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Thursday, April 03, 2014

Do you talk to your friends about your sex life?

My friend came over the other night and, after drinking white wine and talking about work and babies, the conversation turned to sex. And she pointed out something surprising...

Back when we were single women, we would talk about our sex lives—every detail, every funny thing, every you'll-never-believe-this-happened anecdote—and now we just...don't. Once we got married, we all clammed up. Maybe it's because we know each other's partners, or because we're older, or because there aren't as many crazy anecdotes? Maybe it's because we don't need as much reassurance? But, whatever the reason, it sort of feels awkward and abrupt now to bust out with a crazy story from the night before.

One big difference, in my experience at least, is that we talk about our sex lives in overarching ways—"Have you had sex since the baby was born?" "We're going away for a romantic vacation to reconnect"—but we don't share random stories or moments. Sometimes I really want to have that kind of salacious girl talk, but with many of my friends, I'd feel weird these days!

What about you? How much do you share about your sex life to your friends? Everything? Nothing? I'm so curious!

Just for fun, this Seinfeld clip made me laugh out loud. Jerry, spill the beans!
P.S. How long do you wait to sleep with someone? And how to keep the sparks flying.

70 comments:

Ros said...

It helps to have friends with a similar level of shame and/or openness.

I don't discuss the specifics of sex with my broader circle of friends, but my 2-3 best friends, though? Yeeeeah. No shame. Specific details, frustrations, explicit reviews of toys - it's all fair game.

Rue Ramirez said...

I have one friend that I can do this with. She's always willing to listen and share her own stories.

I'd never share that kind of stuff with most of my friends. Not even with my best friend of nearly 20 years! It's just weird!

Gina said...

ALL the time, with my closest friends.

MelanieKPrice said...

I will talk about my (married) sex life with only two of my close girlfriends. We will get pretty detailed too (eek!). We never make fun of our spouses...just be silly girls, drinking wine and enjoying the moment. Often times it can turn to 'how often are you having sex' or 'have you ever tried this?' and 'a funny quirk about _______ is".

I always find that once I leave from having a fun evening with these two friends that I always feel refreshed, light hearted and...happy. It must be because we end of laughing so hard we almost piss our selves silly.

Aren't belly laughs with your girlfriends awesome?

stk said...

I'd say with most of my friends we can discuss it-- but yes, we usually drink some wine before the really good stuff comes out. I think since we've all recently had babies, we actually have less shame (if you gave birth in a hospital, likely 4 people were dealing with all sorts of stuff in your nether-regions and modesty left right about then). I do have some friends who are more private, but I chalk that up to their nature-- they are also the types who always have to present themselves as perfect and their lives are without flaws. That gets boring for them and for anyone else observing. I think it's really important to be able to be authentic with at least some really close friends.

Megan M-R said...

It's true; I only share a little bit now and rarely. I like to think he'd be more discreet about me with buddies so I do the same for him. I think I'm more protective and just care so much more about him that I wouldn't want to put something out there that would make him uncomfortable. With the exes, it all felt more like a funny game, like who cares, it's all hilarious. ha

Joanna Goddard said...

@stk, "we usually drink some wine before the really good stuff comes out"—true! :)

Maria Dabboussy said...

The exact same thing has happened in my group of friends, the only ones who still really talk about sex in detail are the single ladies, whats up with that?!

Sometimes if it is just one other close friend, we do disclose, but it's not often and definitely nothing too intimate.

weclapourhands said...

My fiance would consider my sharing details about our sex life (just to share - not asking for advice or having a serious topic to discuss) as disrespecting his privacy. So I don't share because I want to be respectful to him. But if my friends want to tell me about their sex lives I will listen to what they want to share.

Mallory said...

I actually have never been a sharer when it comes to sex talk! It's funny, because some of my friends talk to me about it (still, even though everyone is married) but I just don't like to talk about my sex life!

Actually, when we were in college, my then boyfriend (now husband) and I had to have a talk because his joking about our sex life with people - not even talking about it really, just joking - made me uncomfortable. I've always felt a little prudish for not wanting to talk about it, so it's nice to hear not everyone feels the need to share!

ohnomyboots said...

As a single parent who has had an active dating life for the last 10 years, I've had a hard time finding female friends I can dish with about sex and have long suspected that this is because of a loyalty differential between married and dating sex:) I think i'd be less likely to dish on my husband than on a guy I'm just getting to know.

jennifer said...

Prior to marriage, my friends (and their opinions) were more important than the man I was dating so sex talk was the norm. After marriage, my husband (and our relationship) was/is more important than my friends. Along with those priorities comes a certain level of respect for the most important relationship in my life. And, as you said, I've long-since shed the feeling of needing to feel accepted by peers by sharing sexcapades.

Shelley Musleh said...

We definitely all used to discuss sex a lot...and now it's not very often. Mostly at a party when the women gather and have had a few too many haha.

When we do it's more general...just like oh how often do you do this? or have you tried that? not so much an actual sex story, although there is a bit of that as well I suppose. I feel I am probably the most adventurous and they have mostly settled down and that's why they don't want to talk as much. When I chime in I have actually had people stop me and say "oh you and your husband don't count you two are freaks!" We are all only 25 with no kids so I'm not sure why they think its acceptable for their sex lives to be dwindling...

maybe because we are all married and all hang out together with the husbands?

my husband comes back and tells me the men do talk about it...mostly complaining to be honest! I always say no no don't tell me! he says he always walks away feeling very lucky.

CB said...

To me it seems really disrespectful to your spouse to discuss your sex life in detail with friends. We aren't in college talking about some random hook up or some lame boyfriend. When it's your husband I think your feelings of trust and intimacy are so much stronger and, for me at least, it seems like the kind of thing that wouldn't be right to share with friends. Generals like how often - sure. Specifics like what he likes or what we tried recently - nope.

Bethany said...

I think it depends on what kind of relationship you're in - if you're in a long-term, monogamous partnership like marriage, you're clearly talking about your partner, who your friends probably know. It can feel disrespectful to divulge private moments of what it's like to have sex with my husband, especially since my best friends know him really well. I imagine it would be different if it feels safer to share that information about someone your friends haven't met.

Meg said...

My sister-in-law and I were talking about this last weekend when our wine-fueled evening turned to the same topic. It was partly odd because she's married to my brother, but I kind of forgot about that and it was just two friends talking about everything (mostly about sex after babies) and it was just so nice to talk about it again!!! I wish I lived near my close friends to have someone to have girl talk with too! xx

Lily L-M said...

I feel the same way, just from going from 17 to 23! In high school and even in college I learned so many good tips from just sharing stories! Now it seems like everyone has tightened up, single friends even... I feel like I'm missing something, is this just something that comes with age?!

Lily
http://whilemyboyfriendsaway.blogspot.com/

Adam, Belinda & Rondo said...

i think its loyalty, our partners are now our best friends.

Amy P said...

I do with my sisters and one of my sisters-in-law, but not with too many specific details. Somewhere in between vague and detailed. None of my friends are close enough except for in very broad terms.

Sara Po oi said...

I find I do this with my sister more than anyone, although I do have some close friends that have shared much more than I ever wanted to know about their husbands :)

vmcarnevale said...

I don't love talking about it with anyone. I waited until I was married to have sex, so for all of high school and college I hated the sex conversations because I had nothing to contribute, but even now that it's part of my life I find myself shying away from them. I feel like in a world where EVERY thing is shared, every thought/feeling/cute photo, instantaneously, it's nice to have something be truly and 100% ours. It's so intimate, and personal, and meaningful, that I want to keep it just for us and not invite others in, It feels so special that way.

rawketstarling said...

I'm not married, but I didn't start having sex until I was 24, with my current boyfriend (which was almost four years ago!) Since EVERYTHING was so new to me, I talked about it with girlfriends I didn't even know that well--I was just so enthralled with every part of it, it was all so new and exciting to me :) I'm sure I over-shared and drove my newer friends crazy.
Four years later, I've finally learned when to keep my mouth shut. But I am NOT above sharing details, especially on a girl's night. But I've learned where the line is, where my boyfriend's comfort level is. And honestly? I don't care if he tells his friends details about our sex life--I don't care if they all know how awesome I am in the sack. ;)

Ms. Magpie said...

Think about it this way: Do you want your husband talking in detail about your sex life with HIS friends?

Liv said...

Everything, actually! This is probably not hindered by the fact that I was a Gender Studies major doing graduate research in sexuality and intimacy, so I'm pretty much the one people turn to if they need an ear.

Sex is a beautiful part of life, I don't mind hearing or talking about it.

E. and Baby P. said...

it's so true! my single girl friends talk about their hook ups all the time. married friends, nothing.

Nichole said...

I am in the same situation! My friends and I speak in general terms about sex, but we don't divulge any details. A previous poster said exactly what I was thinking, 'do you want your husband sharing details of your sex life with his friends?' I don't think I'd mind general stuff, but I certainly don't want to think of my husband talking about the kinky details with friends while watching Monday Night Football. Yikes.

officiallyobsessed.net said...

Absolutely agree that it's a loyalty to your partner thing. I've actually been with my spouse since we were in college, but I had, ahem, a fun few years before that. My best friend and I would ALWAYS dish about the specifics, and since he's a gay man, we usually talked a lot about penises. He actually got really mad at me when I refused to talk to him about my sex life after I started dating my now-spouse.

But what's happened now, 13 years later, is that they're good friends too, and I'm glad I stuck to my guns -- there's no reason that friends need to know the size, shape, and direction of each other's genitalia (which, ha, is what my friend ALWAYS used to ask me to tell him)!

I actually think that feeling like you don't want to spill too much about your sex life is probably a good indicator that you're taking the relationship really seriously! Of course, everyone's "too much" line is different...

Amanda said...

Whenever I've had a sex life to share, I've always had that one girlfriend that I can tell everything to and she can relate to everything I'm saying. Gotta have that one friend.

Kate Szczerba said...

I'm 23 and my two best girlfriends are 21 and 25. We all settled into serious relationships during/after college and talk about sex openly. The longer you go without talking specifics the harder it can be to bring them up in the future!

Emikos Werid Unexplained thoughts said...

I am in my late 20s and I have friends who are younger and older. Most people I know tell me about their lives in general not so much sex life. (which im so glad) . I am a very closed person so I dont unless its with friends ive had a while. But its nothing ever wroth speaking on I guess because we know each other significant others.

Sammi Egan said...

my best friend is a guy. we talk about everything.

Chelsea Marie said...

I am blessed with 2 best friends who love talking/listening about it just as much as I do. I have always been an open person when it comes to anything in my life, so it is hard for me to be friends with someone that doesn't want to put their general business out there when I do. I can usually tell - long before a sex talk comes up - whether or not they are the sharing type and whether or not we will mesh well. I respect the people that want to keep it to themselves but there's something about over-sharers that draws me in right away!
I also don't mind when my boyfriend shares our stories. Sex is something EVERYONE has in common, so being so private about it seems funny to me.

Cat B said...

I've been in serious relationships before and i've always spoke about sex.
It helps solving so much doubts and worries that we might have. And obviously that with time it might get harded to speak about it, but i found that one way to talk about it with friends without being too crude is to actually speak with no jokes.. or at least start that way, like you are having a conversation over the weather (acting normal i mean xD ) it will late develop into a more natural conversation and later it will be so casual you won't even think about it as something abnormal.

And i think that friends knowing the husbands is no big deal, people need to separate things. Friends are still friends whether you know the husband/wife or not. It's a skill to maintain an impartial position and realize that if my friend is telling me about her sex life is because she trusts me enough not to intrude or comment after the conversation ends.

Besides, when girls are talking i always think of that saying 'what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas'.

I personally don't think it's disrespectful to our spouse, because we all need to vent out some of our concerns and opinions to someone and sometimes we want to do it with someone with a diff/ perspective and insight, or simply we just want to share it with some other person that isn't our partner. As long as we do it in a respectful way, IMO there is nothing wrong in doing so.

(sorry about any mistakes, typing from my old phone)

Aya said...

Before opening this post, I was going to say just this! When I was casually dating, or even had a boyfriend, my friends and I would share every detail. But now that I have a husband, I don't share as much. Perhaps it's because I'm as close if not closer to him and don't feel comfortable exposing him the way I did with exes. Also, my husband and I are fortunate to have a fulfilling sex life while many of my friends are struggling. I don't know how to work out this difference. We mostly now just talk in general terms. I miss the girl talk.

Trina said...

Without reading the post I was totally going to say, "Meh, more in my 20s than now in my mid-30s." Ha! Back then I was all about the TMI (to a select few close friends, haha). I think in your 20s you're trying to figure things out and it helps to talk things over with friends for some perspective. Maybe in your mid-30s, if you and they are in stable, monogamous relationships, you may feel you don't want to dump on your friends so much because they have more on their own plates...and that you can handle most whatever comes up and talk it over with your partner.

Introverted Art said...

I watch Seinfeld everyday, nothing like friends ;-)

Carrie said...

My mom is VERY um well prudish perhaps so I was raised hiding tampons in a cart. After high school I learned to embrace things but was still really shy. I didn't have a boyfriend until I was 21 (and I married him). I hardly talk to husband about sex but I'm trying to be more open about it with my girlfriends (building my way up I guess).

Long story short - I brought up sex during Girls Night with my bestie this past Saturday.

Krystal said...

I am 22 and not in a serious relationship so my friends and I discuss every detail of our sex lives with each other. Every hair, position, gross weird detail is discussed. Its pretty much an over-sharing fest but I love it and hope that it never changes even as we get older because it is a strange connection that everyone shares and often the conversation ends in uncontrollable laughter. Love this post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!



Krystal | www.moorekrystal.wordpress.com

With love said...

I'm 29 and my girlfriends are all in long term relationships, some with kids. In a group, we would never bring up details about our sex lives unless a lot of wine had been consumed. But individually, in one-on-ones, it would depend a lot on the particular friend, some are more relaxed about it than others. I find it harder to talk about stuff that's not good in your sex life, because there's potential judgement attached -- it reflects on both you and your partner. But maybe it's just about having friends that you trust with whatever you tell them. I do really wish it was not such a taboo. It's lovely to have outlets like this, where you can talk about things openly. Thanks for bringing it up, Joanna!

Rebecca Thexton said...

We are quite open and share a lot, but the wine helps for sure! Love your posts :)

www.dancingthroughsunday.typepad.com
x

L8Blmr said...

Definitely share every detail with my dearest friend. My other friends, not so much. It's really a level of comfort and then trust. We hold no secrets and we laugh and giggle and sometimes are surprised by each other. It's a wonderful!

Andrea said...

I'm a prude this way. I feel like it is disrepectful to my partner to go into full detail. On the other hand my sister in law blabs on facebook, not in detail...but enough to make me cringe.

You are right though...was less concerned before marriage and kids. Somehow it is a bit more precious and private now.

Delcarla said...

why not ??? if it is correct , love your post !!http://intelligently-fashionable.blogspot.com

Maelles said...

All the time. With my closest girl friends, that is. We are young (23) and not settled into serious relationships, plus i think we are still 'exploring' so we share everything,the most intimate and sometimes embarassing details - it's always fun. However, one of our friends is now in a serious relationship, and i've noticed that she seems less willing to share... And it's also impossible to talk about this with male friends. One of my best friend is a guy, and there's absolutely no ambiguity between us whatsoever and we talk about very private and intimate stuff but everytime i try to bring sex to the conversation to get some masculine insight, he is SO embarassed and change the subject immediately, it's hilarious :)

http://maellesmarie.blogspot.fr/

Amanda said...

I am so glad that you wrote this, and you totally nail it with the now and back then comparison. My husband and I just wrote a his and hers post about trying to find romantic time as parents. It was, shall we say, an unflinching glimpse and it really helped us. I honestly think my husband would like me talking about our sex life because it would have me thinking more about sex. We have three daughters and it's just hard sometimes to let go of the to-dos and the fatigue of the day and have anything left for fun. But it is so important. Please don't stop cracking this door open. You have such an honest, playful voice!

http://amandamagee.com/2014/03/marriage-surviving-not-in-the-mood/

st said...

Maybe it is even the other way round?

Once you do not have the urge to talk about your sex life so much anymore, you are ready for a serious relationship? Like valueing intimacy with your partner higher than telling interesting stories. Which might be a necessary circumstance for your partner to feel the respect that is needed.

A. Sparkle said...

So glad for this post! In the past I've always shared the utmost details of what happened in my sex life. Granted this was one on one with my ace boon coons and never in a group setting. Now that im engaged and in a serious relationship it's different.. It feels like I would disrespect him if I were to divulge info to my friends now, especially since he's a private person. I miss having that type of girl talk, but I think it's just one of those things that happens when your in a serious relationship instead of one that you know won't last..

Lauren E. said...

When my friends and I are single, we totally dish. It actually gets pretty down and dirty! But when any of us is in a serious relationship, the details don't come out. Just like you, someone will say, "Do you guys still have sex a lot?" but it's never as raunchy as when there is no emotion involved.

ce said...

in your 20's and when mostly all of your friends where single, yes, share was a must...but in your 30 or 40 it depends..i learned that married friends usually loooove to talk with their husbands....and that includes your sex life ...so, next time you go to your friend's place you know her husband knows that you cant' have orgasms through intercourse or that you slept with your second cousin... that's why i become more and more secretive (or maybe my sex life gets more and more boring...)

ce said...

my last comment has horrific grammar errors!!! english is not my first language but i'm not that bad either, sorry!!

Michelle said...

I think the main difference is that once you're married, you have a level of respect for that person's privacy that you didn't have for any of the other guys in your life before him!

Philline Dilao said...

I do with my best friend/ roommate from college. And it hasn't changed since she got married.
I feel weird talking about it with my newer friends though, especially with the younger and curious ones. I don't know how much info is TMI.

kristen said...

I'm with you in WANTING to talk more about sex with my friends, but it does end up being strange! When you think about it, sex is incredibly ordinary, and I wish more people were just a little less squeamish about discussing masturbation, vaginas, nipples, orgasms, etc. It's nothing to be ashamed about!

Talia said...

I think it is because once married, it feels more sacred, personal and something between my husband and I only. I know I wouldn't appreciate him sharing our sex life with his friends. That's ours.

Perhaps I am old school?

darknight said...

It might be because I'm the last single friend left but all of my (married) friends discuss their sex lives with me all the time! Losing girl talks is something i was afraid of when everyone got married but it hasn't been a problem. They do get a little preachy when I discuss my man problems though. :-/

Mletta said...

No matter how close I am to a female friend, and trust her, I somehow feel it's a violation of my guy and our relationship to discuss sex. We're partners and sex is among the most intimate things we share (but not the only intimate things we share). I know I would not like him to discuss our sex life with his friends, who I like and trust. So I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be thrilled with me sharing details, etc. with my friend or friends.

Not judging others here and again, it could depend on how and what you share, as well as why (is there a need to get feedback on something that is problematic? Perhaps a professional would be a better help.)

There just comes a time in life when you realize that you don't need to and should not, share everything with even your closest friends.

Some things should just remain private.

Ruth Quinn said...

I don't have many friends that I would talk to about sex, but just before my wedding a group of friends (6 of us) surprised me with an in-home sex workshop with a "sex educator" from New York's Babeland. Lots of alcohol was needed for the night to be as fun and shameless as it was; but it was SO MUCH FUN. I feel like we all really bonded that night. We also all purchased various "toys" and everyone got pretty into it. It wasn't awkward at all! My stomach ached the next day from laughing. I would HIGHLY recommend to anyone living in New York (they have a store on LES and in Park Slope.

Ana Simões said...

I think, once you're married, that part of your life becomes a lot more private, first of all, for loyalty with your partner.
When we made our partnership official, I decided that I should never do to my partner whatever I wouldn't like him to do to me.

I would hate if he talked about our private life with his friends, so I abstain from doing so.

I talk to my best friend about random celebrity/platonic crushes or about being in the mood (or, more accurately, being too tired to be in the mood), but never, ever about sex life details.

Courtney G said...

Yes - we do. I have a group of 6 girlfriends, some are more open than others, but it definitely comes up!

Meadow said...

As I've gotten older, less and less. Probably for similar reasons as you, Joanna. I guess it doesn't really come up much, either. I've always been quite a private person to start with, though.

Vaginal Tightening and Rejuvenation Cream said...

not really but occasionally. sometime depend on mood.

gardeniasandmint said...

Great clip! I'm still in my 20s so I'm totally open about chit chatting!

Kristen said...

It's so funny you mentioned this. I was just talking about the exact same thing with my husband recently. My girlfriends and I shared so many (probably too many) stories with each other and now it feels weird bringing it up. I'm the only married one, but others are in long term relationships and it just seems...different. Maybe it's age?

kelly zellers said...

I'm married, in my 30's, with a toddler, but I still love gossiping about sex (usually when something funny happens). However, most of my friends have become a little more reserved and I just end up feeling like a big ol perv. Luckily I work with some pretty rowdy ladies, so I still get to have some fun girl talk.

timogloria said...

My friends and I put EVERYTHING out on the table. I have actually described our world as Seinfeldesque. I love it, it feels so loose and fun, and we all feel so close to one another. On any given night I could expect my closest friends (two of whom are married) to be sitting around our living room and anything at all could come up. The only thing marriage has really changed is talk of ex-loves. It doesn't seem right to discuss those sexual experiences now.

Even distance hasn't really stopped us. This past year, we have all spread across the world but we keep a text-group active and have group discussions over text daily (still, completely uncensored). It's fun to still have them in contact this way, but my heart aches for the days when on any given night I could expect any number of my friends to burst through my door with an exciting story they couldn't wait to share.

I wrote a little about it here when I was feeling especially nostalgic for them...

http://www.timogloria.com/2013/08/09/a-tribute-to-my-friends/

Michelle Leonardson said...

I find the conversation about sex even more interesting now that I'm married and so are most of my friends. It use to be about WHO we were having sex with (and where ;) and now it's about how much better it is getting with just the ONE (and where ;). Sex is still surprising, I mean who knew that would happen?!

Marie Adamo said...

It is way too much fun to talk about with your friends. It really shouldn't be a taboo conversation - everyone does it! And for the people who say it is 'disrespectful' to your partner - you don't need to share anything disrespectful? But you should still be able to go to your closest friends for advice, even if there are problems. I don't think its healthy for your partner to ban you from seeking advice from friends.

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anxietyrunner said...

I definitely agree! When my girlfriends and I were single, no detail went left unshared. Now that we're all in relationships, though, we don't talk in depth about sex -- if at all. We're like sisters so those boys are like brothers -- definitely don't want to picture them having sex! :D

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