Among the ways the Internet has bettered our lives, we now have online dating and easy access to good information. Concerning online dating, Zoosk has the bases covered. Concerning information, well, if we don’t know who founded the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, someone else does. But we want online dating to be a complete experience and to ensure that Zooskers have access to dating info from a variety of perspectives. We see it as our responsibility to share some of those perspectives, especially if it’s relevant to dating and love.
Dr. Carol Queen is undoubtedly the person you want to call when you have a question related to sex. We know that sex is an important aspect of dating, so we went to her for advice. We called Dr. Queen up and presented three sex questions we thought might interest our Zooskers, inspired by content from our Community Forums! And she, being awesome, gave us some answers!
How do you reconcile a difference in sexual experience levels?
Does sexual experience matter in determining good sex? (Inspired by this topic).
Carol Queen: It depends partly on whether the more experienced partner treats the matter gracefully, and whether the less experienced partner feels defensive or, for that matter, judgmental. The fact is: experience with other partners is not the same as experience with each other. People are not interchangeable. Each relationship is unique. So even a virgin can teach her or his partner about how different kinds of touch or stimulation feel, things they hope to experience sexually, and all the other stuff that makes us individuals. The mature partner isn’t the one who’s had the most sex, but the one who realizes that the learning starts over every time you meet somebody new. The less experienced partner can make sure s/he has access to sex information in the form of classes, books, or good websites; that way, all new learning isn’t dependent on the more experienced partner. Educating oneself can help level the playing field.
What are some things you can do to avoid the first time jitters so that you can actually enjoy the process of having sex with someone for the first time?
It can take a while for us to get comfortable with another person’s body. The first time you sleep with someone can be a nerve-wracking experience. How can we learn to be more comfortable with not only another person’s body but to become more comfortable with our own? Is there anything people can do to alleviate the ‘first time’ nerves? (Inspired by this topic).
Carol Queen: It’s good to be able to communicate ahead of time about likes and preferences, as well as specific needs like safer sex definitions and whose house might be the best place to wind up at the end of the date. Communication is the best lubrication, they say, and though I wouldn’t always trade it for a bottle of lube, it’s definitely good to have both in your bag of tricks! The more comfortably you can talk about sexuality, the more you can, ahem, lay the groundwork for a good time, and figure out (in part) what to expect. This extends into the sexual experience: “Do you like that?” “How do you like to be touched?” and other helpful phrases can keep you both communicative and more comfortable. The other important strategy is something called “sensate focus.” Don’t think: feel. I mean physically feel: focus on the sensations you’re feeling. And sensate focus immediately gives you hints about what to communicate about, because you can tell your partner what feels good or what you’d like even better if you are actually paying attention to the feelings rather than wondering what’s going to happen next. You’ll not just have more comfortable sex, but you’ll have more pleasurable sex.
Do men and women view sex differently? Is it true that men are less likely to develop emotional attachments after intercourse than women are?
Are men really from Mars? Are women really from Venus? We’re told that men and women are different. But how different is ‘different’? (Inspired by this topic).
Carol Queen: Not all men are alike and not all women are alike. Hormones and chromosomes may lend us valuable insight, but in the end, they’re only a small part of what makes us who we are. I’d prefer to answer your question by saying that men and women may tend to develop emotional attachments in different ways or that are characterized by different things (as is a common theme right now: “she wants to talk, he wants to do things to help out”) — but the most important answer isn’t what some, many, or most people do but whether your thinking applies to the person(s) who’s in your life right now. The personal qualities you used to think were about a person’s gender are often true of a cross-section of the population! And that’s a relief to know. Men and women aren’t always as different as people are sometimes inclined to think!
About Dr. Carol Queen, Ph.D.: Dr. Carol Queen is an award-winning author, activist and sex educator with a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality. Dr. Queen currently serves as Good Vibrations’ Staff Sexologist and Chief Cultural Officer. She has several books in print and her writing has been widely anthologized. Dr. Queens’ work has appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Spectator, The Toronto Eye, The San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Playboy. She is the director and co-founder of San Francisco’s Center for Sex & Culture.