And I think I made the world a better place

Josh was the first man I ever dated who was passionate about putting his mouth on my vagina. He was also the first boyfriend with whom I regularly orgasmed. And it wasn’t a coincidence.

For a while, oral sex was the only way I could get off with a man. So it was usually one of the courses on our menu of love-making.

But then Josh and I split, and I started to have sex with other men, hoping they would do the same. And many did without my prompting.

But there were others that didn’t get the memo, which…

Take your top off and finally be as comfortable as he is.

I was at a public beach far out in Brooklyn with a guy I was seeing and some of his friends when four breasts came out.

Two of his female friends took off their tops and ran into the water with only a bikini bottom on. As soon as they did, I looked left and right at the other New York beach-goers around us…

Big Latin families serving each other hot food, an old wrinkly couple drinking cocktails, a group of friends dancing to Caribbean music, teenagers in groups smoking cigarettes and taking selfies.

We weren’t at Burning Man or…

How the urge to keep the peace can make you do things you regret

At a hostel in the ancient city of Taormina, Sicily, a pretty girl greeted me at the front desk. As she checked me in, a man standing behind her checked me out with a big smile in the way I’d come to learn Italian men do.

He was several years older than I, had dark thinning hair, and had the gaunt look of someone who was malnourished.

Even though I did not find him attractive, I was grateful for his gaze. …

We make up our own rules, and respect our partners’ boundaries

The man I have been seeing, Ludo, recently invited me to a kinky festival outside of Berlin, where we live. The festival would include workshops on wax play and bondage, an oil massage lesson, and a spanking competition.

I really wanted to go to this festival.

But my anchor (primary) partner Flo was going to be away that weekend. And he didn’t feel comfortable with me going to the festival without him.

I started to tell a friend about my situation, and she was immediately confused. “But I thought you were allowed to sleep with other people?” she said.


The rules my partner and I have come up with to help us feel safe

Flo and I are in an open relationship. Which means we can have romantic relations with people other than each other.

But that doesn’t mean we do whatever the hell we want when we want.

We’re not superhumans. Like any couple would, we have guidelines, some structure to help protect our feelings and make us feel secure.

So I wanted to share with you some of these guidelines.

Please also note that no two couples (or triads or polycules) are going to have the exact same rules. Our rules are based only on our needs and boundaries at any given…

Now I’m trying to take his worries a little more seriously than I did hers.

When I was a teenager, my mother and I were in constant battle. Our most regular fight was about her wanting me to stay home and my wanting to go out.

Every weekend the conversation would go a little something like this:

Me: I’m going out tonight.
Her: But you went out last night.
Me: So?
Her: Why can’t you just stay here for once.
Me: Because I don’t want to!
Her: Sarah you know I can’t sleep when you’re not home.
Me: I’m not going to stay home because of that!

And round and round and round and round…

Saying no seems simple on the surface, but underneath it’s most definitely not.

When the Harvey Weinstein case broke out several years back, many people didn’t understand what all the fuss was about.

Man invites woman up to his hotel suite. She agrees. He hits on her. So what?

Looking at this story at face value, it doesn’t seem like anything is amiss. As a family friend of mine once said: “These women willingly went up to his hotel room with him. Come on. What did they expect to happen?

In other words, these women should have “just said no.” It’s a simple solution to a simple story.

But to believe that is…

Everything that shines is not always gold.

When I was 12, I had my first slap-you-in-the-face mega crush. And it was of course on the most popular guy in school: Charlie. I wanted him to like me more than anything in the world.

He was blond and pretty and funny and good at sports, and my feelings for him felt all-mighty. I couldn’t imagine how we were not meant to be.

The thing is, all the girls had a crush on Charlie. It wasn’t just me.

And in hindsight, I know that my feelings for him had little to do with our compatibility and more to do…

The word has been used to insult women, but there was never any good reason for that.

“How many people have you slept with?” asked Chris. My face got red as I tried to think of a response.

“You know what? I don’t want to know,” he replied before I could answer.

He was right. He didn’t want to know. I felt a hole in my stomach, as I worried that the fun I had up until that point would damn me. At age 23, my “number” was probably close to 20.

I worried that if I told Chris the truth, he would see me as less valuable, less like girlfriend-material. …

There’s a war on pleasure — it’s time to fight back

I was sitting outside at a restaurant with my partner on a hot summer night when I felt like stretching. So I grabbed the gate beside our table and leaned my body forward slightly, letting the cool evening air caress my arm.

It felt delicious.

But then I looked up at the man a few feet ahead, looking up from his dish. And immediately, I took my hand off of the bar and put it back on my lap.

The guy wasn’t staring or being weird, yet with his gaze, I became aware of myself again. …

Sarah Stroh

New Yorker living in Berlin. I overshare stories about sex positivity, love, and non-monogamy. Get more details on my monogamish life 👉

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store