Conscious Sexual Self

Connection Requires Consciousness

What I Wish We Told Boys About Their First Time

This is not a conversation that should only happen for girls...

It should be about you – This should be treated as a special and vulnerable moment for you. There needs to be attention paid to you, your feelings, nervousness, excitement. It is important that your partner is able to hold that space for you. If it is the first time for both of you, this is space you need to hold together, but neither one of you is more important than the other. I talk to many men who feel shame years later because they ejaculated quickly with their first partner. Of course, you did! This is perfectly ok. Your first time is not for performing to please someone else. It is overwhelming and your body will respond accordingly. Give yourself the chance to be a virgin who is having a first time.

Choose a partner you can trust – Ideally your partner is someone you feel comfortable with, who is honest with you and wants that from you in return, someone who respects you and who feels like an equal. If you feel like a partner expects you to take care of them without any awareness of the needs you may have, be careful. If there is a power differential, be careful. If you feel like you have to play a part that is not really you, be careful. It doesn’t have to be a forever partner or a committed partner but it should be someone who is there for you and who you can trust.

If you have to get drunk to get the courage, WAIT. – First, sex is much better when you are present. Second, being nervous is not a big deal; being so nervous you can’t imagine doing something unless you are only semi-conscious is a sign to stop. I promise you, you will not be cooler about things if you are drunk. It will not make things better.

You are not less of a man if you actually don’t want to right now. – The idea that men must want sex indiscriminately at all times is very damaging. A healthy man will have times when he doesn’t want to, he doesn’t like the other person that much, the environment is stressful, he is enjoying doing other things, the 5 slices of pizza he just ate are not sitting well. Whatever the reason, you have a right to decide if this is the right opportunity for you or not.

There will be other chances – No matter how nerdy or undesirable you feel at the time, it is highly, highly unlikely that this will be the only chance you have to have sex with another person.

The pleasure with a partner is different than the pleasure with your hand – Masturbation feels great because you know exactly what you want and you can immediately provide that. How much friction, how fast or slow, what you are looking at or thinking about, all can be matched to your desire in the moment. Partnered sex has different pleasures than that, pleasures that in some ways are more subtle or diffuse. With a partner, you might focus on their excitement, the slippery warmth of your bodies together, the feel of hip bones pressing into you, the connection you feel with them. The path to your orgasm may be more circuitous but there are more diverse pleasures to enjoy. Let yourself be surprised.

There might be a little pain – If you have an inexperienced female partner, it is helpful for her to take some time to build to intercourse as her vagina is not used to stretching to accommodate a penis. If you or your male partner have foreskin, the more forceful friction of penetrative sex can sometimes cause a bit of tearing at the base of the foreskin. In either case, you should only feel a little brief pain, not a lot. If either of you are feeling significant pain, enough to disrupt all pleasurable feelings,  stop and relax and agree to try again later and take it slower.

And of course – Yes, you can get STDs your first time. Yes, a girl can get pregnant the first time. And if either one of you is unable to directly say “Yes, I want this.”, Stop. Otherwise, enjoy this part of your evolving relationship with your sexuality.


Making It New

It is rumored that Picasso, arguably one of the most innovative artists of his time, said after seeing ancient cave paintings in France, “We have invented nothing new.” Now, he was musing on his field, artistic expression. But I wonder if the same thing cannot be said for my field, human sexuality.

Clearly we love the headlines that blare, “THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED LIKE THIS BEFORE.” We behave as though we have just discovered BDSM because a popular book features it, that sex toys are a new obsession, that gender-bending is modern. We get worked up and fear-based around the availability of porn and the “new” trend of open relationships. Um, sorry but this is not new. None of this is really as new and innovative as we seem to like to think.

People have been gay, bi, transgender, into being dominated, into looking at images of other people having sex, and by a majority, into multiple sex partners in a lifetime, since humans have been around. Does this disappoint you? I know we get turned on by the new, by a sense that we are transgressing. I don’t want to take the naughty away from you. But…Ah well. Your ancestors shared your interests and desires.

Don’t worry, you can still keep your sex cutting edge. How do you make it feel new? By doing whatever you are doing completely in the present moment. Sure you may have been tied to the bedposts 20 times before, but this time is different. It is different because you are different in this moment. But you have to pay attention, real mindful attention. Don’t picture your Victorian great, great grandpa getting pegged (or maybe do, if that is part of the thrill), it doesn’t matter who has done this before, this time is yours. Each shiver, each throb, each time you catch you partner’s eye, is new to you. It only feels old if you generalize and lose track of the here and now. Don’t just go through the motions getting it done. This is not a check list kind of scenario. Slow down and indulge the details, the unique little aspects that will never happen quite like that ever again.

So enjoy getting nasty out there, if you like. Remember to enjoy it for YOU not for the shock you think it would cause great aunt Matilda. You never know what she got up to. It may not be new, but it can be new to you, and that is enough – in fact, that can be fabulous.