If you’re a member of the never-been-kissed crowd, you might have fantasized from time to time about the mythic beast known as the Experienced Boyfriend: a handsome prince who will take your hand, sweep you off your feet, and carry you like a nubile sack of potatoes into The Kingdom of Naked Horizontal Dancing.
If so, it’s no surprise: the whole idea of a more experienced and/or older guy playing sex educator to a naive young ingenue is a classic trope. (Have you ever noticed that the leading men in fairytale stories always know how to kiss?)
But nowadays, thanks to the widespread belief in gender equality and autonomy for everyone, relying on an Experienced Boyfriend to teach you all the sexy things doesn’t fly anymore. Here’s why you need to be responsible for figuring out your sexuality on your own.
A healthy relationship with your body starts here. Think of your body as a magical wonderland, and your nether regions as its forbidden forest: dark, humid, mysterious, and full of secrets hidden behind a veritable thicket of… actually, nevermind, this analogy is getting weird. (Note: If your genital region is infested with centaurs and/or acromantulas, consult a physician immediately.)
The point is, we all have private parts, and we all have a duty to be the foremost expert in the workings thereof. Getting to know your body, whether it’s by doing the DIY HND or just using a mirror and a flashlight to see what’s going on down there, is something you should do before you ask anyone else to follow suit.
You have a duty to know your own sexual ropes. As a young woman, man, or Hufflepuff in the 21st century, you are officially endowed with agency and equality in all things, including sex. But like Uncle Ben said (the comic book character, not the rice mascot), with great power comes great responsibility.
It’s your job to be comfortable, confident, and knowledgeable enough about your desires to take an active role in your sex life, including communicating assertively when you’re in the moment. The autonomy that empowers you to pursue sex on your own terms also requires that you be able to take ownership of those choices. And when you abdicate that responsibility and let a more-experienced SO take the lead and set the tone, you’re also teaching yourself to take a passive role in your sex life—which is super-unhealthy, and virtually guaranteed to lead to misunderstandings and unhappiness down the road.
Another person’s experience is no match for your own self-knowledge. At some point in your romantic travels, you may find yourself on the receiving end of the following ghastly Mad-Lib style phrase from your more-experienced girlfriend: “Well, my last girlfriend loved it when I [verb]ed her [noun] like a/n [industrial-grade power tool].”
The problem, of course, is that you are not his last girlfriend, and the things another girl liked may not be your cup of tea. But if you don’t know what you do like—if you lack the self-knowledge to say, “Well, I’m not Last Girlfriend, and I prefer it this way, not that way”—then you’ll have no chance to educate your SO. Worse, many girls end up believing that there’s something wrong with them just because they don’t like being jackhammered in the exact same manner and style as Last Girlfriend. For the sake of a satisfying sex life (as well as a better-informed boyfriend), make sure you aren’t relying on someone else to decide what you do and don’t like.
Being confident in your own sexuality lets you choose your BF for the right reasons. Inexperience is temporary, but incompatibility is permanent. When you’ve chosen to be your own knowledgeable, responsible guide in the arena of Pelvic Entertainment, you’ll be free to select your potential SOs for more important reasons than their ability to play Sex Professor. (Recommended criteria: accordion-playing proficiency, buttock symmetry, and the ability to solve complex quadratic equations.)
In the end, your perfect match in personality and intellect might know even less about sex than you do — but if you’ve done a little independent study in your own sexuality, then that just means you can have a great time figuring things out together.