I know that starfish live in the ocean, which right now as we approach winter, probably is quite cold. But I am not talking about the bright, beautiful, strange sea creatures. I am talking about a term that I learned about 6 years ago. I was at a ladies sleep over, or maybe it was one of those tonight-has-been-so-fun-I-can’t-be-bothered-to-move-off-your-couch-so-I-am-sleeping-here, kind of nights. The conversation turned to sex, as it so often does with me. My friends and I were discussing positions and things that we liked or didn’t like to do with sex. This happened to be one of many conversations that schooled me in a way that school could never have done.
Starfishing. I had no idea what this meant. When I asked my friend, she explained it like this: “Starfishing is the act of doing absolutely nothing whilst the man or woman on top of you does all the work.”
I could not believe my ears. My mind was trying to understand how on earth you could stop yourself from joining in the festivities. Having healthy consensual sex is the most fun anyone could possibly have. It is free, you can do it anywhere and at any time. Why on earth would you not want to join in? It is winter in Cape Town, I need that extra warmth in the morning just to help me get up.
Apparently there are many women who starfish because they fear being on top because of the jiggling and wobbling and sagging and flapping that our perfect female figures do. My heart breaks for these women. I understand that often these things can be terrifying. No one teaches you how to do it, no one talks about what they do. Sex is either hush-hush or it is sold to you in a glossy magazine with Barbie shaped figure illustrations headed with captions reading, ‘for big busted women’ or ‘to help hide the curves.’ None of this is really for you, it is all for the person underneath, on top, or next to you. These magazines are telling you how to hide your big boobs, beautiful boastful curves and cover up your folds. They are advising you on how best not to be you whilst having sex. This is in no way going to make you feel more brave, more beautiful or more sexy.
Sex should be care free. Your mind should be empty and open to receive everything that is happening all over your skin. If you are having sex with someone who you love and who loves you, your wiggle, wobble, jiggle, flap, slap, scars, marks and hairs are the absolute last thing that they are focusing on while they are celebrating everything that makes you delicious. You are a GODDESS. Get on top of your throne and ride it. Grind it down to dust. Leave it wet, in a puddle of sweat and all things wonderful.
In conversation with women and friends of mine, on the topic of how to avoid starfishing and how to feel confident on top. I have often found myself trying to dust off stereotypes and point out fears. Many of my female friends say that I find comfort in being on top because I am a trained dancer. My response to this weak excuse is, “In what ballet class have you ever seen the leotard-clad teacher teaching the dancers how to grind?!” Others say it is my blackness that allows me this sexual freedom. (Sigh) being on top of my lover is not freedom, it is a right. It is a right that all women have. It is in no way colour specific. Let’s not be silly. Stop making excuses. If you are alive, enjoy having sex, and want to try being on top, you can be on top. There is no trick to owning the goodness that makes you who you are.
So as one who knows, does to one who does not, let me try to give you some tips. Start hula-hooping. This allows you to wiggle, swirl and shake without feeling awkward. Don’t watch porn in order to learn. It teaches you nothing. If you know how to horse ride you are winning. Turn on some Beyonce and let the magic happen. There is basically, a side to side motion and a forward, backward motion.
Practice makes perfect.
Don’t be afraid.
It is not a competition.
Now go and have amazing sex.