Here’s everything I know about making mistakes
One morning a year or so ago, I was out on my daily long-distance run when I had an idea. ‘Maybe I should write a book about having better sex,’ I thought.
You know how it is: activewear, headphones in, trying not to think about anything in particular as I jogged around my local park. I’d had some fun conversations that week with my friends about their terrible Tinder dates. As a sex professional, I’m often approached by people who want to share their problems - according to my mates, it makes me easy to talk to about subjects that are often uncomfortable.
So, could this work, I wondered? Should I write down everything I know about picking up, getting it on, and being a good human being in the process? It seemed plausible – so I turned around and ran home to get started.
Several months of brainstorming, planning and self-examination followed. I considered my past sexual experiences, both good and bad. I recorded every idea I’d learned from my friends, clients, and fellow escorts. As I scribbled pages and pages of notes, two thoughts came up.
The first one: “Obviously, as an escort I’m the perfect person to write a book about how to have better sex.”
The second: “Holy shit, I’ve made so many mistakes! Do I even have the right to call myself an expert?”
It’s true. When it comes to sex, I’ve screwed up a LOT.
When I was younger, I hooked up with anyone and everyone…but I had no idea what I was doing. I bounced from one encounter to the next, trying (and often failing). I slept with people who treated me badly, ended up in awkward situations, hurt the feelings of others, and had some truly terrible sex.
Trying to get laid often feels like some awful sort of job interview. When we’re naked and vulnerable, we feel as though every little thing we do wrong will be scrutinised. If we’re not perfect, we feel as though we’re failing…not only at sex, but at life in general.
So much pressure! It means that many of us rush through every date or sexual encounter with our eyes screwed shut and fists clenched, because we’re so afraid of getting it wrong. And that’s what my twenties were like – I rushed through everything, making more mistakes as a result of being so damn nervous. Like walking around with your eyes closed, sex without self-awareness tends to be hit-and-miss!
Nowadays, it’s different. Thanks to my work in the sex industry, I’ve learned to do better.
Becoming good at sex is a process of experimentation – playfully exploring and discovering what does and doesn’t work. Good sex is like building a sandcastle at the beach; it doesn’t always go perfectly, but we never really get anywhere interesting unless we try. We need to let go of our fear of making mistakes, and start being open to ideas. Listen to our partners. Try new things. Talk about what we’ve discovered.
My mistakes have helped me do better. If I hadn’t screwed up so much, I’d never have found better ways to get laid. I’d encourage you all to get out there and try your best. Use your mistakes as learning experiences, instead of seeing them as proof that you’re a failure.
Or, if you’d prefer to learn from my mistakes, my book might help! It’s called ‘The Art of the Hook-Up’ and it’s everything I’ve learned in my years of online dating, picking up, and working as a sex professional. It’s all the knowledge that’s gotten me where I am today – confident, happy, and eager to try new things.
Expert? Not really. But I still have some ideas worth sharing.
Want to read all about my mistakes and what I’ve learned about having great sex? My book ‘The Art of the Hook-Up’ is available on Amazon.