What Makes Me a Sex Geek?
What Makes me a Sex Geek?
When you’re a sex geek, you just know it. Whether you’re a uni student, sex educator, health professional or have a completely unrelated day job (banker represent!), your interest in sex and sexuality spans further than your own bedroom, and often outside what is socially the norm.
As a young girl, I would always look forward to school camps and sleepovers. There was something about the late nights and lollies that made everyone go giddy and spill their secrets.
I yearned for these occasions when we were somehow given permission to be honest and intimate with each other in our conversation, and it baffled me that we couldn’t be like this more often.
Every time I learned more about my friends’ experiences of the world and their bodies I felt less ashamed of the challenges I’d faced (period pain, awkward making out sessions) and more excited about my sexual possibilities.
Going to uni changed the way I thought about sex. Not only did I start having it, but I also started learning about gender and power dynamics in society. Young girls are fed mixed messages by the media and society about being sexually available to boys, but also not being a ‘slut’, and I know that I grew up wanting sex but feeling entirely conflicted about how to pursue it.
My major was Media & Communications, but I squeezed in as many gender studies subjects in as possible, to the point where I graduated with four subjects on my transcript with the word ‘sex’ in them; I don’t think there was a single undergrad arts sex subject that I didn’t take! The content really spoke to me, and feminism gave me the tools to understand what was happening around me. I started to see why so many people felt shy talking about sex, and why girls in particular have such a complicated relationship with it. So many ideas and discourses stood out for me, and I would use gender and sex as a lens of analysis for my essays on topics such as new media, film, digital communication and professional writing.
I wrote an article about losing my virginity entitled We’ll Talk Post-Feminism in the Post-Patriarchy that was subsequently published on LipMag.com, and I amazed myself at how I could incorporate a sex-positive analysis of the mainstream porn industry into even the most dry media essay topics. I won’t deny that shock value probably played some part in getting me some top grades!
I also became highly involved with the Wom*n’s room and Queer department on campus, helping organise events such as Rad Sex and Consent Week, which is where I met and befriended the lovely Kate McCombs, founder of Sex Geekdom. Despite being slightly under-qualified (but geeky and enthusiastic nonetheless!), I ran workshops and discussions on ‘Pornography’, ‘Sex and Body Image’, and ‘Loving the Penis without the Patriarchy’.
Everyone has different passions and hobbies that they enjoy. I love working in an office, practicing bikram yoga, and listening to 80s music. Being part of the Sex Geekdom community however has made me realise that I can legitimately add ‘sex geekiness’ to this list. I can be proud of the hours spent reading articles and listening to podcasts, perusing the ‘Other’ section of second-hand book shops, and my zeal for subverting layers of repression and conservatism through shame-free dialogue.
I’ve learned that being passionately sex-positive may not be the norm, but that it hopefully works to make the world a more open and accepting place. Being that ‘beacon of permission’ (as Kate says!) to have conversations about taboo topics means that people don’t have to wait until the next girly sleepover to be assured that they shouldn’t feel bad for sleeping around or enjoying sex. That they shouldn’t feel bad if they don’t orgasm, can’t find their g-spot, or don’t want to have sex. That they should be able to do whatever they want with their body hair, and hell yes we can go sex toy shopping next weekend.
Sex Geekdom gives everyone permission to feel at ease discussing all aspects of sex and sexuality, in a way that is usually not sanctioned by society. I feel like I can be myself, and geek out over sex without people thinking I am necessarily inviting sex, or showing off. Sex Geeks come from all different walks of life with varying degrees of knowledge and experience, but we all have something very tangible in common. Being a Sex Geek has had such a positive impact on my life and my relationships, and I look forward to growing our community and giving more people the opportunity to share ideas and meet like-minded people who just love geeking out about sex!