Anna from the back final

F*ck Around And Find Out With Anna Lee: Is This Normal?!

Our resident sexpert answers life's eternal question, and disproves the myth of what is "normal" in the first place

Words by Anna Lee

F*ck Around and Find Out with Anna Lee: This is the modern sex advice column you didn’t know you needed, focused on finding confidence in your own pleasure through knowledge and research! Think a fresh reimagining from the days of those pink, star-studded magazine sex advice columns like “10 Ways to Please Your Man” that we all grew up with. In my journey from growing up in a strict, immigrant Korean household, scared of my own body, to my current reality as co-founder of a smart vibrator company and certified sex educator, I realized how much we need to destigmatize the cultural taboo around sexual pleasure. So, hold my hand (if you want to, of course) and together, let’s fuck around and find out every nook and cranny of this sexy world. 🙂 

Have a question you’d like me to answer? Keep ‘em coming by submitting it anonymously here!

Hi, my sex-curious superstars! This week as I sifted through your questions, and one of the themes that jumped out was people wondering, “Is this normal?” about something they experience sexually. Now, let me share what my therapist always tells me when I ask him this question as it relates to my feelings:: There is no “normal,” and what you experience is valid. I think we all sometimes need this assurance in our lives! So today, let me give you some love and a boost of self-confidence when it comes to your place in the world of sex: 

Q: I don’t get very wet (I’m a girl) during sex and I feel bad that my bf might think I’m not sexually attracted to him, but I’m totally turned on. Why is this happening to me?! -AY 

A: If you feel turned on but you’re not getting wet as much as you’d like to, that is totally and absolutely okay! “Wetness” doesn’t have to be the way your boyfriend knows that you are turned on. This can also be done with acts like physical touch, moans, and verbal communication as simple as sharing, “You’re turning me on so much right now.” 

Some people might need a little more time and foreplay to create more vaginal lubrication. However, if you and your partner are already happy with the amount of foreplay, this is where lubes can be your best friend (well, maybe second best friend if your bf is your first). You and your partner can make it a fun addition to sex by choosing and trying different types together. Personally, I love a water-based one for easier clean up, because I am a little lazy after sex. In case you need extra assurance, there was even a study done in 2013 with 2,451 women, in which the majority felt greater sexual satisfaction when using lube. I’ll defend lube for the rest of my life if I need to! Haha  

Now, a little more of the sex-nerd partestrogen is the hormone that makes the vagina moist (I know, we all hate this word). This includes a mucus that’s secreted from the Bartholin’s glands during arousal. Vaginal dryness can occur during times we produce less estrogen, like menopause or post-pregnancy, because of certain medications that affect hormones,  or due to health issues. If you do think it may be health-related, it could be helpful to talk to a healthcare professional about your concerns.

Q: What age did you first discover masturbation? I’m always embarrassed to say mine. -JC

A: Personally, I randomly discovered it when I was 8 or 9 years old, realized how amazing it was, and haven’t looked back since. Masturbation is a healthy activity and happens at any age! It’s cited by University of Michigan’s Development and Behavior Resources Department that the majority of kids discover pleasure through their sex organs by the age of 6. Even babies may explore their bodies and can notice that touching their sex organs feel good. I think that as long as you’re doing it in a safe environment and consensually (like behind closed doors to respect people that did not opt-in to watching), don’t you feel embarrassed!! I masturbate regularly ;)

Q: I want to explore some kinks with my significant other, but I’m scared he’s going to judge me. Any advice? -BW

A: Ah, yes. It took me years to feel not ashamed of my kinks. I will also admit that even to this day, I sometimes blush and feel flustered when I’m telling a partner about a kink I’m curious to explore. It can feel a little scary when you’re not sure how the other person might respond. However, I remind myself that there are a billion and three ways people experience sexual pleasure and it only benefits me to stay honest to myself about it. I’ve found that when I’m open and confident about my likes and dislikes, it prompts the other person to mirror the same amount of honesty and comfort around sex topics. You can always start small with topics like “What kind of things turn you on?” (Mine is hands, just so you know.) 

There is also something called the “Yes/No/Maybe List” that many sex educators and therapists often recommend for couples to explore conversations around sexual kinks. It’s a comprehensive list of sexual activities, fetishes, kinks, etc. that partners individually respond “Yes, I’m into this”, “No, this is off limits for me”, or “Maybe, I might be open to this” and then come together to see which ones they have commonalities in. It’s a really fun date night activity! There are many versions of this list you can find online and even apps that can help facilitate this.

…Can I also plug that I helped co-create a couple’s sex(y) card game called Questions with Benefits with 360 prompts and questions to get sexy conversations going between couples?! 

Q: I feel bad but I sometimes fake my orgasms with my partner…is this normal? -AN

A: I hope it helps people when I started out by answering most of these questions with, “I’ve been there. I can totally relate.” Because I’ve totally been there. Although there is no such thing as “normal” in the world of sex, there are many things we all commonly experience that we’re not alone in. We just don’t get the opportunity to talk about it enough! So to answer your question, it really depends at the end of the day how YOU feel about the situation. Would you want it to change? What makes you feel bad about it? Is it something you’d want to discuss with your partner? 

It could also help to know about The Faking Orgasm Scale for Women (FOS) in order to dig deeper into why you might be faking orgasms. There was a research study done in 2013 with 481 heterosexual females and they designed FOS because they wanted to understand why women commonly faked orgasms. They were able to split the FOS by 4 factors: altruistic deceit (meaning faking to avoid hurting a partner’s feelings), fear and insecurity (faking to avoid negative emotions around sexual experience), elevated arousal (faking it to increase their own arousal and excitement), and sexual adjournment (lacking of communication to end the sex otherwise). Overall, the research suggests women often feel the need to fake orgasms to help alleviate anxiety, self-consciousness, or feeling like something’s embarrassing about how their body looks.

Here’s to feeling good about ourselveseverything is a-okay! 

Have a question you’d like me to answer for the next article? Submit them anonymously here!

Published on October 27, 2022

Words by Anna Lee

Anna Lee is the co-founder and Head of Engineering of Lioness, the women-led sexual wellness company that built the world’s first and only smart vibrator. Anna was previously a mechanical engineer at Amazon, launching the Amazon Dash Button’s original concept and the Kindle Voyage Page Press Technology. She is a Forbes 30 Under 30 alum and has been covered in numerous publications like Fast CompanyGlamour, and Popular Science, as well as Paper Magazine’s Asian Women Creators You Need to Know and Buzzfeed’s 14 Sex Tech Founders Who Are Changing The Way The World Thinks About Sex. Anna is also a prominent sex education creator on TikTok with nearly 400,000 followers. She is a big advocate of expanding understanding and research in sexual health, and destigmatizing female sexuality.

Photography by Henry Wu

Henry is a fashion photographer who interweaves storytelling with vibrant aesthetics, and spans luxury fashion to product photography. His photography has been published in Vogue Italia, Elle Singapore, People magazine, L’Officiel, and Men’s Health Australia/PortugalHenry is also the founder, editor in chief of Timid magazine. Timid is a platform to uplift unheard Asian Pacific Islanders stories from around the world. It seeks to reclaim “timid” and challenge racial norms by providing channels for sharing and learning from diverse experiences, empowering and celebrating our collective identity.