Talking about sex can be so challenging for many of us, especially while we are in the midst of a whirlwind of action and routine sexual scripts. Unfortunately, without realizing it we may heap mounds of pressure upon ourselves to be perfect sex partners–whatever that means! There are many reasons as to why we may not advocate for what we want, many of which have more to do with our upbringings in general instead of sex, itself. We may not even know what we want in a given moment, because we likely show up and do what we have always done in order to feel good or avoid feeling vulnerable. Perhaps we strive to perform whatever roles and scripts we have absorbed from porn or from our uninformed high school peers. Or, perhaps we elect to “go with the flow” instead of steering towards our own fulfillment because we don’t want to be too much trouble or take up too much space. Maybe on a deep level we feel unworthy of getting what we want. Whatever the cause of our own personal silence, the vast majority of us have never been encouraged to talk openly about our realities and logistics of real sex–the kind of sex that we co-create in realtime with another vulnerable being. When we begin opening up to our partners about what we like, what we want, and what we may not like, we refine our connections and throttle the excitement and authenticity in our sex. As authenticity increases, so does pleasure. Noticing the opportunity to grow into greater expression is a first step toward more fulfilling sex as well as better esteem in general.
Play this game with a lover to practice normalizing the use of intention and direction in your sexual connection. You can do this in a structured way like setting a timer for a specific agreed upon time to take turns being the one who asks for what he wants. Then, swap roles. Direct your lover using “signals”–words, movements, sounds, and gestures. I believe that it’s important to emphasize that our original language is the use of the body, itself, so sometimes even using your hand to guide your partner to where you want to be touched can be a profound revelation. The important feature of this practice is to take turns directing the flow of sex in order to get it just right for yourself and your sex partner. If you happen to be solo, you can still play with these concepts in front of a mirror. Get used to saying aloud what you want and freeing up your body movements.
- Words: “Do it more like this” –and then show him/her/them what you mean.
- Movements: Demonstrate precisely how you touch yourself with respect to speed, pressure, stroke quality, intensity, etc.
- Sounds: Sounds that indicate pleasure can inform your partner as can sounds of displeasure indicate the need for something different. Experiment with forgotten ranges of vocal sound. Challenge yourself to emote through your voice and free up the energy that is often stuck in the throat area.
- Gestures: Think of this like sexual charades–dance for each other, flirt, “cruise” each other. Play with flirty eye contact, body motions, and suggestive movements that can bring improvisation and playfulness into your sex.