Live and lust 

We asked some intimate, personal questions, then wondered whether you wanted to share your answers with us. And did you ever. More than 200 of you filled out our online questionnaire. You told us about sex from the perspective of being young and old; from straight, gay and bi; from virginity, celibacy and having more than 100 notches on the bedpost. You told us about your fantasies and your realities, wild times and insecurities, joys and pains. Is this survey scientific? No, not by a long shot. Does it shed some light on how we live an important part of our lives in 2008? Maybe we're just voyeurs, but we think it does. — W. Kim Heron

What's love got to do with it?

  • There's rarely regret making love to your wife. (Unless, of course, you drop her, that's hard to live down.) Skip, 30

  • I basically can't get it up if I'm not in love! Rob, 27

  • Sometimes sex is better with someone you hate! Fran, 30

  • There's nothing hotter than "new love" sex. Clover, 38

  • Actually, the less you love someone, the hotter the sex. But respect is essential. JD, 27

  • Before my fiance, sometimes I loved who I slept with, sometimes I didn't. These days, there's no dividing love from sex or sex from love, and I like it that way. Michelle, 29

  • Love is great, but sex is something completely different. Margaret, 30

  • Everything. Lauren, 18

  • Love means you'll get it on a more regular basis, but trysts are way hotter. Joe, 39


Do you have something sexual you'd like to say/confess/get off your chest to a past or present lover?

  • I don't always think about you when we're having sex. Margaret, 30

  • Past lover ... I loved you. Sorry I never told you. Mike, 24

  • You have evolved wonderfully as a person and a woman. You have grown amazingly in your complexity and depth of character. You have fought your demons and have laid waste to old constrictions empowering yourself to a universe of possibilities! Sexually you are a dim flicker of a once-blazing star. I liked you better before. Steve, 45

  • When I was young, I had an older woman who was really into me. I stayed with her longer than I wanted to because she bought me nice things. She's probably my one and only sugar momma, so I milked it for all I could. Chad, 22

  • I would like to say to Clint, that you were the best lover I ever had! I hate that it took me experiences after you, to come to this realization. I fantasize about you still. You were awesome, and I screwed it up. If only I could get you again, with what I know now. Didn't understand that sex is much better with a good partner that you actually love ... I only ever loved you. Wallace, 39

  • I want to tell all of my former lovers that I've always been a transgendered person, and I've probably worn all of their clothes. Rob, 27

  • You're not happy, you're not sad, it just feels really good and all the sudden your eyes aren't dry. That's a new thing. What's that about? Sweetie , 25

  • Angie, I had sex with your brother's girlfriend. Donell, 22

  • "We should have gone bowling." "Don't worry I hear that happens to lots of guys." CityKitty, 43

  • I faked every single time I was with the two of you (yeah, all that time) and I don't have to with him. Elizabeth, 40

  • You bore the living daylights out of me. No Name Given, 33

  • I would just want to thank my first boyfriend, who I am no longer in touch with, for giving me great first sexual experiences. Because we learned on each other, I got all the embarrassing, awkward stuff out of the way and now that I'm older, I'm able to be much more confident in my sexuality and preferences. Elsbeth, 22

  • Gentlemen, when a woman says, "Right there," she means right there. Not up or down a little, not to the right or left a little, but right there! When it's time to move on, she'll let you know. Stacy, 42

  • Slapping the clit area of a woman with your hand like they do in porn sometimes doesn't feel good. Brittany, 21

  • Yes, I have two, yes two (2) penises. This was supposed to be a birth defect, but the ladies seem to like me. Mr. Bob, 60

  • Ed, your penis was the smallest thing I have ever seen in my life. I am so puzzled that I had more orgasms with you than anyone I have ever met. Maybe it was your big belly. Lela, 37


How has porn affected you? Has it affected the way you look at the world?

  • I have been addicted to porn since I was about 12. I am very confused with my sexual identity and I think porn is the cause. It allows you to be free with no strings attached and, when it comes to relationships, that's not how it should be. Porn is very destructive. DetroitCity Lover, 18

  • It's hard to say. I remember watching it as a kid. It turned me on then but not now. Maybe I'm desensitized. It really hasn't changed the way I look at the world. Natasha, 24

  • Saved me from going out looking for hookers. Gary, 41

  • Prior to becoming sexually active, I looked at a lot of porn. I still looked at porn while sexually active but found that I couldn't get it out of my head during actual sex, so I relegated it to a "dry spell" phenomenon. Then I gave it up completely. Devon, 27

  • I'm one of those gay guys that hates porn. Kevin, 45

  • I enjoy it. I enjoy watching it with my boyfriend. It's fun to see what other people are doing. We have explored a lot more in our sex life since we started watching porn together. I actually enjoy it a bit myself now too, especially since we don't live together anymore. Liz, 22

  • I like girl-girl, facials, etc., and especially like to enjoy it with a partner. Based on my experience, all women are bi. They (and I) really dig feminist porn, particularly what the Brits have done. Mark, 51

  • Porn has ruined my life. Joe, 32

  • Porn has given me an idea of what it means to be "hot and sexy" in bed. It is fake and overdone though. Still, it pushes me to let go of my inhibitions and for that I like it. Tara, 32

  • Porn has damaged my relationship with sex. I have been accidentally exposed to violent and sexist fantasies that I never wanted to see, but didn't know what I was clicking on. When I found porn to my liking, it served as a way of disconnecting from my spouse and myself. Very addictive. Carlos, 22

  • I'll never look at live-stock the same again. Bone_grrrl, 25

  • My favorite female "actor" is Jenna Jameson. Seriously, though, I really enjoy watching porn and it is something that brings my boyfriend and I together. He likes it, I like it, we like watching it together, and it always leads to us having sex. The only way I think it has affected my view of the world is when I still hear people trash porn or say it's dirty or if you watch it then you're a pervert. Nikki, 23

  • Porn is fun, depending on who you share it with and at what level. The only time I'm repulsed by porn is when it involves animals, children and potty games. Love to have sex, 35

  • I used to think porn was really cool and kinky. Now I think it is boring and a great way to have your partner entertained if you're not in the mood. Angelina, 28


OK, truthfully, what's the kinkiest thing you've ever done sexually? What won't you do again?

  • I like being choked, and choking my partner. I've let my partners hit me, tie me up, verbally and physically abuse me. I have also done the same to others. Despite all this, the worst sex I ever had was with a very experienced dominatrix who made me feel entirely uncomfortable and unsafe, and ruined BDSM for me for several years. I will never forget to pee after sex with men. They are dirty, dirty, dirty, and I can't stand any more UTIs. Otter, 24

  • Tried BDSM a few times. It wasn't for me. I don't feel sexy tied up and getting hit with shit and degraded. And I wouldn't do it again. Whisper, 23

  • No chick is every going to take a strap-on to me again. Jason, 36

  • Sex in Central Park in New York on a swing (extremely public). I would never do anal sex again ... hurts and it's just uncomfortable. Fran, 30

  • Male-to-male oral in front of my wife. G, 55

  • Never again: Breast torture. Day, 26

  • I've been in a six-way groping-stroking session with two other gay men and three dykes. I recommend that everyone do it. JD, 27

  • Had sex in the front seat of a VW Rabbit in the parking lot of a gay bar in Detroit. I'm female, and the partner in question was guy I met at said gay bar that evening. Filmsnob, 34

  • I had sex with my ex-boyfriend's father while my boyfriend watched and masturbated. Robin, 24

  • A quickie in the ladies' restroom in a stall while our friends waited at the bar. Not really kinky, but I have my whole life ahead of me. Never again will I let someone force me to have sex. I'd kill him or die trying. Erin, 35

  • I'll never go down on a guy again. I tried it to see if I was attracted to men or if I just found certain men attractive. I realized after he came that I have enough problems dealing with my own penis that I don't need to bring another one into the mix. Percifal, 27

  • I don't smack and tell, LOL. But I will say this: I was a dominatrix for two years but retired from it because the hours were not stable. When you are a domina, you like to have control over your life/situations. Sometimes you just don't feel like dressing up in 6-inch heels and a corset! I think people have a vision in their minds that dominas are always running around the house in heels/corset. We are real people too, and sometimes we just like to have a day to sit around in sweat pants. Now I just prefer to use my kink with my partner so I can concentrate all my efforts on him. FormerDominak, 34

  • A vegetable. And the second answer is the same as the first. Kittylipschitz, 42

  • My old boyfriend and I were coming from Meadow Brook after a concert. Traffic was too congested, so I decided to blow him. We ended up pulling over having sex in the car on the side of the expressway. ... I won't do anything in park or public restroom. Wallace, 39

  • Getting busted on local news for "Porn in the Park" has go to be up there. Celeste, 30

  • Aroused my partner anally. Won't put cognac on my clit. Jade, 29

  • Sex with two women, a dream come true, so most men think. But as things progressed I found that I was not the center of the experience. As a matter of fact they didn't need me there at all. While this was a little disheartening, I had to laugh at how superior and self-absorbed I had been only a short time ago. No Name Given, 43

  • Two guys in one night — and talking about what was done with the first while doing the second. I would never do it on a pool table again. Too hard. Stacy, 42

  • Sex behind the coat rack on the sales floor of a Sears store — the first and last time. Mind-blowing and paranoiac. Kiwi, 52

  • Had anal sex in the back seat of an ex's car after a concert at Phoenix Center Plaza in Pontiac. People were walking by and I don't think there was any way they missed the "show." It was dirty, it was bad, it was primal, and it still gets me wet to this day. Sonja, 36

  • I had a threesome with my baby daddy and the other baby mama. Just dumb as hell. L, 39

  • Had sex on a ride at Disneyland. Marie, 64

  • Golden showers. It wasn't gratifying in the least. Devon, 27

  • Had a random guy at Hellbound suck on my feet. What I won't do again is give him my phone number after. Elizabeth, 40

  • Had sex with my boyfriend at the time while he was driving. ... We were in slow traffic, he was driving, and voila! We were completely visible to other drivers. I would not do that again, and I also made the stupid mistake of making a video for one of my ex-boyfriends. I really wish I hadn't done that! Towers, 24

  • On the couch. Patrick, 27


Define cheating. Have you ever?

  • I never have. I have facilitated an act of cheating which is just as bad. Mike, 24

  • There is no such thing ... have I ever what? Tim, 46

  • I think it depends on each couple, and sometimes it's better left a sordid secret, but personally I would think anything beyond a brief make-out session with someone else as definite cheating. Elsbeth, 22

  • Cheating is when you commit oral or intercourse with someone other than your partner. Unless your partner approved! Robin, 24

  • Anything physically romantic with someone other than your partner. Even just kissing. Yes, and I feel so bad about it because I really, really love my boyfriend. Leslie L. 19

  • Making out with someone else or doing anything sexual, not just the actual act. Never, I see no point in cheating since if you're that tempted by others you're most likely not that into your current partner and should just break up. Liza, 18

  • When the other person thinks that the two, three or four of you are in a monogamous relationship. No. Mic, 35

  • Anything you would never do in front of your significant other. Yes, often and well. Viva LaJet, 23

  • Cheating is anything physically sexual with another person. Tell Hillary that her hubby did cheat on her, no matter how she wants to slice it. Margaret, 30


How much of your identity is wrapped upin sex? Is it OK not to be sexual in our society?

  • My identity isn't wrapped up in sex, but sex is an important aspect of my life. It isn't really socially acceptable to not be sexual. Brittany, 21

  • Very little. Yes. Paco, 39

  • Being gay, most people assume it is all about sex. Far from the truth, I rarely consider sex an important part of my identity. If I wasn't single, I might have a different point of view. I think being nonsexual is an excuse for some people, like those who claim to be cured of being gay. For teenagers, celibacy can be a very smart choice. DW, 48

  • 50 percent. Honey, 40

  • Less than half, but it's hard to say. I find it is particularly difficult to trust and respect a person when you are busy considering that person's sexual attributes. Read The Left Hand Of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin. Otter, 24

  • I love to dress sexy, show skin and get all dressed up. I've worked as a hot girl and a go-go dancer. I think that people think that if a girl isn't sexy that she isn't sexual, when they could just be undercover freaks. Whisper, 23

  • It's perfectly all right with me not to be sexual. Many times, sex causes too many problems anyway. Reanne, 35

  • In my early 20s I was all about sex. ... Now that I am in my late 20s my sexual prowess is just one tool in my arsenal of hot qualities. Angelina, 28

  • Not as much as there used to be, and I'm glad. Celeste, 30


How do you protect yourself and/or your partners against STDs? How do you broach the subject? Do you get tested?

  • Condoms, but once in a while I don't use them. That is why I get tested and go to the ob/gyn every three months. Robin, 24

  • My partner and I have been together for almost six years so we're comfortable enough to have raw sex. Brandi, 25

  • Lesbians have a really, really low chance of getting STDs from each other. That said, I have been tested and so has my girlfriend. Bean, 26

  • Condoms! If I have second thoughts about someone, I don't pursue them. Hubby and I do it together (play), and if a person has no special person in their life or too many partners — we don't play with them. Honey, 40

  • Just try and do what's safe — most of the time. Rouge, 38

  • Actually I am positive, and my partners are aware. Wolfpussy, 41

  • I am celibate since death of husband. Sue, 50

  • Say it with me, "Condom!" I'm a woman, so no condom, no nookie. Margaret, 30


What are you most afraid that a partner might think about you?

  • She's fat. CC, 27

  • That I have AIDS. Donell, 22

  • That my labia are huge. Leslie L., 19

  • That all I'm good for is sex. No Name Given, 26

  • That they'll look at me and see a wrong gender. Dieter, 19

  • That I'm a bad kisser. JD, 27

  • I'm too small, and I don't last long enough to get her off, and I'm too old for her. Joe, 39

  • I'm always worried my current girlfriend will be disturbed by my cross-dressing/homosexual tendencies, but she seems to like them a lot. Rob, 27

  • That I'm not attractive. Maggie, 30

  • That I'm too sexual. It's happened in the past. Sabina, 27

  • That I'm a lousy lay and selfish. Stan, 48

  • That I'm rather promiscuous because of the way I perform in the bedroom. hyacinth_grl, 28

  • That they don't remember my name. Zeke, 32


Do you consider yourself a good lover? Why? Why not?

  • Yes. I am an animal in the sack and after I do have sex with a guy it takes a police restraining order to keep him away! Robin, 24

  • Yes, because sex is performance, and I think it's bad manners to put on a bad show for an audience. JD, 27

  • I give damn good head and have my gay friends to thank for it. No Name Given, 26

  • Yes, I consider myself a damn good lover. I cater to my partner's needs and put 'em to sleep. Rock-a-bye, baby! Brandi, 25

  • Not really. Too tired after the baby. Less functional in my 40s for quick fun, and it has to be planned. Boring Mom, 40

  • Yes! I'm fantastic. I'm horny, sensual, and I'm very tender and caring. I pay attention. I love penises. I love my body. I'm flexible. Sweetie, 25

  • I'm inexperienced, but I think I'm good because I am very passionate. But I'm not so good at giving head. (Which is kind of good, because I need practice.) Bone_grrrl, 25

  • Maybe, at least considerate. Milessa, 50

  • Yes. I've been with the same woman for 11 years. If I couldn't figure it out by now, there'd be no hope for me. Skip, 30


What do you know now that you wish you'd known earlier?

  • That I didn't have to have sex with tons of women and be a Casanova or Don Juan just to be considered a real man. Carlos, 22

  • That I didn't need to sleep with so many people to find my self-worth. Wolfpussy, 41

  • Swallow! Barbie, 38

  • Anal rocks. Tim, 46

  • Astroglide. Mic, 35

  • A 22-year-old man's asshole can taste very sweet. Rouge, 38

  • I wish I knew how much sex would screw me up mentally sooner. Then I would have waited a little longer before I started having it. Reanne, 35

  • What a bunch of psychos lots of my exes were before I got with them. Zeke, 32

  • That women can come (squirt), and it's every man's job to make sure to try his damnedest to get his girl to do it. Chad, 22

  • That I really enjoy the whole BDSM stuff in bed. Wish I had experienced it more when I was younger. Sabina, 27

  • More women use dildos than I thought. Mar, 47

  • I was a fool to divorce my ex-wife for no good reason. She was better to me than most wives are to their men. Kal, 45

  • How to have more orgasms with oral sex. Jade, 29

  • Slow down. Skip, 30

  • Use a condom every time because men lie! Renee, 28

  • When a girl at a party volunteers you and her to go on a beer run, go on the beer run. H-Wood, 41

  • That most of my boyfriends and my ex-husband turned out to be assholes. Filmsnob, 34

  • That men can give you herpes without ever having symptoms. Always use a condom, people, always! Dee Dee, 47

  • It's OK to be sexual and be smart and funny. You don't have to be one or the other. In high school, sexual women were labeled quickly. You had to choose sides early. Erin, 35

  • I wish I would have known when I was younger that I was really hot and not been afraid to use it. Tara, 32

  • I didn't learn to masturbate until I was 17. 17! Had I known how to sooner, it would have saved me so much trouble. Jack, 34

  • Men are dogs! Tony, 36

  • Men think you're sexy when you think you're sexy, so rock it like a rockstar. Julia, 31

  • I know that my body is a sacred goddess. I also know that breathing is key to mind-blowing sex, so go shag your yoga teacher. Angelina, 28

  • Older women are the greatest. They pamper you, and teach you everything you don't know! Donell, 22

  • A) Women can get off from words alone. They are much more cerebral than men. B) I think I kinda like boys. Achilles, 37

  • I wish I had let myself enjoy sex more when I was younger. I sometimes didn't want to let go of control of myself because I didn't want him to think I was strange. Now I don't care and let it all go. I've never had better sex in my life. Gabrielle, 37

  • Living together doesn't necessarily mean more sex. It just means more boring sex. Liz, 22

  • You do not ever, ever have to lie to get what you want. There will always be someone out there who wants exactly the same thing as you, so just go out and celebrate your freaky little self! Leikeila, 28

 

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