stopviolenceuw

I Heart Awkward

In Uncategorized on November 22, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Every day we are bombarded with sexy images in movies and advertisements of a couple getting it on.  They never talk about it, no one ever has an unflattering angle, and each partner inexplicably knows exactly what the other wants.  And, best of all, everyone always…er…“finishes.”

*dreamy, romantic sigh*

If only this were the way that life really was.  But, in truth, sex (and getting to that point) is hella awkward!

But, you know what, the older I get, the more I find that I really root for “Team Awkward.”  Let me tell you why…

1.   Getting to know someone is always a little bit awkward, let’s be honest. 

No matter what, whenever we meet someone new or try something new, there is a period of awkwardness.  That’s just normal.  So, why wouldn’t we expect that awkwardness to translate to the bedroom?

I mean, just because the sex we see in the media is “perfect” doesn’t mean that that is how real life is played out.  We need to have that awkward time in order to figure out how to really do “it” right.

Talk to your partner.  Chances are if you’ve made it to the bedroom, you at least know their name.  So, figure out exactly what it is he/she is expecting from the encounter and move on that.  Now, the conversation doesn’t have to be super awkward, like:

You: Can I touch you here?
Them: Damn skippy, you can.
You: Can I kiss you here?
Them: Yes, please.  Thank you.

Although, if that’s how you want to roll with it, please do.  The point is to know what your partner wants.  But, a better way to talk about boundaries and get consent while avoiding most of the awkward is to use my favorite tool: Dirty Talk.

Now, you can’t whip out all sorts of dirty talk on the first encounter – that could cross some boundaries too.  But, basic “asking” kind of dirty talk is generally going to be okay.  For example:

You: Tell me what you want me to do to you.
Them: I want you to like my {insert erogenous zone here}.
You: Oh yeah?  You like that?
Them: Oh God, yes.
You: Does that feel good, baby? My {body part} on your {body part}?
Them: I love that!

2.  Awkwardness and communication build the intimacy…and avoid sexual assault.

When you share an awkward moment with one of your friends, how often does it turn into some sort of “inside joke” later?  I can’t speak for everyone, but this happens ALL the time with me and my friends.  And, after living through those awkward moments, we now have even greater common ground and greater intimacy in the friendships.  This same concept can be applied to sexual situations.

To a certain extent, the awkwardness only adds to the intimacy of the moment.  What could be more intimate than talking about what you want from your sexual partner?   Or, finding yourselves in an awkward moment, and then joking about it later?

At the same time, if you’re having that “awkward” conversation about what your partner wants, then you are also making sure that you are getting consent and that you are giving them (and receiving) what they want.  If everyone’s cards are on the table and boundaries aren’t crossed, then the risk of sexual assault is significantly lowered.

It is SO crucial to know what your partner wants and what they don’t.  Not just to build the intimacy between you, but also to make sure that you aren’t hurting your partner.

3.  Awkward is half the fun!

I’ve been seeing this guy and we were talking about my job at the university and how important it is to promote healthy sexual behaviors as a preventative measure against sexual violence.  He said that the “awkward” part about getting intimate with someone is oftentimes the best part.  “Sex should be fun,” he said.   “If you’re not having fun, if you’re not laughing, then why are you doing it?”  And I couldn’t agree more!

Think about it – when was the last time you had a ton of fun without laughing?  Probably never.  Fun and laughter have a tendency to go hand in hand.  So, why should it be any different with sex?

Now, I’m not saying that you should laugh at your partner.  That’s not cool.

But I AM saying that you need to laugh WITH your partner – you need to have fun with your partner.  That’s what sex is about – mutual pleasure and fun.

So, if you’re trying to switch positions and someone’s leg gets in the way, don’t get embarrassed.  Give a little giggle, make a little joke (if you’re comfortable), and keep going.  If you allow the situation to embarrass you, you’re going to be uncomfortable and anxious and – BOOM – big mood killer, right there.  Have fun with it, and you’ll be more relaxed and, not only will you be judging yourself, but you’ll know that your giggling counterpart isn’t judging you either; everyone is just enjoying the experience.

I read an article on Scarleteen which, in part, inspired this post.  They said: “Some conversations are uncomfortable but also necessary. They are so uncomfortable because they are so necessary.”  Truer words were never spoken.  I mean, just from a sexual assault prevention standpoint you have to have that awkward conversation.  But it can also be used as a tool to better the sexual experience and your relationship with your partner.

Push through the awkward, embrace the awkward, and then embrace your partner – trust me, it’ll be so much better.

Go Team Awkward!

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