Coffee Date #11: Expanding Our Definitions

On what sex is (and what it could be)

Hey friends,

Here we are again with the next edition of Coffee Date. As we’re now into December, there is only one more Coffee Date left in 2020 after this one. I don’t know about you, but I’m very much looking forward to waving goodbye to this garbage fire of a year.

Anyway, if you’re new to the newsletter, welcome aboard! If you’re returning, welcome back and thank you for being with me here again. Getting to write to you all is a highlight of my week.

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Narrow Definitions of Sex Harm Everyone

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about what sex is and what it has the potential to be. When people ask me why I chose to write about sexuality, I say it’s because I can’t imagine ever running out of things to say in this space.

The amazing thing about sexuality is that it’s infinitely diverse. Every single person will experience it in their own unique way, and no two stories will be identical. That’s why I always think there’s space for more sex writers. No-one can tell your story in quite the way you can.

Unfortunately, despite this endless variety and all the nuances that play into our experiences of sex, many people still carry an extremely narrow definition of what sex is and what it should be.

Here’s something people often don’t realise: this restrictive view of sexuality harms everyone. Defining sex as just penis-in-vagina intercourse is harmful to queer people, who have sex in a huge variety of ways. It’s harmful to trans folks, who may or may not feel comfortable engaging in types of sex that are so heavily gendered in our culture. It’s harmful to people who can’t have P-in-V sex for some reason, or who choose not to, or who just don’t care for it all that much and would rather do other things.

I talk to so many people who worry that there’s something wrong with them because they don’t have or enjoy sex in the ways they’re told they should. Depending on which study you believe, 70 - 95% of people with vulvas don’t experience orgasm from penetration alone and require clitoral stimulation to get off. And yet they (we - I’ve also fallen into this trap) keep chasing it and chasing it, feeling as though it’s a milestone or achievement we have to reach to have a “complete” sexual experience.

One of the reasons that I do kink is that it provides near infinite possibilities of different ways to explore sex and sexual expression. But kink isn’t the only way to do that. What if oral sex could be a complete sexual experience in itself? What if hand sex was your favourite thing? What if using toys on your partner or exploring mutual masturbation was what brought you the most satisfaction right now? What about just touching and exploring each other’s bodies without any specific end goal, following what authentically feels good? What if you didn’t need a partner to have a fulfilling sexual experience at all, and conceptualised masturbation as a full and satisfying way to have sex?

Perhaps you’ll find that P-in-V sex is genuinely your favourite thing. And if so, that’s awesome! Have fun with it! But we don’t need to categorise that and only that activity as “sex”, while relegating everything else to something that is different or lesser or just doesn’t count somehow.

This week, my invitation to you is to consider what sex is to you. Throw out the rulebook and forget about what you think you “should” be doing. Ask yourself, “if I was completely free of shame and judgement, what would I authentically want in this moment?”

Whatever kinds of sex you like to have, that’s awesome. With just yourself or a monogamous partner or complete strangers (well, maybe not the last one during pandemic times) - it’s all great. If you don’t want to have sex at all? That’s awesome too! You get to explore pleasure in whatever ways that looks like for you.

Instead of just restricting ourselves to what our cisnormative, heteronormative, mononormative culture says sex is, what if we instead considered what it could be? You might find possibilities you never imagined.

This week on the blog

I’m currently 9 days through a joint project with Lovehoney, where I’m bringing you a different review every day for the first 11 days of December. On the 12th day, there will be a very special giveaway, so keep your eyes open for that!

Check out the whole series.

Sexy deals of the week

Please be aware that shopping with my affiliates sends a small commission my way at no extra cost to you!

Reads, watches, listens

Reading… I’m ashamed to say I haven’t been prioritising reading as much as I’d like in the last few weeks. I’m up to my neck in work, so it’s taken a bit of a back seat. Perhaps a little ironically, I’m still slowly working my way through The Organised Writer.

Watching… This week, I’ve been “watching” (and attempting to follow along with) a lot of Yoga With Adriene videos on Youtube. I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress in my vanilla working life, and taking a few minutes to focus on my breathing and the way my body feels is helping me stay centered and grounded.

Listening… This Monday saw the release of the first episode of My Dad Wrote a Porno since last year’s Christmas special. It was, naturally, completely hilarious and a great antidote to the December blues. Need a giggle? Belinda and her festive adventures will provide.

Last word

Thanks for sticking with me, friends. It’s lovely to know you’re all out there reading and, hopefully, enjoying these missives.

See you in two weeks. We’re almost there - there’s light at the end of this trash-fire year.

Love you.

Amy x