The third chapter of The Love Diaries is probably the only one you are actually interested in reading.

Sex. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (plus a shout out to the Australian Navy).

I asked a group of very different twenty-somethings to share with me their experiences of love and loss in their twenties.

These are real women and real stories. Nothing has been romanticised.

This is just life, as it happened.

Chapter Three: Sex In Your Twenties

“There is such a profound change in sex when you reach your twenties. I lost my virginity at 14 and I found sex from 14-18 years old to be really awkward. It was definitely exciting but I don’t think I had ever really experienced passion until I reached my twenties. I became a lot more open with my sexuality and so much more confident in the bedroom than I was as a teenager.”

“My expectations of sex in my twenties were high. I expected an orgasm every time. I even considered multiple orgasms (I can hear you laughing at me…). I imagined it to be mature yet raunchy, and filled with all those sex positions you memorised from Cosmopolitan magazine. Basically I assumed we would both know what we were actually doing…”

The reality of sex in this decade? Orgasms don’t just suddenly appear when you turn twenty. The only way to actually have one is to find someone who knows how to give you one (and you start to realise that, yes, this could take a while…). Sex isn’t exactly raunchier, but it is a lot more intimate which I guess makes it more mature. When you are in a relationship you take your time with sex, learn what each other likes. It’s about being present and enjoying the journey, rather than the race to the finish line (pun intended). Sex in your twenties isn’t that much better than your teens. You’re still in the same bed you were in when you were 17. You are still trying to make sure your parents/flatmates/neighbours can’t hear you. It’s still messy. There is still the occasional head-injury.

Oh, and the positions in Cosmo suck.”

“Sex in your twenties is lying because you love him. Saying it’s great when it isn’t. Too many one-night stands and spending Sunday mornings picking up your friends from God knows where…”

“My friend once said to me, in reference to an ex-boyfriend, ‘You can unfriend me on Facebook, unfollow me on Instagram, but you cannot un-lick my butthole.’ “

“I’d like to make a shout out to the Australian Navy. In particular, the sailor who guided me through some emotionally rough seas. Thanks for the sex and the chat- and for taking some of my exes clothes off my hands. I hope you and the boys enjoy his tee shirts and Yves Saint Laurent dress shirts. Consider it a ‘thank you’ for your service to me, and to your country.”

“Sex in your twenties isn’t much more glamorous than when I was 17. In fact, most of us were at university for the first year or two of our twenties so it still involved sex in single beds, the walk of shame back to your flat in the morning, wearing his shirt as a dress and wiping mascara off your chin. It also often meant skipping class the next day so you didn’t have to make eye contact with the 7 minutes from last night you’d both rather forget…”

“I like myself better now than I did when I was a teenager. So I’m less concerned with if he enjoys it and more concerned with myself. It might sound selfish but as long as I get mine, I’m a happy camper. Does that make me sound like a bitch? Is this why I’m single?”

“When I was a teenager I was scared of sex because I was so concerned with how I looked. I was completely hung up on what lingerie I wore (such a waste of pocket money), what my jiggly bits were doing (I didn’t actually have any jiggly bits at 17), and what he was thinking (evidently, not a lot…). But now at 23 years old I’ve realised that a naked body is a naked body. Sure, some are softer, some are musclier, some boobs bounce, while others look like Sunday morning pancakes. But if you’re with a guy, they are just so unbelievably stoked to be in bed with a naked women they don’t really care about your love handles or 10A bra size. And if you’re with a women…well you’re probably both as insecure as each other so just give the other one a high five and get down to business.”

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