Wanton Hussy - Column for 5/25

My Credentials As A Sexpert

What is it that makes someone an expert about sex, a "sexpert" as Susie Bright or Dan Savage have claimed to be? Having a lot of sex with a lot of different people? Being sexually adventurous, with a purity score of less than 20 on the 1000-question test? Having a doctorate in Psychology or Sociology or whatever Dr. Ruth had? What makes someone a sexpert?

My answer: we're all experts in sex. No, seriously we're all experts in what we like about sex, what gets us off. Sometimes we forget, perhaps some of us are a little more tentative about our credentials, but we all have ability to tell if sex is or isn't working for us.

Or at least we have the potential what makes us experts about our own desires and needs is being self aware. What gets you off, what gets your partner off? What do you like, what do you not like? How do you talk about it? That is what makes you an expert in sex knowing what you like, what your partner likes, and how to talk about sex. How to compromise. How to ask for things. How not to ask for things.

Being able to talk about sex makes you a sexual expert.

Information is part of it, to be sure, but you don't have to have mastered the Kama Sutra or the 71 Sensual Secrets of Scheherazade in order to get an official Sexual Expert Certificate of Approval. In fact, I am willing to pass out such certificates should anyone come up with a non-intrusive system in which to prove they are decent sexual communicators.

One hallmark of being a good sexual communicator is having a good sex life. This can be a solo experience, or it can be with someone else doesn't matter. The important part is that you know what your needs are and that you're working on getting them satisfied.

In a partnered relationship, this of course is more difficult because you might want your partner to help satisfy your needs and for whatever reason, that might not currently be happening. You can still be a sexual expert; you'll just need to work on the aspect known as "compromising." (Note: compromising does not mean being either a victim or a martyr, sacrificing or putting off your own needs. It just means some activities might be solo events, and that you should still be communicating and talking about sex, even if you're not having it together at the moment.)

Being a sexual expert does not mean that you have fantastic sex every time you fuck. What it does mean is that you have the ability to talk about it when it isn't fantastic, to diagnose what went wrong, and you have or know where to get the tools to fix it for next time.

Susie and Dan don't have much in the way of credentials that I could find: Susie has a BA in Community Studies and I can't determine if Dan has any kind of degree at all. They both seem to have had fairly wild sex lives in their teens and twenties, but I think most people agree that quantity doesn't speak to quality, particular at those ages.

I've been fretting about what my credentials are, and how I can dare to set myself up as a "Sexpert" along their lines. Why would anyone take me and what I have to say seriously? Why do I take myself seriously? Well, I've been in a monogamous relationship for 12 years and we've been having sex that entire time. I may not have learned the same lessons that having triple the amount of sexual partners in my 20s would have taught me, but I learned other lessons instead, like how to make relationships last and how to get through the difficult times and dry spells instead of breaking up. There are still many ideas on my list of sex games to try out because they sound like fun, but we're working our way through those, surely and steadily.

Furthermore, I've been a sexual person since birth, and definitely since I had my first orgasm at age 10. I've been reading about sex, thinking about sex, learning about sex, and talking about sex since childhood, and I do mean the physical and emotional stuff as well as the more prurient aspects. I've always been fascinated with sex, about the ability of two (or one or three or whatever) people to come together and celebrate their physicality with pleasure and joy, to be intimate on a nonverbal level.

I like to explore ideas with other people, test out theories, see how my thoughts sound when they're taken out of my head and put into words. See if they're true for other people as well as myself. I have an all-consuming passion for the subject of sexuality, both individually and culturally.

So those are my credentials. I hereby declare myself as much of a Sexpert as my idols, always learning, always thinking, always talking.

And to that end, I'm going to start offering workshops/discussion groups. Please let me know if you're interested!

~ Posted 25 May 2006, property of . Please do not re-post without permission.

Columns by Wanton Hussy