It really sucks that during something that can make us feel lonelier than ever, the most dangerous thing is being close to other people. It is still safest to limit our up-close-and-personal contact, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still safely seek out and experience intimacy with new people, nor that there aren’t things you can do to make it safer if you do decide to get physically close to someone. Here are some basics to get you started.
The term "sexuality" can be used a lot like the word "sex." They're both terms we say and hear a lot, but which often aren't clearly defined. We take for granted everyone knows what sexuality means, a heck of an assumption to make with something that covers so many important things and can feel as murky as Lake Erie. So: what's it all about?
As it is on the road, being attentive to and giving clear signs and signals is a big deal between the sheets. If consenting feels complicated or confusing, here's a guide to clear it up.
It's obviously important if you're here for information that you know what we mean when we say "sex," so we thought we'd make it clear.
Usually sexual anatomy is taught through the lens of reproduction, so it’s only about penises and vaginas, testes and uteri. Seen through the lens of of pleasure, sexual anatomy looks different.
The end of sex can feel sudden and shocking. It can set off other uncomfortable feelings that might be related to other issues or memories. But by incorporating aftercare into your sex practices, those feelings can be diminished or alleviated. Not only is aftercare beneficial to your overall pleasure, it’s an important aspect of ethical and respect-based sex.
"Folks, the main thing I hope to realize is that you are a very powerful social creator, no part of human culture exists without humans creating it and you literally have the power to do that. Of course, you don’t have all the power, but listen: power is not just out there in some kind of blob form, power is inside of everyone of us. We don’t have all the power but we have our power and we can decide how to use it."
Dynamics like mine require a lot of honesty, and often speaking honestly can make you feel vulnerable, but showing vulnerability to a partner is a good way to build trust and intimacy. At the same time, you learn a lot about yourself as you're forced to ask yourself tough questions and to think carefully about what you want from a relationship and why - in turn, this makes you appreciate the reasons you want to be with your partner(s), and what it is about being with them that makes you happy.
Disability may feel scary if you’re new to it - there is a lot of language involved to learn, maybe more medical information than you feel capable of handling, or you might have a fear about possibly being cast in a caregiver role more so than a partner. All of these fears can be dispelled or addressed through ongoing, healthy communication. In my experience, disclosure is an ongoing conversation and there is no single “correct” way to do it, but there are ways that our partners can be stronger allies.
Sex and sexuality are still often taboo for pregnant people, and for members of the LGBTQIA+ community and other marginalized people who don’t fit a given culture’s ideas or ideals of pregnancy, it can be even more challenging. American sex coach Kaci Mial, M.Ed. works with people trying to get pregnant, during pregnancy, and postpartum.