Teenage kicks versus having sex in your thirties

Image by the brilliant Stuart F Taylor

As a certified grumpy bastard, I can tell you that it’s always much easier to be negative than positive. As someone with access to web stats I can also tell you that if you want to get clicks, and you’re not writing porn, you’re always better to be critical than optimistic. I’m throwing all that out of the window today, though, because of a conversation I had the other day that went a little something like this:

“Know what’s brilliant?”


“We could have sex now if we wanted to.”

“I’m not really in the mood, but…”

“Ah, but you don’t have to want to, you just have to appreciate how cool it is that we totally could if we wanted to.”

Sometimes I go through miserable phases when I look down at my body and think ‘huh, there are some things that have happened here that are basically irreversible.’ I worry about stretchmarks or consider the fact that I’m no longer able to do the things I did when I was eighteen. I may still be able to get my ankles behind my head to brace against the bedposts, but I’ll no longer do it without a groan of effort. I can bend over sexily, but I’ll say ‘oof’ when I get up. Cramp is not so much an occasional visitor as a permanent unwanted house guest.

But, while it’s easy (and certainly more clickbait-friendly) to snark about the negatives, it’s also worth remembering the benefits of having sex in your thirties. This post is about giving credit to all the things I often take for granted…

I can totally ‘get a room’ now

You know when you were young, and panting with horny desire, slipping your hands up and inside the clothes of your significant other, desperate for somewhere to go so you could frantically hump each other into sticky, sweet release? Some fucker would always urge you to ‘get a room.’ Ugh.

Now, though? Now that I’m thirty I actually have a room! I genuinely own a room. MORE than one room, in fact. I own rooms in which I can, should I so desire, go and have sex. To be fair the bank mostly owns the rooms, and not all of them are conducive to erotic sexytimes, but still: rooms!

I get the adult equivalent of Playstations without having to wait for Christmas

When I was at University I used to go to sex toy shops with a guy I liked, and we’d spend ages oohing and aahing over all the awesome toys. The possibilities were seemingly infinite, but our bank balances were not. Now, though, if I want to buy something brilliant, I can. My sex toy drawer is stocked with gadgets that used to be out of my reach, and at any point I can reach in, grab something, and have a lovely wank, with no care for what I have to sacrifice in order to do so.

Before this sounds like it’s all about money (and let me assure you I’m not trying to imply that everyone has money), let’s move on:

I get more orgasms

Not to denigrate the sex skills of my lovely early boyfriends, but orgasms are easier to come by now I’m older. The people I’m sleeping with have usually had more practice (not necessarily ‘sex practice‘, you understand, just more experience in communication and relationships, so they’ve a better idea how to find out what I like). What’s more, I have had more practice. I understand which sex moves will actually blow my mind, and I know how to talk to partners about them. I can easily spot the bullshit ‘sex moves’ which my youthful self would have eagerly tested, and smack them to one side in favour of the things that work.

I can masturbate in the lounge. Loudly.

No more secret midnight wanking to Eurotrash under a blanket while my family sleeps upstairs, now I get to put on whatever I fucking like (SAS: Who Dares Wins, in case you’re interested) and knock one out with no fear of discovery.

I can find porn I actually like

If there’s nothing on normal TV that hits the right spot, I can fire up the internet and pick up some porn that caters to my specific interests. This probably sounds like an obvious and universal win for the Kids Of Today, but in my day the only two avenues for porn were either other people’s cast-offs (i.e. VHS tapes marked ‘private’ found at the back of a mates’ Dad’s wardrobe) or stick-figures drawn by boys we fancied in the back of our maths textbook.

I’m not lying about the latter, by the way. It was 10% inspiration 90% imagination. But one of them had nipples and an excellent – if impossible – position idea.

I can eat ice-cream for breakfast

OK, this one’s not specifically sex related, but it could be if you’ve just had morning sex and you need to replace the energy you’ve just burned off. Or you fancy something sweet to take the salt-spunk taste away.

I don’t have to try

The best, of course, I saved for last.

The reason I’m writing this post is because I feel like I spend a lot of time waxing nostalgic about all the things sex used to be for me. When I was in my late teens and early twenties sex was an exciting rollercoaster of discovery. Things that I might not like now would have had my youthful brain firing on all cylinders, and my younger cunt throbbing with curious delight. Each touch felt more special because it was one of only a few I’d had to date. Each fuck could be savoured because it was still shiny and new. Each new guy would represent a whole ocean of possibilities.

These things don’t stop when you’re older – new people are still exciting and touching is still fun. While the physical sensations might not feel so unique, the joy of them is still there, throbbing away as ever and making you want to scream for the sheer joy of it. But on top of that there’s an extra layer – the knowledge that no individual fuck has to be significant. The sex you’re having this minute doesn’t have to representative of all the sex you’ll have for the rest of time. It needn’t be special or magic or even better than the last. The years of practice and experimentation and pleasure stack one on top of the other, unfolding into a gloriously detailed landscape of sex – the hills and valleys and good bits and bad bits – so the pressure to make each separate one mind-blowing eases off.

When you’ve spent a hell of a lot of time doing it, you realise that sex isn’t a skill that takes 10,000 hours to master. You get to the point that you no longer need to understand it or perfect it, and it’s then you realise that you can concentrate on enjoying it.


  • Yup, you totally nailed it, as it were…


  • DavidP says:

    Haha. Then you have kids, and you are back to humping silently under the quilt at night, looking through reviews to see how quiet the toys are, and not even being able to have ice-cream without causing WWIII. It goes full circle, so enjoy!

    • Girl on the net says:

      Aww, sorry to hear that. I’m not going to have kids though so maybe I get to keep this stuff forever? Or at least until I’m too knackered to want to any more.

      • Make sure you are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN about the no kids thing. It is one of my two regrets in life – the second being separated from my teenage lover for most of my life.

        Great article.

        And when you reach your sixties you have all those wonderful timeless afternoons to fuck the stuffing out of each other. Brill!

        • RB says:

          I’m just spitballing here, but having read GOTN for a long while I’m PRETTY sure she’s conscious and comfortable with her own decisions without the need to be patronised by people who’ve had an entirely different life experience.

  • Fred says:

    Wanking to Eurotrash?
    Once, a long time ago my naked body was on Eurotrash.
    It goes through four stages:
    No place to go!
    Place to go, awesome!
    Kids arrive, too knackered or worried kids will hear.
    Kids leave home, awesome!

  • Be careful with the ice cream for breakfast thing – it’s easy for it to become routine. Something I know because I often excuse a breakfast Toffee Crisp with ‘It has cereal in it, ok?!’

    • Girl on the net says:

      Not only does it have cereal in, it’s covered in milk (chocolate)! I think in order to properly replicate the cereal experience I’d need two. Maybe chopped into pieces, put in a bowl and eaten with a spoon. =)

  • Bekah Rigby says:

    Two things:
    1) This is my favorite post of yours to-date. Seriously. I loved it. As a woman who is turning 32 in a matter of days, I can honestly say that sex now is WAY better than anything I did 10 years ago. I turned to my husband two nights ago and said, “Oh my laaawrd. You know that whole thing about women hitting their sexual peak in their 30s? I think this might be it!! I might be there! OH MY GAWD, honey!!! I’M THERE!!! I’M AT MY SEXUAL PEAK!!! This is what it feels like to be an 18-year-old guy?!? How did you get ANYTHING done besides fucking?!? THIS IS GLORIOUS!!!” Internet research has assured me that prime time will continue for quite a bit, which may explain why I’m not getting much done right now and is my excuse for not getting much done in the future ;)
    2) “I may still be able to get my ankles behind my head to brace against the bedposts…” Um, wait. That’s a thing? People can do that? Huh. Well, now that I’m in my prime, guess it’s time to try it. If I break a hip, though, I’m holding you accountable…

    • Girl on the net says:

      I think this is one of my favourite comments ever. May you get nothing done for a long time, except the fun stuff =)

      Also I feel like I may have been a bit misleading with my ankles comment. They’re not directly behind my head like I am some kind of yogic wizard, just that I can bend my legs back far enough to brace my feet against the bedposts – they’re spread, but not at the most extreme angle. Next time I do it, I will get my glamorous assistant to whip out a protractor and get the angle so I can make sure I’m not overpromising on the angle front.

      • Bekah Rigby says:

        MY FAVORITE COMMENT EVER: “Next time I do it, I will get my glamorous assistant to whip out a protractor and get the angle so I can make sure I’m not overpromising on the angle front.”

  • Jo says:

    Hear, hear on the communication bit! When you’re young, you’re all freaked out about whether or not you’re doing things right and being adventurous enough and pleasing your partner enough (especially as a woman) that you don’t communicate about what *actually* feels good and doesn’t. Also, a LOT of the sex I had in my early twenties was drunk or high sex, which, while entertaining and… quanitative?… wasn’t very good sex. The sex I’ve had in the past five years (since I’ve turned 30) has absolutely been the best in my life because the older I get, the more confident I am in my body and expressing my needs, and I’m a thousand times more likely to find partners who are concerned with my pleasure.

  • this is just such a great post focusing on the goodness of sex and the pleasure it brings–delicious!!!

  • Tom F says:

    I get Nostalgic for the days when all I had access to was TV smut and few VHS tapes with little clips of tits, I remember buying a VHS player which could do slow motion, getting a hard on at the possibility of slowing the action down so it would last long enough to get a wank out.

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