It’s been a long cold, lonely winter (as The Beatles wold say). I’ve been busy with clinical work, getting immersed in front-line sexual health counselling. Lots of time spent discussing the in’s and out’s of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) and HIV/AIDS than ever before in the last year, as opposed to the in’s and out’s of vibrators and dildos.
I do, however, on occasion, have the opportunity to get back into “the fun stuff” and talk about sexual pleasure. Whether it’s a G-Spot workshop at Good For Her, a community workshops for women in Peterborough, or a Stagette party, it’s a great opportunity to really talk about sex, what makes it great and what makes it challenging!
Here are a few of my observations – or musings – if you will.
Learning how to pleasure a partner is really about getting down to the nitty gritty of what WE like. How can you please someone else fully if you are not sure what will make it fun for YOU. Pleasing them is often about how we receive pleasure ourselves. This can be tricky…
As I sat down with a group of women to discuss “Pleasuring Him” recently, this all became very apparent, or re-aparent as it were. I have always tried to taper each workshop to who is in the room at the time, instead of coming at it with predetermined content that I have to get through. I was discovering, again, how women talk about sex, or don’t talk about it, or talk around it. What an opportunity for learning an all accounts!
“Pleasuring Him” turned into much more. It was a 2hr gab session about what each woman enjoys and what each might find difficult to discuss with a partner or need some support in navigating and negotiating.
In order to hold confidences, I can’t get into details here, but there are many examples of this that have come up over the years of teaching groups, and the vast majority of groups I have taught have been for women, and of these, primarily straight women.
Here’s what I’ve noticed:
– people have a hard time talking to their partners
– those that do have somehow figured out how to support themselves and their desires
– no matter how much one knows about sex or how much experience someone has had, there may still be areas that are difficult to talk about (sex educators are included in this *wink)
– sex is a process, just as learning about sex is a process. Heck, learning about anything and living life is a process and it’s never over, until it’s over.
– our own judgements are what keeps us from having better sex: judgements about what our partner(s) may think of us, what our friend’s might think, and for some it comes down to upbringing and culture “if God only knows”
– this judgement extend to what is the “right” way or “normal” way to have sex…
here’s one example…
Intercourse. Fucking. Doing IT. Going “all the way“. When will the script change? When can PIV (penis-in-vagina-sex) be one part of an enjoyable sex life, instead of the centre of it all? Don’t get me wrong, penetration is great and all but I continually hear women, and some men complain about the pressure around it. The guys are trying to last long enough for her to come, she’s trying to come without much clitoral stimulation, and there is often some level of dissatisfaction felt by all.
When we talk about “foreplay” what is it “fore” anyway? BEFORE what? sex? And what is sex?
Lot’s of questions and there is no right answer. Perhaps we can consider all sex to be “core play” (I heard this somewhere and do not know if there is an original source, quoting Anon.). Can we mix up the script? How about oral only? The old “everything but”. Or penetration with fingers, toys and other fun sexy games – ending with some oral or a vibrator to keep the pressure off making her come from intercourse. Once you experiment with this for a while, then add the PIV back in and see what happens.
Queer your sex! Yes, that’s what I said – there is always more to learn about sex and new ways to d it. Queer it up a bit, try something new. There are tons of resources and references out there. Shop online so no one has to see you, dare yourself to go to a women-friendly, sex-positive sexuality shop, buy a book about sex, write down a fantasy that you may never show or share with anyone. Your sex is for you, and you get to decide what to do with it. Have fun! Remember: there’s always more to learn about sex 😉