Ever had a one-night stand you wish you could forget? Or a sexual situation so weird that you wanted to tell someone about, but not a close friend or relative? Who would you ask this to? Your therapist? Bartender? Barista?
Our current landscape is definitely bizarre. On the one hand we’re living in the most open and honest time to talk about our sexuality and personal discovery. But, on the other, we’re still plagued with taboos, myths, and stereotypes. How do we talk about these subjects and ask questions we need answers to, when everyone is still holding on to ideas of shame and guilt?
While plenty of men are buried under established ideas and roles regarding their place in relationships and how they’re supposed to live their sexuality, women are constantly told they're either too confident or too restrained. But what happens when we confront the people who are continuing this narrative? This means those who say we’re either too much or not enough. If you were to do that, where would you start? Well, comedians Krystyna Hutchinson and Corinne Fisher decided to start calling up previous sexual partners.
The comedy duo that also goes by the name "Sorry About Last Night" started the podcast Guys We Fucked in 2013 in order to open the conversation on sex and gender by calling previous sexual partners for interviews. Since then, plenty of listeners have also started sending their stories, questions, and discussion topics. The show now also includes other comedians, celebrities, and authors discussing topics across the board. Some of the recent episodes have titles like, “You Took Your Own Virginity?,” “How Do You Pitch Polyamory?,” “Not a Teen, Not Yet a MILF?,” and “How Does Tourette’s Affect Your Sex Life?”
I find it fascinating how in the age when it seems like every eleven year-old has HBO and Youtube to teach them all about sex, we’re still hanging on to misinformation and old tales when it comes to our most honest questions regarding our bodies, desires, and search for pleasure. We still believe sex education is that two-hour workshop from middle school where we learned how to put a condom on a cucumber and that tampons could take away our virginity. But before we can actually start picking up books or Ted Talks about sexual liberation, we need to open our minds to the fact that most of what we’ve been taught has been wrong and completely biased. I’ve rarely seen articles telling guys what they need to stop doing in the sack, but I can promise you that for each of those, there’s a thousand dedicated to telling women how they could do so much more. Yet the flipside is that when a woman tries to suggest or bring up some kinky alternatives or options, they’re immediately type casted as being too sexually experienced. In other words, we never get it right. And that’s exactly the idea that Guys We Fucked is trying to throw out completely.
Before anyone thinks that what Hutchinson and Fisher’s podcast, as well as their book F*cked: Being Sexually Explorative and Self-Confident in a World That’s Screwed, is only meant for straight women, you need to pay more attention. While women are mostly categorized as being experienced or inexperienced, as well as slutty or frigid, men are expected to just know about sex for being men. I don’t see many men’s magazines explaining how the different female erogenous zones or even why women’s orgasms are different than theirs. It’s mostly about whether women are faking it or not, which just goes back to what “should” and “shouldn’t” be. Sex is not a color by numbers situation. There are guidelines, but those are more in the areas of consent, mutual understanding, and respect. Those are non-negotiable aspects we usually forget to underline as important. However, when sex continues to be a taboo subject, those non-negotiable rules are rarely discussed as well.
Sexuality is not unlike having a bar in our basement. While most days we’re happy to make ourselves a Martini, we sometimes wonder about mixing things up, say having a Whiskey Sour or even a Rum and Coke. But what if you’re afraid to acknowledge you have a basement full of spirits, because all your life you’ve been told not to mention this to anyone. The few times you try to ask a friend about the shelf life of a Cabernet, you’ve been either shushed or told you should already know the answer to that. So because of that, you’re also unsure about what the proper protocol is regarding the key to your bar.
Basically, Guys We Fucked is the Bartender’s Manual for your own sexual journey and discovery. There’s no question that’s too much or too little. They’re all perfectly valid and important. We’re living in a time of precarious sexual freedom, since the lines of what is acceptable and non-acceptable are constantly changing. Laws are also being created to limit what people can and can’t do with their own bodies. We can’t fight back repression when we’re not willing to even acknowledge what we desire and enjoy.
As the blurb for F*cked says, “Despite what Rom-Coms and magazines tell you, you can handle sexual exploration without the assistance of a man, a glass of rose, and a Xanax. More importantly, you’re fine all by yourself. This is the book Bridget Jones should’ve read instead of writing that shitty diary in the first place.”
Hutchinson and Fisher have basically done what we’ve all wanted to do at one point in our lives: confront our past. The difference is that they’re doing it for all of us to learn from our similar experiences and situations. By opening the conversation we might be able to dispel and erase all those misconceptions and myths that have become truths and only hold us back from finding what we truly desire.