The other day, I was texting with a former lover. He is a great guy and was an amazing lover, but he wasn’t the right guy for me. He’s in a long term relationship with someone else now, and I am truly happy for him. It’s been long enough since we were together that even though I still miss him, I am glad he’s got someone who is right for him.
As we were texting, he very politely asked if he could ask me some sex-related questions. That made me laugh, but I said “Sure.” Why not? We’re both grownups. If we had great sex with each other at one point, we should still be able to talk about it now. He wanted some input on an issue around sex with his girlfriend. I had no problem giving him advice. He even noted at one point in the texting, “This isn’t awkward for you at all, is it?” No, it really wasn’t. I was happy to tell him the information he wanted plus some more information, too.
When I mentioned this conversation to one of my female friends, she said, “You are a better person than me. I couldn’t have had that conversation with an ex.” That comment made me think about my other exes. I couldn’t have had that conversation with all of them. Some of them have too big of egos; they’d never go to an ex to ask for help around a sexual issue because that would imply that they weren’t the perfect lover. Others are too shy when it comes to talking about sex outside of the context of actually having it. They’d be too embarrassed to have that kind of conversation with anyone nonetheless me. Then there are the lovers where the wound is still too fresh. The idea of them having sex with someone who isn’t me is just painful. Someday I will probably be able to have an open conversation with them about sex and their new partners, but I’m not there yet.
It’s really a shame so many in our society aren’t able to talk more openly with those we’re close to about sex. The more we talk about sex in an instructional, educational way, the more barriers will drop. The more we understand sex, the better it will be for all of us. Our society needs to get away from its weird taboos around talking about sex while at the same time using sex to sell everything from cars to perfume to prescription drugs to Halloween candy.