1. Going a little au naturel. To each their own and all that politically correct shit, but honestly, shaving all of your hair down there is fucking weird. Like, infantilizing-adults, sexualizing-little-kids weird. I have a serious hangup with it, and I did it for years only because I honestly thought nobody would want me any other way. There’s something intensely liberating about being your natural self and experiencing someone wanting you because you’re you, not because you fit their porn-induced fantasies. Try it.
2. Communicating non-verbally. It’s hard to talk dirty in bed. It’s hard to say what you want and where and when and how without feeling a little awkward about it, I get it. So let your whole body do the talking. Let yourself moan when you feel compelled to. Anything else only communicates to your partner that you want to continue with what’s happening, even if that’s not the case. Let your body naturally give the cues for you — don’t think about it so much. The results will be better in the end.
3. Talking about what you do in bed out of bed. Some couples never talk about their sex life other than in the heat of the moment, and here’s why this is a problem: because you aren’t exactly level-headed and focused on what the other person is saying when your clothes are off and you’re already worried about where your hands should go. Have a conversation (or two or three or nine) about what you need and what you want to try, even if it’s hard and embarrassing and raw.
4. Keeping your private life between the two of you. I don’t know when it became okay to discuss the ins-and-outs of someone’s sex life with your friends over drinks, but unless that person has specifically said it’s okay if you talk about whatever, then it’s really not cool. You’re not just laying your intimate life on the line, there are two people involved here. Nobody deserves to have their most intimate moments picked apart among a laughing group of friends.
5. Anonymity for all parties until a legal verdict is made in cases of assault. It’s not fair that in cases of alleged rape, the accused perpetrator’s name is slandered everywhere while the victim remains anonymous. It’s just not. Because the reality is anybody could claim anything to destroy someone’s good name for any given reason. This isn’t about not giving victims their due justice, this is about being aware of the fact that people do fucked up stuff and get away with it because we choose to be pitiful and naive — the exact circumstances under which people can take advantage of it.
6. NOT assuming a date is a precursor to sex. Doing otherwise enforces the mindset of someone “owing” something to someone else. It’s unhealthy and puts both parties in an awkward, uncomfortable situation.
7. Not just learning the meaning of “no,” but what it actively, logistically means to respect that meaning. It does not mean “let’s negotiate this further.” It does not mean “yes, if you can convince me otherwise.” It does not mean “not now, but maybe someday, if you keep asking, I’ll give in.” It does not mean “I’m not sure.” The problem isn’t that people don’t know how to say “no,” but that people do not understand what it means to respect the lines that should not be crossed. This happens not only in sex, but with breakups and in friendships and all across the board. People just keep on pushing as though one more prod will get someone to cave. Consent is one thing, understanding what “no” means is quite another.