Let’s talk about sex: Introducing “Sex in San Diego”

by on February 3, 2012 · 13 comments

in Civil Rights, Popular, Sex in San Diego

Let's talk about sexBy Emilie Astolat

Talking about sex isn’t as easy as it seems, even in a laid-back town like San Diego. I mean, I’m a grown, almost-married woman who engages in the act quite frequently, and yet I still feel awkward as I sit in front of this computer screen typing, despite the cloak of anonymity.

That says something about the American culture, doesn’t it? It’s no secret that people have sex. Right now in San Diego, for example, there are countless people doing the deed. But, shhh! Sex should be kept behind closed doors at all times!

It really shouldn’t though.

In a world where schools are trading in sex education programs for prayer and leaving teens to glean whatever (mis)information they can from MTV’s 16 and Pregnant, it’s time to get the word out. And it’s time to take the stigma out of words like penis, vagina and clitoris.

from Aaron Huniu Photography http://www.aaronhuniuphotography.com/jessica-nick/That’s where this column,  Sex in San Diego, comes in.

I don’t plan on writing scientific articles full of medical jargon, or making sure everyone knows how many anatomical structures make up the vulva. I promise. Instead, I’m going to write about whatever real-life sex stuff I can think of. The when, what, whos and whys of my personal experiences.

Other San Diego writers will share their perspectives, too. Because if we can’t talk about it, then we shouldn’t be doing it, right?

We didn’t talk about sex in my family. I remember when I was about eight, I asked my mother what sex was. She offered up some awkward, stick-figure explanation by making a circle out of her index finger and thumb, and then sticking her other index finger through it. That was intercourse. And that was all there was to know.

I asked her to walk me through it again—not because I’d missed any critical part of the 10-second, PG-rated visual, but because it made her so obviously uncomfortable and made me laugh like a hyena. I can’t say much has changed, really. I’ll still sometimes giggle like a nervous child when the topic comes up.

But that’s exactly why I’ve decided to start talking about it.

Kyla Ebbert

Local lady Kyla Ebbert's miniskirt got national attention

In other cultures, people walk around topless without anyone batting an eyelash. The theme of sexual intercourse, infidelity and promiscuity is central to Greek mythology, and it wasn’t that long ago that humans had no idea what modesty was. So how come, in the modern era, a mini-skirt can get a woman kicked off a plane?

I don’t remember learning about sex in school—elementary, middle or high. If it was taught, it was probably snuck in under the guise of “health.” So, despite my history of academic excellence, this honors student stepped out into the world with a big “F” when it came to knowing anything about the opposite sex. Or my own sex, for that matter.

I guess the “powers that be” believed that if they talked about it kids would no longer be able to control their inner bunny rabbits and start having sex all over the place. As if many weren’t already.

stud at convention center

Are there too many hot guys in "Man" Diego?

I’ve literally been attracted to the opposite sex since I can remember. When other kids were concerned about cooties, I was concerned with kissing. I remember falling all over myself trying to get the attention of a little neighbor boy, and how he would not-so-subtly always push me away. Sadly, that trend continued through most of my dating life.

Given my proclivity for the opposite sex, it wasn’t that surprising (to me, at least) that I lost my virginity at a young age. (Let me get to know you first before I spill the details on that number.) I remained sexually active through to adulthood because I thought it would fill a void I knew nothing about—other than the fact that it was there.

I also very foolishly thought that sex meant love. As I got older, I realized that’s a common misconception among women of all ages, though it’s especially devastating as a young person when there is no one you can really talk to about it.

But please don’t get me wrong. I don’t blame my mother for not talking to me more about sex. It’s a product of how she was raised, and we all can only go so far outside our comfort levels. She made up for her frigidity elsewhere, making sure that I had access to Planned Parenthood and understood the importance of birth control. We just didn’t talk about it beyond that.

Looking back, there are specifics that it would’ve been nice to know. For example, the fact that for many women losing your virginity is an excruciating experience. I’m not going to bother to sugar coat it, either. It’s not a subtle soreness that one can overlook, but rather a mind-bending pain that you should never suffer for the average, unworthy Joe. (Men, think anal sex with a blind man who didn’t apply lube.)

Tila Tequila and Shawne Merriman

Not all San Diego relationships work out

It also would’ve been nice to know what an orgasm was, or how to achieve one. Much of my early sex life had very little to do with me, but instead was more about making sure the other person was satisfied. That does very little for the self-esteem, and should be unacceptable to any woman who has some.

It would’ve been helpful to know that many men will say literally anything to get into a woman’s pants—even “I love you.” And they can say that like they mean it without even thinking about it.

It would’ve been nice to know more about pregnancy in general. I was never naïve enough to believe in the cabbage patch theory, and the idea that some bird with a samurai sword for a beak could be trusted with a baby never made sense. But if you were to ask me exactly how the sperm entered the egg and gestation occurred, I’d tell you what I learned from Look Who’s Talking.

Even when I was younger I knew I wasn’t making the best decisions, but not having a clue didn’t stop me from experimenting. And if that’s not reason enough to open up a dialogue about sex, I’m not sure what is.

Sex in San Diego, a column appearing every Friday here at The OB Rag, explores topics related to sex in America’s Finest City. To encourage openness while still respecting privacy, some authors will use pseudonyms.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Lois February 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm

All I can offer up is, lying on the floor snowed in watching TV with my boyfriend, when the person on TV asked, “and what are you doing on this snowy day?” My boyfriend spoke up and said ” NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.”


Anna Daniels February 3, 2012 at 7:42 pm

I had to laugh (hard) at your mother’s brief visual of everything you need to know about sex. My own mother left a slim pamphlet where I was sure to see it. It was titled “How to Tell Your Child About Sex.” There were no pictures… I believe that every other sentence included the words “sanctity of marriage.” The pamphlet disappeared a few days later and that was it! National Geographic was much more interesting/titillating, but alas only slightly more illuminating. I was left of course to the traditional source of the most trust worthy source of information- kids my age or a few years older. I feel certain that this was pretty much the normal path to sexual awareness among my generation (farm kids excepted). So it should come as no surprise that the potent mix of confusion, ignorance and hormones resulted in some seriously life altering experiences.


judi Curry February 3, 2012 at 9:15 pm

My “sexual training” was very similar. My mother told me to go to the housekeeper whenever I had any sexual questions. I remember my father saying that in the 30+ years they were married, he never once saw her naked. (My mother – he didn’t say anything about the housekeeper!) Even in later years, we never had a sexual conversation. That woman had 3 husbands. I wonder if she became “enlightened” as she aged.


dave rice February 5, 2012 at 12:33 am

Interesting new direction to take the Rag…count my interest as piqued. Good way to open the dialogue, “Ms. Astolat…”


JMW February 5, 2012 at 5:29 am

First of all I want to congratulate the Rag and Emilie Astolat for breaking the public ice. We seem to understand ourselves, I mean humans, to a limited extent. This activity, sexual activity, is central to the continued existence of our species, yet we have knowledge of little more than the mechanics of it.
Secondly, here’s my two cents: Guys, it seems to me and not to borrow too heavily from the phraseology of tobacco industry marketing strategies, were designed, whether intelligently or poorly and whether by existence or by some off planet entity, to be sperm-delivery devices. The pleasure I associate with that delivery is, perhaps, one the best things about being a human male. Certainly, on the body side of things, it’s up there.
My training was all ojt and conducted without any conversation whatever with a knowledgeable and caring adult of either gender. Probably, television put quite a few ideas in my head, but practice was trial and error, complaints and threats, smiles and treats.
Anyway, great start to a good idea. Let’s learn something.


Anna Daniels February 5, 2012 at 10:29 am

Happy that our men friends have weighed in! I thought all boys are subjected to the condom talk by an uncomfortable father or uncle. Guess I got that one wrong, JMW ;)


Lois February 5, 2012 at 11:09 am

Tee Hee!!


JMW February 6, 2012 at 9:41 am

Anna , hi. As I am sure you know, we don’t all get the same package in a family. Mine included neither of those potential instructors. And by the time it mattered, church was long gone.


Lois February 5, 2012 at 11:19 am

Well, I think what goes on between two people is private. What is so romantic about “having sex?” What about expressions of love that is not put up for perusal for public consumption? I do feel there is a need for sex education, but why does it have to come from the media or MTV? When I am on the treadmill at the gym the MTV is in front of you when you are running. I wonder when they are going to get it on, or when the pole dancers will come out. I think it is sad that some women have to peddle themselves by getting their boobs pumped up to look like cantaloupes to get the attention of men. Nothing wrong with pretty boobs, but I feel it is for “eyes only.”

Guess I will start getting the “slings and arrows” for having the temerity to post my opinions.


Lois February 5, 2012 at 11:23 am

P.S. My “education” was close to what some of your experiences were. Pretty darn hilarious, I think. No, we don’t need you, Dr. Freud.


OB Mercy February 5, 2012 at 9:09 pm

After traveling through Europe, you really do see what a puritanical country we live in. I was lucky to have very open minded parents and I was brought up with a healthy attitude towards sex. Then, I ended up marrying a very prudish husband…which is funny because he was a long haired rock musician! Notice I said was…..after 23 yrs with him, I had to be free of that.


unWASHEdwalmaRtthONG February 6, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Hmmm, the ignorant ideology of Puritanism had infected my parents also, but fortunately for me, in the early 70’s my father subscribed to Playboy magazine & my mother had a copy of “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Sex,” and I read & charged out there with vigor & determination to became the best of the superlatives.
And now I’m a perfect guy.


Ernie McCray March 14, 2012 at 11:18 am

My mother talked to me about it, sex, about condoms and such but it was nothing more horrifying than going to the drug store where condoms weren’t out like they are today and just as the clerk asks you what you want, your mother’s best friend walks in and the clerk is going: “What is it you want, young man? Speak up! Blubbers, did you say? Clubbers? Dubbers? Oh, RUBBERS! RUBBERS! Why didn’t you say that? RIDGES? READY-WETS?…” And your mom’s friend is looking at you with that “Tsk, tsk, tsk” shaking of the head and you want to just end up dead. My girlfriend was pregnant when we were both 18. I can’t pass the condom rack in stores without recalling those days.


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