Illustrated by Sydney Haas
We love chatting with Stoya — writer, thinker, on-screen-sex haver — about all manner of sexual, sensual, and feminist topics. In fact, we had so much fun talking with her, we asked her to write a biweekly sex and relationship advice column. Have a burning question? Send any and all queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you think sex always has to be about orgasms? I have no problem achieving orgasms on my own, but with my last long-term partner it only happened about 30% of the time. I was fine with that, but he was frustrated and seemed to think we were "sexually incompatible." Was I selling myself short with someone who couldn't make it happen 100% of the time, or should I have tried harder to convince him that our relationship was satisfying — even if the sex wasn’t?
"I definitely don’t think sex always has to be about orgasms. I mean, I’d be really sad if I wasn’t having orgasms at all, but sometimes they aren’t needed or just don’t happen — and too much focus on orgasm can suck the spontaneity and fun out of sexual interactions. (In my experience, which is just my personal preference.) I’m sure there’s someone out there who adores having task-oriented sex with checklists and hand-tally counters as props, and hopefully they have at least one partner happy to indulge them. That said, the part of your question where you describe the sex as not satisfying makes me suspect we have a difference in opinion. It doesn’t matter how important I think orgasms are. It matters how important you think orgasms are, because they’re your orgasms. If the sex wasn’t satisfying for you, then the two of you probably weren’t sexually compatible.
Or, nobody was reaching down to stimulate your clitoris. That’s a running theme with women who don’t easily achieve orgasm during penetrative sex with a male partner. Being penetrated without some amount of stimulation for that nifty bundle of nerves right above your vaginal canal probably isn’t going to cause an orgasm. That’s just armchair biology. You’re only selling yourself short if you’re denying yourself things (like what you want out of a sexual relationship) in exchange for other things (like romance or security) and those things aren’t enough to make up for the deficiency in other areas. It would be really great if everyone in the world could actually have it all but — then we’d be living in the denouement of a Disney movie.
In the real world, it’s about your desires and how you prioritize them. You, you, you. Decide what you want and how important each thing is to you. Then you’ll have your answer."
Illustrated by Sydney Haas
I've had multiple partners stare at me confused after sex and ask, "Aren't you going to clean up?" Even when using condoms, guys ask me if I'm going to head to the bathroom immediately after sex. I normally dismiss their concerns because I want to lay relaxed post-orgasm a little longer. What are the best ways to clean up after sex, and how quickly should I leave the bed to get it done?
-A from Virginia
"Lots of women are prone to bladder infections. Lots of women are shy about announcing that they have to pee, and about discussing minor medical annoyances. When you put these two things together, you’re likely to end up with some men who might assume that all women like to immediately 'freshen up' after sex.
In my youth, I briefly had a female sexual partner who would run off to the bathroom immediately after sex. I thought maybe she was grossed out by vaginal secretions drying on her face, or finishing herself off because I hadn’t given her an orgasm and she didn’t want to discuss it or something. Seriously. I have a vagina of my own and I still didn’t figure out what was going on until another female friend was talking about how awkward it is to sneak away to pee immediately after sex — or risk the 50% chance she’d be pissing blood a few days later.
Of course, there’s always room for other explanations. There’s also the possibility that they’re gently trying to get you up, dressed, and on your way out of their apartment. Or, that they want to use the time you’re in the bathroom to get dressed and ready to leave your apartment.
The next time a person you’ve just had sex with asks if you’re going to clean up, I suggest you tell them "No, thanks" and that you just want to lay there for a little while. I’d also suggest you casually ask them why they assume you want to — and please pass those answers on to me because I’m incredibly curious. Also, you know, because communication is almost always a good thing.
As for your actual question: Get up when you’re ready to, and do whatever makes you feel ready to move on to the next part of your day: Fluff your hair, splash water on your face, wipe your crotch with your panties and shove them in your purse. Whatever makes you happy."