I’ve never claimed to be an expert on sex, except maybe when I’ve shared the trials and mishaps of others as cautionary tales. For instance, getting it on in the hot tub might seem like a great idea at the time — you’re naked, wet and probably a little drunk — but nothing washes away natural lubrication faster than chemically treated hot water, and despite the chemicals, those things are usually teeming with microorganisms just waiting to invade your vulnerable orifices. Safe sex isn’t just about STD prevention; it’s about giving those body parts the same care and attention as any other. While few things can actually make your dick fall off, there are plenty of ways to compromise your sexual enjoyment by neglecting your sexual health. To quote Lawrence from “Office Space,” watch your cornhole, bud.

I’ve never claimed to be an expert on any political issues, except maybe around election time in 2012. Voters were faced with a peculiar question: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?” Conservative politicians saw an opportunity to cull votes by masquerading the proposal as a means to uphold the sanctity of marriage. Voters, however, knew better. The real issue was equal rights, and we put our proverbial foot down and shouted “NO!” because gay doesn’t mean less. We’re finally watching the tides turn on gay rights, but we can’t sit back and put our feet up. The transgender community is on a precipice for change and needs allies, petitioners, marchers and voters. The fight for equality isn’t over until no one is treated unjustly.

I’ve never claimed to be an expert on love, except maybe in the summer of 2009 when I made the decision to divorce my then-husband because I was letting him deplete my happiness. It’s a long story about a short marriage that I’ll sometimes share after too many glasses of wine, but suffice it to say, I realized that being loved and being able to love are the same thing. To use up all of our might to try to change our partner in an effort to improve a relationship is a waste of precious time and heart space. There’s a fine line between compromise and sacrifice, and too many of us spend too long suffering the latter. We are responsible for surrounding ourselves with people, especially partners, who love and accept us for who we are. When we accomplish that is when we are truly happy.

I’ve never claimed to be an expert on the Internet, except maybe the numerous times this column has proven Rule 34: “If it exists, there is porn of it.” Over the past 8½ years I’ve had the privilege of researching kinks I couldn’t have dreamed up, even after a Scotch-fueled romp in a Las Vegas swingers’ club (hey, I did it for you guys). I learned that some people prefer to have sexual relations with vegetables. I learned that some people fantasize about masturbating alongside their parents. I learned that there are a lot of dudes out there who regularly snack on their own ejaculate. And I learned that there’s porn out there for all of these things, and every other conceivable thing.

I also learned that there are a lot of people who fear being rejected or ridiculed because of their sexual preferences. My heart gets heavy every time I read a question from readers afraid to talk to their partner about a fantasy or a fetish, but that weight is always lifted once I feel I’ve written a helpful and (hopefully) entertaining column in response. I’ve received so many kind words and high-fives from readers over the years, but I’ve never claimed to deserve them. It’s you all who made this column. Thank you and I’m proud of you.



Alexis McKinnis is a freelance sex and dating near-expert in the Twin Cities. Follow her at @amck on Twitter.