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Why Does Sex Turn Us Into Awkward Fools?

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Usually when people ask me about sex, they’re concerned with mechanics (how to make the tingly feelings happen) or communication (how to have good sex). The other day, however, I was asked a question that wasn’t as easily categorizable: “Why is it so awkward when you see someone you’ve had sex with?”

Truthfully, I have no clue. In an ideal world we wouldn’t feel awkward; we’d be able to acknowledge our sexual experiences, learn from them, and then move on. That’s certainly how I try to operate. But even so, seeing past partners often makes me feel weak-kneed, ill, and over-caffeinated. My stomach feels like it’s about to implode. My linguistic powers dissolve into a particularly unpalatable form of word soup and the most I can muster is usually a forced, “Hihellohowareyouokaynicegoodbye.”

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