As a European I find it deeply saddening how many women here on Medium write about their sexual experiences in a “never again” modality. Apparently nearly every activity except (perhaps) the heterosexual missionary position and cunnilingus is cause for someone to be distressed or turned off or suffer lasting emotional damage.
This is, I suspect, because the USA is the most sexually repressed and fearful of all the OECD nations. When I arrived in the USA in 1980 I quickly realized it was circa 1870 with slightly better toys. When I moved to California permanently in 1991 I found little had changed except perhaps people were more anxious about sex, more fearful about life in general, and even more repressed. And this was the San Francisco Bay Area, epicenter (supposedly) of American hedonism!
My own experiences stand in stark contrast to those contained within the average Medium sex article. My childhood was mostly spent in the back-end-of-beyond in various developing nations: think dust, mosquitoes, irregular electricity, stifling heat and no concept of air conditioning, dodgy water, no phone or radio or television, and sometimes very little physical safety either. Fortunately I landed in Europe at the age of 15 and more or less remained there for the next fifteen years.
This meant my sexual life as a teenager was rich and varied and uncomplicated. Sex is natural, normal, and nearly everyone loves to do it provided they haven’t been poisoned by a sex-negative culture or an infantile mythology. My first sexual experience at fifteen was with my foreign girlfriend (also European) and it was wonderful: tender, exploratory, passionate, and surprisingly easy. We quickly “got the hang of things” and could fuck for ten hours straight given the chance. I was seventeen when I had my first girl-boy-girl threesome and just a couple of months older when I had my first boy-girl-boy threesome. They were great experiences for everyone concerned and were repeated eagerly by all participants on several more occasions.
At the age of fourteen, as there was no internet and I rarely saw a library in the far-off countries we lived in, I knew little about sex. My parents were products of their time and place and not only embarrassed about sexual matters but, as I discovered later to my horror, pretty much clueless themselves. So I thought oral sex was “aural sex” (when you talk about it) and I didn’t even know anal sex was a thing until I was sixteen. I had my first oral (receiving) and anal (giving) experiences at the request of the girls I was seeing because they knew more than I did and they knew it could be fabulous.
Looking back across all the years, and especially after twenty-seven years in the USA, I’m astonished by how simple and easy things were back then. There was no shame or guilt, no hesitation or fear. We tried things out because we were curious and because they were pleasurable. Sometimes I was surprised, like the first time a girl asked if she could suck my penis after I’d just sodomized her. Mostly things just seemed perfectly normal. Jenny likes to be tied up and spanked? Sounds fine to me. Mary wants to invite Sally to join us in bed? Sure, why not? Yvette really, really wants to know what it feels like to have a cock in each of her three passages? OK, let’s see who we can ask.
Doubtless today everything would be seen as abuse, as manifestations of The Patriarchy, and as horrible terrible painful emotionally scarring victim-making events that no human being should ever be forced to endure.
And that is very, very sad.
I don’t think there’s much hope for the USA, but I do try to be optimistic about Europe. From personal experience I know people in Russia and Ukraine and Romania are far more sex-positive than any American could imagine. I know people in France and Germany and the Netherlands and the Scandi countries and the Baltics are likewise more inclined to see sex as a perfectly natural and pleasurable thing to do between two or more consenting individuals. I just hope Europeans throttle back on their consumption of Hollywood trash with its pervasive sex-negative messages and neurotic characters and plots, so that US sexual terrors aren’t imported wholesale into a continent that is far better off without them.
Because people deserve a chance to be happy, and US culture robs them of that decisively.