Dear Ibby reflects on the questions you guys literally will not stop asking.

At the ripe old age of 17 — or, maybe I'll say 18 so you guys don't feel pervy — I started writing about sex.

Under the name Dear Ibby, I've answered countless sex questions, talked to hundreds of people about their sexual experiences, written a confusingly large amount of articles about head, and, most importantly, gotten way too into erotic alien literature.

Now, I'm a target market female between the ages of 25-28, and looking back on my experience with sex writing and advice, I realized there've been a couple pretty distinct lessons I've learned during the time I've been doing it. See, certain experiences and questions about sex and relationships seem to pervade people of all genders, sexualities and erotic proclivities, and I end up returning to these subjects more often than any other (nobody ever writes me asking about erotic alien literature though, just vaginal hypnosis).

As such, I've made some mildly staggering realizations I'm going to share with you, if only to put your mind at ease about them so we can get down to grittier topics like fuckin' on Uranus.

Here's some stuff that's true:

1. There is no "right time" to do anything

When is it okay to call after a first date? When should you have sex? At what point should you disclose your fetish for people on crutches to your sweet and innocent date?

Fuck, man. When you want to. When it feels right.

Want to fuck on the first date? Be my baby.

Need to get your secret kink, fantasy or interest in men off your chest right away? Well by all means, spill your guts.

If the person you're fucking thinks that's wrong, that person is a jackass and wasn't right for you anyway.

People get so caught up in thinking there are rules about sex and dating that they forget to notice their own emotions and the interactions they're having with the people they're flapping their genitals on. Chances are, if something feels too early, or feels too personal, don't do it until it's comfortable. You're a big organism with a pulsating brain — I have full confidence that you should be able to pick up on the subtle signaling of your own intuition on matters like these.

2. You can't generalize what people like ever, nope nope nope

There is no universal "move" that'll work on all members of a certain population you can use to ascend to sex-god status.

An example: not all girls like getting eaten out, and not all guys like getting head.

Not all guys want to have threesomes or want to fuck all the time.

Not all girls want to be monogamous or need emotional intimacy to fuck.

Some dudes love a hairy pussy.

Some chicks like an uncut micro-cock.

I could go on forever!

You'd be a bumbling idiot to make any sort of generalization about what people like or don't like. What's light years more important is that you ask individual people what their individual desires and needs are. That's the truest, best way to be good at sex; get to know your partner as the special snowflake they, then cater to their weird Uber driver fantasies.

3. Bad kissers are sometimes … good at sex?

About kissing: there are no bad kissers.

People either match up kissing styles and the kiss is good, or they have disparate kissing styles and the kiss is bad. Everyone thinks they're great at kissing. Almost no one is.

However, I have found a mutual kissing style to be a good indicator of romantic compatibility. A good kiss sends several important signals right off the bat; like that you understand each other, have a similar need and rhythm, and that your bodies fit well together. It doesn't mean you'll get married and then traumatize your 16 children when you later divorce, but it does seem to facilitate feelings far more than a terribly sloppy oral battle. Almost no one I know has started dating someone they thought was a shit kisser, unless they were able to reform each other and teach each other to kiss they way they liked. On the other hand, most couples I know innately have a mutual kissing style.

I've also noticed that incompatible kissing does not, in any way, preclude good sex. For whatever reason, zero mouth rhythm seems to have little to do with the fuck part of the interaction, and people with incompatible kissing styles seem to be able to get off and have a great time with someone even if they spend half the time avoiding their mouth like the plague.

Some of the best sex I've ever had has been with people who were so bad at making out that my head recoiled backwards into the past, but once I wrenched my spit-soaked face away from their tiger jaws, everything else went pretty great. I never spoke to these people again, but … haaaaay.

That's not to say terrible kissers can't also suck in bed. They can! And they do. But, the moral of the story is: see what else they can do with their mouth other than eviscerating your face. Bad kissers are people, too.

4. Threesomes are a nice daydream but a difficult reality

When you're in a relationship, one of the things you do to prove to your partner how terminally chill you are is to mutually agree threesomes are awesome and that you should totally have one together.

"Look how spicy and un-possessive I seem!" is the general sentiment. And you're right! Threesomes are hot as fuck. Yet, even if you truly do want to have one, you can definitely start to question that desire once you start trying to plan one.

Not only is it nearly impossible to find a third wheel both of you are interested in, but often, that person doesn't end up vibing with either of you that well. They don't live up to your expectations. They're unintelligent and all they can talk about is how tired they are. They look nothing like their picture. They're way too self-obssessed and think they're going to be the center of attention during this thing. Maybe you like them but have no sexual chemistry; if just one person in the relationship isn't feeling it, it's not going to be a very hot threesome.

Plus, there's all the pre-talk. You have to figure out what you and your partner are and aren't comfortable with. Who does what, with who? And what are you going to do when the action stops or when one person is temporarily left out?

There can be lot of moving parts that can dampen the fantasy a bit.

Know what I say? Do the pre-talk thing; that's important. But try to be a little more flexible with the person you chose. Find a random person when you're all out one night, see if it works, and go for it. The more planning you do, the more it creates expectations and expectations can lead to shitty sex when they're not met.

If you're anal and need planning to live and breathe, you can still pull it off, but try to be more open with the experience; finding someone to fuck in a threesome can be twice as hard as finding someone in real life, yet once you have one, it's over before you know it and all you remember is a few hazy instances of jiggling balls.

5 In a long-term relationship, you have to create spontaneity yourself

Obviously, the best part about a new relationship is all the crazy sex you get to have. But, over time, that spark can fade and give way to the kind of deep, emotional attachment that sometimes lends itself better to Netflix and sleeping than hot professor roleplay. Every couple goes through this.

Those things — crazy sex and deep attachment — don't have to be mutually exclusive. You don't have to settle for lazier, more infrequent sex just because you've been dating someone for a fifth of your life and your mom talks to them on the phone more than you. Once you've accepted that, the question inevitably becomes "How do I spice things up?"

When you reach that point, you have to take responsibility for consciously creating the novelty that once created itself when you didn't know each other as well.  It sounds counterintuitive (how can you create a seemingly random occurrence?), but you have to suspend your disbelief that its possible and just do it. Put yourself in the mindset that you can absolutely have new experiences with the person you've been fucking since the Big Bang.

For some couples, this means planning sex. There's zero defeat in doing that; rather, it shows you're both still committed to and interested in taking care of each other's needs. And within a planned event, you can create micro-spontaneity that keeps things "spicy," as they say. After all, if you plan something new, all that you did was talk about doing it; you have no idea what's actually going to happen once the time comes to do it. Talking about these things also means getting deeper into each other's desires and fantasies than you ever have, and making a conscious, generous effort to try to fulfill them.

If you love the person you're with, never stop trying to find new ways into their pants.

6. Almost everyone gets cheated on, so … get over it

News flash: 70 percent of people will cheat, or get cheated on, at some point in their lives.

It sucks to go through no matter which side of that you're on, but you don't have to incredulously act like you're the first person who's ever been through this. It doesn't have to be what Dan Savage so expertly calls an "extinction-level event." If you're in a healthy relationship with someone you love and you want to keep being in that relationship, work through it. I promise when you come out, you'll be a better, stronger couple. Because in the end, do you really want to be with someone you can't get through that with? Who will leave you because god forbid one of you pulls the biologically pre-programmed move of being attracted to someone else?

Mutual, singular attraction to each other in and of itself does not create a good relationship. You don't fall in love with someone because they only want to fuck you; you do it because they're kind, funny, intelligent and have a really great cat you've grown attached to.

And letting someone else tear your relationship apart gives that other person so, so much power. Often, cheating is a stupid drunk mistake someone gets caught up in, and it makes no sense to let the person on the other end of that ruin what was otherwise a fine and dandy romance.

Talk about it, work through it, and move on. If you can't, examine yourself and find out why.

7. Everyone is confused about sex because no one knows how to talk about it

"How do I get my boyfriend to try more things in bed?"

"How do I tell my girlfriend I'm bi?"

"How do I unleash my Charzard BDSM fantasy on my date?'

Use your face-hole. All of you. Reach up to your face, feel it, feel its soft wetness and sharp tooth-bones. That thing you're feeling is the answer to almost all of your questions.

Use your intuition and listening skills to ascertain when something could reasonably be brought up, then just … bring it up. The only real lifehack for talking to someone is to tell them a more articulate version of what you're thinking in your head when you rehearse the conversation you want to have; that's usually the closest representation to how you really feel, and the more you can grow balls and be honest about that, the more you'll get what you want.

Also, the more you talk about your needs and desires, the better you get and it and the less freaky it becomes.

8. There is no such thing as normal

The number one question I get asked?

Undoubtedly, it's "Is this normal?"

No, it's not normal! Nothing is normal! Think about how weird the ritual of dating is or the extreme awkwardness of the physical flailing of sex. It's all totally fucking crazy. Plus, the definition of normal is completely subjective based on who you ask, which proves my point even more: normal does not exist. 

Instead of focusing on whether something's normal, know that literally everyone has some weird desires and beliefs. Everyone has a unique history that shaped who they are today. Most people go through the exact same thing you're going through. There's no need to pathologize yourself for not fitting in, because chances are, well, there's an internet community for you. No matter how odd you feel, you are never alone thanks to WiFi.

It's also "normal" to have fucked up fantasies and desires, but as long as you're not hurting anyone with them, it's okay. Relax.

9. We need a lot more education about alternative sexualities and modes of sexual expression

This guy piggybacks on the point before.

There's no normal sexuality or gender expression; it's a giant spectrum and it's all beautiful and lovely. No one tells you that in school, though.

In school, we learn a lot of really narrow lessons about sex: sex is penis in vagina. It's how babies are made. You're going to get herpes. Rape happens because women are in the wrong place at the wrong time wearing the wrong thing; it's not the man's fault. Men are hypersexual, women are hyposexual.

These are all things that are sometimes true (minus the rape thing, it's always the man's fault … or the female rapist because that happens too), but they're hardly  the whole picture. So, when we encounter people or situations that don't fit into conventional sex ed's tidy little box of wisdom, we sometimes feel threatened, lash out, or vastly misunderstand the people that school doesn't teach us about. And we're stuck in a cycle in which we'll keep teaching kids to do this, because our educational system still tries, with all its might, not to acknowledge the existence of sex. They don't feel it's their job to impart that knowledge onto students.

As a result, we don't learn about consent, that it's okay to be gay or bi or asexual or whatever else you are, or that it's okay to want sex. No one tells you masturbation isn't shameful or that it's healthy to watch a bit of porn. So, we feel shame or hate about anything that deviates from what we've learned. Our sexual education needs to mature and expand.

10. Lube is great

Lube, lube, I love lube.

Dryness is the enemy of happiness. Dick-burn is the essence of unrest.

Lube takes away the ouches and replaces the with ecstasy.


11. Push your own boundaries

How do you know you won't like something if you don't try it? Are you psychic? Can you tell me what kind of sandwich I'll eat in 2023?

If you're in a consensual situation and you're trying something you're iffy about, what's the absolute worst that can happen? I'm just gonna butt in and tell you: that you don't like it.


… Not.

What's wrong with that information? Knowing what you don't like is just as important as knowing what you do like.

Plus, if you start doing something that pushes your boundaries, you can stop at any time. You don't have to wait until someone comes or the scene is completed or the camera stops rolling; you can literally call it quits at any time during sex if you don't like what's going on.

On the flip side, you might find that you love what you're doing. Maybe you've never tried dominating your boyfriend before, but once you go beyond your comfort zone and try, you find it's exhilarating. Maybe you're a guy and you've resisted butt stuff forever but now you're finally opening yourself up to prostate massage, only to find that you've been missing out on explosive, face-melting orgasms your whole life. Maybe you do some hot homo stuff and realize you've awakened an entire other part of your sexuality you never knew was there and now your a doubly powerful omnipotent force of cum.

Sex is all about self-discovery and experimentation; but you don't learn much about yourself when you stick to the same routine.

Pushing your own boundaries is also extremely important when it comes to your partner's fantasies. You don't have to be completely in to something that turns them on to do it; sometimes it's nice just to help them live out their desires and see the absolute joy that brings.

All that said, you know if something's too far outside your comfort zone to do. You never have to do anything you're 100 percent not down for. But if there's even the slightest inkling of curiosity and no one will be harmed in the process … go for it.

And that's it, really. I'll probably keep getting the same questions about this stuff for the next 50 years of my miserable life, but I'll happily answer them for you because they're all things that come up time and time again in people's sexual experiences. Hopefully some of the knowledge I've scrounged up helps you, and if not … there's always vodka.