Added: Kasandra William - Date: 21.09.2021 15:08 - Views: 26376 - Clicks: 5150
For someone who lost their virginity quite late in their teens, sex in my 20s has been a revelation. That sense of camaraderie. Thanks to the internet it does feel like there is a tangible change in the freedom women of my generation are able to have in their sex life. When I turned 20, I broke up with a boyfriend and invested in two vibrators in the hope of achieving the elusive internal orgasm. I had absolutely no success. It was more than two years later before I learned the reason why some women consistently come through penetrative sex is due to their anatomy — their clitoris is physically closer to their vaginal opening.
Pansexuality — attraction not limited by gender or sex — and gender fluidity might be the future: love who you love and fuck who you fuck without the need for binary labels, unless you want them. More of my female friends are coming out as gay, queer, bi or trans, too. But although sex in your 20s can be wild and fun, with little judgment from your friends if you — like me — decide to sleep with your weird Tinder date who had a major problem with eye contact, or, in fact, decide to not have sex with anyone at all, insecurities are still rife.
I have hope for the sex life of my generation. And figures show that rates of STIs among women begin to fall sharply between the ages of 25 and 29 while men, who have far lower rates between the ages of 15 and 19, overtake women at this age. Maybe in my 30s. When I began my 30s, I did not watch porn and had no interest in it. I internet dated, but I never made overt references to sex on the platforms I used. I ignored sexually explicit overtures and presented myself as looking for a serious relationship rather than sex.
My goal for my sexual life was long-term monogamous commitment. During the time that such a relationship eluded me, I settled for shorter liaisons. They would end, usually not by statements but by als: longer delays between text messages. I occasionally went home with friends after nights out.
I had an IUD and was lax about condoms. I was not much into sexting. I sometimes masturbated with a vibrator, never while watching porn. I was hung up on an ex-boyfriend. I went to many weddings. When I did not envy the professions of love I doubted them. I made fun of post-religious wedding rituals, but felt the warmth of participation. I thought couples in sexually open relationships were either naive or self-destructive.
I read about the time limits of my fertility. I had sexual freedom, and I did not value it. How much perfunctory sex between half-interested people could one life contain? How much rejection? I began this inquiry as a journalist, which was convenient as I could continue to think of myself as a sexually unadventurous person who longed for monogamy at the same time as I sought out people who had pursued the maximum possibilities of the contemporary sexual paradigm. I met with BDSM pornographers and a group that practised a clitoris-centred technique called orgasmic meditation.
I interviewed a group of polyamorists who worked at Google. Within the first year of this research, the journalism project began to affect me. I learned from the orgasmic meditators about how I received sexual overtures with anxiety, and I practised acknowledging the presence of sexuality in everyday interactions, which in turn made it easier to meet people who I wanted to have sex with.
Watching the pornographers made me more proud of my body. I understood it was the mere fact of bodies and their exposure that was stimulating, that the bodies did not need to look like those in magazines. I began to value the sexual freedom I had lamented before, to feel fortunate to have it.
The opposite happened. I felt an opening-up as I learned more about possibilities that I had naively assumed were not for me. I am no longer scared of ending up alone. Sex in my 30s has been better than the sex that preceded it. I feel certain of my body. It is easier to meet people because I am no longer shy about expressing sexual interest in the people I like, although I was lucky, this year, to meet someone I love. We are together with long-term plans, and both interested in how to live as a couple and as two people who value sexual inquiry, honesty and authenticity.
I am not as young as I was, but I feel young still, and I look forward to the sexual experiences still available for discovery. Sex in my 40s is unquestionably the best of my life. I am strong and hungry. I knew my sexual power as a year-old — how funny and how silly it was to watch grown-up men shake with a shrug of my adolescent shoulder. That power sometimes felt great, but suddenly realising it as a teenage girl is like putting in a car and expecting that child to drive along a motorway.
It can be lethal. That pressure to appear sexy was monumental, and meant being, at the very least, orgasmic. Never mind that I very rarely got there. I was adept at faking as that made the man I was having sex with happy. The subterfuge I went through, making myself come, alone, in the bathroom after his main event was over, now seems insane. A shrink helped me unravel the muddle in my head that I had got into around always hoping to please while also being in control. Then I finally understood that when really I let go, my pleasure and power would increase.
I met the man who is now my second husband when I was 34, and I knew instantly there was something different about how desire could feel and sex might be with him, because of my overriding desire to listen to his voice. Of course, I also wanted to lick every drop of sweat from his body, but it started when we talked. Performance and looking sexy was irrelevant when my mind, in his hands, had become sex itself.
Seven years later I am now 41 and, oh, the sex is still fantastic. Fidelity and commitment feel like the ultimate ride when these orgasms are the spoils of that labour! But there is a rub. Our feet are pressed hard on the accelerators of work.
And we have five children — two teenagers from my first marriage, then three more, who are now four, two and six months. I have never really planned any pregnancy, but none of this was accidental, either. And sex when conception is a possibility is different from regular shagging. Getting back to it after another baby is born sometimes feels like clearing out the attic. It seems exhausting and messy and unnecessary when you contemplate it, but then you get started and suddenly you want to move into the attic and lock the door and just lie there naked all the time.
This makes me happier, and generally when I am happy, sex is better, more generous, more uninhibited. Of course, through all this conception and pregnancy, my body does not always work as I want it to. I have had three miscarriages among my pregnancies, and two horrible bouts of postnatal depression that were far more agonising than childbirth was and lasted months, not a few hours. When sex is about reproduction rather than purely recreation, the loving and hurting are bound very close together; few people have a completely easy ride through conception.
Most of us who want children at this age will have had to manage some degree of disappointment or sadness. Miscarriage and postnatal depression hurt a lot, but so does the uncertainty of IVF or traumatic childbirth, for example. The consolation is love, if you can hold on to it. The demands of our life also mean there is absolutely no slack. I know about the theory of date nights and scheduling sex. But achieving those things is often impossible, because when the unholy trinity of a work deadline, the school play and having sex are all vying for my attention, then sex will always be — has to be — the thing that falls to the bottom of the list.
This is frustrating. Sometimes I sit on the sofa as the kids come in, each with their own version of breaking news that needs my absolute attention, and feel as flat as a piece of paper. My elder children are 13 and 16 so I know that all these things do finally pass. But my fear is that by then another life test will rear up oh menopause I hear you galloping up behind me and right now I want more sex.
I want a lot more than my life gives me at the moment. I felt a shiver of shame recently, noticing the well-honed curve of a bicep and olive-skinned perfection of a theatre companion. Sex in our 50s? We are way too busy trying to save our marriages, panicking about our financial futures and wondering how to keep our jobs post In youth sex is an adventure. Could that driving force post puberty, the all-consuming passion that kept us in bed all day and up all night be one of the devastating losses to be endured along the road?
If so, those now hazy decades past of coupling take on an entirely new pallor. Dirty deeds, rather than regrets appear time well invested in anticipation of the perceived desert of passionless middle-age. Your once-favoured pastime loses status in your 50s, becoming an also-ran in the steeplechase of life, or, more corrosively, a battleground, where daily skirmishes are played out. The minor irritations and major annoyances of an enduring relationship all find expression in the bedroom with the regularity, or infrequency, of your love-making, serving as a rough guide to the state of your union.
The satisfying, unifying rewards of making love — increased intimacy, better sleep, less stress — become a treat to be traded rather than a part of our daily routine. I think I just praised sex as a sleep aid. I must be getting old.
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He was 39; she was Too young for sex?