When I first got to my now husband, I was so fond of him and our sex life that I shared an extremely intimate video of us with some of my best friends.
My friends are used to being open about sex and asking them anything in the interest of researching my books, but this was a step too far in the completely wrong direction.
It was gone, gone, AWAY TMI.
Why did I do it? Especially since I was happy and excited about my new relationship and wanted to share it with my friends.
Had I done it wrong? Hell yes! I still have no idea what I was thinking. (OK, I do. Lust and love send you rowdy at first.)
My friends were amused and admitted to me, but they were also shocked to see something so personal. Every time I think about it, I feel warm with shame – and that was nine years ago.
Tracey Cox reveals the various sex secrets you can talk to friends about (stock photo)
Talking about sex helps
Almost all of us are guilty of sharing too much detail about our sex lives. But sharing certain sexual experiences with friends can be a very good thing.
Women especially find it important to talk about sex.
Conversations about consent, what is sexually acceptable and what isn’t, making us feel uncomfortable, choices we’ve made that we may regret – we need to talk more about these things, not less.
WHAT IS OK TO TALK ABOUT FRIENDS?
DO NOT TALK ABOUT …
Nods or fetishes. Your partner who wants something special is usually somewhat itchy to tell our partners. Resist.
It takes courage to show your true sexual self to your partner. Even if you don’t like what they’ve revealed, be sensitive and discreet.
Size of the penis. It is a subject that all men are sensitive to. Confess to a girlfriend that he’s on the small side and he’ll never forget or forgive you. Those throwaway comments may not mean much to you, but they mean everything to him when it comes to sexual confidence.
Erection problems. Another forbidden zone. Tell all your friends that he has lost or was unable to get an erection and you risk turning a one-time incident into a long-term problem.
Negative things. Constantly complaining about your sex life with your friends is not fair. If you’re not happy with it, let your partner know. Ventilating to friends doesn’t solve anything.
Something he has explicitly not asked you to share. Obviously, this doesn’t include the things he did that harmed or made you uncomfortable. In those scenarios, speak – and loudly – instead of slamming shut.
Otherwise, if he wants it to be held between the two of you, respect that promise. Or don’t make it in the first place.
Everything you feel pressured to share. “After a few drinks, my friends are very vocal about their sex lives,” a shy friend of mine confesses. “But for me, sex is personal and private. I don’t want to talk about it and don’t appreciate being forced just because others are. ‘
BETTER TO TALK ABOUT …
Positive things. It’s great to tell your friends’ sex with your partner and they are the best lover you’ve ever had, so you rarely get in trouble.
A new sex position you’ve tried. Again, it’s pretty harmless stuff. And the fact that you try out new positions makes you adventurous.
Vibrators. They’re still something we’ll probably use solo and there’s a staggeringly large selection to choose from. Talking about one that really works for you is helpful.
The orgasm gap . Men cum much more often than women, in almost all sexual encounters. It is highly recommended to share any technique that will help increase the quota for women.
Why you don’t have an orgasm during sex. Support me by letting other women know that orgasms come from the clitoris, and penetrative sex isn’t the best way to stimulate it.
Funny things that happened to you. Falling off the bed. Breaking wind at the worst possible time. You put the cat out of your game. Anything that makes you look crazy, rather than your partner, is particularly safe to talk about.
Ditto how to masturbate, how to close the orgasm gap and problems reaching orgasm. I constantly tell women that it is normal to NOT have an orgasm during intercourse, but many still think I am doing fine to make them feel better.
It is often through candid, honest chats with girlfriends that women discover this to be true.
When men talk about sex, it is often bragging rights and little detail is given. When women talk about sex, a lot of detail, desired advice or reassurance is needed.
Sharing intimate details of your life is what unites people. But it can also cause you many problems and sabotage your relationships.
Talking about your sex life to get advice and information is one thing. Sharing lusty details just to laugh at or humiliate them at the expense of something else is quite another.
When you talk about sex, you are ruining sex life
Something goes wrong during sex and no one wants to look like an idiot to their partner. Even more humbling is knowing that it will all be a story to entertain all of your partner’s friends.
If your partner doesn’t trust you to respect their privacy, they will try much less new things, open up to that ‘out there’ fantasy, or ask for something they need to indulge themselves into an orgasm.
They will censor themselves and their behavior in bed for fear of being judged by you AND your friends.
If they can’t really be themselves in bed – it doesn’t feel safe to confess all those secret desires and desires – long-term sex is impossible.
There is another reason why it can be harmful to pass on intimate details about your sex life to others. It keeps you from talking directly to your partner about the problem.
It’s okay to use friends as a sounding board or to practice the conversation before you have it with your partner. Just don’t forget to do it.
The best person to talk to about your sexual problems is your partner, not your friends. They are the ones who need to know what works for you and what doesn’t.
Here are some other tips on how to talk constructively about your sex life with your friends without ruining your relationship.
What do you want from the conversation?
If you want advice, tell your friends before you start talking. If you just want to share, to find out if they’ve been through the same thing, make it clear again.
When you think about why you share before doing it, you stop revealing everything for the wrong reasons.
Don’t brag. Everyone thinks everyone has better sex than they do. Making yourself big feeds all those harmful sex myths and makes friends feel unnecessarily insecure. Pretending to have an orgasm if you don’t is a lie that especially doesn’t help.
Think about the consequences. What would happen if your partner hears you talking about this with your friends? Will they laugh at it or will it be a deal breaker?
Only share what is necessary. If you’re looking for advice, give a broad outline of the problem rather than going into detail.
Choose the people you trust VERY carefully. Not only should they be reliable, they should also be bulletproof reliable.
Tracey (photo) also reveals some tips for talking constructively to your friends about your sex life
All gossip about sex is good gossip. Almost everyone tells one person, and that person is usually their partner. Are you happy with that? Is that person’s partner close to your partner? How likely is it to contact them through this friend?
Even if your partner doesn’t mind talking about your sex life, it’s not pleasant to hear about it through the grapevine.
Ask your friend if they would like to keep the information private before you confess. Impress them how important it is to you that this is not gossip.
Do not share with ‘judgy’ friends. You won’t be the first person to tell a close friend about something you thought was daring and exciting just to be judged for it.
“I went out with a man who liked to watch me watch gay porn,” said a 32-year-old woman. “I liked it – it excited me to see it turn on.”
When she told her best friend, she called it “creepy” and “weird.” “I knew she was squeamish, but it never felt so good after that.”
One person’s nod is another person’s yuk. Do you trust that this person is nice and doesn’t make you feel bad about yourself?
Tracey suggested that you should always get your partner’s permission before sharing funny details with friends. Stock Image
Ask your partner’s permission. Something hilarious happened and you want to tell your bestie the best? First check. Some people like to turn funny sexual exploits into entertainment for a dinner party. If so, tell the story together.
Others find it disrespectful and embarrassing. In that case, keep your mouth shut.
Remember: Some of the most open people are very private about their sex lives. Don’t assume it. To check.
Don’t do it online. Ever. In all circumstances. It can stay there for a very long time and what you feel to share in that euphoric moment after sex may not seem like such a good idea once the buzz has worn off – or the relationship has ended.
Don’t do it at work. Today’s environment is much more political and sexually sensitive than before.
You may think your recent sexual exploits are extremely entertaining, your colleague may just feel uncomfortable. If you value your job, don’t try it.
If you are talking about sex with a friend, make sure no one else is within earshot.
Visit traceycox.com for more advice on sex and relationships and to find Tracey’s books and sex toys.