20 Things I Didn’t Know About Love, Sex and Dating Until I Hit 40

Photographer Daniel Rocal

Photographer Daniel Rocal

Looking back on your love life, what do you know now that you didn’t understand in the past?

Love, sex and dating are all so multifaceted and complex, it’s a life dynamic that is never fixed or static. Rather, these parts of ourselves flux and change throughout time, and certainly don’t halt in your later life. What you found sexy 10 years ago will not likely match your current appeals. Your opinion about friends-with-benefits will be completely different. Your admiration of feet is now a full-blown fetish.

Sex educator and writer, Elle Chase, draws from her personal experiences to introduce 20 things she now knows about the joys of sex and dating. It’s pumped full of advice.

Try this exercise to tap into the present wisdom of your sexuality.

This piece was originally published at SmutforSmarties.com

BY ELLE CHASE | ElleChase.com

1. When going to a swinger’s retreat, make certain your partner isn’t packing a tiny, leather, Borat-style “unikini” to wear at the poolside fashion show.

2. Being “in love” and being “in lust” are both very disparate and different things that deceptively, can seem like one and the same.

3. Sex is messy. You’ll need a towel.

4. When dating a married man, never cling to the statistic that 1% of men having an affair will leave their wives for their mistress. Because no matter what he says, for every King Edward VIII who abdicated the throne for the woman he loved, there are 25 Joey Buttafuccos and you’re dating number 24.

5. Gentlemanly manners, a good upbringing and general social skills should never be underestimated.

6. Tattoo this Maya Angelou quote on the inside of your eyelids. “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”

7. Though it might seem obvious, always query a date about the circumstances in which he lives. If he resides in a storage facility with no indoor plumbing and a Porta-Potty he cleans himself, chances are you’ll be doing all the driving.

8. Guys you meet on a fetish-dating site will never care if you haven’t dusted before they come over or the bed isn’t made. Don’t stress it. You’re mother will NOT be turning over in her grave (at least not because your house isn’t spotless).

9. Cigarettes, role-playing your True Blood fantasy character on Twitter and bucketloads of Xanax are not a new lifestyle regime, they are a red flag.

10. Contrary to what they may have you believe, the man with a 12-inch dick is not going to be the best sex you ever had. Two words: bruised cervix.

11. Approximately, one out of every five men you sleep with will be as good in bed as they think, or say they are.

12. It’s less important to a man what your body looks like than how you feel about it and what you do with it.

13. This may seem obvious, but never divulge the web address of the erotica and porn blogs you run on the first couple of dates. It sets up unrealistic expectations.

14. Only wax your vulva if it makes YOU feel better. If your lover suggests he’d like to see you with smooth genitalia, tell him you’d like him to go first.

15. Going to bed alone at night isn’t nearly as lonely as going to bed next to someone you’ve grown apart from.

16. When online dating, no matter how hard you work at making your profile accurate, smart, witty and pithy you will always get responses from 23 year old, trade students who wear their baseball caps sideways and think common texting abbreviations are what constitute an irresistible opening email.

17. Sexual chemistry and passion are inextricably linked, however it can take many different forms, come in many different packages and isn’t always instantaneous. If he doesn’t light your fire after 3 dates, he never will.

18. Social media is great place to learn how to flirt with abandon.

19. It takes at least a week to properly seduce a woman.

20. Never reschedule time with friends for a date. Your friends are your gold. The date can wait.

elle Sex educator, writer and coach, Elle Chase is best known for her award-winning and highly trafficked sites, LadyCheeky.com (NSFW) and SmutForSmarties.com, which have both garnered multiple awards, including LA Weekly’s Best Sex Blog 2013. Elle’s focus is on positive body image, reigniting sexual expression and better sex after 40. She speaks nationally at universities, conferences, and teaches workshops about all things “sex.” Currently, she is hard at work on a book based on her popular workshop “Big, Beautiful Sex”. Find Elle on facebook.com/TheElleChase and follow her @TheElleChase or @smutforsmarties.