• Rachel Kutcher

Let’s Talk About Sex

How to have an open conversation about sex

( Valerie Muzondi / Rowdy Magazine Art Director)

The idea that sex should be kept private is an outdated concept. Open communication about sex with your partners, friends and even family can be beneficial to everyone involved. Post-sex conversations can help reduce the stigma around sex, help you to connect better with your partner and your friends, and can ultimately make your sex life better.


If you feel like you’ll be the only one wanting to talk about sex, you’d be sorely mistaken. In fact, 57% of women talk about sex with their friends. But here at Rowdy, we think that number should be higher.


It may be difficult to get started or feel comfortable talking openly about sex, but we’re here to help. In a roundtable discussion (over Zoom), Rowdy staff writer Rachel Kutcher, campaign strategist Sol Wemen and editorial director Ava Loomar discuss the importance of post-sex conversations (juicy sex stories included).

Rachel:

How often do you guys talk to your friends about sex and how in depth do you go?


Sol:

Everytime I have sex.


Ava:

Yeah, I would agree.


Sol:

In like probably too much detail, more than they would want.


Ava:

I think sometimes it depends who it is. I’m usually the first to tell. But, I only tell the juicy details to my friends. It depends on who it is when it comes to the even juicier details. But, I definitely have that conversation every time.


Rachel:

I feel that, I do the same thing. Anytime I have sex I run back to my friends like, “Hey guys, this is what we did.” I pretty much take them through the play-by-play, which some of my friends don’t appreciate as much. I try to make sure I’m telling certain friends the juicer details and other friends the not so scandalous things.


So how do you guys deal with telling certain friends certain things and other friends not so much detail?


Sol:

The friends I tell every time would probably be my roommate and my other best friend, who lives in Indiana. It’s usually a facetime call with my friend in Indiana featuring my roommate, and I go through the play-by-play with both of them. But besides them, it’s usually an ask. Like if someone asks me how my sex life is going I’ll tell them it’s going well. I’ll tell them when I had sex, I guess, but I keep the details to just those two people. Sometimes my mom, but that’s it.


Ava:

Facts, facts. Most of the time my friends are totally fine hearing the details. Most times they ask and want to know. I remember one time freshman year, we were talking and my friend said she didn’t know how to ride. I was like, “What do you mean you don’t know how to ride? What do you do during sex?"


And she said she mostly just lays there. I was like what do you mean you just lie there? So, I had this dildo and I was trying to demonstrate to her how to ride. It was just a fun experience with my friends where we were just taking turns showing how we ride dick. And then she learned how to ride dick!


Rachel:

Good for her!


Ava:

I know right. She still prefers to Starfish, but at least she knows now.


Sol:

Starfish!? I’ve never heard that.


Ava:

That’s what it is! She’s a pillow princess, she just fucking lies there. I respect it!


Rachel:

We call it a dead fish.


Sol:

I’ve heard of a pillow princess, but I’ve never heard dead fish or Starfish. Interesting.


Rachel:

Just fun little names to illustrate sex. Conversations like that really help to normalize things, and help to teach your friends, and yourself, about sex. What other examples do you have where you either took from your friends experiences or gave tips from your own experiences?


Ava:

I have a non-binary lesbian friend and I’m a bisexual woman, who has never really, truly been with a woman. So, I learn a lot from them, about how lesbian sex works. So the other day — they had this partner, who they were hooking up with — they were like, “Hey can I show you our sex tape?”


Like yes, you can show me your sex tape! So, they showed me the video of their partner pegging them in the ass. At first, I was like oh my god, but then I was like "OK that’s how you do it." I didn’t even know about any of this, so it was a learning experience for me. Like, oh shit, now I know what I gotta do, and also that’s new porn to look into. So that’s fun! It didn’t even occur to me before, so that was a conversation that really helped me, like on the opposite side of when I taught my other friend to ride dick.


Sol:

I don’t think mine’s as fun. Senior year [of high school ] I had this boyfriend of a couple months — he was a musician, rode a motorcycle, all that shit. He was the first person that ever slapped me in the face and spit in my mouth and all that fun stuff.


Ava:

Hell yeah!


Sol:

He was very communicative about it the first time it happened, he told me he used to do it with his ex and asked if I would be into it. I was like, OK we can try it. I wound up really liking it. I would say in high school I wasn’t as vocal with my friends about sex, just because I feel like it was more taboo back then.


Ava:

Yeah, not everyone was having it.


Sol:

Exactly. But, one day I brought it up like, “So have you guys ever been slapped in the face, like what’s up with that?” Just casually threw it in. None of them had heard about that, or they had only seen it in porn. They said they didn’t know if they’d ever be into it. Some of them tried it and didn’t like it. Some of them tried it and loved it. So, that made me feel less weird and helped them find something fun to try in bed.


Ava:

My roommate freshman year — I’d never been slapped before — was like yeah I like doing this, this and this, which included slapping and r*pe roleplaying. I was like what? But then I took the BDSM test and was like oh shit I would like a whole bunch of this. So it really opened up this whole new world for me.

Rachel:

I definitely feel that; I also really enjoy being slapped. I’ve actually been doing it with the guy I’m hooking up with now, and sometimes I’ll go back to my friends and I’ll tell them about it. They’ll be like ee er, like some of them just aren’t used to it.


So, do you guys ever feel like your friends are, not so much judging you — like I know my friends aren’t judging me, they’re just kind of uncomfortable with the conversation or what I do — but how do you deal with that?


Sol:

The hardest part is that my roommate and I share a wall. Every time something goes down, she’ll just bring it up after. She’s very funny about it and she’s fine with it. She’s like, “It’s always so weird because I never really hear anything except a couple giggles and then it’s just *imitates slap.*” I feel like navigating sex while your roommate can hear you is a tricky situation.


Ava:

My roommate made a joke once about hearing me have sex. She’s like, “It’s not fair that you’ve heard me having sex, but I haven’t heard you.”


Like yes, it is! When I know she’s home, I’m specifically not loud— even though I prefer to be most of the time. It teeter-totters the line of not wanting other people to actively participate in my sexual experiences, but wanting to involve them afterwards.


My roommate is also more uncomfortable with me talking about women than men, for sure. She knows men, she knows what goes on with them. But, she doesn’t really understand the gay side of it. I feel like I have certain friends, obviously the more gay ones, that I talk to about gay sex. So, I probably just wouldn’t talk to my roommate about that. I think in general most of my friends would be just like [Sol’s], like tell me more.


Rachel:

Ava, you had talked about dealing with different sexualities within your friend group. My friends are mostly straight, but one of my friends recently came out as bisexual and she’s been testing the waters of telling us stuff. How do you go about discussing those things with friends who have different sexualities?


Ava:

My friends are the type of friends who kiss each other and are like, “That’s not gay though.” But, a lot of them are bi, as well. Half of my friend group is bi and half are straight.


Sometimes they’ll say things like, “I would never eat a girl out.” And I’m like well I would! I would like a vagina in my face right now, please. That would be so nice.


Joking about it eases it in. I’ll tell my friends about girls I’m talking to and for some of them it’s a fun thing because it’s something they haven’t experienced. They’ll go, “Oh my god this is how you flirt with women? This is like a completely different side of you.” So, it’s cool for them to see it and participate in it without having to question their own sexualities.


For others who would be uncomfortable, I just wouldn’t be as vulgar. I’ll just tell them that I’d like to hook up with her or do whatever.


Rachel:

Yeah, talking about this stuff is a great way to normalize it, so other people have a better understanding of what you’re thinking and doing.


I feel like talking about these things with people who are and aren’t having sex really helps to normalize the whole experience, too. Do you guys have any experiences where you or a friend have discovered something that you didn’t know about or thought was weird beforehand?


Sol:

I remember in high school my best friend had this boyfriend of two years — she was a very sexual person — and I had never given head before so she gave me a play-by-play of everything you have to do. Which I later found out, as we both progressed sexually, a lot of the stuff we were learning was wrong. So it didn’t really work out for anyone involved. At the same time, while it’s great to learn about sex through socialization with friends, there’s a lot of misinformation that’s contributed that way. It’s a learning together type of thing. When you try something new you tell your friends about it like this might be something they’ll like or you give them tips. It can be hard to do, though, because everyone likes sex differently, everybody has a different body. There are pillow princesses and Starfishes, which I just found out about. It’s definitely just a trial and error thing.


Rachel:

I think it’s important to find the friends that you’re most similar to sexually, and then you can just go at it together. One of my close friends and I essentially had the same sex lives at one point. We would just keep telling each other what we we’re doing and then the other one would go back to their partner and try it out the next night.


Sol:

Compare notes.


Rachel:

Yeah, literally. So through that we discovered we like really similar things. But with other friends I won’t tell them as much or we won’t swap as many scandalous stories, I’ll just keep it kind of surface level


Ava:

Communicating about sex with your friends in general helps you better communicate during sex. Sometimes you’re having sex with someone and they actually ask you what you want and you can’t even tell them because you don’t know. That keeps you from enjoying it the way you should. Sex really should be for you. Obviously, you do things to make the other person feel good, but ultimately it’s your body and you should feel good, too.


Rachel:

Even if it’s not every detail, if there are certain things that stick out those are things that you should discuss with at least your close friends, people you’re comfortable with. It can help you with it and it can help them.


Ava:

You should be talking to other genders about sex, too. You know how your body works 100%, but you don’t know how someone else's body works. Just talking to a guy about what you do and how it affects your body from their perspective can be really helpful when you’re having sex with a future partner. It can help you implement things that make them feel good, too (if you’re having sex with men). There’s only so much information you can get from your girls. You should definitely talk to people of other genders and sexualities about the types of sex that they’re having. Talking about sex that you’re not having reveals just as much as talking about the sex that you are having.







Rachel Kutcher is a Staff Writer for Rowdy Magazine. She loves the rain, candles, drinking wine, collecting jars and New Girl's Nick Miller. Her passions include destigmatizing sex, empowering women and sustainability.