So, recently, I have started listening to podcasts… which, considering I have an auditory processing disorder, I never thought I would do. There are only a handful of podcasts that I find interesting enough to commit to, but without question one of my favourites is Whore Rapport.
These lovely ladies have some open and honest conversations about some taboo subjects regarding sexuality. It is refreshing to hear that there are other people in the world who have views so aligned with my own. Of course, they somehow manage to articulate their thoughts much better than I every will be able to.
As I listen to each episode, I often feel that I should be sitting down taking notes. So that is what I have started to do, and each episode I will post a response with my own thoughts and some personal experiences. I likely do not have the time to go back and create a response for each past episode (although, I would love to), so here we are… starting with episode 22 on Sexual Friendship.
What is sexual friendship and is it really different than just… friendship? I don’t think so, but that doesn’t seem to be a mainstream cultural belief.
During this episode I had a lot of thoughts about the current (well, pre-pandemic) hookup culture. I will admit that I don’t have a lot of experience with it, I have almost always been in a committed (albeit open) relationship and have also looked for a bit more substance to my extracurricular activities. Lack of experience aside, I have dabbled and maybe it’s just not for me…. but I found it fascinating that men expected so little for sex. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for casual sex with no strings attached, but I am not just going to show up at your place and get naked. Let’s go for a beer first (with every intention of me paying for my own drink), to build up some of that sexual tension, and see if we have any chemistry in the first place. Or maybe to discuss boundaries and a safeword! But that seemed like too much to ask from the men that I was messaging.
I do think it is possible to have a sexual friendship where most of the energy is sexual and the friendship is minimal. I had a brief relationship with a FWB like that. We had the same circle of mutual friends, and the sexual energy between us was fucking hot, but we had different values and not a ton in common. He would come over, we’d have a beer, fuck for a while, then he would go home. There were times that we would be together at group events and it was fine, even once the sexual aspect of our relationship ended we transitioned back to acquaintances just fine.
I also found it fascinating that both Anya and Erin had sexual experiences pre-puberty with their female friends. While I also had pre-pubescent sexual exploration, it was with my male friends – we also called it “The Game”. It involved running around the pool table, stripping naked, then running around the pool table 3 times, then crawling underneath. The winner then got to decide what the loser would do – generally some type of manual or oral stimulation of the winners genitals. They boys that I engaged in The Game with were my best friends. We are still friends, hell, they are like my brothers. As we got older, there was never any sexual chemistry between us, they were just the people I explored with when we were children.
I do wish that I had girlfriends I could have explored with. I remember very vividly having the overwhelming desire to touch my friends breasts in grade 5. She was quite well developed for a 10 year old, and well, I was not; she probably had bigger breasts in grade 5 than I do now!
So I was ten when I realized that I was attracted to women. As a teenager, I used the drunk girl making out with other girls to explore that side of myself. At the time, I was afraid of being labelled a lesbian or bisexual, but I was clearly attracted to women. It was culturally acceptable to make out with other women while we were all drinking, so I took advantage of that as much as I could. There were a couple of occasions where it went further, but if she regretted it the next day, or didn’t seem into a follow up, I always could fall back on the, “well, we were drunk,” excuse.
Why don’t we have more sexual friendships?
Because culturally we close the door on the idea of it. There is a pervasive belief that sex is this taboo thing that changes everything between two people, which fits into the narrative that romantic love is somehow different than other types of love, and is somehow finite. How often are best/good friends attracted to each other, but too scared to say anything because they “don’t want to ruin the friendship.”
I’ll be honest, the end of the podcast was fascinating… talking about friendship, sexual, romantic, platonic, whatever, but when one person wants more. I really hope there will be a whole episode on it!
As for my own experience with this, I have been on both sides – I have been the one who wanted more, and the person who wanted to keep it more casual. So often, I would say almost always, the person that wants more lies (I don’t believe that it is usually a conscious lie) that “it’s fine, I can deal with it.” I imagine that some of the time “dealing with it” involves the thought process that the other person will eventually change their mind and want more too.
What I find fascinating though, is the idea that we have that the I person who wants to keep it casual is responsible for policing the other persons behaviours. I am very much looking forward to an episode on this to discuss it further.