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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Column: What are you into? Better sex

For many, college is a period in our lives when we are the most objectively attractive. Alongside that objective attractiveness, hormones rage, and it might seem like there will never be more sexual options than there are now.

With this perfect storm for getting off, there is still a shockingly wide gap in sexual satisfaction: On average, women experience about one orgasm for every three orgasms a man experiences. This is in part due to the fact that it’s way easier for a man to orgasm, but it’s also because clitoral stimulation is an afterthought for a lot of men.

Like with all other facets of a relationship, the answer is simple: communication. And straight people could learn a lot from how same-sex partners are entering into their pillow talk.

It feels like everyone is still just running off the information they got from the sex talk their dad gave them while they were trapped in the car at the McDonald’s drive-through or the one they received from that horribly ill-informed, and not-so-sexually experienced, gym teacher that involved a disturbing PowerPoint about human genitalia. There might have been a box for dropping uninspired questions afterward, although most questions were “better left for your parents to answer.”

The lack of candid and open dialogue about sex persists into adulthood and leads to really lame sex for all involved. But you know who isn’t having bad sex? Same-sex couples.

Dan Savage, renowned sexual columnist and gay rights advocate, argued that in a traditional, gender-role-conforming straight relationship, a simple assumption is shared among all parties: the girl is going to get fucked. The dude assumes he is going to be satisfied in the good ol’-fashioned, American way — vaginal intercourse — and that’ll be the end of it.

For gay couples, it’s not so easy. Although there are still some rapid, judgment-based assumptions that lead to misunderstandings and awkward sexual encounters among same-sex couples, the fact that penetrative intercourse is not the end-all and be-all leaves the conversation open.

The “what are you into” conversation prevents any awkward sexual incompatibility. While some straight men generally just put their penises in their female partners’ boxes without so much as complimentary foreplay, gay male partners have plenty of options to discuss.

Penetrative anal sex, for one thing, can go both ways. But not everyone is going to want to engage in anal, and some people simple don’t enjoy oral sex.

“We are compelled to communicate with each other,” Savage says in an “Ask Anything” video. “Who’s going to do what to whom cannot be assumed.”

And there’s a reason there are so many jokes and Internet pages centered on the question, “How do lesbians have sex?” They have sex in lots (and lots) of ways. With no default to fall back on, pre-coitus conversation is impossible to avoid.

For Jordon Belton, a biochemistry junior and self-described “total top,” it’s important to ask his partners those questions ahead of time to ensure the sex is good for everyone and not just him. While Belton prefers to top (the penetrator), gay stereotypes and physical profiling could lead to other men assuming he was a bottom (the receiver). Belton, like many, is eager to make that clear before he goes on a date or gets into bed with someone.

Relationships and sex are largely about communication. When you forego explicitly asking your partner what they are into, you risk reducing your sexual satisfaction by not revealing all of the weird things you like to do in bed, and you sacrifice your partner’s potential happiness by not fully understanding that they like to get spanked a little. (But maybe not too hard.)

The facts don’t lie, either. Communication between sexual partners leads to an increase in condom use and STI prevention, according to a 2006 study from the University of Kentucky. It also results in an increase in both sexual and relationship satisfaction, according to a Temple University study of 101 heterosexual relationships with an average age of 22.

Frankly, if you’re not willing to talk about your likes and dislikes and those of your partner, you shouldn’t be having sex in the first place.


Nick Havey is a junior studying physiology and Spanish. Follow him on Twitter.

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