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43 Things I Learned in My First Year as a Sex Columnist

43 Things I Learned in My First Year as a Sex Columnist : Dean Drobot/Getty

Dean Drobot/Getty

Almost a year ago to the day, I was given the opportunity of my dreams: to write a regular sex and relationship column for Playboy. It’s a job I’ve wanted since I was the “Buddyhead Girl” in 2000, writing about sex for the infamous music website buddyhead.com, for a predominantly young male audience. In fact, I recently found a list of goals from 2005, and "write for Playboy” was on top. (Back then, lad mag circulations were healthy, online columns were rare and pubs like George, Details, Blender and Vibe were still on newstands.)

My first year as a sex columnist for this iconic men’s magazine (and altogether American institution) has been challenging, educational and enlightening. I had no idea what I was getting into when I signed on in January 2016; not only was Playboy embarking on a massive brand evolution, but the world was also experiencing an uprising of the divine feminine.

The first thing I learned is that being a woman who writes for men in a time when all things connected to the patriarchy is under attack is a constant balancing act. I’ve dealt with death threats, online bullying and all kinds of harassment—sexual and otherwise—from readers of all demographics, including all genders and political ideologies. The second thing I learned is to not pay much attention to the negative because the good always outweighs the bad. (And yes, plenty of good of has come from this; my inbox receives positive vibes and thank you’s from readers everyday.)

In honor of the era of the navel-gazing millennial, I wanted to reflect on the other things I learned in my first year writing about sex, love, dating and reltionships for Playboy, in what is arguably simultaneously the most progressive and restrictive time to live as a sexual being. Let’s begin with the most recent relevations and work our way back.


  1. There is an overwhelming amount of options when it comes to choosing a vibrator.

  2. Women are complicated enough to know they’re dating the wrong men but do it anyway.

  3. I objectify men and use them like drugs. (And I’m not alone.)

  4. Women want an alpha male in the sheets but a beta male on the streets.

  5. Women have incredibly low standards for what they expect of a man’s bachelor pad. Toilet paper? Come on, guys, get your shit together.

  6. If I say “Exercise is good for you” and you respond with “Stop fat-shaming me,“ I’m going to assume you need to lose some weight.

  7. "Happily ever after” is a myth.

  8. Pegging sounds awesome.

  9. It’s good for guys to cry, too—even if it creeps me out.

  10. Sexting addictions are an unspoken epidemic. I’m still getting emails from people confessing their addiction…and who want to sext me.

  11. When you’re in a toxic relationship, have the balls to get out before it kills you.

  12. If your significant other posted sexy selfies before you met, it’s fine. If they start posting them after you’re together, it’s a red flag.

  13. I confirmed that performance anxiety is normal and that Viagra is popular for a reason.

  14. Just because I have nipple clamps doesn’t mean I can’t also be your wife.

  15. The world will never stop breaking our hearts. The key to surviving is knowing how to cope. (Yes, it’s okay to cry about it.)

  16. Ya’ll really love quizzes about your sex lives and manhood.

  17. You really, really have to maintain clear boundaries with your booty call.

  18. Men love to brag about their past sex-capades. Like, a lot. “25 out of 27!”

  19. An age-old question like “Who should pay on a date?” will always be controversial. (The comments section on this one proved there’s no simple answer.)

  20. A father’s wisdom about women will always be hilarious.

  21. Men with shaved heads can be sexy AF.

  22. Older women are sexy AF.

  23. It’s never too late to learn the lessons you should have learned in your 20s.

  24. If you want a woman to play with your butt, it doesn’t mean you’re gay. It means you’re sexually liberated.

  25. If your lady is on the fence about butt stuff, leave this link open in your browser—or tag her in the comments section like so many men did on Facebook.

  26. Women value proper grammar more than unsolicited dick pics during sexting.

  27. There is an art to talking dirty. Not everyone is a natural.

  28. If you haven’t been to a proper music festival, make it happen. The only thing better than sex is music.

  29. You would think peeing on furniture while blacked out would be a deal-breaker, but if you’re a great lover, there are no limits to what we might overlook.

  30. Feminism is hard for all genders. It’s hard to explain, defend, argue, define and qualify. Women hated this piece because they thought I wanted men to explain feminism to me, but that wasn’t the point. The point was to hear a man’s perspective on it. I’ve since learned to stay away from the “F” word.

  31. Just because a woman has nipple clamps doesn’t mean she’s going to show them to you.

  32. I’ve already noted that I learned how much men love to brag (refer to number 18), but men really love to brag. Especially about what they love doing in the sack and how it makes them more of a man.

  33. He who has the gold, makes the rules. I’d rather be poor and free.

  34. Not all video games kill brain cells. For $29 a year, you can play a video game based on stimulating a vagina. I strongly suggest you invest in becoming a master.

  35. After thousands of years of it, I’m looking forward to the day we evolve past slut-shaming. But it’s not going anywhere any time soon.

  36. My sister-wife experience is the closest I’ve come to a committed relationship in four years.

  37. 3nder is now called Feeld because Tinder sued its maker. I say this from a loving and non-judgmental place: the app for throuples and threesomes is a total shit show.

  38. A quiz could actually solve your connundrum of whether your girl would be up for a threesome. (I told you, guys love quizzes.)

  39. I actually might be overqualified to write a sex column.

  40. There is a right way to watch porn with your partner.

  41. I love getting naked online. Who would have thought?

  42. Despite living in the age of swiping, guys still don’t know how to write a decent online profile. (By the way, I’m back on Bumble and will be writing part two, because obviously not enough people read this column.)

  43. Male rights activists and feminists can get along, after all, especially when it comes to their equal hatred of me. Where’s my fucking Pulitzer?

To all the good people, men and women, who have read my stories and shared with me yours, as well as your insecurities, fantasies and fears, this is my way of saying thank you. Truly. You’ve taught me so much about human sexuality, compassion and the complex nature of modern relationships. I’m extremely proud of the body of work we’ve collectively created. Here’s to more sex, more advice and more love in 2017.


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