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How do you define the "best sex ever"?

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I try to think back on the best, or even worst, sex advice I’ve ever received. I flip through my memories like an overstuffed Rolodex, but each card I pull is blank. There are no names, no numbers, no recollections of anyone ever giving me any advice about sex.

Growing up, I knew sex meant you could get pregnant and that was scary. I knew sex meant you could catch itchy, red, or even deathly diseases, which was also scary. I knew that sex was something people wanted from me and were willing to hurt me to try to get, which was something so far beyond the realm of scary that I did everything I could to be invisible so that it would stop, although it never did. The consequences of being sexual and having sex were the only aspects of sex that were ever brought up to me. No one ever told me pleasure, self-exploration, and orgasms could be outcomes too, and no one ever told me I could give all of these things to myself.

Growing up, sex meant a penis belonging to a man being inserted into a vagina belonging to a woman. Sex was over when the penis was dispensed of the lumpy yellow-gray fluid that lived inside it, like a hand pumping soap in an effort to clean itself, except, as a woman, you were never clean after sex — you were dirty and dispensable.

Sex was what people who loved each other did, and sex was what people who didn’t love each other did behind each other’s backs. Sex was sin, and sex was salvation. Sex was what men wanted, and the ability to give them what they wanted was the only power women had over men. Sex always confused me.

The pink-spined magazines my friends read after school were filled with endless articles about oral techniques and how to act on a first date, but where were the pieces instructing men to kiss our thighs and communicate? Our youths were relegated to summers-long rituals of hair masks and being hungry so that boys would think we were pretty, while our anxieties exclusively centered around how to pleasure their bodies and fulfill their desires, never once thinking that maybe we deserved to feel good too. I cried the first time I touched myself, and all........

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