Imagine this: You want to take someone you've met recently out to dinner. So, you just decide on a restaurant you like and take them there without discussing it with them, right?

i would hope not. i would hope that you'd ask them about their food preferences first, and also check whether or not they have any particular food allergies they need to take into consideration; and i'd also hope that you'd be open to discussing with them what sort of environments they do and don't feel comfortable in. To me, taking such an approach would greatly increase the likelihood that your evening together is an enjoyable one for both of you, and correspondingly reduce the likelihood of various degrees of unpleasantness.

Assuming all this is reasonable, i now ask: Why don't we take the same approach to the possibility of having sex with someone?

i feel that - to say the least - it's unhelpful that Western sociocultural scripts discourage us from talking about our sexual likes and dislikes prior to having sex with them. Instead, the accepted scripts suggest that the 'right' person - and, like the Highlander, there can be only one - will inherently know the 'right' things to do, and not to do. If they have to ask, there's something wrong with them. And more generally, there's the idea that there is The Technique which "just works" with all cis women, all cis men, all trans women, all trans men, or all non-binary people1. Indeed, in the context of these scripts, one has to hope there is such a Technique, because otherwise you'd have to treat potential sexual partners as individuals, and communicate with them about sex. Quelle horreur!

If you're not worried about the possibility of giving someone else a particularly unpleasant sexual experience, by all means, avoid talking to them about their sexual likes and dislikes. Otherwise, i encourage you to do so. :-)

1. In contrast, there's radicalyffe's "How to Make Love to a Trans… no, ANY Person".


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