The internet and technology have totally changed sex and relationships, we know you — you adults, anyway, this column is not for children! — have questions about the world of sex. In order to answer them, we've asked our friend Stoya — a professional sex-haver — to field any inquiries. You can write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you at least 18 years old?
Can a girl fall in love with someone simply because he got her to orgasm, and the way he interacts with her, or is there truly something more to it?
If I tell a girl from the US that I am a virgin, will it hurt my chances?
Would you say most women prefer to have their legs spread really wide during sex or is it actually less comfortable for them?
When a woman gets laid for the first time, and when the blood comes out from her vagina, is it okay if we continue or do women usually prefer cleaning it up?
Do girls like to squirt?
Do girls feel okay when they are recorded while having sex?
I’ve heard that women prefer larger penises.
I started inventing rules about the girls that might be interested in me, which is basically taking from research and scientific findings … How do girls feel about virgin men?
Almost 50 percent of the global population is female, according to the US Census. Some of us are women, some of us are girls, some of us have XX chromosomes and a vulva along with an identity that sits outside of the gender binary. Some women have completely unmodified bodies, some of us have surgically augmented parts, and some of us have transitioned and are post-, pre-, or non-op.
The only thing we’re virtually guaranteed to have in common is the fact that we’re all individual creatures with our own specific set of boundaries, preferences, and desires (and levels of flexibility).
There are no accurate answers to questions this broad Let’s try it another way: Do all men like nipple stimulation? Do all boys want rose petals strewn across the bed before they engage in sexual activity? Do all male-bodied people feel like they’re being jerked off with sandpaper when their penis is touched?
Or this: Do all people prefer 2 percent milk to whole, skim, soy, almond, or rice? Do all adults need a microwave to feel like they truly have a home? Have all security-conscious internet users uninstalled Flash from their computers?
My point here is that asking whether people like a specific thing, or what girls and women like or want is ineffective. There are no accurate answers to questions this broad. The question really is "How do I find out what this woman likes?" And the answer is that you have to talk to her.
Talking can be difficult. It might feel uncomfortable or embarrassing. Plus, you have to develop intuition about what someone is saying, and really hear it. The good news is that, with practice, you can develop those skills. And the more you talk about sex, the less likely you are to feel awkward or uncomfortable.
The more you talk about sex, the less likely you are to feel awkward or uncomfortableSo get out there and practice. Interact with people on and offline, and pay attention to what they’re saying with both their words and their mannerisms. Practice comprehending and retaining what other people tell you, and exercise your ability to share your own desires, needs, and feelings — things a bit more personal than your dietary preferences and feelings on the weather. Learn to be vulnerable when the pressure’s off.
Because when you find someone who makes you feel, for instance, sweaty palms and a pounding heart, I suspect you’ll be glad you've had some practice when the situation was less swoony. If you’ve already got a person or two around who you’re attracted to or in a relationship with, practice with them. Remember to treat them like the human beings they are — not a trophy to be won or an achievement to be unlocked.
You might find it easier to have uncomfortable conversations while you’re curled up with the other person, or sitting side by side with 6 inches of space between you and looking at the opposite wall. You might be most at ease in a brightly lit room maintaining eye contact with the person you’re talking with. You have to figure this one out yourself, and you may need to compromise where possible in order to accommodate whatever makes the people you’re talking with comfortable.
Remember to treat them like the human beings they are — not a trophy to be won or an achievement to be unlocked
Sex educator Reid Mihalko teaches a method for discussing subjects that feel tricky, which he calls the Say What’s Not Being Said difficult conversation formula. It goes like this: I have something to tell you, but I haven’t been saying it because I’m worried that [insert the concerns are holding you back from sharing]. I’m hoping that telling you this will [insert the positive effects you hope to achieve]. So [insert the thing you need to share].
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re a virgin and you’ve met someone who you’re interested in. So your conversation goes like this: "I have something to tell you, but I haven’t been saying it because I’m afraid you’ll laugh at me or be turned off. I’m hoping that sharing this will build more trust between us and give you a clearer understanding of my level of sexual experience. I’ve never had penetrative sex."
Instead of "Do girls like to squirt?" the better question is "Does my sexual partner like to squirt?"A similar model works well for questions about sexual preferences: I have a question, but I’ve been holding back because [reason]. I want to talk about it because [reason]. Here’s my question: [question]
So, to answer a question above: instead of "Do girls like to squirt?" the better question is "Does my sexual partner like to squirt?" And in the context of having a conversation with someone who’s your sexual partner, maybe that goes like this: "I have a question, but I’ve been holding back because talking about sex is kind of awkward for me. I want to talk about it because I’d like you to feel as good as you possibly can when we have sex together. Do you ever ejaculate when you have an orgasm?" Wait for an answer. "Do you like doing it?" or "Are you interested in trying some new things to see if you might ejaculate?"
Think of these two models as training wheels, and later as positive habits to rely on when something feels difficult or is more complicated than usual. Take it slow and remember that every person is going to have a different set of desires. What do women want? No one knows. What does this woman want? I bet she knows.