A few things that will seem disparate until you get to the end:

Thing 1: I have said that the difference between ordinary sex and extraordinary sex is: confidence and joy.

Thing 2: Andrew sent me this story about how The Joy of Sex came to be illustrated. It’s adorable and you should read it – both the story and the actual Joy of Sex, particularly now that it’s been revised and updated.

Thing 3: Bill and Desiree and the Comstock series of non-fiction porn. (H.O.T.)

Bill says, “I think it’s possible for couples to be… to get hung up on the idea that it has to be super all the time, that if it’s not special, it’s not okay. And my experience… life long is that peak experience are just that. Not everything is Mount Everest.”

The complicated point which required all three of these pieces is that extraordinary and “GREAT” are not necessarily the same thing.

See, my point of view is that extraordinary sex is simply non-ordinary, and ordinary sex is the worried, uptight, rule-following sex that most people have most of the time. The sex you imagine when someone says, “What is sex?” You know, two young, thin, middle-class, white heterosexuals in bed, in the dark, in missionary position; she’s worried about her orgasm and he ejaculates too soon. Ordinary. Take that formula and add JOY, and all of a sudden it’s extraordinary. No worry about orgasm or ejaculation. No fretting about erection and lubrication. Just pleasure and delight to be here now with this person you care about.

I mean, do you know how many people struggle to feel joy around their sexualities? Me either, but it’s a LOT.

It is a complicated point for a person who gives sex advice. After all, would you buy a sex book that promised to help you feel joyful about the MEDIOCRE sex you’re having, as well as the excellent sex?

(This, btw, is what I mean by “Enjoy the sex you’re having.”)

What makes it even MORE complicated is that the advice to bring joy to sex, to enjoy your sex no matter what it is, is to advise people to like the other person (or people) involved in their sex life. After all, what’s charming about the original Joy of Sex illustrations is the obvious affection between the two people. What’s charming in Bill and Des’s encounter is the abundant love they share. And what, when you get right down to it, is the difference between love and joy?

Once you really like your partner, the only thing between you and joy is, to put it simply, liking yourself as well.

You don’t have to climb Mt Everest, hell no. Frankly, who would want to? Not me. But when you walk up the local hill, walk it with affection and awareness of this moment. Walk with joy, and it hardly matters where you go.

And because I can’t say it often enough:

Confidence and joy.\ It’s not about orgasm\ Pay attention to your partner\ and\ Enjoy the sex you’re having.

That’s really all the sex advice I have to offer.

Oh, and also lube. Especially silicone lube. But that’s really it.