Campus Life advice

Queerness and quick queries

Auntie Matter on knowing your preferences

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Dear Auntie Matter,
I recently lost my virginity and it was terrible. The girl tried for four hours but couldn't get me off. Now I think I might be straight! How can I know if this was just bad sex or if I’m not the sapphic sort?
— Deflowered and Disappointed

Dear Disappointed,

Fear not. Auntie, reading this question, is not worried about your sexual future.

The first thing to realize is that the first time you have sex is not necessarily indicative of what sex will be like in the future. If you can share what you like, and your partner cares enough to listen, and to learn your body, you will figure it out.  

However, you need to learn your own preferences — not just in terms of your sexual orientation, but in terms of what feels good in your body. You can learn a fair amount through solo exploration, both of your body and your mind. Auntie suggests masturbating, developing your own sexual fantasies in your mind, and reading erotica. On porn, Auntie notes that it often bears little relation to what sex actually looks like, and is rarely produced with women in mind; proceed with caution, and do not feel as though you must watch.

When you do have partnered sex again, perhaps focus less on orgasm. While Auntie commends your partner for trying for four hours (and you for scoring a partner who tried for four hours), worrying too much about orgasm can almost guarantee you will not “get there,” or even enjoy the journey. Focus on pleasure. There is much mythology surrounding the female orgasm. As a woman, Auntie suggests you ignore it. Do not worry about being a girl who “can’t come,” or conversely, being “easy.” Attempting to understand yourself in terms of stereotypes will destroy the nuance of your experience.

As to the question of your sexuality, at the end of the day, only you can know. Were you aroused by the woman you slept with? Are you aroused by other people? Do you have fantasies, and if so, of whom? All of these are clues.

Auntie wishes you good luck!


This week, Auntie Matter presents hot takes on topics from hookups to hopelessness.

Q: How do I find people to hook up with?
A: Aren’t there apps for that?

Q: What if I don’t like any job out there? What should I do?
A: Marry rich.

Q: Where can I microwave stuff on campus?
A: You should have joined a learning community freshman year.

Q: What paths are there in life besides finance, tech, and grad school?
A: Consulting. And fintech.

Q: How can I get a girlfriend?
A: Develop sentient AI.

Q: What is my purpose in life?
A: To quote Schopenhauer: “If the immediate and direct purpose of our life is not suffering, then our existence is the most ill-adapted to its purpose in the world: for it is absurd to suppose that the endless affliction of which the world is everywhere full ... should be purposeless and purely accidental. Each individual misfortune, to be sure, seems an exceptional occurrence; but misfortune in general is the rule.”