Every week, a few minutes after this column goes live, the same thing happens.
Almost like clockwork, my inbox is inundated with angry emails from men.
They want me to know that, in spite of possessing multiple university degrees, having studied and written about female sexuality for almost a decade, and being an actual woman myself, I don't know what I'm talking about.
It's obviously touching to imagine any man furiously bashing away at his keyboard with the vigour of someone who believes I'll read past the first sentence. I mean, I didn't get into journalism with the goal of triggering fragile dudes, but I'm not going to say I don't get some joy out of that knowledge.
On a more serious note, though, these weekly emails are an ongoing reminder of how poorly our culture equips men to have healthy sexual interactions with women.
I got to thinking about this recently, because, after one too many margaritas, and in an effort to distract myself from the supreme heartache of my first lesbian break-up (more on that in another column), I stumbled down a Reddit rabbit-hole.
The thread started off innocuously enough. It asked adult shop staff and sex workers to share examples of the weirdest sex questions they'd been asked on the job. "Hilarious!" I thought. "The perfect diversion from my self-pity."
And indeed, many of the responses delivered – a cam girl with a client who was convinced she could lactate on demand, a customer who tried to return a used sex toy, and a man who cleaned his wife's vibrator with rubbing alcohol (I'm still wincing from this one) provided ample LOLs.
But as I read on, it became harder to keep laughing. Instead, I saw my entire heterosexual sex life flash before my eyes. Stories of men who couldn't locate the clitoris, didn't know the difference between the vagina and the uterus, and who were perplexed when their female partners didn't orgasm spontaneously, abounded.
I was suddenly transported back to counting the loose paint chips in my ceiling while boyfriends fumbled futilely between my legs.
It still surprises people to learn this about me, but I actually used to be a high-school teacher. I say this, because I've experienced first-hand just how inadequate sex education is, and in particular, how confused young men are about sex.
It's for this reason I'm rarely shocked when I hear from male readers who insist they've never had a woman fake it on them (sorry gents, you have), that there are "ways to tell" (there aren't); or that their wives simply aren't into sex (they are, just not the kind they're having with you).
In fact, given how little emphasis our culture places on women's pleasure, it's truly a wonder there are any straight couples having mutually satisfying sex at all.
Rather than laughing at the clueless men in the Reddit thread (no response illustrated male sexual confusion more than the sex worker who revealed multiple clients had "firmly placed their thumb above my pubic bone, not moving it, watching me have literally no reaction, and then believed that they brought me to orgasm"), I found myself feeling angry.
Angry at the system that demonises sex and shames porn consumption, while simultaneously leaving boys with only RedTube to turn to for answers. Furious at the pressure we put on men to perform sexually, while failing to teach them about female desire, comfort, arousal, and most importantly – consent. And incensed for the men who've been taught to fear admitting they don't know what they're doing, because of what it might say about their masculinity. Who'd sooner shoot off a rage-filled 13-paragraph email to a female sex columnist they've never met, than wade through that discomfort.
In truth, there's no such thing as a "weird" sex question. And I say this not just because I've heard it all (rest assured, you're way less of a sexual deviant than you think you are), but because the only thing "weird" about men not understanding how women's bodies work, is the fact we live in a society that doesn't think this is information worth teaching them in the first place.
Perhaps that's why the guys who claim to hate me return to this column week after week. Because, regardless of how confronting what I have to say is to them, there's the promise of information that's been withheld throughout their lives. Information we all deserve access to.
And if being the bearer of that puts me in the firing line of their rage, so be it. Having a clogged spam folder each week is a small price to pay for knowing one less man is going to press his thumb into a woman's pubic bone and wait for her to orgasm.