This tip was inspired by a website a friend sent me called QuestionSwap. The concept of the site is that you submit a question that has been bothering you for some time, and in return you are sent someone else’s question that you have to answer. Then someone answers your question (and the answer gets emailed back to you). Apparently the results are hit and miss, but I love the concept of questions as a conversational building block (even though I don’t think that’s the actual concept, it’s my interpretive dance version of their concept).
One of the most difficult hurdles to get over when it comes to talking about sex (whether it’s talking with a partner, with a family member, with your therapist, etc…) is integrating it into your daily life. Sex talk is usually so loaded. Either it’s a scary thing about sexual difficulties, or you’re anxiously awaiting big time rejection, or there’s a blood test involved. Talking about sex is rarely casual fun.
When people ask me why I’m so comfortable talking about sex I propose to them that if they spent all day, everyday, talking about sex, they’d be pretty comfortable bringing it up in casual conversation too.
This week’s sex tip hopes to take you one step closer to this goal, by giving you the task of asking someone a question about sex this week.
These shouldn’t be skill testing questions, and they shouldn’t be asked in a mean spirit (designed to embarrass or coerce someone into talking about sex). They are questions designed to let people talk about sex, and also to get you more comfortable breaking the unspoken rule that you aren’t supposed to talk about sex.
Ask your best friend, or grandmother, or someone you just met. Be respectful, and consider the fact that for some people a question about sex could be traumatic, or trigger unexpected reactions related to bad sexual experiences. Choose wisely, but at the same time, try to take some risks in who you ask, and what you ask them.
If you’re stumped on what to ask, here are some of my favorite questions to ask random people:
Where did you first learn about sex?
When you grew up, what were the names you learned for your sexual body parts?
What was the worst sex you ever had? Did you ever have it again?
In theory, would you ever have sex with me? (note: use this one with caution, and only if you want to know the answer)
That last question is a bit of a joke, and goes against the spirit of this week’s sex tip, but it can have fascinating results.
The point of this exercise is definitely not to create stressful conversations, the point is just the opposite. As long as you’re pretty sure this is a welcome question, try to ask the question in the same way you might ask about the last movie someone saw, or where they got that great shawl they are wearing.