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Is that normal?

Years ago, I was the facilitator of a sexual discussion group for seniors. We would meet once a week and discuss everything from erections to bondage. The ages of the participants ranged from 60-84 years old. Some were couples, some were looking for love, and one man in particular just wanted to know, “is that ‘normal’?” This question came up not only when we would discuss pegging or squirting but everything.

He wasn’t the only person to have questions. Word spreads quickly when people find out that there’s a nurse who’s obsessed with the science of getting it on. I have been cornered may a time in the med room, or while getting supplies by another nurse, a physical therapist or even a MD with a, “Hey, Jessica, do you have a minute?” Their eyes will then shift and they will make a joke about me being a pervert. Anyway, what they almost always want to ask is if what they want or what their partner wants is “normal.”

Since launching Private Parts of Wellness, the questions have been coming in fast.


Reader: Jessica, anal, really?

Me: What do you mean?

Reader: That’s not right, is it? Is that normal, to enjoy that? It's gross.

Me: Well, lots of people enjoy anal play.

Reader: Um, well my boyfriend wants to try it but I don’t know if I should.


The conversation continues from there. Sometimes it gets biblical and deep and sometimes they just want suggestions and tips.

So what is “normal” when it comes to sex? “Normal” is what is typical, usual or ordinary. You don’t want to be “normal” in your job, or the way you dress, or with your personality, do you? You want to stand out, to shine, to be noticed. So why should we want to be “normal” when it comes to sex? What we really want to know when we ask that question is that there’s nothing wrong with us because someone is always ready to yuck our yum (I learned that expression from a mom friend and have used it ever since).

Being “normal” is such a big deal that there is an entire website dedicated to it. You can ask about a mole on your back, lucid dreaming and of course, all things sexual.

So what is “normal” … well, almost anything, when it comes to sex, as long as there is consent, and noting that we are talking about adults or contemporaries. But what about when these adults want to try some of the 32 flavors beyond vanilla. Perhaps, you’ve learned about Furries, people who like to dress up in furry animal costumes, and maybe you have also discovered a new love for unicorns? I say, strap on that horn because if your partner wants to mount you, then it’s “normal.” Or “normal” for you and those that rub on that nub for a wish.

In past posts, we have discussed the pleasures of penis size, liquid release, the benefits of bondage and the freedom of gender expression so you may be thinking, everything is “normal” here, which is great, until you realize that your new partner can only cum when they practice omorashi (the Japanese practice of being aroused from holding your urine, and maybe leaking a bit).


Fellow nurse: Jessica, do you have a sec…(looks around to make sure we are alone)

Me: Sure, what’s up?

Fellow nurse: Well, (giggle), have you ever heard of someone wanting to pee while having sex?

Me: Like ejaculate or squirting? Sure

Fellow nurse: No I want to pee on my man. Is that weird?

Me: Well, does your man want to be peed on? He has to say yes first. You may want to start playing with that in the shower and make sure you are very hydrated. Unless, it’s the color and odor that attracts you.

Fellow nurse: That’s gross right?

Me: Not if you're both into it! I would hit him midstream for sanitary purposes.So pee a bit in the shower, then hit him with your lemon elixir. I won’t yuck your yum.


Before you judge and think “ew,” think back to a time when you held your pee so long that it felt amazing to finally pee and maybe you’ll think, “I get their yum.”

For the past few days, I have been asking others what they thought was outside the “norm.” Most people thought that the definition of “normal” has changed when it comes to sex, that a lot of people do feel more liberated in their “kinkier” sexual desires and that “normal” has been redefined as typical. While it's important to note that I was mostly hearing from New Yorker, it is encouraging to hear that judgements when it comes to sexual preference may be lessening and I believe shows like HBO’s Girls and Sex and the City have helped with this charge. However, some of these same people did mention their yucks. Scat play (i.e. poop play), and anal play both came up often as a yuck. As I see it, those are two different ends of the butt spectrum. The nurse in me says, scat or soft sculpture play is just asking for illness. I think about c-diff, hep A and Typhoid Mary, essentially you would be asking for a shit-load of trouble. On the other end of the spectrum, there’s a reason the rim job episode of the show, Girls, was a hit, with the proper care, you too can engage in relatively safe anus to mouth contact. Much like anal sex, rim-jobs have gone mainstream.

Animals came up too. People having sex with animals is something that is problematic. Why? Animals cannot consent, I don’t care if you are Dr. Doolittle, animals are not able to give humans consent for sex. I watched the movie, Zoo, about the life and death of Mr. Hands, who was killed in an accident involving sexual activity with horses. I was trying to understand his and a wider group’s deep love of horses and I could appreciate the sincere affection that the men had for the horses but I still cannot accept zoosexuality or zoophilia as an acceptable sex act. The matter of consent stands firm. Yet, zoophilia has a notable following, there is a Beastforum that has over 1.5 million members and in Texas, you can buy a dog and have sex with it without fear of persecution. Beyond the issue of consent, and putting on my nurse cap, I also have to bring up the associated risks of rabies and leptospirosis, which can cause meningitis, or echinococcosis.

Coming back to sex between humans and the question of consent and normalcy. What might shock some, is that there are quite a few people out there who consent to being punished, dominated and even “raped” during sex play. These sorts of sex acts happen under the strict guidelines of a fetish lifestyle. The one that seems to be submissive calls all the shots.

So what are people into? Everything. In one of my favorite books, A Billion Wicked Thoughts by neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, they analysed Google searches to get an idea of what really turns people on. Turns out the numbers 19 and 50 come up a lot. People search for porn and images of people aged 19 and 50 often. In fact, Pornhubs most searched term is “mom.” There are also a ton of women who like to read about straight men having sex with each other.

Here are the top five searches according to Ogas and Gaddam’s research:

  1. Youth

  2. Gay

  3. MILFs

  4. Breast

  5. Cheating wives

One of the thoughts that comes up a lot across gender is googling for penis or dick. These came up as number 7 in the sexual searches (giant cock as an example), while butt is 10. So what does this research tell us, everyone likes to see young gay guys getting it on with MILFs? Maybe. But not really. What it tells us is that the world need not pretend they are “normal” but own their yum.


Patient: My boyfriend wants a threesome.

Me: OK, do you?

Patient: Wait, he wants it with another guy. I knew it, he’s gay, right?

Me: No, not necessarily. Has he said he’s gay or bi?

Patient: No

Me: Then he probably isn't. He might be turned on by the idea of watching you with another mar. Or maybe by pleasuring you simultaneously.

Patient: What if he wants to fool around with the other guy? Then he’s definitely gay, right?

Me: Nope, not necessarily. There are men who have sex with men, MSM, but partner with women. Again, worth several conversations. Plus just exploring the fantasy, with your tongue, through talking, may be good enough for him. Don't yuck his yum.


People have all sorts of predilections, some are more extreme than others, but if you like it, someone else does too. If you fight against your curiosities and try and buy into normalcy, you aren’t being true to yourself or reaching the full potential of your desires. Accept and love your private parts of wellness, find others who share your yum, and just be weary of those who grab pussy without permission.

One last thing...Here’s my personal “Is that normal” realization. When I am pregnant I am insatiable. This can be wearisome for my partner. I think I look hot and have wondered how my partner can keep his hands off of me. What I didn’t know was that my large and in charge baby-making body was actually a turn on to others. I had the super come over to unclog a toilet or some such nastiness that the super sometimes has to do and to my surprise he began to compliment me. He started with the glow and eventually had to control his mouth. I know what you are thinking, cue the porn music but no, I thought, “what the hell is wrong with him?” But that was his yum, a big-bellied gestating mama. And yep, there’s porn for that. I was his yum. Now as I get older, I look forward to hitting that golden age of sex searches, 50.

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