In Defence Of Talking To Your Friends About Your Sex Life
The Debrief: Talking about your sex life with your mates isn't oversharing, because divulging your sexcapades makes for BFFs.
I'm a staunch advocate of being vocal about my sex life. This doesn't mean I like to yodel about rimming in the yoghurt aisle of Sainsbury's or rap about anal on the bus, I simply mean that a select group of my friends (and female friends only) will be privy to the more intimate details of my dirtier dealings. And that this certain type of discourse is necessary for the health of my sex life/friend life.
Some women take an opposite view. They feel sex is a private act between two people and out of respect to your sexual partner, you shouldn't discuss it with anyone.
These are very upstanding women with excellent moral compasses who also probably never let anyone copy their work at school. You know, the type of girl who would be a real laugh after a few shandies, suggesting playing Scrabble but WITHOUT the vowels. Larks.
As it's sometimes difficult to read sarcasm, I would like to make clear that that was entirely sarcastic. I would not like to go for a drink with a woman like this because a decent proportion of my conversation, especially after a few drinks, is either about sex or peppered with crude sexual references and that's half of the fun about girls nights out.
Sex is naughty, exciting, funny and brings us back to basic teenager level when it was girls against boys. You might have a group of school friends that have all chosen very different paths in life. One is a high rolling banker, one's a mum, one works in Sainsbury's and heard you yodelling about rimming... yet whatever your life routes, you are always able to connect again over a glass of wine and a giggle about a willy. When it comes to sex we all exist on a similar level.
Those to whom you divulge your sexcapades are aware you don't have this sort of conversation you have with your work mates, your family, your boyfriend's friends - you choose them because you value their friendship and discretion. Sharing is caring.
Psychologist, Laura Forde, takes it away: 'Talking about intimate moments can actually bring you closer to a friend. Selecting them as a soundboard for matters of privacy builds trust.'
But it's not just the bonding with the friends over trying to estimate penis size of the last one night stand, then realising you were too drunk and haven't a clue if he was even circumcised - it's also important for comparison - to make sure you are on the right track.
Laura continues: 'It can also be a way of "checking in" on someone else's sexual experiences. Self awareness progresses in adolescence, as does a tendency to benchmark our looks, ability, skills, and behaviour against others. Confiding in friends is reassuring, or even educational in what we should expect from our own sexual exploits.'
If we don't keep tabs on our friend's sex lives, how will we know we're not getting the best out of this gift of sex. Yes, it's all over the internet, but reading about new sexual positions isn't the same as your best friend reenacting the position on the sofa. One is far more comprehensive. 'If my friend, Maggie, hadn't told me about the two-handed masturbation technique, I'd still be having surface orgasms' says Penny (names changed) 'I took a day off sick from work and spent the whole day doing it in the bath.' Not technically sex, Penny, but your point was valid all the same.
And let's look at the plight of poor old Charlotte York and Trey MacDougall. Couldn't a lot of trouble have been saved if she had confided in Carrie? Sex and the City wins again with giving real life sex advice. It really is a bible.
Scr*bble g*rl asks 'But don't you feel like you have betrayed your partner?'
No Scr*bble g*rl, because few of us discuss absolutely everything. We're not still teenagers, we don't give or need blow by blow accounts and we all know when to guard our partners' dignity (unless it really is just too funny to keep quiet) If we're in a loving relationship, we're going to be glass half full about our sex lives and disparaging only when frustrated. Nothing is particularly shocking these days and if we have a fetish we know isn't everyone's cup of tea, we're unlikely to discuss it over coffee. But there are a few main topics of conversation that will always come up:
1) How often we have sex
2) Tips that were extremely good
3) Sexual issues and how to overcome them (always in very hushed tones and to no more than one other person)
4) Things we want to try but are too scared (usually to more sexually experienced friends who will tell you about them in a really blasé way and you will sit there agog, eyes wide, trying to figure out if you would ever have the guts)
Single girls, however, having no loyalty to their numerous partners will always be expected to tell all. This is the rule. It is conversational currency. They will likely be leading more exciting sex lives than anyone else and it is their duty to feedback the weird and the wonderful so everyone else may live vicariously through them.
Of course, for both coupled and single girls, gauging your audience is paramount. Old friends will still be interested and open minded about things they find strange themselves and therefore are safe. With new friends you must test the waters, throwing in a few references and seeing their reaction. Then one will finally take the bull by the horns and tell the other how much she loves her boyfriend to cum on her face. The other will respond with how she only finds sex good if she's wearing a butt plug. Then they will smile and know that they can be very good friends.
Exciting, educational, bonding, trust building, fun - LET'S TALK ABOUT SEX, BABY!
Quick note to my boyfriend: I promise no one willl ever know what you tried to do to me last night if you promise never to do it again.
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Follow Madeleine Knight on Twitter: @MissMadeleineK
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