There’s nothing I (Dill) love more than a little chinwag with the girls. Whenever a horrifying or embarrassing situation happens, the only saving grace is the knowledge that I have a story to tell my friends, and even the most stomach-wrenchingly, soul-crushingly humiliating situations have turned into funny little anecdotes. So when you marry my love of a good chat with my (obviously) sex-positive mindset, you’ve got a recipe for some pretty juicy conversations. But recently, while vividly describing some spicy encounters to my friends, I was hit with a realization: how would I feel if my sex partners were talking about me like this to their friends too?
Now, before you get any wild ideas in your head, I want to clarify that I wasn’t being offensive in any way. But still, even when complimenting these people, I couldn’t help feeling like certain details were off-limits or too personal to share. But what constitutes too private? And who gets to decide that? I haven’t been able to get this question out of my head: where do we draw the line when it comes to talking about our sex lives with friends?
I brought this up with Doe, who probably knows every detail of my sex life perhaps even better than I do. Thinking back on some of our conversations, we realized that we would be upset if we heard our guy friends talking in the same way about girls. So what makes it feel okay for us to go into so much detail? The only reasoning we could come up with was that the image we both have of male gossip differs from the way we communicate: a locker room full of guys sitting around objectifying and slut shaming women does not in any way resemble our heart-to-hearts. While this is clearly an extreme, the fear of men talking in this way is something that our other female friends–and I’m sure many other people as well–can relate to. So how does gender play a role in the ways we talk about sex? Should it play a role?
Aside from gender, another factor that affects our judgment of private-versus-public is our relationship with our sexual partner; if we’re talking about our girlfriend or boyfriend, we both felt that it was important to be more conscious of privacy. On the other hand, we didn’t spare a single detail when chatting about a one-night stand or random fling. So does a deeper relationship with your partner imply a different responsibility to protect their privacy?
These are some of the ideas that have been floating around in our minds recently and we haven’t yet managed to come up with super definitive conclusions. Clearly, we’re not the epitome of conscientious conversation, but we think these topics are important and definitely not addressed enough. Talking about sex with friends is important and fun, but who you tell is often a personal decision. There’s value in being aware of how you portray certain sensitive information and treating your intimate experiences with care.
Dill & Doe