There are two words that women struggle with; Yes and No.
Generally we will say to Yes to anything and No is the word that we really struggle with.
I was in the supermarket today and got chatting to the woman waiting in line behind me (yes, I am one of those people that talk to random strangers) and she was saying how exhausted she was as she has had constant visitors for the past month with more wanting to come and stay over the Easter break and her husband had already said “yeah, sure, no problem” . She is struggling to say “No. No I’m exhausted. No, I need some space”
Learning to use “no” is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself but that is not what this essay is about. What I want to discuss is the trouble that we have with saying ”yes”; Yes to pleasure, Yes to space for ourselves, yes to opening into being present.
*Side note: while writing this I took a short detour around the internet and found this blog post from a forty year old woman who has never orgasmed with her partner* ( Um, seriously? What the absolute fuck??? You see why I am writing this right? We all deserve our orgasm, ladies!)
I’m talking about opening into Yes in our sexual relations because one thing I have noticed is that we limit ourselves. We think that somehow our pleasure has a stop watch on it and we are only allowed to be the centre of attention for x number of minutes before we turn all our attention back to him.
We feel like we don't deserve all that attention.
We worry that he will get bored with us.
We worry that his tongue or his fingers are getting tired.
We feel exposed and vulnerable and so we pull back. We turn our attention back to his needs, his body.
But here is the thing you never hear men limiting themselves to pleasure. If you are dishing it out to them, hey will happily lie back and take it all.
So what makes them different to us?
For starters every movie you have ever seen that has any kind of sex scene in it will focus on male pleasure ( and don't even get me started on porn) but female pleasure is controversial. In fact the movie Blue Valentine was classified as an R17 due to one short scene where actress Michelle Williams character shows pleasure while receiving oral sex from Ryan Gosling's character ( I'm just going to give you a minute to catch your breath right there). The decision was finally overturned but only after much lobbying.
We all seem to be terrified of woman's pleasure but quite comfortable with any sort of violence, rape or objectification of women is perfectly okay. But I digress.
What I really want to explore is how we can take the pressure off ourselves and our partners and legitimize our right to pleasure.
We are worth it.
We deserve it and here is the kicker we are the ones that have the only organ as part of our bodies that are designed purely for pleasure - the clitoris. But God being a teeny bit twisted he gave with one hand (our clitoris) and then took with the other (it takes a women twenty minutes -give or take- to achieve orgasm whereas blokes get the job done in under 7 minutes).
One of the first things we need to understand is that our orgasms are inextricably linked with our sense of self confidence and well being ( if you don't believe me check out Naomi Wolf's book Vagina for all the scientific data). Women's orgasms are far more intense and life enhancing than we have been led to believe and it is up to us to give ourselves permission to open into them.
Believe it or not men want to please us. They take great delight in exploring the complexity of our genitals. Sure they might get a bit carried away at times. They might change strokes or positions till you feel like a burger continually being flipped but with delicate coaching they will bend over backwards ( if that's what you need) to help you achieve your big "O".
But ( and it is a big But) we have to be willing to open our mouths and tell them what we need. They are not mind readers and every woman is different! The research shows that the nerves in the pelvis are wired differently for every woman so that some can achieve orgasms through clitoral stimulation, some from penetration, some can have G spot orgasms and some can have cervical orgasms - no two women are wired the same . All types of orgasm can instill in us a deep sense of well being, self confidence and bursts of creativity and yet we are unwilling or too shy to ask for what we need.
Our hesitancy around stating our sexual desires also comes from our natural state of being a giver whereas sexual union requires both participants to give and receive at various stages. We also seem to think that we will damage our partner's fragile ego if we state our desires and at the same time we freak out that what we want is somehow not "normal" yet if you have read any of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" books you will know that "normal" looks different to different people.
Taking the time to talk openly and honestly with your partner outside of the bedroom and outside of a sexual context can help to establish trust so that taking the leap into discussing all things sexual is done on a strong foundation of openness and trust.
Open, soften, trust. Lather, rinse repeat as necessary. Just keep opening and softening. Forget the clock - it has no part to play. Let your partner decide how long they want to pleasure you (and then return the favour). Most importantly just keep opening, softening and trusting.