Grown-up Conversations

Once in a great while, you get a student who stays with you forever.  I don’t mean a student who stays in your mind forever (one you think about all the time but will probably never see again).  I think teachers have a lot of those; you probably have a former teacher who wonders what happened to you and where you are.  I mean a student who stays in your life forever.  I have a couple of these students, and I’m unendingly grateful for our continued friendship and the things they teach me.  

I began teaching H when she was a middle school student; she’s now a freshmen in university and studying to become a teacher!
She came over for dinner last week, and she started telling me about her boyfriend.  I was surprised and delighted as she’d never spoken to me about romantic feelings or relationships before!  She said she’d never really believed in love — that romance was just something created by movies to make money.  She didn’t think it happened in real life, and she certainly didn’t think it was going to happen to her… but then it did.  And now she’s questioning everything.  I find this fascinating because I don’t ever remember feeling this way; I started feeling heart flutters in kindergarten, and it just got worse from then on.*
We ended up having a lengthy conversation about sex, dating, and relationships in which she really opened up to me.  Sex is a super taboo subject in Korea, even among friends, so maybe she felt more comfortable talking to a foreigner.  She said that because they didn’t teach sex education at her school (Korea has an abstinence-only education program), she and her friends had taken it upon themselves to go to an independent sex ed class run by a non-profit, which I think is amazing — I didn’t even know something like that existed here.  Apparently they didn’t do a great job, though, because when I told her that she needs to have a backup birth control method other than condoms, she a) didn’t know that there were contraceptives other than birth control pills, and b) said she didn’t think she needed one because condoms don’t really tear or come off, right?  I told her about the time that the entire top of a condom tore off inside of me and neither my partner nor I felt it happen.  She looked suitably horrified.  
She’s the first girl her boyfriend has kissed and her friends are telling her to have sex, but she’s not sure he’s the right person or that it’s the right time.  Even though I have a totally different experience with navigating my way into being a sexual person, I understand the feeling of trying to figure out what you want versus what you think people expect of you (don’t we all?), and as a teacher who encourages critical thinking, it warms my heart to see that she’s engaging in sincere contemplation AND advocating for her own desires and needs.  
In the midst of all this, she suddenly asks me: “What about you?  You’ve never talked to me about this stuff!”  “That’s because when I was teaching you, I was only dating women,” I said.  “Given the political climate around gay and bisexual people in Korea, I didn’t think I should say anything.”  “Oh,” she said.  “Are you dating anyone now?”  I told her that I had been seeing a guy recently, but he moved.  “Then, are you bisexual?” she asked, TOTALLY UNPHASED by this secret that I thought would be huge.  Thank you, Glee, for normalizing sexual fluidity!  If only everyone had that reaction to coming out.  
So, anyway — she’s bringing her boyfriend over to meet me next week, which kind of makes me feel like a parent.  A proud one.  I may not ever have kids of my own, but as far as I’m concerned, my former students who are in my life for good are family.  
 *I recently found a journal of mine from third grade in which I’d written down the “hunk of the day” (which is SO HILARIOUS in and of itself) for every day over a two-week period; Wil Wheaton showed up.  Twice.  

She Comes First

Holy.  Shit. 

If you are a person who has engaged in or who plans to engage in cunnilingus, do yourself and your partner(s) a favor and read this book. 

I heard about it first in a Sex Nerd Sandra podcast, and have heard / seen it mentioned on other podcasts and sex websites since, so I finally decided to read it.  It’s heteronormative and written in a super cheesy self-help book style; the author makes eye roll-inducing allusions to philosophers and writers to emphasize his points, and the entire introduction is dedicated to selling you on reading the book you’ve already purchased.  However — once you get past the intro, She Comes First is pure gold. 

Why?  Not because of the routines, although the author does lay out several gloriously descript step-by-step routines.  Not because of the detailed anatomical diagrams and explanations of the various parts of the clitoral network, though those are also included and pretty bad-ass. 

It’s because the author, Ian Kerner, takes the time to drop some knowledge on us that is imperative to the enjoyment of cunnilingus.  While I was reading it, I just kept saying to myself, “Yes.  Yes.  YES!  Do people really not know this?”  And then I realized: People really don’t know this.  He talks about things that I always assumed were just common sense, but upon reading the book have realized aren’t common sense at all — otherwise, they wouldn’t be included in this book.

Things like:

  • A woman’s entire body – not just her vulva – is an erogenous zone.
  • More foreplay = more arousal.  I cannot stress how much this bears repeating.  “But, but…” some of you might be saying.  “Cunnilingus is foreplay.”  Not if you’re a queer girl!  Personally, I consider foreplay to be anything that happens before direct genital stimulation.  Things like kissing, caressing and nibbling various body parts (see the first bullet point), talking dirty, etc.  The more aroused a woman is before you go down on her, the more likely she is to climax.   
  • It’s important to pay attention to the entire vulva, not just the head of the clitoris.  The clitoral network is vast and includes all parts of the vulva, vagina, and anus.   
  • It’s REALLY important for the bottom to know that she has all the time in the world because her partner is enjoying it; if a woman feels like her partner is in a hurry, she’s much less likely to enjoy herself or be able to relax. 
  • Cunnilingus is most effectively done with the bottom laying flat on her back (not in a crazy porn position) with her legs close together, not spread really wide (of course, there are women who are an exception to this).
So there you have some highlights.  Seriously, go read this book.  Lend it out to as many people as you can.  Send it to your parents as an anniversary present.  Enjoy!

11/20/14  Update! The author of this book, Ian Kerner, was recently a guest on Sex Nerd Sandra’s podcast and he was completely delightful.  He was unassuming, soft-spoken, intelligent and warm; listen to the podcast here.

It’s spread to Korea!

I was walking down the aptly-named Homo Hill in Seoul last weekend, and a guy stopped me on the street.  He asked my name, leaned in, lowered his voice, and said: “So are you, uh, you know, straight?”  “No,” I whispered back.  “That’s why I’m here.”

He scoffed playfully and said, “Aw, I’m looking for girls.”  “You’re looking in the wrong place,” I told him.  “No, it’s the perfect place!” he said, laughing.  “Oh,” I said.  “You’re one of those obnoxious predatory guys who hits on straight girls who go to gay bars to escape guys like you.”  Still laughing, he pushed my forehead, as if we were good buddies and I’d just made a joke.

I wasn’t laughing.

If you want something done right… (and another PSA)

Did you know that Craigslist is still a thing?  I didn’t until a couple of months ago, when a friend was telling me that he was looking for some NSA action, and I jokingly suggested he post on Craigslist.  And then I became curious.  Do people still use Craigslist?  I mean, when I lived in the States, I used it for everything: finding work, shared rides, buying and selling everything I owned.  However, since I’ve been in Korea, I haven’t given it a thought. 

So I hazarded my way into the dark forest of the Craigslist personal ads (if Craigslist were Middle Earth, the personal ads would totally be Mirkwood), and what stood out most was that there are SO MANY PEOPLE looking for elusive unicorns.  Which is what you’d expect in a fantasy forest, I guess. 

Most of the ads were easy to laugh at:
Subject: hot lady wanted 4 3some
Message Body: American guy 5’11” 180 and sexy Korean girl looking for another girl to join us in the bedroom… if ur a bi girl message me we can have some fun this week.  Ttyl

A couple ads, though, intrigued me; they were actually written with sentences (and whole words), and the people writing seemed to be genuine and smart.  So I thought: Yeah, okay.  Why not?  But here’s the thing: In order to have sex with someone (consensually and while sober), you generally want to be attracted to that person.  Unfortunately, not all of us find everyone else attractive.

I messaged a couple with my picture, and they sent back pictures of themselves.  While I found the woman attractive, I didn’t find the man attractive at all.  Our timing happened to not work out, so that was fine.  I emailed a woman with my picture, and she sent a picture back; her listed age said 35, but she looked much older and wore really heavy makeup.  That’s a no go.  I emailed another couple, and this was the worst: the guy responded without a picture; he told me that because they were both married, but not to each other, he didn’t want to send a photo of his face… but he would send naked pictures of himself “posing” if I wanted that.  Also, he said, if his lady friend couldn’t meet with us, he’d be happy to meet me alone and I could “make [him my] bitch” and later asked if I were into water sports and cross dressing.  No thank you, sir.*  He wouldn’t even sign a name; he just wrote an initial.  Yikes.  I mean, I get the need for privacy; I’m an intensely private person.  But someone who’s not willing to send me a picture of his / her face is someone I feel uncomfortable meeting in person.

Which brings me to Teachers Have Sex Public Service Announcement, Part II

Dear straight guys posting personal ads and creating profiles on dating websites:

I’m not quite sure where your extremely confident belief that every woman has a burning desire to see you naked comes from (probably from the same place that makes you hit on women on the bus), but it’s obviously there.  I get it — you think that your cock is the cock to end all cocks.  However, not everyone can be the Cock King, so chances are that shit is pretty average.  So for god’s sake, stop posting and sending naked photos.  No one wants to see that as their first image of you (okay, not *no* one — I certainly can’t speak for everyone).  In general, however, women do not look at dick pics and say to themselves, “Wow — what a handsome penis!  I’d sure like to have sex with the man who’s carrying that around!”  Women all over the internet have, however, seen a picture of the beautiful face of a convicted felon and lost their shit, saying things like, “Hell YES.  I would love to fuck that guy.  Weapons possession, gang activity, and armed robbery?  Doesn’t matter — look at those pretty eyes!”  For real.   

Anyway, I decided that if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.  I put up my own very specific posting in the women for women section, and while I did get a couple of unsolicited responses from men (happens every time), I also got a few really lovely replies written in whole sentences with face pictures attached.  Hot.  Craigslist is still thriving, people.  Get your NSA on.            

*Not unless I’m getting paid for it!  I did direct him to FetLife, where I thought he might be able to find a more suitable match than he could on Craigslist.