We are happy to partner with relationship and sex therapist Mia Fine to help you with your most intimate queries and concerns. Hear her thoughts on challenging your sex-pectations.
Okay, unpopular opinion time: maybe there’s no such thing as foreplay!
Maybe the term “foreplay” reinforces the notion that sex equals penetration and that anything leading up to it is just a means to an end. So if foreplay isn't necessarily a prerequisite for sex, perhaps we should reconsider the definition of sex.
Take a minute and ask yourself, what is your definition of sex?
Does your own concept of sex mean penetration? Does it always lead to orgasm? Or is it an activity that elicits pleasure? Does sex have to involve genitals? Or is it simply erotic touch? Can you have sex solo? Or does it involve a plus one, or a plus two?
Sex might mean something different to you than it does to me. What’s important is that we understand what sex means to us individually, not only to share this info with our partners but also so we can better know ourselves.
One thing is certain: we human beings are goal-oriented AF. Whether taught by society or our families of origin or shaped by human nature’s drive to survive, we are often oriented towards achieving orgasm rather than experiencing pleasure. We get so wrapped up in the busyness of life, that we forget to allow ourselves time for what is innate to all of us: pleasure.
Healthy expectations tend to line up with reality and the reality is this: you do not need to orgasm every time you make love. If your expectation is that arousal inevitably leads to orgasm, you are likely setting yourself up for failure. Sometimes climax doesn’t happen, so instead of powering through and feeling frustrated, shift those sex-pectations!
Try this: take orgasm off of the table (for a day, or a week, or however long you choose) and get creative about how you have sex, about how you feel pleasure, and about how you experience intimacy.
Taking orgasm off of the table - or the dryer, or the bathtub, or the kitchen floor - is an invitation to tap into your erotic senses and search your partner, search yourself for clues. Chances are, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with what you find. Tell your partner exactly where and when and how to touch you, and learn their hot spots too. As I tell my clients, “aim to tease, aim to please”.
And remember, consent is sexy! Continue checking in with your partner, and make sure their pleasure is above all else, your pleasure. In doing this, who knows, your definition of sex might just evolve.
One last note, the best lovers tend to be the lovers who take their time to learn what is uniquely pleasurable to their partners. They ask, they listen, they learn, and if they’re into it, they do. And how beautifully cool that you get to do that for your lovers too.
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