Many women have been admonished to take responsibility for their orgasms by learning first how to achieve satisfaction alone and then translating that to a sexual encounter with another person. And this formula does work. Women who masturbate are more likely to achieve orgasm during partnered sex.
But most of the men and women who populate my practice don’t complain they can’t masturbate. Instead, a common unmet need is that of sharing a particular sexual experience with a partner. For instance, some wish their partner(s) would talk “dirty” to them; others dream of incorporating a little kink into the equation.
Many of my heterosexual clients express a desire to experience orgasms through intercourse alone. While statistics point to the improbability of this for women, you can improve your chances of realizing this and any other fantasy with improved communication and intimacy.
Being able to ask for what you want is a crucial part of communication. Yet, most couples are terrified to do so regardless of what they are asking for. What is so scary about asking for what you want?
Many of us have experienced negativity. Perhaps a lover laughed at your fantasy? Or maybe they ignored your request? Worse, your partner may have been eager to please you but despite your expert instructions, they didn’t get it right.
Sex can be particularly problematic because the emotions we experience when we ask for what we want are magnified with feelings such as fear, guilt, embarrassment, and shame. You might worry about coming across as selfish or demanding, or you might be afraid of being seen as perverted or strange.
If there is something you wish you could enjoy with someone special but so far it hasn’t happened, then you are in good company. Most of my clients complain of a disconnect of some sort when it comes to the sex they crave and the kind of sex they actually have. A huge obstacle to broaching a conversation with your partner(s) about the kind of sex you want is the fear of being judged or rejected.
Given the sexual shame that permeates our culture despite the prevalence of sexual imagery, a fear of being ridiculed or punished because of a particular sexual proclivity isn’t unreasonable. In the cultural mix of pornographic sensibilities and religious guilt our own desires morph into judgments about others and ourselves.
In a world riddled with serious problems, how is it that we find so much time to lampoon the sexuality of other people? Witness the long litany of sex scandals preoccupying American media. From Clinton and Lewinsky to Wiener and Twitter, we seem obsessed with a strange cocktail of sexual titillation and condemnation.
In order to extend tolerance and acceptance to your lover(s), you first must accord yourself that courtesy. If you have fantasies you judge as inappropriate or gross, make a point of sharing your fantasies and your feelings with your lover(s). Begin a dialog about what turns you on and what you dream of doing sexually.
Perhaps you have taken great pains to describe in detail what you want your partner(s) to do for you. And yet your frustration only mounts because of the many times you have patiently explained, “a little to the left, a little to the right, faster, slower, harder, softer . . . “ without achieving the desired results.
Perhaps the problem is that your partner is too eager to please you. Believe it or not the desire to please can complicate things. For instance, if your lover has much of their self-esteem invested in making you happy, you may feel like you don’t dare tell them your true feelings. You may smile and say “Thank you sweetie” when what you want to scream is “Not like that!”
Open, honest communication requires the truth and you will be much happier with the results if you master the art of inviting your partner to play with you rather than demanding that they service you. Unless of course that is the kind of kink you enjoy!
A common mistake is that of presenting a request with an apology built into it. It goes something like this: “I wonder if you might want to try something sometime, if you don’t mind, I mean I wouldn’t want you to do anything you didn’t enjoy.” This is best delivered while looking down at the floor, shuffling about and mumbling your words.
And here is an approach guaranteed to elicit contempt: “I don’t like the way you do that and I have never cum that way and yet you keep doing it no matter what I say. Why don’t you care how I feel?”
Asking for what you want works best when you approach your partner(s) with optimism, playfulness, enthusiasm, a smile, a sparkle in your eyes, caring and a willingness to compromise. What are you inviting them to share with you? Yes, watching you experience a mind blowing orgasm probably IS high on their list of things they love to do, but what other joys can this new activity bring into their life?
Stay focused on your connection and affection, allowing the specific request to be secondary to the relationship. And let go of your partner’s response.
You might try saying: “The last time we were together I was overwhelmed with my desire for you and this time there is a very special way I would love to connect with you. Would you like to know what I have been fantasizing about doing with you?!”
Knowing each other’s desires creates a stronger bond and better sex for both (all) of you. There is a really good chance that your partner(s) is hoping you will express your passions. Why not surprise them with a request?
Next Month: What to do if your partner says “No” to the kind of sex you want.