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A lot of us wonder if what we like or do in sex is normal. Are our bodies normal? Is what turns us on normal? What is "normal", anyways? Honestly, guys, we think it's time to chuck that word out the window. A healthy sexuality isn't about what's normal! If you tried to develop a normal sexuality according to our culture, you would never succeed! If you are a woman that enjoys sex or has a lot of sex then you are a slut, but if you don't want to have sex then you are a frigid prude. If you are a guy that doesn't want to have sex then watch out! Your entire identity as a man is called into question—but if you want sex too much then you are an aggressor. The standards contradict each other! There is no way to win!

Let's create a new standard. Healthy sex is about what is healthy for you and your partner. Sex should be empowering and pleasurable for all people involved—however those people feel empowered and no matter what gives them pleasure.

What does that look like? How do we define pleasure? What is empowering? Let's talk about it. Let's talk about sex!

Q&A Sex Advice

I have had my lines crossed several times, and have probably accidentally crossed other peoples' lines. I know that consent is always worth it, but is consent always easy?

You're right. It's worth it. And no. It's not always easy.

Consent can be confusing and murky and difficult to figure out. Consent is about freely giving and accepting without coercion. It requires clarity. It requires the courage to withdraw consent at inconvenient times. And the strength of self to understand that when someone says no to you, it may not be about you at all. That's a tall order.

So here are some tips.

Sit down with yourself and write about what types of sex and sexual situations feel safe and acceptable to you. Then look at your list. What things on the list can you say "YES!!!" to with enthusiasm? Circle those. And cross everything else off. Unless the yes is enthusiastic it's actually a maybe. Maybes are great. They are things that might be possible, that might feel good, but things you should revisit at a later time. There is absolutely nothing that "should" be on your yes list other than clear consent. You don't get extra points for doing things that end up not feeling good. Your boundaries are where they are and your job is to listen to them. Sometimes that means accepting that you want to do something that other folks would consider crazy. Sometimes that means figuring out that today, you're not having sex with anyone.

Practice saying no. Try sitting down with a friend and have them ask you for things for 5 minutes. No matter what they say, say no back. It will feel weird and funny and little absurd. But, you'll learn that neither of you melt when the word "no" comes out of your mouth. Then reverse the roles.

If you can, before you get in a sexual situation with someone, be clear with them about the basics of what is and isn't okay for you. Ask them to tell you the same. That conversation can sound scary, but it can be done in a way that is very matter of fact. "I'm super attracted to you and I'd like to take this further. Just so you know, I really like kissing, but I don't want to be touched between my legs tonight (or I love getting fucked and I'd love to fuck you, your roommate and your best friend but I need to use condoms and please don't tell me your last name)—can you share with me what your boundaries are?"

Especially in a new contact, watch out for drugs and alcohol. When we're high or drunk, boundaries can get blurry. It can be hard to communicate what our boundaries are and it can be hard to hear other people's boundaries too. The end result can often be crossing a line. And that sucks.

Make an agreement with yourself and any partner that no is always okay. When someone gives a "no", the receiver needs to respond immediately. Right then is not the time to talk about what caused the no. Talk about it later. Talk about it when you're fully dressed and don't have your heads all befuddled with hormones.

Lastly, if someone tells you that a certain activity is not okay, believe them until they tell you otherwise. It is never okay to wait until you're in the middle of sex and then spring something on them. That's manipulative. It's rude. And it's a violation of both of your boundaries.

True consent can be challenging. It requires honesty with both yourself and your partner. It requires actually thinking about what feels good to you. And, it can lead to a deeply satisfying and sexy sex life. That clarity sets you free to give each other exactly what you want. Imagine getting just what you want in the bedroom. Imagine being able to be a person who gives someone what they want, when they know they won't be pressured to do other things. Imagine the deeply sexy freedom that gives you. The freedom to enjoy your enthusiastic yes.

I'm a 22-year-old girl and I can't orgasm and my boyfriend gets frustrated with me. I like having sex with my boyfriend but i dont come. Is this normal? Am I doing somethig wrong?

Yes, you're normal. And, it's very likely no one is doing anything wrong. 70% of women don't have an orgasm from vaginal penetration alone.

If you are happy with the way things are, there's no reason to change a thing. But if you'd like to find a way to include orgasms with your boyfriend, I have some suggestions.

Do you masturbate (if not I'd highly encourage you to start)? Do you have orgasms when you are alone? If not, you're in a phase of your sexuality called "pre-orgasmic". Pre-orgasmic just means you haven't had an orgasm yet. That's totally not a big deal and it's not unusual. Finding orgasm and figuring out how to share that with another person (or people) is a really normal part of female sexuality.

In the process, it's not uncommon for partners of women that are on this journey to feel a little frustrated. Sex ed in this country sucks. It's very likely that your boyfriend isn't aware of how common it is for women to not have orgasms from vaginal intercourse. It's likely that he's thinking that there is something wrong with him or how he has sex with you. My guess is that both of you are perfectly normal and just need some more time, more clitoral stimulation, some lube and maybe a vibrator.

If you are pre-orgasmic and want to have an orgasm, I'd encourage you to consider reading Sex For One by Betty Dodsen or Getting Off by Jamye Waxman. Look into purchasing a vibrator and spend some time with yourself. Your orgasm is there if you want it. Learning your body and relaxing into your orgasm may take some time. It will take exactly as long as it needs to. Let your boyfriend know where you are on your journey. Let him know how much you enjoy sex with him and ask for the space to figure this out without pressure. In the meantime, continue to enjoy your sex life together.

If you have orgasms alone, first, have a talk with your boyfriend, tell him that you appreciate how concerned he is about your sexual experience. Let him know how much you're enjoying sex with him regardless of orgasm. And, if you want to try and include orgasm in your time with him, ask him to watch you masturbate, show him what works for you (then watch him—you'll learn some things too!). Bring a vibrator into the bed room with the two of you. And spend time together when each of you is focused exclusively on the other. You may find some new things that are super fun!

And lastly, let him know that you've been feeling his frustration. Reinforce how much you enjoy him. And then ask for some time to figure this out together. Pressure is rarely sexy.

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