People Reveal the Sexual Things They’re 'Supposed' to Like But Hate
“We tend to connect someone's gender and sexual orientation with sex acts so that certain things become normative based on how we see a person's identities”
A lot of people face expectations about what they’ll enjoy in the bedroom based on their gender, sexual orientation, and race. “We tend to connect someone's gender and sexual orientation with sex acts so that certain things become normative based on how we see a person's identities,” explains Good Vibrations staff sexologist Carol Queen.
Queen explains further: “We impose these ideas on ourselves all the time, too! I frequently need to challenge the idea that there is such a thing as ‘gay sex,’ etc. — there is NOT. There are gay-identified people and a menu of possible sex acts. Same with heterosexuals! Same with everyone!”
To get an understanding of the full breadth of sexual proclivities and experiences out there, I asked 13 people what sexual things they’re expected to like by society or their peers — but actually hate. Here are their responses.
“I'm really not a fan of cunnilingus. My experience with it so far has been rushed and unsatisfactory, and I find myself zoning out every time it happens. My previous sexual partners tended to make a huge wet mess and slurp a lot from their saliva, and considering it's not pleasurable, I find it gross.”—Victoria, 26
“Itchy scratchy lace and uncomfortable lingerie and heels. Makeup. Uncomfortably binding clothes. Basically all the things society asks us to do to our bodies to try to distinguish us from men.”—Stephanie, 50
“Many people always try to bite my nipples. Apparently, this is supposed to be arousing or a turn-on, but I’m just like, ‘ouch!’ I’ve heard of people enjoying hair-pulling to the point that it’s mentioned appraisingly in many songs about sex. But the one time a guy did it to me, the relationship was over. It felt so painful, I was convinced some of my hair would fall out. To this day, I can still feel the phantom hair-pulling, and it makes me shudder.”—Michael, 25
“Blow jobs. It's not that I don’t like it, but if the person I'm with doesn't like giving them, it takes the enjoyment out for me. That could really be said about anything. I'm not a solo enjoyment person when it comes to sex. If we aren't both into it, then I can't enjoy it. I love giving oral because most women really enjoy it. There's just a lot of stigma out there about women not enjoying giving blowjobs, so I always ask beforehand if it's something they enjoy doing.”—David, 45
“Penetration! It just feels uncomfortable and close to painful for me, personally, while it's so hyped up in porn or even just day-to-day media, because most media coverage of sex is constricted to either P-in-V sex or giving oral to dudes...very cis-dude centric as well, of course.”—Marion, 24
“I never cared for receiving blow jobs. For me, sex is about intimacy, communing, and elevating of my partner. Blow jobs feel degrading to my partner. It’s probably the flavor that makes me think that. Semen tastes like chlorine. If it tasted like coffee or chocolate, I might feel different.”—Jon, 44
“I do not like kissing anyone. I feel nauseated when I see people kissing. Just the thought of tasting another person's saliva puts me off. This has led to strain in my relationships because all my partners think that I do not like them and that is the reason I do not kiss them. I’d rather lose a partner than kiss them.”—Liz, 37
“I hate receiving blowjobs. They do nothing for me. It always feels like a waste of time. And I didn't used to hate them—I was originally indifferent—but the expectation of *so many* people over the years that they'd be the person to give me a good blowie, the one that'd change my mind? That has brought me to the point of actually despising blowjobs.”—Damien, 39
“I don't like vibrators on or right next to my clitoris. Popular ones like the [Vibratex] Magic Wand, lauded for their power, are toooo much! I'm pretty sensitive there!”—CJ, 54
“Penetrative sex is what everyone usually thinks of when you say ‘sex,’ but it's so uncomfortable, both physically and mentally. I'm glad society is starting to realize sex can happen without a phallic instrument present at the scene because I hope people will expect less penetrative sex of me!”—Diana,25
“Never understood why man-on-top PIV is the norm for hereto sex depiction. It's the lamest! Sex is simply awful when it's one partner ‘doing’ something ‘to’ the other.”—Craig, 51
“I feel like, as a woman, I’m expected to want monogamy and to prioritise having sex with someone I’m emotionally close to over casual hookups. I think that society has an expectation of women that we want and need to have a deeper connection with someone in order to enjoy sex. In fact, I think my sexuality is built on the enjoyment of having multiple sexual partners who I have no ‘emotional connection’ to. I usually find that being in a relationship with someone can actually take a lot of the enjoyment out of sex, as I feel like I have to live up to the stereotype of the faithful, committed partner who is only sexual around/with one person. I am expected to be sexual, but only in relation to my partner and only within the limits of our relationship.”—Elizabeth, 27
Read: So You Want to Try FWB?
“Casual sex. I've definitely experienced the life of having a bunch of casual sex in college, and it was never enjoyable. It did help me learn about myself and my sexuality by helping to confirm that I am indeed very much a lesbian, but still. Wish I didn't see casual sex as a way to validate myself back then. [Also,] Especially as rap music gets wilder and wilder, I feel like there is a lot of pressure to be ‘nasty’ in bed. This may be especially true in the black community, but I'm sure lots of young people feel the pressure too due to music, music videos, and lyrics by Meg The Stallion, DaBaby, and others. I love them and their music, but I've also had to put it on the back burner for those reasons and enjoy listening to more emotional R&B nowadays. I'm pretty vanilla when it comes to sex, and I've had to come to terms with that being A-OK.”- Talyah, 23