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.
With her book Curvy Girl Sex: 101 Body-Positive Positions to Empower Your Sex Life (Fair Winds Press, 2017) Elle Chase gave us a guide for methods, positions and sex hacks for fat lovers with a range of different body types, centering all kinds of people who have long had their sexuality marginalized, denied or erased. In a conversation with Scarleteen, Chase talks about the book, how the media is changing its portrayal of fat people, the relevance of the word “plus size,” and her personal experiences with her own body acceptance and sexual journey.
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.
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.
Masturbation is a topic you might need to do a little extra work on defining your values around if you grew up in purity culture being told that it was a sin—and that’s especially true during the pandemic, when pleasurable touch from others is not always safe or accessible to us and self-care has become more important than ever as we try to process all the painful things happening in our world. Self-pleasure can be an extremely important aspect of self-care even during non-pandemic times, and right now that is especially true.
Sex educator and therapist Dr. Lexx Brown-James talks talks about her line of work, how Covid-19 is rampaging peoples’ emotions, and how the work of POC sex educators continues to be devalued, stolen and co-opted.
Lately I've noticed my sex drive has kicked up a lot. For a few years I was sexually abused, and ever since then (and even before that) my mind has been very sexual. I masturbate a lot, watch a lot of porn, constantly have sexual thoughts (in general and about some people), and it's really scary....