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Put a towel down. Or don’t, and just make sure you’ve got a change of sheets ready if you ever have guests over. Period blood is sterile — there’s nothing to worry about unless the sight of blood makes you faint.

Now, here we are: on our third date about to make love for the first time. It’s then that he tells me he hasn’t been with anyone since he was sick.

Often questions about sex can leave us at a loss for an answer — we draw a blank or grin with reddening faces because we simply don’t know. And in this space of uncertainty is the potential to explore new, fun, nerve-wracking and informative perspectives, allowing us to better understand ourselves on the path to honest answers.

Under two months ago, it was just a word. Now it’s the word. If you open my phone’s browser (and go to private mode), you’re accosted with it. If you were to take a trip inside my head, it comes up daily — more than daily, hourly — and is scrutinized minutely. It’s taken over so completely that I wanted to use it recently to introduce myself in a lab meeting to an interloping doctor.

There was a pause that was long enough for me to know the answer. She shook her head politely, and told me she should be getting home. “But,” she added, “let’s see each other again next week?” All was not lost, and I had accomplished my real goal: another date with a fantastic girl.

Nervous about introducing toys to your partner? Familiarize yourself with the toy on your own time, so if your partner’s not into it, you can still have fun.

My sexual awareness began to feel hindered; kissing, holding hands and open affection didn’t happen on my parents’ watch. You’d think that the culture responsible for the Kama Sutra would encourage open, liberal attitudes, but no.

On a quiet summer night, I fucked a stranger who called me Tinkerbell. He was very, very tall and talked in a low, simple manner that made you think he was dumber than he probably was.

Honey drips down my fingers and he laps it up. It runs into my hair and sticks; he says he likes the tackiness, uses it to knot his hands in there, some attempted personification of permanence. It’s just the first touch, but we already know this won’t last forever.

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