It took me quite a while to learn how to make sex enjoyable for me.
I finally realized I was doing something that a lot of women do because we're conditioned to.
Here are the three root causes of why sex isn't really satisfying and fulfilling for a lot of married women.
First of all, I want to define the context of the word 'sex'. I'm not only talking about intercourse. Yes, penis-in-vagina experiences can be part of a healthy, wonderful, enjoyable sexual experience, but they're certainly not everything.
Women often fall into three pitfalls that we have been taught: Pleasure, Performance, and Pressure. To have a more enjoyable experience, we need to move out of these pitfalls and into something else.
Pitfall 1: Pleasure
Pleasure has been turned into a dirty and shameful word in our culture.
I'm trying my very best to reclaim it for myself and for the women I work with.
Pleasure is actually a place of true enjoyment.
Pitfall 2: Pressure
Pressure can come internally from our own narrative and cultural conditioning. It can also come from our husband and his cultural conditioning.
Pitfall 3: Performance
Performance is not "Does it feel good?" It's, "Does it look good?' How am I acting the part?"
Unfortunately, the only sex education that most of us receive is through sex scenes or porn, and that is 100% about performance. No one is concerned about pleasure in those scenes.
We can often find ourselves trying to recreate those scenes of what we think sex should look and sound like. We feel broken because it's not working like it was working for the actors (who are not actually having enjoyable sex!)
Here are three examples to illustrate these pitfalls for you.
Example One: Orgasm
In true pleasure, I touch my body in a way that works for me.
For a majority of women, external clitoral stimulation is absolutely necessary for the kind of pleasure we're looking for. You want to explore and be curious about that part of your body, to learn about your unique nerve endings and how they work.
You're allowing yourself to be unique, to be the only one with this system that finds pleasure in this particular way. That's true pleasure.
Then there's pressure. Pressure can come from your husband to have an orgasm so that you make him feel better. It can also come from yourself because you want to prove that your body works, so you bring out the vibrator and buzz your way towards orgasm. Maybe you have those few seconds of vaginal contractions but it doesn't feel that fulfilling or satisfying.
Finally, you have performance. This is when we try to look or sound a certain way. We push out our breasts and bum. We make certain sounds or particular facial expressions. The focus is on the performance.
The key is to move away from pressure and performance and into true pleasure.
Example 2: Your Husband's Body
You can use your husband's body as a tool for your pleasure. His erection is only one tool for your pleasure, if you so desire it. It's not needed, but it's a beautiful possibility.
The same goes for the rest of his body. Use your five senses and explore his hair, neck, or shoulders if you like them. Maybe you want to listen to his heartbeat or explore how his calf muscles feel under your hand. There are so many opportunities for his body to be part of your pleasure!
Pressure is having or feeling like you have to do something. Maybe you feel it's your wifely duty, you feel guilty, or there is actual pressure from your husband for you to take responsibility for his orgasm. That's not enjoyable or something you're going to look forward to!
Performance would be, "Am I doing it right?" You feel you need a sound a certain way or pretend that you're really into it, even though you aren't.
Example 3: Seeing Your Whole Body from a Pleasure Perspective
Your whole body has legitimate pleasure potential. All of your senses are doors leading to pleasure extending way beyond narrowly-defined sexual acts or body parts like breasts, bum, or vulva.
Women are shown to moan, move, and make facial expressions in a particular way, but there's so much more to explore!
Your smell is a legitimate sexual sense, as is your visual delight in your husband's body or your own body. Maybe certain sounds are very pleasurable, like humming, vocalizations, or phrases that your husband says. For example, I love when my husband tells me, "I'm proud of you" or when he says my name over and over again.
Pleasure is an expansive legitimacy of every part of you. This is your sexual experience. You do not have to move into a performance.
It's important to have compassion for yourself in this discovery process because we don't do these things consciously. None of this is our fault and we are not to blame.
This process is about waking up and opening your eyes to the formula we keep trying to put ourselves in and feeling broken because it doesn't work for us.
Pressure would be feeling like you have to like having certain body parts touched. For example, I don't enjoy my breasts being touched, but for so long I felt so much pressure (from my husband and from culture) to make that part of my body part of the sexual experience. I much prefer a hand on my chest or low back or being held tightly. In pressure mode, I tried to force myself to like that again and again, instead of going to what I actually found pleasurable.
In conclusion, enjoying sex more isn't about learning a new position, getting the right vibrator, or knowing the right technique. If you truly want to get to the root of the issue and move toward an experience you find fully satisfying and fulfilling, then your experience must be based in the pleasure realm.
PS - we are now enrolling for the Fall round of Wanting It More, my eight week program to recreate your sex life from the ground up. You can register now! Starts Oct. 4, 2021.