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A Bad How To: Sexual Awakenings… | Emma Malcolmson

Our twenties are always going to be that time of our lives for the exploration of our ‘true selves’. Maybe not in the totally zen way that sounds. Although, hey, if you find your zen, good for you! For some, this true self may be a new style, for others, a personality overhaul. Or your exploration of your true self may be found when you find out your alcohol limits after having one too many tequila shots and spew in your own hair – and on your friend’s shoes. But, for the most part, and the vast majority of us twenty-somethings, our twenties are a time for exploring our own sexual identity – and owning it. Sometimes, it can be hard to find your feet in knowing what is good for you sexually and what isn’t.

Don’t Listen to Coach Carr

At one point or another in our adolescent years, we have all had a Coach Carr dooming speech,

“Don’t have sex, because you will get pregnant and die! Don’t have sex in the missionary position, don’t have sex standing up, just don’t do it, OK, promise?”

Scare tactics from Coach Carr’s questionable sex ed didn’t stop Regina George, so, why should it stop you?! Once we get into the big bad worlds of dating apps, we soon realise that Coach Carr probably just needed to get his hole from anyone other than teenage girls…ew at that perv.

In the midst of a global pandemic where we may not even be allowed to hug our grandparents, how can we ever think about having sex with strangers? OK, granted, hugging your grandparents and having sex with strangers are two things that should NEVER be in the same sentence, let alone the same page, but we move…

Shagging New People

First and foremost, when meeting a new potential partner, the first piece of advice I have to offer is social media stalk! If he looks like a fuckboy on his Insta, then he probably is. I would say check his snap-score too, but I think that’s just my truly psycho-self seeping through the cracks of my cool, calm and collected mask. If you think he is using you for a shag, he probably is. And if he’s calling you in the early hours, it’s a sure-fire sign that you’re involved a total fuckboy. I would love to give you the advice of avoiding said fuckboy at all costs. But you’re not going to listen to anyone – not even your friends when it comes to this one. Some things simply must be done (for educational purposes, of course). What you really have to ask yourself is, are you two really FWB or has your addictive personality just convinced you that you love him, even though he has made it very obvious that he’s not interested in you? Take it from someone with a lot of experience in this department – if he likes you, you won’t ever question it!

I’ll be honest, he will break your heart to boost his own ego so you should probably try to play it cool (you won’t). Don’t worry though, you’re not his first victim and sadly, you won’t be his last. I think sometimes heartbreak can be character building – think positively! I mean, you did put yourself in the situation, so learn from your mistakes, eh… You’re big enough and bad enough to know better now. It’s almost impossible to escape a fuckboy unharmed. At the time, your world will be crushed by the boy you thought was the one because your rose-tinted glasses showed you his red flags as pink. I blame the sex hormones. I read somewhere once that the hormone women release after sleeping with men is one that men only release when they see their first-born. Is it just me or is that a bit weird? Or is it a completely tongue-in-cheek way of mother nature telling us that men are, and always will be premature in the emotional development department? After the fact, you might be an expert in outsmarting the shagging game to avoid the fuckboys. Most likely though, you’ll just have a better radar for spotting one but you’ll still undoubtedly do it ALL OVER AGAIN – hate to be the bearer of bad news.


Once you’ve shown the fuckboy the door, and you're welcoming the next one, the next best piece of advice I can offer when it comes to sexual awakenings is: honestly is always the best policy!

After your unavoidable first heartbreak, and the next, and the next, and maybe just one more, you will undoubtedly be an expert in telepathically reading lies in potential shag’s brains before they even get to process the words out of their lips – or keyboard. Honesty is the best policy but we’re not here to bash that guy on Tinder who said that he was six feet tall in his bio for you to meet him and in reality, he’s just shy of 5’11. (Although – rude!) When starting a new sexual relationship, one of the most important things to do is be open and honest about your sexual health. It's not very exciting or sexy to ask someone you want to shag your brains out whether they’re in tiptop-STI-free condition downstairs. However, it is much sexier than a trip to the local sexual health clinic’s drop-in only to walk into a waiting area of just about every single person you ever went to school with – only to discover that you’ve got the clap. Safe sex is not a comprisable piece of advice on this girl’s ‘How To:’.

Put A Sock on It!

Coach Carr lied to us about sexual intercourse being life-threatening, we should take his advice and “take some rubbers”. Stopping in the heat of the moment to use a condom is never sexy – it’s always a bit shite but I imagine nine months of pregnancy isn’t very sexy either. And if you’re not going to wrap it, please just take your pill when your alarm goes off, eh? We can only hope that Coach took his own advice and didn’t get poor Trang Paks Sun Jin Dinh up the duff.

Self-Love First

The list of advice I could give you on exploring your own sexuality is infinite but also far and few between. It’s a bit of a Catch-22 because, after all, it is YOURS to explore.

What I can say though, is NEVER let your happiness depend on a partner or meeting the love of your life when you’re exploring your sexual self. After all, you’re only young and we can only hope that we are still having sexual awakenings well into our final years. So, have fun, be free, discover your turn-ons, your turn-offs, and definitely do NOT go back to the very first guy you meet (p.s. – that’s because I know he is a definite fuckboy). Just enjoy yourself because it’s not going to be like the movies. It will be full of heartaches, butterflies, awkward dates, earth-shaking orgasms, and ones that couldn’t even cause a ripple in a puddle.

I won’t lie, the shagging/dating life can be frustrating for the most part, but your future self will look back and thank you for the many, many mortifying memories.

PS – the next best piece of advice I can offer is just buy a dildo. Know what you like with yourself before you let someone else show you. If you can’t make yourself cum, how can you expect anyone else to? (should I get that copyrighted – let me know)


Emma Malcolmson


Instagram: @emmamalcolmson


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