Do our sexual partners really care about the things we are so insecure about? Let’s take a look at some commonly believed myths. Porn and TV portray specific images of sexuality, sex and body types. The differences between these portrayals and reality were some of my biggest surprises when I began my sexual adventures. Vaginas don’t lubricate within seconds, not everything stays up all the time, people have bodies of different shapes and size and pauses are necessary to take off clothes and put on condoms.
These “bad” things happen, but are actually not really that bad and definitely not a deal breaker. We’re competing with ideas that are unrealistic. Even without considering media, we judge from people we idolize in college and ideas of sex that we might have. It’s important to consider some beliefs that exist about sex, myths for what is expected by both men and women that can very much increase self-consciousness and proportionately decrease pleasure.
Myth: Bodies need to look a certain way.
Unfortunately, so many men and women are really concerned about their bodies: how they look with clothes, how they look without clothes and particularly what they look like when they’re bent over or in an unflattering position. For men, but increasingly for women too, there is a very big focus on being fit. Men I’ve talked to, or been with, have honestly never cared about different body shapes and types or me at different sizes. You can see this as a shallow perspective of just wanting a body to get sexual pleasure from, or as an honest way to affirm that people are so much stricter about their bodies than they need to be. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of extremely ripped guys. Sure, there are parts of bodies I enjoy maybe being built a bit more, but I have had an amazing time with guys who didn’t fit any kind of stereotypical ideal. Talk to other girls and you’ll hear a lot about different types. Liking really muscular guys, or tall, skinny blond guys, nerdy looking guys, cuddly guys … the list goes on, only to prove the point that it really doesn’t matter what your body is like. Society in general and the college environment so often tell us that we need to look a certain way to be attractive, but honestly, people care a lot less about shapes and sizes and even like different things about different partner’s bodies.
Myth: Size matters.
Let’s talk about boobs. Can’t live without them. I’ve talked to very few women who are genuinely happy with their boob size and shape. Yes, shape is a thing. “My boobs are too big, too small, too uneven, too pointy, too slouchy …” These differences can especially feel awkward when you’re not wearing a push up bra or are bouncing up and down on top of a guy. First, newsblast, boobs are not a muscle and they are not expected to stay rigid. Those that do are likely silicon and are honestly just a perfect representation of porn that men are more than happy enjoying just on their screens. It’s important to keep in mind they are enjoying your body as a whole, and mostly how you move with your body, something which shape and size has no effect on.
Now let’s talk about dicks. Can’t live without them either. Gentlemen, seriously, motion of the ocean is not a joke. Sticking a big thing in a hole and checking out isn’t helping anyone out, and neither is being so self-conscious that you freeze up and expect your partner to do all the work. Fun fact, vaginas are also different shapes and sizes so dicks fit differently. And people enjoy sexual things differently. Some women just like a big thing inside them, others really don’t care. Honestly I’ve often had sex with a guy a couple of times before seeing or in any other way being directly involved with a dick and thought it looked very different than it felt. I’ve also had experiences with guys with big dicks that really were not enjoyable.
Myth: Hair needs to disappear.
Another very big thing that a lot of women, and a lot of men, feel very self conscious about is pubic hair. Let’s be honest, porn, models and other popular media have at least put the idea in our head that women are and magically remain hairless down there. Not true. Pubic hair is a thing, and leaving it in place is also a thing which most men are totally 100 percent okay with it. Most that I’ve talked to, because yes I’m the weird one who has asked all my guy friends this question, don’t have a problem. Yes, you will occasionally find some who cares and wants no hair, but keep in mind that means nothing about you if you chose not to shave or wax. PSA: waxing is extremely expensive (!!!) and shaving really difficult to do especially for women with really coarse hair.
Regarding men’s hair, yes, blowjobs might be easier (as I’m sure eating a girl out is) without hair in the way, but can also be extremely uncomfortable with stubble. I’m usually happiest with trimming but my best friend prefers a full bush. Another thing to keep in mind is that in the moment, you really want to enjoy the feeling, honestly, and this isn’t something you’re going to focus on, as trivial as this might seem when planning in advance. I’ve also heard a lot of men talk about chest hair, back hair and butt hair. Personally I’m a huge fan of chest hair and I know I’m not the only one. It’s real life, and it’s a thing and I think I hadn’t actually noticed on my ex until he brought it up. And, even then, it honestly made no difference in my life.
Myth: You need to be really experienced.
Sex often doesn’t feel perfect and even more often doesn’t look perfect. You and your partner are likely to make weird noises or faces, both of which especially with a long term partner you will come to find endearing. There are honestly many different things that work differently for some people. Some prefer dirty talking, some don’t, some people actually enjoy quiet and others are fans of pleasurable moaning. Along with this idea of what you need to do or look like is this idea of how you need to know what you’re doing and if you’re doing it right. Sex is a learning process. You learn how to move your body, what you enjoy, what your partner could enjoy. People think that you need to know all of this to perform well or to create an enjoyable interaction. Not the case. Very often, people enjoy helping their partner out, and slowly bringing pleasure to your partner can actually be quite enjoyable. I have been very surprised to find that something I had become very experienced doing with my ex didn’t work at all with a guy I hooked up after that and it was literally starting from square one again.
The list can honestly go on. There is no right and wrong and nothing is perfect when it comes to sex. It’s about enjoying time with your partner and finding out what works for the two (or more) of you, and particularly what works for the situation. Listen to your partner, don’t think that they are expecting you to be a certain way. Know that a for everything that you are feeling uncomfortable about, there is likely something your partner is feeling uncomfortable about too. So, as much as you can, try to take a big breath, and just enjoy the ride … 😉
The Duchess is a student at Cornell. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Between the Sheets appears periodically this semester.