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May 20, 2011 / tallulahspankhead

Not that Into You (Or maybe I am, you could just ask)

A friend linked to this on Facebook, and it got me thinking. I am going to ignore the misogynist, ableist, and homophobic language in the post, because that’s not what I started thinking about.(Well, not initially.)

There’s a massive industry built around teaching women (and men) how to be good partners, the perfect date, the most amazing wife, a better lover. It’s one of those situations where we can’t win (and there’s many) because the books teach us to be happily alone, perfectly available, and alluringly aloof. So much of the advice that’s around (He’s Just Not That Into You, I am looking at you) denies women any agency over their relationships, preferring to assume that all women want is marriage and babies, and that we are so desperate for them we’ll sacrifice ourselves for that goal.

I recently had a conversation with another friend, who described herself as a “bit of a prude”. (Another way we can’t win – you’re either a prude or a slut, there’s no inbetween.) The money quote: “I think anywhere other than the bed is dirty”.  I think maybe it’s just because I have mostly extremely liberal friends, but I had forgotten what it is like to talk to someone who really does like it Vanilla. (I am not hugely fond of that term, but it is 6am, and I can’t think of anything better.) But when she talked about her partner, and how they liked it, I was a little jealous. Because they know what each other likes, and they are comfortable together.

Because really, that’s all the sex advice I am going to give you. Hah! I bet you were expecting a bullet point list of titillating tricks and advice, right? No. Tallulah’s definitive guide to sex and relationships boils down to two words: Be Yourself.

Listen. Be kind. (Unless you’re specifically asked not to be. In which case, be as cruel as you can.) Ask the other person what they like and DO THAT. And darlings, for God’s sake, tell your partner (whether they are there for that night or for the rest of your life), what you like, and ask them to do it. There’s no shame in knowing. There’s no shame in having done it before. Or having not done it before, for that matter. Basically, I’m echoing Dan Savage’s Good Giving and Game here. (And yes, many feminists don’t like him. I’m aware.)

Ask for consent. It doesn’t have to be verbal, and it doesn’t have to be every step of the way, but making sure the other person is ok is a fundamental part of lovin’. If you’re going to do something a little out of the box…it pays to prepare them.

There doesn’t really need to be millions of words written about that. Sure, there’s techniques, positions, tricks and toys, but what it all boils down to, is finding someone who is willing to give you what you want. But first, you have to know what that is. We’re all different, and we all find different things attractive.

Three last points. First, be safe. Second, The advice from Mr Godek to “try to make love as quickly as you possibly can. Time yourselves! Try to improve on your time every few months” is unlikely to ever win you a repeat performance. I have never heard anyone say “we had the most amazing sex last night. It was so quick!”.

And lastly, from Tallulah herself, a quote that works on a number of levels, if you put your mind to it:

“I’ll come and make love to you at five o’clock. If I’m late start without me.”

[Want more advice? I actually do know some tricks. Send me your questions here.]

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23 Comments

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  1. Deborah / May 20 2011 1:30 pm

    “I think anywhere other than the bed is dirty”

    Oh! I think of myself as being quite conservative really, and possibly even on the prudish side, but going by this, perhaps I’m not.

    • Isabel / May 20 2011 3:31 pm

      I feel like I need to re-draw my mental Vanilla-to-Kink scale just to incorporate that statement.

      • tallulahspankhead / May 20 2011 4:53 pm

        I should point out she didn’t mean dirty = bad. Just…adventurous.

  2. Deborah / May 20 2011 8:22 pm

    Also, I have to say that the great outdoors is… great, really.

    • tallulahspankhead / May 20 2011 9:29 pm

      That’s why your lawn is so well mowed?

    • @missannajane / May 23 2011 10:39 am

      A HUGE fan of the outdoors. Happy sigh.

      • tallulahspankhead / May 23 2011 11:37 am

        I am actually not that big a fan of the outdoors. I might be kinky, but I am not at all exhibitionist. A little bit of snogging, and maybe a tiny bit of groping is as far as I would go, anywhere in public. (Which is not to say a secluded spot, somewhere out of public notice, wouldn’t go amiss.)

      • @missannajane / May 23 2011 5:20 pm

        This is where hiking (I was going to say ‘bushwalking’) is fun.

      • Isabel / May 23 2011 5:49 pm

        I lost my virginity in one of our glorious national parks. It was….rather less romantic than one might have hoped.

      • tallulahspankhead / May 23 2011 6:48 pm

        I lost mine in the back of a combi van. I have no recollection of it whatsoever.

      • Isabel / May 23 2011 11:31 pm

        That is ungood 😦

      • tallulahspankhead / May 24 2011 10:52 am

        It was a (frighteningly) long time ago. I was with the boy for some time. While part of me wishes I had a memory other than a lot of vodka, I’m mostly OK with it. I have enough memories of bad sex to be going on with.

  3. Isabel / May 21 2011 4:31 pm

    Admittedly, after years of co-sleeping kids, doing it in my own bed feels like an exotic luxury.

  4. @missannajane / May 23 2011 10:38 am

    The Miss Anna Jane guide to Good Sex? Practice makes perfect, and get over your hangups. No one actually is as handsome/pretty/ugly/odd looking as they think. We’re all just humans. We enjoy mating. Well, except the asexuals.

  5. dragonfly / May 23 2011 11:37 am

    It is possible for a man to be far too forthcoming with what he likes, I must add. One hedonistic evening at one of the McKenzie cocktail emporiums, I was asked to go home with a German software developer from a well known Wellington film company, to an apartment in Miramar.

    The sex was ok, I was quite drunk, and had fun. Until he suggested a second encounter, involving me wearing a strap on.

    I’m all for one night stands, but really men, save mentioning the REALLY kinky stuff until you gain a little bit of trust?

    There’s other ways to dominate and be dominated which don’t involve talking about how you enjoyed anal sex with your ex-girlfriend.

    Awkward.

    • tallulahspankhead / May 23 2011 11:59 am

      Yeah, that kind of thing (not that there’s absolutely anything wrong with it, between consenting adults) really needs to wait until you have a ‘relationship’. By which I don’t mean “partners”, but you need to have established boundaries and trust.

      I like to be…restrained…but I would _never_ let someone do that I didn’t have trust in. Which you don’t get from some drunken fumbles in the stairwell of Hawthorn.

      • dragonfly / May 23 2011 12:35 pm

        Regardless of how attractive the man looks after one too many Gin and Tonics. I think the best lovers I’ve had have enjoyed the female form, and taken their time. Which isn’t to say I don’t like crazy drunken, against the bedroom door/wall/kitchen table/desk sex. There is something to be said for beautifully languid touching for a very, very long time though.

      • tallulahspankhead / May 23 2011 12:49 pm

        Oh, but up against the kitchen wall….sigh. (blushes)

        The best sex I have ever had (but not actually the best lover) was in a swimming pool. It was…yes, languid is a good word for it.

  6. dragonfly / May 23 2011 1:11 pm

    I find water needs extra lubrication. But at night, with good lighting (good lighting is VERY important for beautiful sex, men, please take note), sex in water is DIVINE.

  7. Isabel / May 23 2011 2:18 pm

    Best sex ever? For me it’s always had a degree of emotional intensity. Not necessarily the “twoo wuv” variety, although that can be wonderful, but the urgent reconnection you have after time apart (or a period of abstinence) or the slow, sad sex you have trying to comfort each other in times of grief or the time when my lover and I lay in each others arms laughing at the ridiculousness of a universe that could lead us into this bed together.

    • tallulahspankhead / May 23 2011 2:38 pm

      Yes, my example was “loving” in that it was actually us saying goodbye, one of the many times we said goodbye.

      I don’t hold to the belief that you need to be in love to have good sex, at all. But certainly, the intimacy that comes with love gives it a different dimension.

      • dragonfly / May 23 2011 5:22 pm

        Love and sex has almost given me out of body experiences at times. “Does the body rule the mind or does the mind rule the body”, indeed…

  8. Melimalle / May 26 2011 11:24 pm

    This has nothing to do with the content of the link but next time you link to something that links to other hilarious things that end up waste three hours of my night, please place a warning! =D

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