Knowledge and experience are two of the benefits of growing older, although it might not feel like it at the time you see wrinkles looking back at you when you study your reflection. And with experience also comes the desire to speak to younger people and say “I wish I’d have known… (Insert here whatever it may be that you feel is your area of expertise!) when I was your age”! So if you had the chance to, what advice would you give your younger self if it were possible? I for one am certain that I would give my younger self a few lessons about sex and relationships in general. Here are a few things I would say:
- There is no rush to lose your virginity and when it’s gone, it’s gone. There’s no getting it back or saying “I wish I’d have waited longer”. Although sex or forbidden fruit might seem too sweet a prospect not to taste at a young age, it really is true that you can only lose your virginity once. It really is best to wait until you’re absolutely certain that it’s the right thing to do before sharing such an intimate part of your psyche with someone else. And make sure that person has as much respect for you as you have for yourself.
- Live with someone before you marry them. It’s all too easy to be swept along with ideas of the big white dress and the romanticism of the day, but the harsh reality can be completely different.
- Don’t expect sex to always be an easy thing to get right. As with anything else which we do in this life, it takes practice to make perfect.
- The word ‘normal’ should only ever be seen on a washing machine cycle. There is no such thing as ‘normal’ when it comes to sex, because what might be completely acceptable to one consenting adult could be completely abhorrent to the next. It’s important therefore never to judge anyone else by your own standards, especially if your standard is to enjoy something which most people would consider to be ‘unusual.’ Just remember that variety is what makes us all different and unique.
- Probably the last piece of advice I would give my younger self regarding sex would be to never say never. Sometimes it’s all too easy to refuse to try something new on the basis that you have a fear of the unknown. But everything was unknown to you at some stage of your life and until you try new things you’re never going to know whether you enjoy them or not. So if your partner asks to try something new sexually, don’t say no without thinking about it. You never know, you might just enjoy it.