There’s a balance when talking with friends about sex. How much do you give away? How much is too much? I remember in high school I was in the lab and a group of my friends were talking. It was clear that something was funny, so I nudged over and asked what they were talking about. So and so saw his penis the other night and they had to break up because it was so small. She wiggled her pinky in that is-my-life-a-teenage-comedy sort of way. I hadn’t gotten into human sexuality yet, I didn’t know anything about sex in any sort of conventional way, but I felt that it was wrong. I didn’t why know, but it felt wrong. I liked the guy, and how was I to know how small his penis was or what small was or if that was really why they broke up? It didn’t seem fair to him to have his potential future sex life tainted by gossip on something that may or may not have been true – neither of which mattered.
That flashbulb moment must have been a defining one for me. Not only because I can remember something so brief so vividly, but because I’ve worked very hard since that point to be aware of what I say and to who.
What are my rules?
1. Be Nice: Never talk down to someone in front of them. That means no comments about dick size “You’re too big” or “You’re too small” or “Oh, I thought you’d look different.” No “Why does it look like that?” or “That’s not normal.” If the critique is about performance and not appearance, work on being constructive. The difference between “you’re not doing this right” and “Can you go a little softer?” It seems like common sense to be courteous to your partners, but it probably deserves mentioning anyways.
2. Don’t Joke About Partners: Being courteous extends beyond just when someones around you. Don’t put down someone that you had a bad experience with. Sometimes it can be cathartic to talk about your bad experiences with friends. So choose who you talk to wisely, and try to disclose only what is necessary to get across the message.
3. Remember it takes two: Your sexual experience involve you, too. Take an active role in the experiences you’ve had. While some encounters may have crumbled to pieces entirely in part of your partner (see #1-2), that’s not true for all of them. Remember that you can tell a lot about a person in how they deal with their sexual experiences. Do they talk about how it was just the other persons “fault” that it didn’t go well? Or are neither of you at fault and it was just a bad experience that you’ll learn from, hopefully avoiding the same mistakes/issues next time?
We can’t always say the right thing, but we can have good intentions and try our hardest.