I’ve been flirting with a woman. She’s smart, a grad student in a competitive and demanding field, and has only recently come to appreciate her… kinkier… side. She had a FetLife summer. I can’t quantify that, but she was, she says, “slutty.”
She’s concerned about me, about allowing herself to take from me, to give to me, what it seems increasingly clear she wants to take, to give. She’s worried that, as her numbers mount, as her experience grows, she’ll somehow “ruin” herself for her unnamed future husband.
She muses that this husband – the one she hasn’t yet met – will be vanilla, that he won’t appreciate all (the people) she will have done before him. (Tellingly, one of the first questions she asked me was, “How many women have you had sex with?”)
This notion, that sex taints us, makes us less desirable – particularly for women – is deeply ingrained in our society. But it’s wrong.
Or rather, it’s correct in cultural representations of relationships – art, film,TV – but it’s wrong in reality. In reality, what makes relationships work isn’t an absence of experience, it’s a presence of skills and self-knowledge.
I’m, honestly, a much better husband for my dozens (or more) of partners. I know my wants and needs intimately. I communicate them infinitely better than I once did (though still only slightly better than passably). And I’m better – in bed, in life.
While I’m sure my path wasn’t the best one, there is a lesson in it, even for the vanilla: shame is toxic, and utter familiarity with one’s wants, needs, desires is strongly predictive of one’s ability to have a healthy, happy, loving, relationship.
Which is all to say, she really should suck my cock. (Don’t you think?)