This matter is complex enough to just reduce it to just three questions, so we decided to ask three more relevant questions to Maria Francisca Burgos @psicologafranciscaburgos, the incredible psychologist and sex educator based in Chile who reflects on topics like sexuality, gender, emotional relationships, self-understanding, and the LGBTQ+ community with whom we talked in the first part.
In this second part, we asked her about how to deal with the first sex encounters when there is a previous conflict of not accepting oneself, which can therefore cause reticence or fear towards the sexual act, how the porn industry makes us dehumanize sex and objectify people, and what does it really mean to be top or bottom in any kind of relationship and the safest ways to practice oral sex.
Vanity Teen: What would you tell to those teenagers who due to certain circumstances, be it uncertainty, not accepting themselves, or not knowing how to express their sexual orientation, are afraid of sex?
Maria Francisca Burgos: There is no rush, don’t do anything just because of peer pressure or because you want to fit in a heteronormative category. When it comes to sex, which is a very personal and vulnerable situation, is fundamental that you share this moment just when you feel 100% ready. You should share sex with someone trustworthy, that makes you feel safe.
For transgender or non-binary people, sex can be very difficult or even uncomfortable. Do not feel pressure to engage in any sexual activity until you feel it is right for you. A very good tool before having a sexual encounter is talking about the parts of your body that feel uncomfortable and you prefer not to be touched.
Finally, remember that you don’t have to have your identity or orientation figured out to have sex. Sexual behavior is one of the many elements of sexual identity, so you can explore different genders and sexual practices before choosing any label.
VT: Something similar happens with the porn industry, which usually acts as a sex education platform for teenagers that’s really far from reality. How do you think we could re-humanize sex and make it more life-like and not so performative?
MFB: First of all, and this is my personal point of view, I would say that not all porn is bad porn. It is true that mainstream porn is more fictional than reality, which can lead to a very distorted representation of sex. But there is ethical porn, I’m a huge fan of the porn director Erika Lust, which shows different bodies, identities, and sex practices, centered on real pleasure and consent. Unfortunately, that porn is usually paid for, so it is not accessible for everybody, especially when you are a teenager.
Regarding your question, sadly, these dehumanizing practices also happen to adults. Mainstream porn is still the main educator across the ages. As we cannot fight the mainstream porn industry, I think the key is in critical thinking, talking, discussing, and creating awareness in subjects like consent, body diversity, sexual violence, open communication, and boundaries.
VT: What does it mean to be top or bottom? Which are the safest and better ways of practicing oral sex? And the most dangerous fetishes?
MFB: Typically, being top means the person who penetrates, and bottom is the person who is penetrated. In lesbian couples, it could mean that the top is the more active person that leads and take initiative, as the bottom takes more of a receiving role. People that do not have a preference or feel comfortable in both roles are called
Traditionally, as a heritage form of the traditional heterosexual world, the top preferences are associated with masculinity and power or action and the bottom with femineity and passiveness. Is important to question these rigid roles. You can identify yourself as a top or bottom, regardless of your gender expression, gender identity, or sexual orientation.
The safest way to practice oral sex is by using a latex barrier. If you are practicing oral sex to a person with a penis, then is important to use a condom. If the person has a vulva or if you are thinking of addressing the anus, use a dental dam. These are latex rectangles that dentists use to isolate teeth during a procedure. If you can’t get one, you can make your own by cutting both ends of a condom and then cutting down one side to make a flat cover.
Remember that you must never reuse them, even if they seem clean or you wash them. You must get a new one every time, especially if you change from anus to vulva as infections may occur. Also, remember to check if there are any tears or holes, and to use only water or silicone-based lubricants, as oils or lotion can cause damage in latex.
Finally, there are a lot of dangerous fetishes, our minds are very creative so there are multiple possibilities. As a general rule, if a sexual practice is non-consensual, feels denigrating, and/or could attempt to your or your partner’s safety, then you should not do it.
If you enjoyed this second part and would like to go in-depth on any specific topic we talked about or any other, you can book a session with Maria Francisca Burgos, who is now doing online therapy for all of you who might be interested. You can contact her through her page www.franciscaburgos.com, by calling her at +56967582401, or through email at [email protected] for English speakers and at [email protected] for Spanish speakers.