Tag Archives: sex ed

SEX ED | STDs are normal, the end.

2017-09-02 12.29.17

SEX ED | STDs are normal, the end.

never had an STD? cool. 
had one, a few, many? also cool.

so many of my friends boast about never getting an STD, usually not forgetting to mention their head count. i’ve heard it so many times. but let me tell you, hun, you’re not getting a medal for that from me, nah. i mean, it’s definitely a step forward that it’s now more and more common to discuss STDs casually, but i’m not buying all that “look how clean i am” shit, sorry.

because, ultimately, STDs are just illnesses you can catch at any time of your life, just like a flu or mono or whatever. each body reacts differently, and some are more prone to getting ill, some are not. it has nothing to do with who you sleep with, how many people you sleep with and so on. it’s all about coincidence, mostly. and just let me repeat it one more time – the number of your sexual partners does not determine the likeliness of you getting an STD. you can get an STD even after your first sexual encounter.

another thing is, while you might think you’ve never had any STD, chances are you actually have. just because you’ve never experienced an outbreak of symptoms, it doesn’t mean you’ve always been STD-free! so many STDs can stay dormant in your body for years or can cause minimum of symptoms you simply disdain as something normal. unless you get tested regularly, you cannot be sure. and no, a regular gyno checkup is usually not enough.

“but i always use condoms and i bet those people who get STDs don’t!” 
again, shush. sure, condoms are very important in minimizing the risk of getting/transmitting STDs, but they’re not almighty. for example, there are STDs that can get transferred even through the genital area not covered by condoms, such as syphilis, herpes, HPV. speaking of HPV, it is probably the most common “secret” STD people have which is, at the same time, incredibly easy to transmit. all Czechs will probably remember this huge campaign promoting the vaccination against HPV in early 2010s urging everyone with a cervix to get vaccinated asap to prevent cervical cancer (funnily enough, i don’t recall it ever mentioning what the actual cause—an STD—of the cancer was) – well, what they forgot to mention was that the vaccination used in CZ, and in many other countries, was only effective against a few specific strains of HPV but not for all of them. and, what’s more, it is usually pretty common to only use condoms for P-in-V penetrative sex, but STDs can be transmitted even through your mouth too…

it might sound scary, but it really isn’t. we’re brainwashed into thinking that STDs are disgusting, based on the doctrine that our genitals are something dirty and filthy. i guess that’s just some old-age propaganda which attempted to keep people religious, subordinate and sheepish instead of actually enjoying themselves by engaging in sex play. our genitals are nothing scary or disgusting. they’re supposed to secrete fluids (just like our armpits do with sweat), they’re supposed to have a specific smell (again, just like sweat), they’re supposed to be prone to get ill (just like every other body part does).

getting an STD does not make you impure. it does not make you irresponsible. it does not make you stupid. it does not make you a whore or a slut or a fuckboy or whatever. it does not make you any less.

when someone tries to prove how clean, responsible or sex-educated they are by taking pride in never getting an STD, they automatically imply that having an STD is indeed something bad. something to be ashamed of. and through that, they further perpetuate the stigma around sex, they victim-blame, they slut-shame. and that is definitely not right. the whole discussion around STDs needs to be reframed from promoting sexual abstinence and claiming that condoms solve all (and if you don’t use them, you’re a bad, silly, untrustworthy person), we need to focus in normalizing the whole experience, because only then will people feel ok about getting tested, about receiving a proper treatment and it will possible to deal with STD outbreaks, which are still common.

so, repeat after me: STDs are normal. 
STDs are (pretty much) inevitable.
STDs happen. life goes on.
you’re not better if you’ve never had one, you’re not worse if you’ve had.

SEX ED | in defense of masturbation

2017-03-01 13.18.44-1

SEX ED | in defense of masturbation

even though it seems like we’re experiencing a sex revolution of sorts, what’s really being liberated is mostly “sex with someone”, and not “sex with oneself”. even today, masturbation is still being the topic one’s supposed to feel too awkward to discuss in any form, let alone openly praising it. although sex shops might be springing up on more and more places, sex toys are often marketed as helpers to improve the sex lives of paired, heterosexual individuals (a great part of my Bachelor thesis actually dealt with this phenomenon, and it actually is a practice many sex toy manufacturers openly admit and promote). another issue is the gender inequality in portrayal of masturbation – as you might have noticed, it is pretty common to talk about or even show male masturbation, yet female masturbation seems to be this weird, mystical ritual no one actually really does. the truth is women do masturbate (and non-binary people too, ofc. PEOPLE do masturbate, and that’s the end of it). women watch porn. i do all of it, often and proudly. i even talk about it with my parents, like seriously, they know what my favorite sex toy is, because why the fuck not? as Michel Foucault would say, this stigma around parents and children discussing sex is just a (quite new in fact – a couple of centuries old) social construct.

for me, sex and masturbation are completely different, even though they are, um, executed in the same areas and aim at the same thing. both are here to satisfy a specific need, yet both feel completely different. it’s a bit like eating – when you cook for yourself, you mostly focus on satisfying your hunger, and from time to time you like to try new recipes and treat yourself. you know what you like, and you usually go for that. it’s about satisfying a certain need you would survive without. whereas having sex with someone else is more of an event, kind of like preparing a dinner or going to a nice restaurant. it’s nice, but you can live without that, kinda (again, that’s my own view of things). you’re still eating and enjoying it, but it’s the other factors that make it so special, and the whole setting makes it more of an experience. see where i’m heading? having sex with someone and masturbating might be the same at its core, but sex has all these added factors that differentiate it completely.

another thing is that through masturbation, detached from its “oh it’s pathetic and for losers only” stigma, it might be way easier for many people to test new things and push their boundaries. now i’m gonna get very specific and personal, so buckle up – not a long time ago i had my first experience with anal play and really liked it, but did not really enjoy straight up anal penetration. so i bought some toys and decided to test it myself, and figured i actually loved it, but needed some time to explore this part of my body and to get to know my own limits. to get back to my eating metaphor, sometimes you want to try new things but are afraid you might not like it or don’t want to spend a fortune on it in a restaurant, so you buy it in the store, google a recipe and test it on your own. and then you might realise you love that ingredient or that specific dish, and wanna try it more and perhaps with some other people and in a nice setting. and that’s like saying “hey, let’s try anal” with a partner (or partners). but also, who says you have to try anything with someone else if you satisfy yourself just fine? why have bad sex with someone who doesn’t even care that much (now i’m hinting at bad one-night-stands etc.) when you can have a great orgasm thanks to your own hand or one of the little lovely and helpful toys that are so easy to buy now? or, why pay for a shitty fast food meal when you can buy some nice ingredients and cook yourself a nice dinner?

by the way, here’s a concept related to that thought – what if i told you that “virginity” was just a very sexist social construct and that those with a hymen don’t actually need to have a penis shoved up their vaginas, but could use a sex toy to lose their imaginary holy virginity by themselves? wow, right? (and also, what if we took a bit more time to discuss the whole heterosexist nature of the concept of virginity which devalues any other forms of sexual experience? would you be up for that?)

anyway, before i get totally lost in metaphors and various related critical theories, let me get back to my main point. there is nothing wrong with masturbation, quite the opposite. masturbation has been proven to be incredibly helpful in improving one’s self esteem and body image, and, surprise surprise, as a way to prevent unwanted pregnancy and STDs (oh yeah, here’s another wild concept – masturbation can basically be a sexual act you do with, or—rather—in front of, someone). it’s a great way to explore one’s body and to figure out what you might like. it is by no means something to be ashamed of doing, and definitely not something “only losers” do. it is natural, normal, helpful, and in certain ways, educative. it’s self-care and self-love.

SEX ED | on pro-sex activism

TW: sex, rape, sex work, porn, promiscuity

photo by Miruna Sorescu, Kotryna Abaravičiūtė and me for our ‘Pornification’ project


SEX ED | on pro-sex activism

i have spoken about it already, but i just wanted to give you all a little heads up again:

pro-sex (or sex-positive) activism should not be only about embracing the positive aspects of having sex and ditching any stigma surrounding casual/promiscuous sex.

being pro-sex, or “sexually liberated” as many like to call themselves, does not mean you are enlightened and entitled to judge anyone who does not practice the same lifestyle as you.

pro-sex activism should encompass both vanilla and kinky sex, monogamous and polygamous and promiscuous and any other kind of sex. it should be for those who fuck on the first date and those who don’t fuck once in their life. it should include casual sex and sexting and unusual sex and care for the right state of porn industry and sex work as well as discussions about sexual trauma and demi-/auto-/asexuality and rape and how the internalized hetero sex narratives fail all the sides.

most of all, pro-sex activism should aim to destigmatize and embrace ALL KINDS of sex. it should strive to make sex, no matter how or with who performed, a positive and safe experience.

P.S.: remember, no matter what kind(s) of sex you’re having, consent and discussion are the key!

SEX ED | the real sex positivity

TW: sex, gender binary, promiscuity
 photo a_zps2qukwb3g.png
photo by Miruna Sorescu, Kotryna Abaravičiūtė and me for our ‘Pornification’ project


SEX ED | the real sex positivity

hookup culture, one night stands, friends with benefits, Tinder, Grindr,…; all these terms are quite strongly embedded in our modern culture. they are part of the so-called ‘sexual liberation’ of today. while i think that it’s great that we have (somehow) managed to move away from stigmatising sex and promiscuity, i would like to talk about the harms this ‘liberation’ can do.

let me make it clear straight from the beginning – i do not want to criticise promiscuity, not at all. it’s each individual’s own decision whether/how/with who they want to engage in a sexual, um, whatever and everyone else should mind their own business. what i want to address here is how this ‘sexual liberation’, often interchanged with ‘sex positivity’, can actually only liberate one group of sexually active people, while oppressing the other.

‘sex positivity’ is often presented as the opposite of the ‘old-fashioned’ sex-after-marriage, if-you-have-more-than-one-partner-it’s-too-much idea. somehow, it has transformed into an ideology which only embraces one attitude towards sex; that is the promiscuous, care-free, i-do-it-for-the-pleasure, no-strings-attached idea. while i cannot stress that the action (= flamboyant sex life) is completely ok, the attitude (= ‘this is the right way to approach sex’) is wrong. first of all, it completely forgets about the fact that there are people who are demi-/asexual, suffer from past trauma/gender dysphoria/body conditions (e.g. vaginismus) etc. which makes it difficult for them to have sex and simply people who wish to be in long-term monogamous sex relationship based on a bit more than just bodily attraction; and that all these approaches to sex are completely legit and should be embraced too. unfortunately, this isn’t really happening in real life; and people who do not wish to engage in the promiscuity are humiliated for being ‘too prude’, ‘judgemental’ and what not. this creates a funny contrast: those who have been shamed for being promiscuous now shame those who aren’t like that, which, in the end, leads nowhere near liberation as it simply creates another way of oppression. 

we all know that many of our acts are fuelled by the need to be approved and liked by the society, and in many cases, we might adjust our behaviour to ‘fit in’. there are many people who present this way of ‘sex positivity’ as the ‘new normal’ and openly voice an opinion that if you’re not into that, you’re boring/weird/not cool (side note – these people are also called assholes), which creates a very strong social pressure and can trick people into doing something they don’t like/want to just to follow the norm. this is a very harmful way of manipulation – no one should ever make you do things by belittling your personality and own opinions.

simply put, there is no right or wrong attitude towards having sex; and sex positivity should embrace all those diverse ways people approach their own sex lives. we should not pressure anyone into any specific attitude towards having sex, because sexuality, same as gender, is different for each and every one, and all is valid when it comes to that.

make sure to check out this great comic which perfectly sums up what i just wrote!

SEX ED | stds

TW: sex, birth control, STDs, genitals

 photo 2016-05-11 17.28.23_zpsmv7cjuqc.jpg

SEX ED | stds

i know, i know – sexually transmitted diseases (aka STDs) are not particularly something you want to be reading about in your free time, but since the standards of sex ed in most countries are below the low, it’s exactly what you should be doing right now.

i started investigating the topic when i decided to focus on STD prevention for a school project; and have been annoying my friends with warnings and scary facts whenever we discuss our sex/love lives ever since. it always surprises me how little knowledge many young people have of the issue, and how much of a mysterious no-no topic it is for many. that’s why i decided to write this very brief summary of important info about the most common STDs. i am no doctor/specialist, so all the info you can find here is based on my own Internet research and talking to my gynaecologist. still, it’s better than nothing, right?

first, we need to bust a couple of myths:
‘only promiscuous people get STDs’
no, no, NO. sure, the more people you have sex with, the more exposed you are to the nasty bacteria and viruses, but literally anyone can get an STD, regardless of how many partners they sleep/have slept with. STDs also don’t pick between sexes, genders, sexualities, races etc., so no one is really safer than others.
‘STDs can only be transmitted during penetrative sex’
oral sex, and even rubbing genitals against each other can also transmit STDs. you can even get chlamydia in your throat, so… again, you can reduce the risk during fellatios (aka blowjobs) by using condoms.
‘if i don’t see any symptoms on my body, i’m fine’ or ‘i should only get tested when there’s something wrong with me’
if only it was that easy! the symptoms don’t always appear, so you might go years with the infection in your body without showing any signs. furthermore, the incubation time differs with each disease, so it might take a long time before anything comes up.
‘getting diagnosed with an STD is already really embarrassing, i should not tell anyone else’
first of all, STDs are not embarrassing. they happen, they are normal, time to move on now. secondly, it is important to tell your current and ex partners you have been diagnosed to prevent further spreading of the disease.
‘if i use condoms, i’m completely safe’
some STDs, like HPV for example, can infect even those areas you cannot cover with a condom, therefore the risk of transmission is still there! also, condoms are not always used correctly, which also reduces their protective ability.
‘if i get an STD, my (sex) life is over’
most STDs can be treated, or at least all the unpleasant symptoms (like itching, warts, discharge) can be rid of. you might have to refrain from sex for the time you get your treatment, but that is not forever. however, if you know you are still infectious (= when you have been diagnosed with HPV, HIV or herpes), you need to inform your partners prior to the intercourse.
‘STDs are disgusting, filthy and definitely not normal’
STDs are the most normal thing, literally. majority of people will have one (or more) at some point of their lives, often undiagnosed. sorry to break it for you, but if you get one, you’re not special : )
‘if i get the Cervarix vaccine, i don’t need to worry about HPV anymore’
sadly, no. Cervarix, the vaccine mostly used in the Czech Rep, only protects against the HPV strains 16 and 18, which are the most common to blame for cervical cancer, but does not protect you against genital warts caused by HPV 4 and 9. Gardasil and Gardasil 9, similar vaccines that are also available on the market, can protect you against most kinds of warts – however, there’s still lots of strains no vaccine will protect you against.
now that we sorted that out, let’s get to all the things you should do to prevent STDs:
get tested
and not only after an unprotected cheeky session or when you feel like there’s something wrong with your genitals. get tested regularly. as i’ve said before, it takes a while for some diseases to incubate, so it’s better to get tested every now and then to be 100% sure.
talk about sexual health with your partners
make sure you know about the STD records of your current partner(s) and inform them about your own sexual health. if you’re unsure of someone’s health, always use protection; if they refuse to do so, back out – better safe than sorry!
protect yourself
as i just said: always protect yourself with partners about whose sexual health you cannot be 100% sure. if they refuse to do so, refuse to have sex with them, as easy as that.
educate yourself
keep yourself informed about all the diseases and, pretty please, educate the others!
keep your toys clean
if you share sex toys with your partners, don’t forget to take proper care of them and clean them after each use – they can transmit diseases too.
let’s do a quick summary of the most common STDs you can come across now:
– bacterial infection which can infect vagina/penis/cervix/urethra/eye/throat
– symptoms include abnormal discharge, painful urinating, swelling, bleeding
– often has no symptoms!
– if untreated, it can lead to problems with fertility in women
incubation time: 5–14 days
transmission: vaginal/anal/oral sex
symptoms: discharge from penis/vagina, burning pain when urinating, pain/swelling in testicles, rectal pain, bleeding
how is it tested: urine samples, swabs from genitalia
curable*: yes (but repeated infection is common)
do condoms protect: yes
(however, a mother can transmit it to an unborn child!)
(* ‘curable’ means if the body gets fully rid of the bacteria/virus)
– ‘the clap’
– the most common symptoms are abnormal (smelling) discharge and painful urinating
– symptoms might only appear after the infection has spread to other body parts
– if left untreated, it can cause reduced fertility in all sexes
incubation time: 2–5 days (sometimes up to 30 days)
transmission: vaginal/anal/oral sex, very close physical contact (not that common)
symptoms: discharge, pain/burning sensation when urinating, irritation, tenderness, itching
how is it tested: urine samples, swabs from genitalia
curable: yes
do condoms protect: yes
– two types: HSV-1 and HSV-2
– often shows up as sores and blisters on genitalia and/or mouth
– the symptoms can be treated but keep on recurring for the rest of the life
incubation time: 2–15 days
transmission: vaginal/anal/oral sex, kissing, touching affected areas
HSV-1: cold sores, blisters
HSV-2: can have no symptoms for many; genital pain, flu-like symptoms, red bumps around the genitals or mouth, later developing into crusty, painful blisters
how is it tested: blood tests, swabs from the sores
curable: no; symptoms can be treated be often reoccur
do condoms protect: yes; however, (oral) contact with the sores can transmit the disease
– bacterial infection causing open sores
– has 3 stages throughout which the symptoms are spreading over the body
– if untreated, it can cause serious damage to mental health and the brain and nerves
incubation time: 1 week – 3 months
transmission: vaginal/anal/oral sex, intimate touching/kissing
1st stage (3 weeks after exposure): painless ulcers (or ‘chancres’) (in mouth or rectum)
2nd stage (weeks/months later): spreading sores, rash, sore throat, loss of energy, hair loss
3rd stage (1 year – decades later, very rare these days): arthritis, damaged brain, nerves, heart, liver,…
how is it tested: blood tests, if a sore has already appeared > swab tests
curable: yes
do condoms protect: yes; but can still be transmitted by touching affected areas
= Human Papilloma Virus
– there are plenty (over 70) strains of HPV, only some of which can cause cervical cancer or genital warts
– the most common STD, pretty much every sexually active person will contract it at some point > the body often fights it off without any serious complications
– vaccines (Gardasil, Cervarix) can prevent cervical cancer and genital warts, but do not protect against all HPV strains!
– the strains that cause genital warts do not cause cancer
all kinds of warts and cancers can be treated!
incubation time: 1 month – several years
transmission: vaginal/anal/oral sex, skin-to-skin contact; even when the infected person shows no symptoms
symptoms: often no symptoms (however, the virus is actively present in the body); some strains cause genital warts (on vulva, cervix, penis, anus, mouth or throat; cauliflower-looking, painless, sometimes itchy)
how is it tested: pap smears from cervix (important to get them annually!), inspection of warts; cannot be tested through urine or blood
curable: no (symptoms may disappear but the virus stays in the body)
do condoms protect: partially; the virus can affect areas that cannot be covered by condoms
– HIV (= Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that attacks the immune system, which can (but often doesn’t!) later develop into AIDS (= Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), during which your immune system is already severely damaged
– the so-called PrEP medicine (marketed as ‘Truvada’) can lower your chance of getting infected if taken daily
PEP antiretroviral medicine is taken in emergency situations after being potentially exposed to HIV to prevent getting it. it needs to be taken 72 hours after the possible exposure – it pretty much works like the contraceptive ‘morning after’ pill.
– once diagnosed, you will receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) to reduce the spreading of the virus in your body
incubation time: a couple of days – 3 months
(however, the HIV antibodies can only be detected by tests after at least 3 weeks of transmission)
transmission: vaginal/anal/oral sex, needle/syringe use, mother-to-child contraction (also through breast feeding)
symptoms: fever, fatigue, rash, swelling, sore muscles/throat, chills, night sweats
how is it tested: blood tests
curable: no
do condoms protect: yes
– hepatitis A, B, D, E can be transmitted through sexual contact (amongst many other ways)
– type B can be prevented through vaccination
incubation time: 2 weeks – 5 months
transmission: vaginal/anal/oral sex, contact with contaminated blood or water/food
symptoms: flu-like symptoms, dark urine, jaundice (yellow skin and eyes)
how is it tested: blood tests
curable: type B, C, D – no; A & E – self-limiting
do condoms protect: partially; it can still be contracted through contaminated fluids
bacterial vaginosis & yeast infection
– both are not typical STDs but rather health issues caused by imbalance in vagina, resulting in discharge and other problems
(i included them because they can greatly affect one’s sexual health too)
bacterial vaginosis is caused by overgrowth of germs normally found in vagina
yeast infection (or ‘candidiasis’) is caused by a natural fungus Candida albicans which can be spread through sexual contact and can affect any moist area of one’s body
– yeast infection is very common and easy to treat
incubation time: 1–3 months
cause: imbalance of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in vagina which can be caused by, for example, recent change of sexual partner, copper coil contraception, or even bubble baths, as well as poor immune system, stressful life periods or chronic diseases
symptoms: smelling discharge, itching, soreness, burning, rash
how is it tested: pelvic exam
curable: yes
do condoms protect: partially
– tiny mites that lay eggs in the skin and cause a lot of itching
– most widespread skin disease in children
incubation time: 4–6 weeks
transmission: holding hands, sleeping in infested bedding, wearing infested clothes
symptoms: strong itching, rash (often in patches), tiny blisters, scales
how is it tested: inspection of the rash
curable: yes
do condoms protect: no
and last but not least: STD testing!
how often should i get tested?
whenever you find any of the symptoms listed above, obviously, and do that as soon as you can. but even if your body does not show any signs of STDs, it is really important to get tested regularly as many STDs come symptomless. i’d say getting tested every 6 months if you have multiple partners over the time (even if you use protection) is ideal; many experts recommend getting tested at least (!) once a year.
how soon after having unprotected sex should i get tested?
it is often advised to wait 1 month after the intercourse to make sure all major STDs have incubated already. however, some STDs might only incubate after several months or years even though your tests were negative.
where can i do it?
there are special STD prevention centres in pretty much every hospital, a quick search online will show you all the nearby places where you can get tested. your gynaecologist should also do the tests – and don’t forget to get pap smears regularly (those of you who have a cervix, of course)!
do i need to get an appointment?
it is better to do so because you’ll avoid a lot of waiting, but most STD testing places offer walk-ins too.
will i have to pay?
you don’t have to pay in most countries, however it depends on where you get treated.
will it be anonymous?
unfortunately, STD tests are often not anonymous, but don’t worry, your information will stay confidential.
how does it work?
you come to the doctor’s office and answer a few questions about your sex life (e.g. which kinds of sex do you have, when was the last time you had unprotected sex, if you have been diagnosed with an STD before, if you have any symptoms etc.); and then the doctor will proceed to do the tests. depending on the diseases you are tested for, it can be a blood test, a urine sample, swabs or examination of the genitals. the whole testing session will take 30 minutes maximum.
when and how will i get the results?
it usually takes a week or 10 days to get the results. sometimes you need to come to the office to pick them up in person, but often you can just call them and ask.
what if i test positive for some STD?
no need to worry – you will receive a treatment straight away. you will have to take a break from having sex for a while and take meds or use ointments on affected areas. it is important to go through all steps of the treatment to prevent health complications and further spreading to your current and future partners!

SEX ED | consensual sex and saying no to what doesn’t feel right

TW: sex, consent, gender binary

 photo 160215 consensual sex_zpsonjm3k8w.gif

SEX ED | consensual sex and saying no to what doesn’t feel right

okay, i want to discuss a serious topic here – consent and sex. you may roll your eyes now; again? the quite overwhelming presence of the consent discussion in media can get a bit tiring, but guess what? it is, sadly, still important to discuss it over and over again.

for those who have never come across the topic – simply put, the idea is that in order to achieve that all the parties engaging in a sexual activity really enjoy it, it is necessary to make sure that all of them truly want to participate in it. in other words, when having sex with someone, make sure they really want it. (this also applies to the techniques, positions, power distribution etc.) consent is pretty much about letting someone else do something to you, and knowing that they gave you this permission too.

ideally, hearing the words ‘yes’ or ‘no’ should determine whether the sexual act will or won’t be executed. the reality, however, is quite different.

you have probably noticed – sex has a lot to do with power. in binary-gender-normative heterosexual sex, the power distribution is not always equal. according to the gender binary framework, men (= those who perform masculinity) are active and women (= those who perform femininity) are passive. men are the inserters and women are the insertees. men are on the top and women are on the bottom. a man’s pleasure is the proof of a successful sexual act, and once his orgasm has been achieved, it marks the end of the act, no matter if the female’s arousal led to the same climax or not. of course, i am fairly generalising, and (again) talking about a very gender-binary straight penis-in-vagina two-people sex, but i guess many can agree that in most of heterosexual sex, the male pleasure is the most important thing. often, even the way the woman is ‘pleased’ is in fact rather satisfactory to the man. (e.g. vigorous ass / breast grabbing which can even hurt the female but excites the male)
(of course, this also happens in non-straight sex but i will mostly focus on the ‘society-approved’ heterosexual sex in this article)

i cannot even count how many times i have had discussions about this with most of my female-identifying friends who perform hetero sex. it’s always the same – the female really does want to engage in the intercourse, therefore she says ‘yes’ to general idea of sex, but is quickly disappointed by the way the act is happening (i.e. how her own pleasure seems to be less important than her partner’s and how she is more or less an instrument, an object, a toy through which that is achieved) but does not say anything to prevent / change it since she does not want be the mood-ruiner, the sex-killer, the direct cockblock (because the society has been telling her that this is the way it’s supposed to be anyways, she was made to be passive, and therefore she has no right to demand a change if it means decreasing or even stopping the male’s pleasure), and simply endures it and feels betrayed and unsatisfied afterwards and then complains about it in the circle of her female friends who ‘know the pain’. again, to simplify this – many women do not demand men to focus on their own pleasure because they are afraid to come out as those who ‘ruin’ the man’s pleasure, and because they believe that this is simply the way it is. (think of how mainstream hetero porn is shot for example – it almost always ends with the male ejaculating, whilst the female is left off unsatisfied, right?)

well, surprise, surprise, that is not true. female pleasure is as important as male pleasure in straight sex, or should be, at last. and now, finally, i am coming back to the topic of consent and saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
‘yes’ to sex does not mean ‘yes’ to everything.
hearing ‘yes’ does not mean you can do anything to the person without asking if it feels right; and saying ‘yes’ does not mean you gave the person the permission to do anything to you and you cannot stop them now.
this is very important, and applies to all kinds of sex, no matter which genders or how many people participate in it.

you are totally allowed to say no to what doesn’t feel good, to ask for something that really satisfies you, to even stop the intercourse in the middle of it.
no one is allowed to force you into anything or to do something to you you do not enjoy.

it’s all about communication – respect the other participant(s) and respect yourself enough to voice your wishes, whether it is ‘yes’ or ‘no’ or ‘try something different’.
it’s all about consent, first and utmost.


huge thanks to these two articles about bad consensual sex which prompted me to finally sit down and write all my thoughts about it too.
Jessica Parker – Why Consensual Sex Can Still Be Bad
Anonymous submission to ArtParasites – The Ugly Side of Being a Single, Attractive and Available Heterosexual Woman