There is a lot I don’t know about sex. It feels weird to admit that, to admit that I’m a sex writer who has massive gaps in my knowledge. When I started sex blogging, I’m not sure if I felt a pressure to pretend like I knew everything or if I knew so little that I thought I did know everything. I’m not sure which of those is worse. I’ve learned a lot in the last few years, and I’ve learned that there’s a lot that I don’t know. I’m an unapologetic sex nerd and sex blogger… but I want to be a sex educator too.
It feels scary to admit that there’s a lot I don’t know about sex, and even scarier to admit that there’s a lot I don’t know about sex but I still want to be a sex educator. I think there’s something important about that, though. I don’t want to learn from someone who has everything figured out and knows everything. I’m far more likely to take advice from someone who is like ‘do what I say, not what I do’ and shares their fuck-ups as well as their successes.
So that’s going to be my brand for this new adventure: a sprouting sex educator.
I don’t want to pretend that I know all the answers, but I do want to bring you on my journey as I set out to learn some of them. I want to jump into not only talking about sex – that’s something I’ve been doing for almost three years now – but writing about sex as though I have something to say that needs to be heard. Not because I’m perfect, but because I’m curious, and nerdy, and willing to put my hand up and ask a silly question about my body that I feel like I should already know.
There is so much shame around sex – and around talking about sex. About a year ago that I told a friend that I wasn’t completely sure exactly where my vagina was and since then I’ve realised how much sexual shame I still have to work through. We need more people talking about sex, and I think we need people who are ok with admitting that they’re don’t know everything. I love talking about sex – it’s absolutely fascinating to me – but I definitely don’t know everything. It feels extremely presumptuous to say that I think that makes me qualified to call myself a (sprouting) sex educator, but I’m doing it anyway.
I want to learn and I want to grow. I want to talk about all the things that I don’t understand and ask the questions that make me feel silly. I want to share my explorations and my sex nerd research, and I want to make people feel less embarrassed to have questions about sex.
A few months ago I asked whether I could have anal sex with vaginismus. I didn’t have an answer, but I was brave enough to be vulnerable and admit that I didn’t know something. And every time I check the comments on that post I smile, because it did start a conversation. If our role as sex educators is to open the dialogue, then I’m allowed to start calling myself a sex educator because that’s what I want to do. That’s what I already do.
I want to talk about vaginal gunk and whether I need to pee after sex if nothing ever goes in my vagina when I fuck. I want to ask questions about not feeling arousal when I think I should be super turned on and whether other people are anxious about receiving oral sex. I want to share with you the ways I’m still scared of my own body. I want to talk about vaginismus and pooping when I’m on my period, and I want to blog about the things that I didn’t know.
Maybe this won’t be helpful. Maybe I won’t make anyone feel less ashamed that they don’t know something or feel more comfortable asking question. There are definitely other sex educators who admit that there’s shit that they don’t know – I’m not claiming that this is a revolutionary idea or that I’m going to do this in a way that no one else is doing it. I am going to do it, though. I’m going to do it, and not apologise for not knowing things. I’m going to embrace not knowing things, and commit to keep learning about sex.
Right now I’m a sprouting sex educator, but I am going to grow. I have so much imposter syndrome about calling myself a sex educator, but I don’t think that means I’m not allowed to claim that role and take that space. I’m a sex nerd, sex blogger, and sprouting sex educator, and I’m fucking allowed to say that.
(I also feel that I need that on a t-shirt.)
If you’d like to help motivate me to follow through on this and share some of the shit I don’t know about sex, please consider buying me a coffee! Ok, yes, I’ll probably get a hot chocolate, but your support helps me keep being vulnerable on the internet.
Quinn Rhodes (he/him) is a queer, trans, disabled sex writer with vaginismus. He’s a slut and a sex nerd who writes about his adventures in trying to fuck without fucking up. Quinn can usually be found wearing stomp-on-the-patriarchy boots while falling in love every time he fucks.