Sex and language are continually evolving. How we put sex into words necessarily changes as we understand ourselves and each other. This week's Sex Stories We Love strings together many words to sort out three.
What Is a Mask?
Framing is critical in language. You can say all of the right words and make all of the important points. If your message is not presented in a way that makes sense to your listener or reader, then your words will likely be lost. As we continue to deal with the threat that is coronavirus, the war of the mask continues on. To encourage more folks to wear a protective face covering, sex education teacher Kim Cavill suggests we adopt the language of using condoms to wearing masks. This makes wonderful sense. Incorporating language around masks into empathy, care, and intimacy—for yourself and for others—will have a greater effect than scare tactics and stat regurgitation.
Is phone sex one of those anachronistic things folks coming up today just won't understand? Sure, people talk sexy on the phone now. It is encouraged in these pandemic days. However, is the idea of paying money to listen to a stranger get aural on the other end of the phone something the internet age just won't get? Phone sex still exists, but its popularity has certainly waned with the deluge of adult entertainment offerings now available. As someone who both made a few calls to sex lines and answered a few as a worker, I'm really looking forward to the upcoming Netflix offering detailing the beginnings of phone sex in Europe. Although VHS tapes were available at the time, phone sex was the first sexual content that was easily and discreetly available in the home. Oh, times have changed!
What's In a Name?
In some cultures, a person's surname was derived from their occupation. Some of my favourites include Brewer, Cheeseman, Baker, Ekmečić, and Weiner. Has this tradition somehow been passed down to people who purchase sex products? I'm not usually one to argue with statistical analysis, so it seems that British folks named Charlie, Mike, Ryan and Jessica, Liz, and Hannah are the most likely names to purchase sex toys. There are no numbers attached to these findings. The nerd in me is left wondering just how many of each name were represented. I mean, were there an overwhelming number of Jessicas? Should Charlie become a sex toy euphemism?
Okay, here's a tough one. Joanne Harris, author of the novel Chocolat, recently took offense to a sex worker quoting her poetry in an advertising tweet. This led to some back and forth online. This is something that all content creators struggle with in our online world. It is so damn easy to pick up words, photos, music, video...everything...and distribute it online. While I fear there was anti-sex worker sentiment in her initial attack, and that is unacceptable, I don't believe Harris was in the wrong to object. If an alt-right politician running on platforms I don't agree with somehow found my words usable, I would fume. If an author used a photo from an individual's porn site without permission, that porn performer should fume. What do you think?
The Use of Euphemism
I often wonder what our world would be like if we were more open and authentic with kids when it comes to sex. I've seen more folks move away from silly euphemism from genitals with kids in recent years. Could you, as a parent, ever imagine saying to your kids, "Okay, you're old enough to be playing on your own for a bit, so we're heading to our bedroom to have sex. Please don't disturb as unless it's an emergency." Instead, parents have long come up with code words and phrases to sneak off for a little action. Ideally, being honest with kids would definitely improve our current societal issues around sex. Will we ever get to this point?
Finally, sexy words and phrases can randomly pop up in the most unusually places... such as the popular British game show Countdown!