Quality of sex overall: 6/10
Frequency of sex: 6/10
Intimacy levels: 7/10
How do you feel generally about the people you fuck: 7/10
How happy are you with the amount of time you have for sex: 4/10
VICE: Hi Gia! How would you sum up your relationship with sex?
Gia: When I was younger, I had an eating disorder between the ages of 11 until 15. I‘ve had anxiety and body dysmorphia since. I’ve recovered from my eating disorder, luckily, but I think especially when it comes to sex and dating, it has for sure affected me quite a lot.
How did it manifest itself in your sex life?
For one, I’m way more conscious about my body – it’s something that I am very insecure about. For quite a long time, I could only have sex when I was really drunk or when I was on drugs because all my inhibitions went and I didn’t really give a shit. But as soon as I was sober, I couldn’t do it. I hated my body so much, so that’s something I’ve had to work on quite a lot. I’m pretty much sober now though.
Has it always been a struggle?
I was with a guy for three years between the ages of 17 and 20. I lost my virginity to him, and I didn’t really know what it was like to have sex with anyone else apart form him until I was about 20. So, when it all went to shit and we broke up, it was literally like the end of my life and I went on a massive hoe spree. I was just sleeping around quite a lot. In my mind, in those three years when I was with him, I was missing out. All my friends were sleeping around and everyone was having casual sex and I had no idea what it was like, so I did that quite a lot.
Was casual sex as good as you thought it would be?
I don’t know what I was expecting from casual sex because I felt like I was missing out on so much. It turns out that you’re not really. You’re just really not. It’s just not it. Honestly, loads of my friends would be like, "It’s not that good. It’s better to wait and have sex when you’re in a relationship or in love." I didn’t believe them. I was like, "Why is everyone doing it then?" For me, my experience is always better when you’re having sex with someone you know well.
So, would you say sex is mainly emotional for you?
Yeah. I have never had a proper one-night stand, like met someone in a club and gone back with them. Nowadays, I would never dream of it. I feel like I need some emotional connection with someone before I have sex with them. I don’t mean I have to love them – I don’t even have to like them that much, but I need to get on with them and know them as a person and know I can trust them. That’s probably from being fucked over quite a lot of times in the past. I mean who hasn’t, really? [Laughs.]
Do you feel like you have enough time to get to know people well enough for that?
I’ve turned down sex because I knew it was just going to be an in-and-out job. I would rather just have a wank or watch anime in bed. I’d rather watch Attack on Titan than have sex with someone who is going to disappoint me.
Okay. So what do you think of the British Medical Journal research? Would you say young people are having less sex?
Not in my experience. How much less?
Well, less than say our parents did, supposedly.
Really? Maybe I just hang around with loads of horny bastards. Although, I have some friends who are still virgins into their mid-20s, or I have some friends who haven’t had sex for six or seven months.
What were your views on sex like when you were younger?
My dad is Lebanese and Muslim and my mum grew up in Colombia as quite a conservative Catholic. So the idea of sex before marriage was quite wild to me. I thought, "I could never do that." I was really really like, "Fuck no, I don’t want to touch boys." I had my first kiss just before my 17th birthday because I was so terrified of intimacy. But growing up in a house like that is part of the reason that I’m so liberal now. I moved out of the house and now I’m like, "Yes, fucking freedom. I can do what I want." I think my dad questions himself quite a lot. In his mind, he’s like, "What did I do wrong?" [Laughs.]
What did your parents think of you working in a sex shop?
My dad doesn’t know, but my mum does. If she knew about my sex life, she would not be happy. In her eyes, I’ve slept with three or four people and they were people I dated and knew before. I hinted once that I had a one-night stand. She was like, “Oh my god, you need to respect your body more.” But to me, if that means having sex with 20 people, then that’s what I’m going to do.
Do you talk to your friends about your sex life?
Yeah, I’m really open about my sex life, which I think invites people to be open with me – especially my male friends. They’ll tell me they don’t have friends there to talk to, because y'know, toxic masculinity. They don’t talk about their emotions with their guy friends. It’s still a massive issue among male friendships. But since working in a sex shop, nothing phases me anymore.
Did working at a sex shop help develop the way you look at sex?
It’s made me a lot more comfortable with my sexuality, myself and my body. When you’re working in a sex shop, it reminds you that everyone has sex. People would walk in and I know nothing about them, but everything about their sex life. Obviously, that’s quite a vulnerable position for a lot of people.
How important is talking about your sex life for you?
It’s such an important conversation to have, but people are still so awkward when you bring it up. I love talking about it. I have friends that I can talk to about it but not all that often, to be honest. My friends rip into me a lot because among our friend group, I'm the one who has been single the longest. I haven’t found someone I want to have sex with exclusively for an infinite amount of time.
Is that what you’re looking for now?
Well, I just like sleeping with different people. I don’t do it that much anymore because I’m just really busy and sex is not on the top of my list.
Would you say everyday life just gets in the way?
Yeah. I still have libido, but I’m on antidepressants too.
Yeah same! Has it affected your ability to orgasm?
Yeah, it’s so annoying, isn’t it? Although, I find it hard to orgasm with anybody the first few times I have sex with them. Regardless of whether they’re hot or not, I won’t care what you look like I won't come the first three or four times I have sex with them.
Really? How does that play out usually?
Ugh. I’ll be having sex with a guy and they’ll be like, "I want to make you come." And I’ll be like, "It’s alright, it doesn’t tend to happen on the first time." They’re like, "No, I’m going to make it happen." That makes me not come, because there’s pressure for me to orgasm. So, I have faked it before because I just want it to be over now. Not many times, only, like, twice because I really hate having to fake an orgasm. But if they’re really trying in a not very good way, and I’m like, "I’m just going to give you want you want."
Have you found a way to stop that from happening?
Now, I really like having conversations with people I’m going to sleep with about things we’re both into.
When does that talk usually happen? Just before you sleep with them?
No, usually online. Some guys are like, "I’m going to tie you up and spank you." In person, it’s like, "Where’s this stuff you’ve promised me?" I’ve been told all sorts of shit and when it happens its borderline disappointing. I’ve had so much disappointing sex.
Oh no. What counts as disappointing?
I’m not saying I’m a sex goddess or anything, but there have been quite a lot of let downs. Just the guy kind of having sex for himself rather than having sex with me. Some guys have sex as if the person they’re having sex with isn’t a person, and they’re just a sex machine.
Interesting. How has being open to experimentation gone down with the people you sleep with?
I’ve always been really open to trying stuff, especially when I was in a relationship for three years. I think guys like the idea of a kinky girl but don’t want to do anything. They’ve got a kink for kinky girls and that’s it.
So, you think men should be more open to experimentation?
Turns out, I’ve tried a lot more than a lot of the guys I’ve slept with. I’ll be like, "I’ve tried this" and they’re like, "I’ve never even used a sex toy." I’m like, "Fair enough, then I’m the perfect person to come and sleep with. I will show you my collection." It definitely needs to be more normalised to experiment.
Has a guy ever opened up to you about experimenting?
There are three guys I know who have opened up to me about a kink. They’re not even that weird, but they don’t feel comfortable telling their guy mates, they’re really ashamed of them. There’s a guy who has a satin kink. He really gets off on satin. It’s interesting. In fact, please do something interesting.
Okay, let's talk contraception.
Most of the times when I’ve used a condom, it’s been me who initiated using it. But I don’t like asking.
It's dumb, because they're so important, but it’s not sexy. I have the coil now, but obviously that doesn’t guard against STIs. But it’s really bad, especially in the phase where I was having sex with drugs and drunk a lot. When you’re drunk or on drugs, the last thing you’ll think about is a condom. No one’s thinking about staying safe.
Were you using the pull-out method instead?
[Laughs.] Yeah, pulling out was my contraceptive method. I didn’t get pregnant but I did get an STI.
Is that what made you start using condoms?
Yeah, it served me right, to be honest. It was the worst thing, it was so painful and since then I’ve been more careful. It’s one of those things that you think won’t happen to you and then it happens.
One day I was bent over in pain and I was like, "Am I having an ectopic pregnancy or something? I need to get checked out." I was diagnosed with Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), which is a complication of chlamydia if you don’t get it treated. I had to go on three different types of antibiotics. If it carried on, there’s a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy. It was really bad, I was in bed with just cramps.
Did you know about PID before?
Well, no. Sex education when you’re a kid is shit.
That’s very true. Thanks Gia!
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.