How to Do It is Slate’s sex advice column. Have a question? Send it to Stoya and Rich here. It’s anonymous!
Dear How to Do It,
I am part of a global kink community that facilitates member meetups for a specific BDSM activity, typically between men. I had been in conversation with someone for over a month regarding a meetup during a planned weekend trip, and we discussed the specifics in detail.
When we recently met up for the encounter, there was another man there (in his underwear and blindfolded). He was a friend of the host. There was also a meth pipe, and the odor of its use. As a rule, I do not have sex while not sober, or with persons who are not sober—no judgment toward those who negotiate to do so, but we had not discussed it.
I told him that I neither consented to an audience nor chemsex. After he denied the drug use, I checked in on the sobriety of the blindfolded man, and he admitted that they were high. I then noticed a camera set up across the room and saw what was on his TV—me! I thought they were watching a porn, but he was livestreaming this encounter to 74 viewers. He quickly shut off the livestream and apologized, then I left.
Later that night, I went into our meetup page’s chatroom and saw him online, posting, saying he was looking to host people for the specific engagement we had previously negotiated. What I am wondering is whether, and how, I should disclose what happened to a site admin? This community doesn’t tolerate this kind of behavior, given the physical, aggressive, and risky nature of this kink. I’m also concerned about what inexperienced or younger members will do in the same situation. I don’t think younger me would have known what to do, never mind had the chutzpah to self-extricate.
I feel particularly violated by the livestream. Anonymity is an expectation for these encounters, although some folks do prenegotiate photography or filming for personal use. Should I do anything here besides block the guy? I really do wish him all the best, recognizing how challenging it is to live with, and overcome, a meth addiction. I feel sympathy, not a desire to punish him.
Dear ParTy’s Over,
I agree with your assessment here. The drug use isn’t cool—he should have at least given you a heads up that he was using prior to your arrival in case you weren’t interested in smoking meth or having sex with someone who was. It could have triggered you if you’ve had issues with substances in the past as well. The relative pervasiveness of meth in recreational sex among queer men has prompted me to start asking guys that I chat with on apps if they’re into it—I’d rather be upfront than be surprised when meeting them in person. Something to consider for the future.
But like you, the livestream is what really bugs me out, for had you not noticed the camera, you very well would have unwittingly appeared in porn—revenge porn, that is. Definitions vary by state, but disseminating sexual material of a nonconsenting person is basically the standard definition. In fact, the footage captured of you—which, if I’m reading right, was cut short before any nudity or sexual contact on your part—might still qualify, in some laws’ wordings.
You should at the very least tell the administrator about that. Your kink community should be a safe space, and someone who flagrantly violates the rules in the mix represents a security breach. It’s particularly worrying that he was back at it within hours of being told, in explicit language, that he had violated consent—he doesn’t seem interested in (or perhaps isn’t capable of) introspection. If you think it too severe to report this guy to the police, you might consider enacting a restorative justice process, which would put you two in front of an impartial mediator so that you could express yourself, hear what he has to say for himself, and attempt to explain to him why his behavior is unacceptable and should not, under any circumstances, be repeated. Good luck.
Dear How to Do It,
Since we’re all in our homes, do you have any tips for sexting and video sex?
—Make Me a Star
Everybody’s so horny in their solitude, right? I started social distancing pretty early, which involved gently rebuffing people who wanted to hang out and have sex, back before it became such a social taboo. I noticed some potential play buds seemed to be turned on by my apathy. I’m so straightforward—my perpetual lack of patience compels it—that I’ve never played hard to get, and I’m just now seeing that it does seem like an effective strategy to having guys send me dick pics … and then more dick pics. Is that what you want? I’m not offended by this—they’re good dicks—but I’m not particularly moved by them, either. For me, sexting (I don’t really do video stuff myself) is a sort of foreplay for sex I intend on having. It’s a means not an end. Prolonged discussions about sex that won’t be possible for months and months tests my patience.
But I realize that not everyone feels this way. You have options. They’ll depend on how you’ve previously connected with the people you’re now connecting to digitally. I have a friend who has lots of recent experience with a long-distance arrangement, who said sexting enriches a sex life when two loving partners can’t be together. “Sexting allows for the same sort of expansion of boundaries even for a normally sexual person,” he told me, referencing Stoya’s oft-delivered advice about the importance of verbalizing needs and desires. “You can start to verbalize desires and then eventually they may grow into actions,” he said.
Whether or not that’s your situation, in general, this kind of digital sexual contact is like any sexual contact, and should be guided by the consent of all parties involved, respecting each other’s boundaries. That makes it hard to give you specific tips, for like, a better sext life, because I don’t know what your partners are into. One thing I like is receiving positive feedback on past encounters, so if you’re sexting or having video sex with a previous IRL partner, referencing a moment or session you found to be particularly hot is a good way to start such a conversation (“Remember when you did X? That was so hot …”) or perhaps keep one going. In terms of video, I once video chatted with a guy I was briefly seeing and he kept sort of revealing himself as we talked—he’d move the robe he was in to show me dick, or pan down the camera for an even closer view, but only from time to time. It was a tease and extremely hot.
If you are just looking for random sext and video partners, there are actual subreddits on Reddit devoted to connecting for the purposes of doing so, generally sorted by orientation and interests. What I’d like to remind you here is that what you’re sending may be permanently in the recipient’s possession. Platforms that offer images that self-destruct after they’re viewed, like Snapchat and Instagram’s messenger, may be safer, but screenshotting and other capturing is possible (taking a picture of one’s phone with another phone, for example) even on those. It wouldn’t be right nor would it be your fault, but I just want to suggest that you can take certain precautions (communicating in this way only with people that you trust, not sending material that you wouldn’t want other people to see, avoiding your face) to make potential fallout less of a headache. Plenty of people exchange explicit nudes with complete strangers that they never even end up meeting and nothing bad happens. Plenty of people simply don’t care if their genitalia is easily Googled, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But in the event that you do, just think about what you’re choosing to give to someone else. It’s important to be safe out there, even if you’re staying home.
Dear How to Do It,
I’m a mid-30s straight man, and for most of the sexually active portion of my life, I’ve been a quick finisher. Maybe not quite “premature,” but very fast. Most of my partners have been good-natured about it, and I’ve developed good foreplay and oral skills to make up for my brevity. Still, I’ve always been moderately (and occasionally very) embarrassed by it.
A few months ago, I went on a (necessary) medication with potential sexual side effects, and now it’s the complete opposite. I am lasting much longer, frequently to the point where I never orgasm at all. To me, this is a trade I would make 110 percent of the time—it’s such a confidence boost to be able to bring my partner to orgasm during penetration, I’m glad to give up a few orgasms of my own. From my perspective, I’m having better sex than ever before.
My partner, however, seems to feel that if I’m not finishing, she’s doing something wrong. I’ve explained the medication issue and my satisfaction with the state of our sex life. On a rational level, I think she understands, but she still takes it personally.
Do you have any suggestions on how to address this? I’m not going off the meds, but I’d appreciate any insights into how else to discuss this with my partner. Or if there’s a magic trick to climax on demand, that would be great too.
—Better Late Than Never
Aside from people who have mastered their own personal way of pushing themselves over the edge quickly, there’s no magic trick to coming on demand—if there were, everyone would just be orgasming all the time.
It’s very nice that you’re considerate, and I’m sure your partner is lovely, but she’s being so egocentric here that I’m frustrated with her. Your lack of climaxes is a demonstrable effect of your medicine. Taking your dick’s response personally is like acting like your partner’s after-dinner farts are acts of conscious aggression. I mean, I guess people really do act like that, but it’s silly. Your girlfriend can fact-check you by Googling the drug’s side effects, and also her own experience with your pre- and post-med dick.
Maybe you always knew it, but circumstance has shown you to be what is known colloquially as a giver. It’s just what you’re into. Giving her pleasure gives you pleasure. She’s getting off, you’re having a ball—there’s really no issue here. Try explaining that to her, and keep doing what you’re doing. If she’s having reliable orgasms from your sex together, she should be focused on that instead of what’s supposedly missing. See if all the pleasure she’s experiencing doesn’t ultimately distract her from what’s been lost.
Dear How to Do It,
I’ve recently started dating a guy and have come across a problem I’ve encountered before—his intercourse (humping, to put it plainly) rhythm is hard, fast, and strong. This isn’t always bad, but I like variety, plus my vagina needs to warm up first before moving to a proper pounding. Getting on top gives me more control, but I feel like it’s hard for him to keep an erection on my rhythm. My ex was actually really good at this—he changed up his speed and moved between fast and slow and medium and back again—but maybe he is an outlier. (He also had amazing control of his erection and lasted forever.)
The new guy takes a while to orgasm, so it’s not like he can’t last. My instinct is that he is so focused on humping and pumping he’s missing out on other sensory turn-ons, but I could also just be projecting. I know communication is key, but I live abroad, and we come from very different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Besides talking about this, are there some things we can try to see if he can slow down and stay hard? Is it possible for a guy to change his rhythm during sex, or is this a fixed thing he’s learned through masturbating?
It is certainly possible for many guys to vary their rhythm … or their anything, for that matter. It’s called connected sex, and it’s at least slightly disconcerting to me that your new guy doesn’t seem to be familiar with the concept. I know the kind of vibe you’re talking about—some guys hump with such intensity that it’s like nothing else exists in the world, not the least of which is the person who’s under them.
Since you can’t really talk about this fully, which is what I would absolutely suggest in a scenario where a shared language made doing so easier, I’d register my displeasure via more universal cues—facial expressions, noises, putting your hand on his torso when he starts going too fast for your taste. Anything to get him to slow down without, I guess, having the ability to say those words. You’re supposed to be having fun, too. It’s true that sometimes having the receptive partner be on top doesn’t provide adequate stimulation. How does he hang in other sexual activities? Does he stay hard via blow jobs, for example? You could try other positions that somewhat limit the range of motion, like spooning, but he might find a way to go back into overdrive.
That said, dicks can be finicky, and it’s possible that the stroke he’s shown you is the only stroke he’s capable of. That too can change over time, but if this guy’s a one-speed pony, unwilling or unable to alter a rhythm that does not suit you, you very well may be sexually incompatible. It might be the time to face that.
More How to Do It
When I had sex with my first boyfriend, he came very quickly, within a minute. He was embarrassed. I told him it was normal and that he would last longer the next time. The thing is, he never really did. Every time we had sex, after maybe a minute or two, he’d have to pull out or he’d be done. The other thing is, I started to really love this. It turned me on so much that he couldn’t help but lose it with me. Well, we broke up last summer. Now I have a problem: I miss my two-pump chump! Some guys can really go a long time, and seem proud of their “stamina,” but I get pretty tired after a few minutes. This sounds ridiculous, I know, but what can I do? Put on Tinder “must come embarrassingly fast during sex”?