I think ya’ll know by now that I have a twin sister.
A small minority of guys, when I tell them I’m a twin, have a reaction inspired by beer commercials and bad porn. “Yeah?” they say… and then I watch as they attempt to resist saying, “You two ever… you know…?” because their rational brains are telling them not to be stupid, but their dicks actually ARE stupid.
As I say, it’s a small minority of men who can’t separate real siblings from ridiculous porn.
But my sister recently tried to tell a stranger (a Republican and, if you can believe it, a Yankees fan) about some stuff from my blog. She got first-hand experience of something that has plagued my love life for years: he seemed to believe that her talking about sex in an academic way indicated that she was open to the idea of sex with him.
I don’t know for sure, but think maybe men broach the topic of sex in an oblique way, in order to test whether or not a woman is interested in sex with him. If the woman is willing to talk about sex in a hypothetical way, I guess that indicates to the guy that she might be willing to HAVE sex. I think, too, that if a woman herself brings up the topic of sex, he thinks this could mean she’s interested in sex with him.
(How this all might work in non-het relationships is utterly beyond me.)
It appears you can’t talk to any guy you’ve just met about sex – even about sex research – without giving him the wrong impression.
But since I’m a sex educator and therefore more or less always willing to talk about sex and to talk about it at length, I’m constantly giving the wrong impression.
Example. I mentioned once the cardiologist I went out with who insisted he could tell if an orgasm was fake because you can’t fake the contractions of the PC muscle. (Yes you can.) He also insisted I was wrong when I said that any woman interested enough in sex to WANT an orgasm could have one.
Apart from the arrogance of his opinions per se, his flat disagreement with me showed a deeply unsexy degree of oblivious incuriosity and egotism. As my friend Charles said when I told him this story, the dude ought to have welcomed an opportunity to bask in my wisdom and absorb all the knowledge he could from me.
But the worst thing was that duder seemed to think it was fun, flirty, and sexy to argue with me about these things. He seemed to think it was Going Really Well between us. How he could have mistaken the expression of affronted contempt on my face for lustful interest, I could not tell you.
All of which is by way of saying that it’s hard to date when you’re a “sexpert” (hideous word). I mean, at what point in a new relationship is it appropriate to tell a guy that you’ve written a guide about fellatio? How early can you talk about orgasms and lubrication and the miracle that is cervical mucus?
How early in a relationship is too early to use the word mucus?
There are benefits to having sex with a sex educator, even beyond the obvious. Of course the sex is good, but more importantly if something goes wrong, a sex educator can cope with it cheerfully. You use condoms correctly and consistently, when applicable. You become more comfortable with yourself as a sexual creature. You like your body more than you did before. You communicate more clearly and with fewer hangups and less baggage. Sex becomes simpler and more real.
But to get to the good stuff, you have survive the gamut of explicit but unsexy talk. You have to learn the difference between a conversation about sexuality and a conversation about MY sexuality.
I kinda gave up after the cardiologist. This was a very, very smart dude, but he couldn’t separate talking about sex from the idea that he might have sex with me. (Needless to say, he didn’t.) I think I might need to limit myself to dating people who are already aware of what I do, rather than meeting people and going out and having to explain.
Anyway. As a choral musician, my sister struggles with a difficulty I have with my job, that everyone thinks they know about her area of expertise. Music and sex. Everybody thinks they understand. But she doesn’t have to pretend she’s ignorant about music or avoid talking about her work in order to avoid making men think they can have sex with her.