The Roaring 20s: Truths on Intimacy and Casual Sex

In your 20s, sex helps you learn about your mind, body and what you want from a partner. You’ll go from not knowing what you are doing to knowing what you want. 

During your 20s, sex offers a way to learn more about your body and your mind. It’s about what you like, whether that includes acting on one night stands, fantasies, exploring sexual orientation or figuring out how to reach orgasm. 

When you’re in your 20s, you still aren’t totally sure exactly what you like, how you like it and who you like it with. In your sexual journey, there are bound to be bad experiences. Your partner might have absolutely no idea what he or she is doing, or just be too self-involved to care. The key here is to communicate in the moment or learn from it and move on.

These are sensitive and developmental years. There is experimentation during this decade. Take precautions. 

Here’s the rundown on how to have fun, navigate some bewilderment, and set your own expectations. Remember, you won’t get these years back so be smart about it. 

In your 20s, your body is awesome. Accept it. 

Newsflash: We all think we are inadequate in one way or the other.
There is nothing wrong with the way you look. Embrace your youthful body. Most people won’t even notice what you consider to be your flaws. Remember, they aren’t perfect either.  Strive to work on self-acceptance skills. Everyday. Self-acceptance isn’t about pretending you’re flawless. It’s about recognizing that it’s normal to like certain aspects of ourselves more than other aspects. Importantly, this awareness shouldn’t get in the way of accepting yourself. Here I am, flawed. Just like you. If it’s more serious than this, talk to someone for help. How and what you do now impacts how you build a successful life. 

Sex can be just that–sex.

Please don’t confuse love with sex. If you do, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.  If you want a lasting relationship, take your attention off the sex and focus on having fun. This way, you won’t fall for someone before finding out they don’t want the same thing. If a dating partner turns away from you because you didn’t jump in bed quick enough, then they didn’t deserve you anyway. 

One-night stands.

They’re not exactly easy if your head isn’t in the right place for them. If you’ve never had a one-night stand, then you don’t know how awkward they can be. They’re cold, lack emotion, and if you’re someone who gets attached easily, then you should take this option off the table. Of course, you could give it a try, and then decide, but that might be a test of courage that might not be all that fun or worth it. 

To have a proper one-night stand, you need to be kind of a bastard. Have it at your place and tell them to leave right afterward. If you happen to go to their place, you need to be able to jump out of bed right afterwards and dash. If you know you just can’t do these things, a one-night stand isn’t for you. Have roommates? Lock your door. 

There is no shame in a one-night stand. They are to relax and have fun. If you know you can’t do it without feeling regret, then skip it. If you’re already in a dark spot about stuff going on in your life, a one-night stand is not likely to make you feel better. 

If you are sexually active, use birth control. This is something to be taken seriously. Don’t leave anything to the calendar and be honest with yourself. Remember to take your pill each morning or use a condom. It’s not worth the worry. 

Manners make a man — and a good experience. 

If you meet a man who has a huge ego, is rude to others, mansplains, man-spreads, or doesn’t offer his seat to an elderly or pregnant person, don’t f**k him. If you want to go out and have a single serving, don’t reward the most aggressive guy in the room by giving into his advances. Style tip: avoid bros in fedoras and guys that won’t give you their phone number or last name. 

The feels.

Have you had an orgasm and if you have not had an orgasm, what can you do about it? There are options to take. Many people have troubles with this and there are so many resources. Check out the Guide to Getting it On, a book recommended by Oprah and Rolling Stone. Also, commit to practicing some mindful self stimulation on your own, and just figuring it out. Instead of trying to have an orgasm immediately, experts say to commit to knowing your body over a longer period of time.

Making vibrators a regular in your life is about way more than getting to know your body, though—it can also be good for your health. Invest in the greatest beauty product you can: a vibrator.

Party girls unite. Take care of each other.

When out on the move, please be careful of your surroundings. Too much drink or too much of anything can lead to a trauma. Don’t expose yourself to dangerous situations. Remember to always be safe. The best advice: Don’t overshare sexploits online or overstay at a frat house–these are just examples–but you get it. Be discreet. If you are going to have a one night of sex go to your house- not his.Protect yourself like your life and your future depends on it. Because it does. 

Self-realization. Don’t take any shit.

In your later 20s, you’re getting to that stage of self-realization that is  defined as “fulfillment by oneself of the possibilities of one’s character or personality.”  You’re starting to know yourself and your body. Sex stops being about making dudes like you (never do this), and much more about what makes you feel good. Yes, this time can be awkward and can be unfulfilling, but claim your power.  Don’t put up with someone’s shit at work, at home, or in bed. Gone are the days of no reciprocation and standard missionary. As you graduate from college and build a career, you are busy and should keep the focus on you. Don’t worry if you have not met the one. You are the one you have been waiting for, as they say. Grow. Embrace new challenges and learn to forgive yourself.

Intense passion of sleeping with someone you like or love is not something you want. Now, it’s all you ever need. As you approach your 30s, you’re grateful for all the time you took to get to know yourself because now you’re on your way to building a successful life. Hopefully, with a special person that deserves you.