Earlier this month, I had my first (masked, distanced) in-person sex ed event since the beginning of the pandemic. (Side note: if 200 college freshmen can stay masked while attending a two-hour discussion about sex and consent, you can definitely wear your mask at the grocery store.) The second half of the evening consisted of a live round of Ask The Sexpert, where the students got to anonymously ask any question about sexual health, sexual function, or sexual pleasure. Usually, about a quarter of the people present actually submit a question. At this event, more than 95 percent did! Sex ed is important, folks. People have questions and they want honest, accurate answers.
For my column this week, I’m sharing a very small sample of the questions I got that evening. They range from silly to practical to profound. And (almost) every question filled me with hope because folks are reaching out for information that will help them experience and share pleasure in safe, consensual ways.
In my Quickies columns, I select 10 questions that can be answered in 25 words or less. Here we go!
1. What exactly is sex?
Sex is two (or more) people consenting to share their bodies with the explicit goal of sexual pleasure, with or without orgasm.
2. When should you ask a partner about their sexual preferences?
After you’ve mutually decided that you’d like to have sex, and before you’ve actually had sex. Preferences change though, so keep talking about it!
3. What is lesbian sex defined as?
Two (or more) people who identify as lesbian having sex (see answer #1). Seriously though—there’s no one way to have sex.
4. Are you gay if you date a nonbinary person and you’re straight?
Sexual orientation can only be defined by the person experiencing it. You are the only one who can say if you’re gay.
5. How much cum can fit in a gallon jug?
A gallon? *checks notes* Yes, a gallon.
6. Why does some semen taste like battery acid?
Things like dehydration, smoking, alcohol use, eating lots of onions/garlic, and certain medications can lead to unsavory semen. Drink water and eat more fruit!
7. What’s your favorite aphrodisiac?
Open communication with my partner about sexual preferences and desires.
7a. Can you give some examples?
Not in public.
8. Can I still have safe sex without a condom?
You can safely masturbate without a condom. Everything else requires a barrier of some sort (condom, gloves, dental dams, etc.) to prevent transmission of STIs.
9. Is it okay to wear two condoms?
Condoms are not like masks—two is not better than one. Wearing two increases the risk of condoms breaking or displacing during sex.
10. I live on the East Side. Where is the nearest place to get anonymous Plan B?
You can order PlanB through grocery delivery services like Shipt and InstaCart. It’s also available over the counter at most pharmacies.
Bonus question: How do you have good sex?
Okay, I’m going to go way over 25 words on this one so bear with me. “Good sex” is defined by the people who are having it. The physical components will vary widely from person to person, from one encounter to another. It’s impossible to define “good sex” for anyone else. But there are some things that will increase the likelihood of your sex being good for you. Get to know your body, learn what feels good and what doesn’t. Masturbate as often as you’d like to experience joy and pleasure, whether you currently have a partner or not. When you’re having sex with a partner, share what you’ve learned about yourself with them. And listen when they share the same information with you. Go into a sexual encounter with the mutual goal of giving and receiving pleasure, however each of you define that. Be open to feedback both in the moment and afterward so that sex can continue to be enjoyable for all parties!
Curious about cunnilingus? Anxious about anal? Do you have questions about queefs or problems with your prostate? Lucky Tomaszek is the education coordinator at The Tool Shed: An Erotic Boutique, Milwaukee’s only mission-driven, education-focused sex toy store. Send her an email at [email protected] and she’ll get back to you with an answer.