Saturday, July 01, 2006

A question:

Does talking about sex make you uncomfortable? Partly, in some contexts, at all?

If so, what is that experience like, for you, and where do you think it comes from?

i don't mean necessarily "now talk about the things that make you uncomfortable." I mean, I guess: (going into therapy mode) can you say more about "being uncomfortable?" Like, uncomfortable in what way? How does it feel; how do you act? when you're uncomfortable.

just throwing it out there, curious.

18 comments:

Alon Levy said...

Does talking about sex make you uncomfortable?

I don't think so. Sometimes it makes me feel guilty in a people-who-talk-about-it-don't-do-it way. But I don't get uncomfortable about many things; there's very little that shocks me, words-wise. In theory, there's very little I'll say no to, so I don't mind talking about it. It's just that in practice talking about things I don't do makes me feel like a boisterous hypocrite.

Sara E Anderson said...

I don't like to talk about sex in such a way that will cause someone to imagine me doing it. I don't talk about specific sex acts I've performed or specific turn-ons. I'm kind of a compulsive sharer and it's hard for me to set boundaries, and if I get too specific about my sex life I end up regretting it and feeling exposed. Talking about sex in general, with the general idea that I like it, is fine, though. In fact, I talk a lot about sex. I just don't like to tell stories about my experience.

cicely said...

I don't like to talk about sex in such a way that will cause someone to imagine me doing it. I don't talk about specific sex acts I've performed or specific turn-ons... Talking about sex in general, with the general idea that I like it, is fine, though. In fact, I talk a lot about sex. I just don't like to tell stories about my experience.

This is exactly me too, sara. I'll talk generally about my own sex life, tastes and preferences but I don't like to get into the real details about my desires and actual experiences. They feel precious and private, between myself and who-ever was/is my partner. I think its like if you're in company in which no-one feels close to you, why would you want to expose deep things about youself, that involve beautiful and powerul feelings that are part of you. I take that as 'understood', and also don't ask or expect others to reveal themselves at that level. Not that I sit in judgement of anyone who's able to be more specific in face to face conversation, but I haven't met many. (possibly 'any'? I'll have to think about that.)

belledame222 said...

I guess some of my desires and experiences are/feel deeper than others. It's true that there are some I don't feel comfortable hauling out in any old context.

I am trying to suss out where "private just because it's...private" stops and "shame" begins, for me. It's not always entirely clear.

A White Bear said...

I have been thinking about this after another blog asked about the way people share fantasies. I don't really do that and don't want to. I'm not a fantasy kind of person to begin with.

I am, however, really explicit when I talk about sex with friends. I don't want to talk about it online much because I can't see how people are reacting and how much they actually want to hear. In person, I can say, "I'm about to get pretty graphic; are you okay with that?" before I get into technicalities. I can be pretty blind to tone online and have found myself, on a few occasions, meticulously describing details to people who weren't really interested in sharing at that level themselves. It's fine if they don't, but I don't like feeling I'm ruining someone's morning coffee halfway around the world.

I guess I'm kind of uncomfortable with the way fantasies and "erotic" language talk around sex without talking about sex. When I read Fanny Hill (1748 pornographic novel) for the first time, I was delighted to finally find someone writing about sex, erotically, from a female perspective (though written by a man), that actually reflected what it feels like (to me) to have sex--whose hands go where when, what positions and angles, etc.--and was still fairly erotic. Sue Johannsen may talk technique, but she has a way of making sex seem like eating your peas.

A White Bear said...

I should add also that it's very hard to talk about sex in person, because people often assume you're trying to have sex with them. I'm not strictly het, and my friends know it, and I have found myself talking about sex with girlfriends who end up saying, "Maybe you should show me," which was not, like, the point, and can cause awkwardness. Hell hath no fury, it seems, like a straight girl whose first same-sex come-on has been squelched.

belledame222 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
belledame222 said...

>Hell hath no fury, it seems, like a straight girl whose first same-sex come-on has been squelched.

Oh, argh, that whole thing.

Yeah, myth of the predatory lesbian be damned, ime it's always the other way around.

Yeah, a lot of people have this way of tlaking about sex that--someone, I forget who, compared it to engineer talk.

It certainly doesn't have to be all soft-focus all the time (and I am a fantasy girl); but, it's an art, not a construction project.

Amber said...

Talking about sex doesn't make me uncomfortable - hell, it's one of my favorite things - but I notice that when I talk about it, other people often become uncomfortable. And their discomfort makes me uncomfortable/on edge.

hedonistic said...

I'm frank about sexual matters. Meaning, I love to write about sex and relationships! My blog is practically devoted to it.

The explicit stuff, however, I leave to others. Even my most "out there" series (the Porn Queen Chronicles)where I wrote frankly about my sexual experiences during one fateful weekend in LA - - complete with photographic evidence! - - I didn't get graphic. I alluded to sex but didn't describe it in detail.

I was fascinated by the recent threads over at BitchPhD, but did not contribute to them.

Bottom line: I'd never want to post something on the internet that I wouldn't want my mother, or my boss, to find.

hedonistic said...

I forgot to mention - - talking about sex and writing about it anonymously on the web are two different things. However, I'm the same in person as I am on my blog: I wouldn't say anything in mixed company that I wouldn't want my boss or my mother to overhear.

(That said, both my mother and my boss are cool, and I can be frank with them.)

kactus said...

I don't get uncomfortable talking myself, but it's another story when certain other people start talking about sex. Specifically people I feel kind of squicky about to begin with--I don't want to know anything intimate about them, including their shoe size or sexual practices.

Some people think I'm alarmingly frank, but I have a friend who gives me the squicks but bad, and I can't even say pussy around her. Is that weird? I think I'm afraid if I talk about it then she's gonna want to talk about it and I do not want to go there.

SUEB0B said...

I have such a hard time. I can barely do it. I come from a very repressed background - thats's where it comes from. I feel like a deer in the headlights when someone starts talking explicitly about sex. It isn't offensive to me. I find it interesting. But I can't bring myself to participate much.

witchy-woo said...

Nah. Talking about sex is largely what I do for a living - one way or another. There's no way I'm uncomfortable with it.

That's not to say I'm not a private person or that I feel ok with throwing the details of my intimate relationships out there for public discussion - I'm not comfortable with that and I tend not to do it.

v said...

no, not generally. but it has done. it mostly depends on the vibe i get from the person im talking to.

i have to admit i dont talk about my current celibacy with people. funny that, ive said and done all sorts in public but i cant tell my closest friends i dont have any interest in sex anymore - i worry that they'll think im insane. or worse, feel sorry for me over it, when im personally comfortable and happy with it.

belledame222 said...

It is true that (at least in some circles/generations) celibacy seems to be more stigmatized or at least misunderstood than more overt expressions of sexuality.

I can see a lot of good reasons for any given individual to be voluntarily celibate, if that's what feels best.

Amber said...

Resurrecting an old thread, perhaps, but I just rediscovered it in my del.icio.us links.

I am trying to suss out where "private just because it's...private" stops and "shame" begins, for me. It's not always entirely clear.

I think it's the difference between "I want to talk about / do [X], but I feel like I can't or shouldn't" and "I simply don't want to do / talk about [X]."

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