The best way to confront a fear is to conquer it

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The best way to confront a fear is to conquer it

Illustration by Emily Reising Photo credit: Emily Reising

Illustration by Emily Reising Photo credit: Emily Reising

Illustration by Emily Reising Photo credit: Emily Reising

Illustration by Emily Reising Photo credit: Emily Reising

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Illustration by Emily Reising Photo credit: Emily Reising

There comes a time in every person’s sexual career when they must finally face a fear. Depending on the person, each fear can be wildly different and unique.

When I say “fear,” I’m referring to those big, scary “imagine if” scenarios that we discuss with our friends when we’re talking about sex.

Personally, I have my own list of my top-three sex fears that I have either already encountered or hope to never experience.

The Crimson Wave

Beware of this oh-so-lovely surprise that comes around once a month. For the most part, women are able to keep track of their menstrual cycles and generally have some idea of when it’s about to hit.

However, if you’re anything like me, periods can come as a surprise. Setting aside the rare individuals who may enjoy sex with a period, most people tend to avoid sex while their female partner is menstruating.

When I was in high school and thought my life was so scandalous for sleeping with an older guy, I made a humiliating mistake. I took off my pants and about 30 seconds later, blood was everywhere (I’m sorry for the graphics, but it’s human nature).

The red on my face from embarrassment probably stood out more than the red on the bed sheets, and I cringed the whole way home. Luckily, he was very nice and courteous about it but I take this as a warning to all ladies to double-check no matter what. No one wants to clean up that kind of mess.

The Not-so-hard-on

Nothing can shatter a girl’s confidence quite like when a guy isn’t able to “perform” i.e. get an erection (hard-on, boner, woody, etc).

Us ladies like to think we have some magical, sexual power over men and that we can make them lust after us within seconds. Of course all guys are different, but at some point in the hook-up process, a guy must get an erection in order to make the process a lot more enjoyable.

However, if you’re not exactly turning a guy on then he probably won’t pop one up for you, which is an awful feeling. This has definitely happened to me before, and even though men will tell you “I’m just tired” or “I’m too drunk” or “I came already today,” deep down I couldn’t help but blame myself for not being able to get him going.

It’s a strong mixture of embarrassment and disappointment in yourself, but if it ever happens again, tell yourself you’re sexy just the way you are and he’s the one with the problem.

Passing Gas

I’ve noticed that men and women like to live in fantasy worlds where their sexual partners never poop or fart, and unicorns dance in the sky and pigs can fly. Unfortunately, this is not reality and we all know that as human beings we have basic bodily functions.

As a woman, I absolutely feel shy or inappropriate bringing up “dirty” things like farting and pooping, and I can say with certainty that one of my worst fears is farting during sex.

I can’t imagine anything worse than getting hot and dirty with someone and then getting interrupted by letting a loud one rip.

First of all, ew. Second of all, that’s incredibly humiliating, especially if you barely know the person you’re hooking up with. Third of all, you might have completely disgusted your partner and now they never want to see your naked body again. A little dramatic, but these are the reasons why farting during sex must never happen. If you feel it coming on, hold it in no matter what.

The list could go on because sex as a whole can be scary. Sex is messy, complicated and a little dirty.

While I hope none of these things happen to me again, if I am faced with one of my top fears, I will conquer it with grace and dignity. After all, we are just human.

Emma Vidak-Benjamin can be reached at features [email protected] or @gnarlyemma on Twitter.