I’m finally onto the second season of Sex Education; honestly one of my favourite shows (no surprises there perhaps *cheeky laugh*). There is another glorious depiction of the joys of discovering masturbation, this time with Otis, the lead character. Otis finally embraces his constant erections in episode 1 of season 2, by wanking the hell out of his cock day or night, in virtually any situation. Just like character Aimee when she discovers what she actually likes during sex via the tool of masturbation, we get to see beautiful depictions of a natural and normal activity that is very much part of growing up.
A little bit of penis science: Otis’ erections may be one of 3 types: nocturnal (erections occur many times (4-6) during sleep, regardless of arousal levels), reflexogenic (via light touch), and psychogenic (via audio-visual stimuli). The theory is with nocturnal erections is that they help to keep the penis healthy. It’s kinda like regular exercise for it, even if it’s not used regularly (but… why? WTF? Oh….hello religious beliefs).
Anyway, all these depictions of first-time masturbation then of Otis and Ola’s attempt to lose their virginity got me thinking.
(Prior to exploring that, I do have a bit of an issue with the concept of ‘losing’ ones virginity. Why is it something to be lost? Especially when it can’t be ‘found’ again. The English language is so peculiar that way: we say ‘having’ sex when really we are doing-sex. We say ‘giving’ birth when really we are birthing. We seem to mix up nouns with verbs although (and I freely admit to using Google to clarify this; high school English was a long time ago for me), although ‘having’ I believe, can be both, dependent on its use in a sentence. But fuck, that’s not the point!).
(And let’s not even go there in regards to a females’ virginity and the selling of or taking of, or whatever else is misogynistic and religious-bound beliefs and connotations that still exist around the freaking vagina today).
OK, back to the concept of virginity and the breaking or losing or whatever it is we do with it to become non-virgins.
Phew! I need to almost brush off and give myself a little shake to stay focused on what clearly is a fraught topic…
So, virginity. And all the terror and excitement that goes along with deciding or wanting to lose it. (I’m just gonna use those words for the sake of ease and familiarity; don’t judge me). Fuck I would love to hear other peoples’ stories about first-time sex and first-time masturbation. And then about how they perceived these events and the effect – if any – they had on subsequent sexual behaviours.
Was losing your virginity an amazing thing?
What is pleasureable?
Was it painful?
Drunk? Sober? Stoned? High?
Consensual or non-consensual?
Fun? Exciting? Filled with communication and laughter?
Quiet? Sneaky? Quick?
Daytime or nighttime? Where?
What happened after with that person?
What happened after your first orgasm? How did you discover masturbation?
How did you feel before, during and after first-time masturbation (to orgasm) and first-time sex?
Did it change you? Surprise you? Disappoint you? Shock you? Shame you?
Were you in a relationship? Dating? A one-night stand?
Did you speak to the person again?
Did you have any regrets? What would you change if you could?
I could go on….
Sexuality and in particular emerging sexuality is such a beautiful thing. Exciting, delightful, profound, frightening, confusing and potentially shame-filled. First-time experiences can shape us too, consciously or otherwise.
Where do these first-time experiences live in your mind now? Are they long forgotten and only bought to mind when reading something like this or being asked about it?
How have they been integrated into your life and sexuality, and later sexual experiences? Did you let them define you? Why…? How?
First-time sexual experiences with self and other can have deep and lasting impacts on us as we continue to grow into adults. From these experiences, beliefs are formed. Beliefs that might now be radically different to what you thought prior to these sexual experiences. Or, perhaps they confirmed what you already suspected – because why else would people be so fucking obsessed with sex if it wasn’t amazing?
But what if it wasn’t? What if those first few experiences were crushingly disappointed and alarming? Or worse, abusive and/or traumatic?
Then you have to wonder what all the fuss is about. And you may have been left with a psychological scar from those experiences.
When things fuck up and we don’t deal with them there and then, we tend to bury them deep inside. We avoid the memories, kidding ourselves that it didn’t matter anyway. We search for better experiences or search for ways to confirm that we deserved what we got.
Hello fucked-up sexuality and disturbed and distorted sexual experiences.
This is when ignoring of the body (especially the vagina if you have one) begins. Where you start saying yes when you want to say no. When your body says no. When you force things anyway, or get wasted to shut-up the little voice inside that is yelling at you that this is not supposed it’s how to be.
Maybe I’m being a little over dramatic here.
Maybe most peoples’ first time sexual encounters alone and then with another person were a bit weird, awkward and fumbling, but overall, ok. If this was the case for you, high five!! Perhaps things went as ‘smoothly’ as they could; stumbling along as clueless teenagers (or whatever age you were) together. Perhaps there was laughter and sobriety and communication.
Which is just a fantastic way to start off when you’re frankly quite terrified of the whole darn sex thing.
After these sex first-time experiences, there are many, many more first-times experiences to be had outside of sex, of course. And regarding sex, there are hopefully hundreds or thousands of more opportunities throughout ones lifetime to overcome early fuck-ups and distorted beliefs about sex and sexuality.
Because real pleasure can do that – it can deeply heal. It can overcome earlier events that initially fucked us up. But we always have the power and choice to reshape ourselves. To begin to use pleasure as a tool, and a healing one at that.
Find your way through the labyrinth of sexuality and your body. Let pleasure heal you. Find yourself through your pleasure. Use it to recover from the past and reshape your pleasure-future.
We’re not bound by our pasts and the experiences that live there. They may alter us and create memories we’d rather not have, but we cannot change them. Remember that all we have is now and that therein is our own power.
Cliched but true.
Choose pleasure as your partner in self-healing. Choose beautiful sexual well-being.
It’s your birthright.