Maybe junior high sex ed didn’t do it for you. Perhaps you feel that there are things you should know as a sexually active adult that you’ve never been taught or told.

 

Or does sex as depicted in popular media befuddle you–both entice and confuse yet leaves you questioning your own sexuality by means of comparison? You may even be one of the many people who have thought upon viewing porn, “my ___ doesn’t look like that,” or, “I don’t look like that,” or “the sex I have most certainly doesn’t look like that.”

 

Guess what? Feeling like you’re not totally in the know about sex quite yet isn’t just a teenager thing, or a young adult thing, or an I’ve-missed-out-on-my-sexually-adventurous-youth thing.

 

It’s an everybody thing, and a lot of what we’ve been told (and continue being told) about sex is wrong.

 

Professor of Women’s Sexuality and Wellness Director at Smith College, Emily Nagoski sheds light on just how in the dark we are about sexuality in her early 2015 title, Come As You Are. Featuring diagrams, worksheets, personal evaluations, and years of experience, Nagoski’s narrative expertly debunks the lies we’ve been told about our bodies and sexuality, and replaces them with insightful and relevant truths.

 

Reading Come As You Are in my early twenties left me feeling embarrassed (for the facts I should have learned years ago), as well as utterly let down by my country and state’s education system (for that which I was not taught). This text unforgivably lays the groundwork for all we should have long known about sex and sexual development. One of the book’s first chapters includes a modest diagram of male and female genitalia in its earliest stages of development (drawn by yet another sex-ed superstar Erika Moen)–this work doesn’t beat around the bush (pun!) when it comes to accurate and full exposure.

 

Highlights:

  • Arousal nonconcordance - or, the difference between being wet and being turned on. “..You must pay attention to your partner’s words rather than their genitals.”

  • Fact: male and female genitalia are in many ways, anatomical equivalents of each other. “Everyone's genitals are made of the same parts, organized in different ways.”

  • Factors such as stress, fear, and anxiety inhibit sexual accelerators for some, and motivate them in others. “We all have different sensitivities of SIS and SES (we're all different!), which leads to different levels of arousability–the potential to be aroused.”

  • There is a difference between experiencing an orgasm (letting it happen) and chasing one (making it happen). “...What she really needed was time for her enjoying to grow and expand until it finally activated her eagerness.” Some people rush to orgasm so quickly that they never arrive at the eagerness stage.

  • Vaginas, Skene's glands, and clitorises all produce the same kind of orgasm. The only thing different about them is how they might make you feel. “There's just the sudden release of sexual tension, generated in different ways.”

  • Sex is not a biological drive. “...Nobody ever died because of not being able to get laid. There is no baseline to return to and no physical damage that results from not 'feeding' your sexual desire.”


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Come as You Are is available in print and e-book formats. If you dig what you read, catch the author on tour to get the facts live.

 


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