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There's More To Sex Than They're Saying

Author: Tsara Shelton
Author Contact: @TsaraShelton on Twitter
Published: 3rd Sep 2022 - Updated: 6th Sep 2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication: N/A
Additional References: Sexuality Publications

Summary: Whoever you are, however your body responds to pleasure, you can find safe sexy sensations.

Main Document

I feel lied to.

Seeing sex played out in movies and hearing people talk about it as I grew up, I felt like the story was this: be traditionally attractive, get excited, touch each other with mouths and hands and other parts, try to give each other orgasms – she might be wet if she’s turned on, he will be hard if he’s turned on– then fall down exhausted with messy hair and a messy bed.

This is, in all fairness, one way sex can play out.

But where were all the other ways?

Where were all the other types of sexy sex?

I knew, for most of my life, that sex was something everyone could enjoy. I knew you didn’t have to have an orgasm for it to feel good and satisfying. I knew women could crave it and men could insist on intimacy and love. I knew it could be between a man and a man, a woman and a woman, one person, two people, several people, and be right and good. I knew it wasn’t only traditionally attractive people who desired and were desirable. I knew that, but because I was mostly only showed the other, I had to remind myself to know it. I had to say it to myself in order to hear it. I had to add it under my breath or to my fellow show watchers when it was oh so often left out of the writer’s room and casting specs.

Those were things I knew because of the openminded and open to discussion home I grew up in and the friends I chose to make.

But we failed to talk about, or I failed to understand, so much more!

If you are a man and you are hard, you can still not want sex. If you are a woman, and you are wanting or enjoying sex, you can be dry. If you are a man, and you are totally turned on, you can be soft. If you are a woman, and you are not aroused, you can be wet.

As a woman, I'm inclined to feel like I’m failing when there is vaginal dryness. To worry that my partner will think I’m not turned on, although I am. Actually, as I’m writing this I remember that up until recently I actually thought I was gross when there was too much wetness. And I felt like my body was betraying me because I thought all that wetness was supposed to only happen if I was enjoying the sex, but generally I was not enjoying it. So, why the gross wetness? I am in a relationship now where I have gotten mainly comfortable with the wetness. I like that it feels appropriate because I am enjoying the sex, and all evidence points to my partner not thinking the wetness is gross at all. But now I sort of feel betrayed by the dryness, because it can happen when I’m majorly excited and aroused. Even painfully so.

Oops! I didn’t intend to write this as an introduction to my wet or dry private parts. Sorry about that! All this is to say, I feel lied to. From all accounts, I’ve heard that erotica and porn highlight rock hard men and wet women, they are designed in a way to use these images as the sexy part. And though I don’t watch porn and have not read much erotica, I am still fed this information. It is everywhere in sex comment, jokes, dialogue, and images.

But this is a narrow view.

Whether it is due to aging, medication, or simply natural for our bodies, we do not all get wet, hard, have sex, and then fall down messy haired on a bed. And that’s not because we are unfortunate or having to do it different because we’re broken, it is because there is so much more to sex. If we were more open about that, if this truth was more well known, I think we’d be more comfortable discovering our own sexual selves and the sexual selves of our partners.

By sexual selves I mean more than I find this pleasurable, I find this not pleasurable. It goes beyond, into why. Why is this pleasurable? Something from our pasts, our personalities? Our condition, our abilities or disabilities? Our beliefs or our culture? Who are we when in this vulnerable emotional place? During sexual arousal our brains and bodies are overwhelmed with physical and emotional feelings, flooded with chemicals, hormones, fears, desires. We become more sensitive in some ways and less so in others. Our sexual selves are ourselves, but naked and provoked.

Here, allow me to invent a scenario. Imagine you are paralyzed and have begun to prefer partners that are commanding. Pushing and forceful. In your mind you picture yourself so attractive to them they can't help but need you and perhaps you imagine yourself tied up or even drugged. You don't feel unable but, instead, powerfully desirable. Imagine a partner who is shy. You adore each other but the shyness is hard for your partner to overcome. They are struggling with shame, perhaps, and being commanding feels like wanting sex, which they were taught is shameful. Together, you discuss and discover the feelings and desires. You expand each others boundaries. Over the course of days, weeks, quite possibly years, you shift and change and grow your sexual selves, which is yourselves.

Or maybe you explore your own boundaries with several different partners, it does not need to be a romance or love story. Other than the love story of yourself.

I don't remember learning this about sex from the world. I feel lied to.

I admit, maybe I feel lied to because I am me and I was receiving the information wrong. Maybe, because I thought you were supposed to be sexy in a certain way and so I wasted many of my years trying to do it that way, I was caught up in a lie that was less prevalent than I think.

But I don’t think so.

Because now, armed with a new understanding of how sex can last all week, can be hard and soft and wet and sweet and nasty and serious and delicious and dry and stinky and funny, can have no beginning middle and end but simply be happening then not happening then happening again, can be a sensory explosion of only wonderful or a sensory minefield where we must be careful of where we step, can be so many more things than I could imagine, I still see the lie mostly sold. Unless purposely seeking diverse stories, it’s mainly wet tight woman plus rock hard man equals moans and groans and successful sex is over after orgasm(s).

I am grateful to be learning different. I love knowing that it isn’t proof of my lack of sexiness if he is not hard, and it isn’t a failure of mine if we reach for lotion or lube. I love knowing we can start and stop and sometimes have wild messy hair and an askew bed while other times simply feel the touches of each other and play with our pleasure gently, let it build or wane and never need to feel there is an endpoint we must reach to have had successful sex.

You know, I did know this stuff. I mean, I did know it enough to say it, but I didn’t feel it until now. I can’t know for sure, but I think that, had I not been lied to, I would have been able to feel it sooner. I don’t mind so much because I'm feeling it now. I'm discovering it now.

But others, I want others to discover something similar for themselves as well.

That you can have successful sex and pleasure beyond what is sold as the most common sexy way. This does not mean the most common sexy way is not sexy, it is. But even if you fit that story now, as we live our lives we change and evolve, so at some point you too may want to learn that it can be so much more.

Whoever you are, however your body responds to pleasure, you can find safe sexy sensations. It won’t come without some stimulation (pun intended) but it is there for you. Even if you don’t get wet or hard or have hair to mess.

Don’t let yourself be lied to.

Author Credentials:

Tsara Shelton, author of Spinning in Circles and Learning From Myself, is a contributing editor to Tsara's personal blog can be found at Keep up to date with Tsara's latest writings by following @TsaraShelton on Twitter.

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• (APA): Tsara Shelton. (2022, September 3). There's More To Sex Than They're Saying. Retrieved September 23, 2023 from

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