What were the motivations behind wanting to create this book?
In our work, Gemma and I were coming across people having the same issues in their sex lives and identities time and time again. We knew we needed to write something that allowed people to understand why they struggle and be comfortable with themselves. If you’re aware of and comfortable with who you are, who you’re into, and what you’re into, you’d be surprised how it can positively affect other aspects of your life.
How important do you think it is for the book to not just solely focus on heterosexual sex?
It’s incredibly important because there is a growing number of people who don’t identify as heterosexual. Research is finding more and more people – young people in particular – are identifying as ‘not heterosexual’, so to create a book that only focused on hetero sex would have been irrelevant to many. So much of the sex education we grew up with had a heterosexual focus, leaving out LGBTIQ+ people, meaning they didn’t receive any sexual health and relationships education at all. When we talk about sex and relationships, we need to take a whollistic approach.
The book can be seen to give advice in just starting your mornings right, or understanding your partner better. Was that always the intention, or did it just evolve as you wrote?
We intended the book to have something for everyone. We are all on different timelines when it comes to understanding our sexuality and understanding ourselves. We wanted to make sure the book would be interesting and helpful to a broad range of people, wherever they were on the spectrum of sexuality or how in touch with their sexuality they currently feel.
What do you think are the most harmful sexpectations for LGBTQ+ people?
Gosh, where do we start. I’ll keep it simple. The most harmful sexpectation LGBTQ+ people face is the sexpectation of heteronormativity which stops us from acceptance of who we are. Because heterosexuality is still assumed, many people who don’t identify as such struggle to be honest about their sexuality, still experience trauma while ‘coming out’ and are confused about the type of relationship they’d like to have. Pushing your feelings away and not being yourself is forever harmful. In the book, we look into what causes this Sexpectation as well as others, why they’re so harmful to us, and what we can do about them.
How do you think society has failed LGBTQ+ people in regards to developing their sexpectations?
We could spend a lot of time going into the different reasons why we have been ‘failed’ by society, but if we narrow it down, I would say shame is to blame. Whether your shame has come from your parents, the TV shows you watched growing up, or the religion you were exposed to, shame creates a huge barrier to accepting who you are. Whether it’s shame in being bi, shame in being non-binary, shame in having a open relationship, shame has a lot to answer for. It stops us being our honest selves. Shame can even have a negative impact on our enjoyment of sex. If we can’t talk with a partner about how we reach orgasm, or what turns us on then we are very unlikely to have a great time in bed!