3 Little Words
No no, not those 3 little words! We're talkin the 3 more important words in sex education.
If your favorite online or book-writin’ sexpert, the one that taught you your favorite sex trick, is not sprinkling the words some, many, and most in their sexy infotainment as liberally as tasty toppings on a fancy sundae, watch out. These are three of the most important and valuable words in sex education and sex-positive thought, and they are absolutely crucial to really understanding sex.
Just as you’ve heard us say if you’ve ever visited one of our stores and asked for “the best vibrator,” there is no single toy that’s best for every person on the planet—even every person with a clitoris! Our sexualities vary. They vary across the lifespan, with new information or the inspiration of a new partner, and they absolutely vary from person to person. So whether someone is teaching about clitoral buzz, using food as a sex toy, fave positions, sexual orientation, relationship style, how often it’s “normal” to have sex every week, or seriously anything else (except whether consent is necessary)—your mileage may vary.
So when we tell you about sexual statistics or how many stars our customers have rated a given toy (yes, you can rate our toys! Please do!), we need to use these terms to reinforce that not every person will experience all the elements in the wide world of sex in the same way. That doesn’t just affect how you read the ratings or compare yourself to the statistical norm (which is basically a math number, not a rule that tells you how to behave or what you should respond to). It also sends a vital message for your sexual health and happiness. It means you need to pay attention to physical and mental signals that tell you who you are as a sexual person. You will probably not be exactly like anyone else. Your partner won’t either (if you have one)—not like your last partner, not like all the others of their gender or orientation… or generation, for that matter.
Even if a person is a hotshot toy blogger and has tried all the toys and told you all about it, if their review implies that you should agree with the infinite wisdom of their vagina or anus or whatever they’ve got and whatever they call it, beware. If they aren’t telling you what they think as well as what other people might think that’s different from their own POV, it may be that they don’t understand enough about sexual variety to be a go-to authority. Our culture is bad at sex education, limiting what we learn during the time when we’re often existentially curious, then inundating us with info and sexpertise well into our adult years. So much of this is great and useful! But if it leaves you wondering why it’s not as appealing or useful to you as advertised, it might be because your sexpert is an expert on their own responses (good for them!) but no expert on the principle that people can experience sexuality in so many different ways.
And don’t ignore those words when you do hear someone use them. They’re important. They reinforce the core insight of sex-positivity: We are not the same—though we all deserve information, connection to other people, access to healthcare, equality before the law, respect. “Sex-positive” doesn’t just mean “Yippee! I love sex!” It means Some people love sex. Many people would have better sex lives if they were able to communicate about their own preferences. Most people might benefit from support and encouragement in overcoming fear or shame.
Some, many, and most: Magic words that can help each of us find our place of comfort in the wide world of sex.
-Carol Queen PhD