What is it about sex that makes us simultaneously so full of bravado, and still so completely insecure? Sex is the magic subject that makes us pull out our most outrageous stories, where we have done this incredibly sexy and insane thing that is so sexy and insane it makes everyone totally jealous. You have done such hot things and made some wild maneuvers which are likely to make Hugh Hefner’s old, old Viagra-ridden heart just wheeze, cough and expire. Your techniques are astonishing, and you have been told, in confidence–more than once, in fact!–that you are the best lover in the history of lovers, your mouth belongs in a museum, and every word of every story is so totally true. Everyone is a goddamn maestro in the sack, without room for improvement.
What is it about the possibility of being criticized when it comes to sex? What makes us bristle at the idea that we could be taught something, learn something, improve something? God forbid it be suggested that our skills may be, possibly, could be somehow just the teeniest, tiniest, just the ittiest-bit lacking in some very small way, that our performance–though admittedly stellar!–could even be improved, that anyone in the world could possibly improve upon our own special techniques, that you may have done something off, or uncomfortable, or a little awkward, or even wrong.
The idea that we might be not be spectacularly mind-blowing is just
humiliating, isn’t it? Does the thought that someone might tell their
friends I don’t know what the hell she thought she was doing, but I felt like a goddamn brindle cow
make you flush with shame, cringe and squirm? I suspect the reason that
it is all but impossible to really think of our sexual prowess in
rational, reasonable, realistic terms is self-preservation. It’s
already hard enough psychologically, to be naked in bed with someone.
Arguably, you are at your most vulnerable, when you’re exposing
yourself physically, which makes you emotionally vulnerable, which
makes you a little crazy. Intimacy is kind of nuts, isn’t it? You’re
just leaving yourself open, and anything can walk in, and it’s
dangerous enough as it is–your mind is just protecting you from
further potential harm, right? Sounds reasonable to me
thinking about this because I came across a forum thread the other day,
about the worst blow jobs members had ever gotten, and the thought that
someone might have ever said something like that about me, or even
thought it about me–I was surprised by how much that idea bothered me.
I wanted to call up everyone I had ever been in bed with and say hey,
so, seriously. You have to tell me. Was I really any good? Were you
just being polite? Am I secretly all-thumbs McGee when it comes to
doing it? You don’t understand–I need to know.
need to know. I am going to trust that I don’t suck (in a bad way! ha
ha! hi, I’m a 12 year old boy!) when I’ve got someone making satisfied
noises and coming back for more. I am always going to Do My Best, and
always try to top myself. So to speak. But I am going to argue that no
one really needs to know exactly the level of their expertise, and
should not try to find out. Sure, open and honest communication about
what you want and like and need in bed. But please, let’s not talk
rankings and room for improvement, because that can just get ugly for