used last night and how many times. But I don’t think it should reflect poorly on a woman if she can talk about sex, admit to liking it, or heaven forbid she own a vibrator or six.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    I think that there is a world of difference between describing positions used at a given time and frank discussions of sexual issues. The former is simply impolite, in my book, while the latter is probably overdue.

    Then again, I’m a guy, so why am I commenting on an article about women talking about sex?

    Carry on, ladies!

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    I agree with Philip -Gentlemen don’t kiss and tell why should it be any different for ladies?

  • http://murasaki.blog-city.com Purple Tigress

    I don’t think anyone should kiss and tell–male or female.

    Being able to talk about sex is essential in dealing with problems such as HIV/AIDS and the spread of STDs or date rape.

    Talking about responsibility (legal and moral) and the possible spread of disease tends to make people uncomfortable.

  • Chantal Stone

    Whats wrong with women discussing their sexual escapades…whether it’s a favorite position, what she did the night before, what she wants to do, etc…? I don’t believe it is neither impolite nor inappropriate. As humans we are sexual beings, and to speak freely about it is a beautiful thing. I’m not talking about blabbing everything to just anyone, but a frank and honest conversation about sex among friends can be very interesting, entertaining, and educational.

  • http://indemnification.blogspot.com -E

    I am not calling for women to kiss and tell. I certainly don’t tell anyone of each sexual adventure I have. But there are times when you get into a discussion about women enjoying sex and what helps them enjoy it more and it can be considered taboo for some. I’m not saying you list out a step by step guide to how to get a woman off, but saying hey this position provides more gspot stimulation and gets to the clit so there is a higher chance of her actually reaching an orgasm. Trying to tell your other girlfriends what might help them enjoy sex is different than telling about how you were tied up last night and got rug burn from your man’s cheap sheets (though those stories can be funny in the right circumstance).

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    men and women discuss many things by a different set of rules, not just sex…it’s a difference between them, not a bad thing for either…

    i don’t know too many reputable men who will bring the depth of their lover’s vagina to a round of drinks but i’ve sat at many a table ‘o coffee where the women were discussing girth, length, and a myriad of other details…we woman share information — it’s probably borne out of the evolutionary need to protect each other and preserve our own safety, i don’t know…
    i’ve chosen a few lovers over others because of information i got from my girlfriends and didn’t squirm at the heads-up because no one likes to be surprised by super-long, super-short, or small body livestock…
    the depth of women’s conversations have long shocked many of the men i’ve known and i think that’s because men prefer to stick with the surface issues…the rest is too close to what many men perceive as weak and vulnerable…if you’re discussing a particular man’s ability to help with orgasm, it’s a good bet many many many feeling words are already on the table — and most men aren’t up for or into that…

    it’s kind of funny that what erin is suggesting is still taboo for some is the same thing others are suggesting is bad manners…if you’re not the kind of person to go in depth, pardon the pun, then good on you, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that those who will discuss it are doing something wrong…

    it’s been my experience that, and i don’t say this as a rule, women who don’t like to discuss things in detail weren’t taught that it was okay to do so…perhaps they were taught instead to attach some level of shame to it — and themselves…for the record, shame does not equate with modesty…the latter is a form of discretion whereas the former is a form of secrecy…sex is no secret…

    guys that don’t like how detailed women get are really something — this, from some of the same people whose gender group takes a great deal of pride in things like the volume of their belching, the length they can spit, and how much under-the-covers offense they can create with their own gas…

    i can spit a goodly length but not being 11 yrs old anymore has done wonders for my topics of conversation…i’ll take a lively round of oral sex tips over who can chug a beer the fastest any day of the week…

  • Chantal Stone

    good point, -E, although a good rug burn story is always welcome in my circle of friends.

    I’m just saying that people should be more relaxed about talking about sex. I think that’s the point of this article….why is it such taboo for a woman to be open about her sexuality? Why don’t more women masturbate, or ADMIT to masturbating? Why are so many women afraid to openly admit their sexual fantasies? And if she chooses to share her fantasy, why is that woman considered some sort of a sex-freak or seductress? And why does the very idea of that make some people uncomfortable?

    Maybe I’m different, but sex is really one of my favorite topics of discussion. I’m curious, I have plenty to learn and even more to share. And whenever people see this side of me, they are often surprised, but I don’t think I have ever offended anyone with my sexual anecdotes.

  • Chantal Stone

    Diana…you said it perfectly. I bet you’re fun to hang out with!

  • Hugh G Rection

    90% of women DO masterbate. The other 10% are lying….;-)

  • Chantal

    well that 10% need to take a lesson.

  • Eric Olsen

    who is this “Eric” person wandering around “doing” women and talking about it?

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    To clarify: I did not mean for my comments to be taken as gender-specific. I am personally uncomfortable with anyone (of either gender) sharing specific details of a specific encounter with a specific partner, especially when I think that all relevant details could usually be shared in a way that didn’t violate someone’s privacy.

    It is a great mystery to me why the rate of masturbation for men is 100% while the rate for women is somewhere between 82% and 90%, depending on whom you ask.

  • http://indemnification.blogspot.com -E

    Eric happens to be one letter off from Erin so that’s how I picked that name. But if you want it to be you, go ahead haha.

    I remember when I was in high school that the guys weren’t afraid to admit they masturbated. I don’t think a single girl ever fessed up. I don’t know many women now that admit to it or that claim to like watching porn or reading erotica.

    For example, when I was explaining some of the folks in the movie I just finished working on (no it wasn’t porn) everyone knew who Tom Arnold or David Carradine were. The males all knew who Ron Jeremy was and the only girls who did knew him from VH1’s Surreal Life.

    I am not calling for every woman everywhere to go buy a vibrator and rent porn, I understand that it isn’t for everyone. But if a female mentions that she does watch porn or does masturbate, she shouldn’t get the looks that basically say “You Slut.”

  • Eric Olsen

    ah, a generic Eric

  • -E

    Yes, but you aren’t generic.

  • http://selfaudit.blogspot.com Aaman

    No, he just likes seeing his name in e-print

  • Chantal Stone

    I’ve encouraged my female friends who don’t masturbate to try it. How else can you expect someone else to please you if you can’t completely please yourself? I think it’s time for another sexual revolution, for people to let go of their Victorian hang-ups, and just enjoy sex and the human body the way it was intended.

  • Eric Olsen

    yeah, like the fundamentalists!

  • tommyd

    Instead of you women yapping away about sex, why don’t y’all start having sex with each other and let me watch :-)

  • Eric Olsen

    this general topic reminds me of the classic Eurythmics (with Aretha!) song, “Sisters Are Doing It To Themselves”

  • http://gratefuldread.net Natalie Davis

    *For* Themselves.

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    Po-tay-to, Po-tah-to, let’s all just get off. Did I get that right?

  • http://indemnification.blogspot.com -E

    Yeah, pretty much.

  • Eric Olsen

    oh yeah, “for” – I won’t interfere further

  • http://bonamassablog.us Joanie

    Falling into the habit of making comments less about the nature of the article and more about the men sort of comments men like tommyd leave is quite often why women don’t talk about sex in public forums.

    That said, the discussion will continue. And we women will stay on point.

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    I am personally uncomfortable with anyone (of either gender) sharing specific details of a specific encounter with a specific partner, especially when I think that all relevant details could usually be shared in a way that didn’t violate someone’s privacy.

    there are some things some men do that women want to avoid…there are also some things men do that women want…any woman that has been with a man is very likely to share the information with other woman, not as a violation of privacy, but so that they may avoid the undesired behaviors…a man known to be kind, healthy, and strong is going to get as much face time but isn’t as likely to be on the market as long…by the time we women hit our 40’s, there are some god-awful things to be known about the men still available…at the same time, the widowed or divorced-but-learned kinds of men get a whole new campaign even if they know nothing about it…the over 40 and never married man is going to be scrutinized but again, he may never know…
    women don’t usually share information about a man with any man he knows because that would be a violation of privacy but that isn’t what she’s doing…it’s not good enough to say “he does awful things” because what’s bad for one woman might be okay for another…”he’s a pincher/biter/slather monster” is more useful information…call it networking…

    men should be able to understand this as they share information about the best tools and the best garages…they have car mags that specifically point out what’s best to drive and what’s not…these mags are loaded with columns with tips on how this car handles better, how that one doesn’t hug the road at all, this one’s mileage, that one’s suspension…
    this is what women do with men…it’s basic shopping…

    the whole sex/procreation/husbandry thing is holistic, and even when women aren’t interested in having kids or getting married, the instinct is still to go with someone who is healthy, kind, and strong…
    each of these characteristics has its own set of desirable and undesirable behaviors…a healthy man might not have the straightest teeth, but it’s important that he have his own and that he’s willing to show his smile…what would appear to be the GQ of health can be later found to have a family history of heart disease and that the guy isn’t likely to see his 50’s…
    the strong man who ends up using his strength against his woman is going to be talked about — even and especially if that strength is used in bed…
    what appears to be kindess may later reveal itself to be debilitating shyness that mimics erecticle dysfunction but is not cured without a psychiatrist…on the other hand, what many men perceive as another’s man weakness is some women’s gold…

    i used to like porn until i realized how many men had developed the most ridiculous expectations of women, and sometimes of themselves, based on what they “knew”…instead of seeing it for its entertainment value, a lot of men take mental notes they should not be taking and apply what they’ve “learned”, much to their folly…
    if you ram it down her throat, you’ll never get head again once word gets out — thus the myth that women don’t like to do it…one woman will tell every woman she knows what he did…that’s a man’s fault, not a woman’s lack of desire…men who take their time and don’t think testing her gag reflex is a testament to their manhood find themselves privy to this carnal delight for decades…

    men may not like that women talk about them but men will just have to find a way to resolve this conflict within themselves because women are going to do it…instead of seeing it as a violation of privacy, men would do well to listen to anything they happen to hear…

    fathers do their sons a great disservice by not teaching these boys every fact of life, by lying to their sons about the number of partners they’ve had, and allowing porn to be the great tutorial…
    no, it’s not necessarily true that you’re going to know what to do when you get there…you might have to follow her lead, take the lead next time, do this instead of that without getting your ego in the way, give it more than 20 seconds, and remember that she’s not there for your bidding — it’s co-bidding…

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    I agree with Philip- there are ways of talking about sex without getting too specific.

    My mother didnt approach the topic till I became sexually active. She gave me tips that came in handy- like drink a lot of water ten minutes before sex or hold your pee while the loo its a good way of keeping muscles tight etc….

    Mothers are as important as fathers when it comes to sharing about experiences and most of the time the sharing need not be verbal.

    My parents had a healthy marriage….they made sure we knew that after ten they were to be disturbed only in case of sickness or emergency.

    They were always hugging each other in front of us kids or joking around around.

    They set positive examples – whenever my dad shaved late at night we kids knew what was happening.

    Even now after nearly five years of being sexually active (I was a virgin till I got married) my mother still comes up with useful tips.

    Yesterday she told me how important it is to keep one’s feet in good shape especially the heels as cracked heels tend to feel rough against the partner’s calves.

    Finesse is the key word.

  • http://beingmeblog.20six.co.uk Claire

    I openly talk about sex too, a large majority of my friends are guys and we all have some great conversations, usually involving us all learning things about the other sex we weren’t aware of.

    Sex is natural so I don’t understand why it’s such a taboo subject still.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    I have removed one pointless remark from this column and I would have deleted tommyd’s as well if Joanie hadn’t already commented on it.

    Let it stand as a warning to all – ALL off topic or off colour remarks will be deleted in order to maintain the correct conversational tone in this fascinating window into the soul of womanhood.

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    “My mother didnt approach the topic till I became sexually active. She gave me tips that came in handy- like drink a lot of water ten minutes before sex or hold your pee while the loo its a good way of keeping muscles tight etc….”

    interesting…myself, i’ve never been a fan of having a full bladder bumped into…
    kegel exercises might be found a bit more helpful than playing around with one’s need to urinate…

  • Chantal Stone

    For some though….sex with a full bladder is really good, it prolongs the act and can make for a stronger orgasm. I’ve heard that it’s good for guys too—my husband seems to agree.

  • http://darkeroticism.blogspot.com swingingpuss

    Er I havent tried having sex on a full bladder- but to pee after sex is good way of reducing the chances of getting UTI.

  • zingzing

    i, being a man, am very attracted to a woman who is openly sexual. it’s a subject that 99% of the planet has at least some interest in, and it crosses gender lines, obviously… it’s something we can all talk about.
    of course, there is that strange hypocrisy that happens: a woman (in my case,) who is very open about sex seems a)interesting, b)sexy and c)maybe a little bit easy. of course, this is what attracts me in the first place. i don’t like working for it… but it is worrisome. once i’m in a relationship with a very open woman, i find myself wishing she weren’t so open… like she should save that kind of talk for me. so, (one of) the qualities that originally was quite a turn-on becomes a bit of a turn-off.
    it’s a slippery slope, and i’m not proud of this phenomenon, but it’s just another troubling part of my psychological make up. i’m a jealous type.

  • http://dianahartman.blogspot.com/ diana hartman

    zing, talking about sex and having sex are two different things…perhaps hearing her talk about it with others taps into a fear you have that she will follow talk with action — as she did with you…it’s not an automatic cycle…she can talk about it without doing it, reserving her actions for you…

    on the other hand, you may be attacted to women that aren’t necessarily open but rather loose…a loose mouth should not be confused with an open mind…

    could it be that you don’t really want a solid relationship? it almost sounds you’re describing a pattern in which you get women that aren’t the loyal type…

    best to observe a woman’s behavior over time, get to know her relationship pattern — does she frequently dive in and out of them or does she talk about having had a few longer term relationships?

    more importantly, work on that jealous thing…there are few things that peg the turn-off meter like jealousy…it’s not an attractive trait regardless of all else the man has going for him…jealousy is a liability and paints a man as not being a whole person…

  • -E

    That is a good point Diana, there is a huge difference between being loose and open minded with regards to what you speak about. Not that either is strictly good or bad.

    Then there is always the saying that those who talk about sex all the time aren’t actually getting any.

  • goddess

    re: “Instead of you women yapping away about sex, why don’t y’all start having sex with each other and let me watch :-)” ~tommyd

    tommyd, we’d rather have you men having sex while we watch ;)

  • s

    I used to talk openly about sex,sex toys and stuff like that to my male friends because we were buddies. Many women friends did not talk openly with me. Unfortunatetly, I had a bad experience of a male friend thinking that I was flirting with him because I spoke about sex toys and used it as an explanation for his sexual assult on me! Now I do not feel comfortable talking about my sexuality with anybody!