There are certain things I hear frequently from clients. Here are some which have come up recently.
"I don’t like my partner ejaculating on my face and I feel so ashamed about that. The girls in porn like it, why don’t I?"
I often hear "Why don't I enjoy doing what I see in porn? What's wrong with me?".Newsflash: Porn is not real life! In the specific instance above, those performers are heading straight to the shower as soon as the cameras stop rolling.
The body positions and the activities shown are for the benefit of the camera and the viewer, not for the performers’ pleasure. That's not to say the performers are not ever enjoying what they are doing. But the primary focus is the viewer's experience, NOT the performers'.
My advice? If you watch mainstream porn, realise it’s entertainment, not ‘real sex’, and do not blindly copy performers’ behaviour. Speak with your partner, communicate what you want and learn what they want.
Related to this but from a different client, after I asked "When you watch [mainstream] porn, what are you actually seeing?” He replied: “People having sex, making love, giving each other pleasure”. No, you’re seeing paid workers doing their job, who are part of a large team of workers, manufacturing and delivering content with the express intention of making you want to watch more of it.
My advice? I’m not saying don’t watch porn or that you can’t enjoy watching it (I do myself from time to time!), but realise it’s not real life and those things are not necessarily what will give you or a partner the most pleasure.
Please consume ethical porn - that means paying for it! Erika Lust is a good director to check out.
“I’m so anxious about initiating a conversation with my partner about sex – what’s wrong with me, why is it so hard?”
This person has NEVER had a conversation about sex with anyone (apart from very recently in coaching with me), and we never see examples of such conversations in film or on TV. We are brought up being told it’s not polite to talk about sex and we shouldn’t ‘need’ to. It’s natural to be intimidated by it.
My advice? Start the conversation by acknowledging how it’s embarrassing and awkward, that you can take your time, and it’s about your shared pleasure. Or watch a documentary or listen to a podcast together then talk about that, rather than directly about your shared sex life. I’ve had messages from all round the world from people who have watched my TEDx Talk and said it sparked the first conversation they’ve ever had with their partner about sex.
“I’ve never looked at my own vulva, the idea freaks me out and kind of disgusts me”.
It’s rare I speak to anyone with a vulva who says they could recognise theirs in a photographic line-up. Isn’t that strange, when it’s easily accessible with a hand mirror? In my opinion the vulva is the most unique part of the human body and we should easily recognise it. When I was a stripper I saw hundreds every week, and every one is different in colour, size and shape. Studies have shown that liking one’s own vulva correlates with high sexual satisfaction and this makes sense. Especially with oral – women spend a huge amount of energy and focus on worrying what their partner is experiencing ‘down there’ that could instead go to enjoying the experience.
My advice? Start by getting familiar with the huge diversity out there – check out The Great Wall Of Vulva; photographer Laura Dodsworth’s work; and @pleasure_portraits on Instagram. Then get a hand mirror and get familiar!
“Until this coaching session I have never considered that sexual play could happen with me not having a hard-on. Or that it could carry on after I cum. That takes away so much stress and pressure!”
The whole body is a sexual playground capable of intense pleasurable sensation. In fact, take an attention-grabbing erect penis out of the equation and there is more room for relaxed exploration of other areas. Though a flaccid penis has the same number of nerve endings and can experience pleasure too! The more we move away from our obsession with penetrative intercourse as ‘real sex’, the more avenues for pleasure open up to us, and the less pressure there is for the person with the penis.
My advice? As a starting point, think of which area of your body is the most sensitive outside of your traditional erogenous zones. For me it’s my forearms. Feet is a common one (and nothing to be ashamed of). Take long luxurious time giving sensation to that area of yourself or to your partner’s chosen area.
To me these kinds of things aren’t surprising as I hear them a lot. What might surprise you though, is that in all the examples above, the clients are over 50 years old.
Our sexual bodies can be a source of intense pleasure and delight that we carry with us and have access to throughout our lifetimes. It’s a tragedy that societal shame, fear-based conditioning, dire ‘sex education’ and the myths perpetuated by both porn and mainstream film, shut this down for so many people. Decades of pleasure for oneself and partners, stress relief, self-soothing, and healthy body awareness are lost.
On the plus side for the clients above: sexual pleasure is something we can enjoy throughout our lifetimes, and 50-plus is not too late to begin this journey!
A participant on my The Passion8 Programme earlier this year told me how after module three, Your Erotic Body, he’d acknowledged to himself and his partner “that I can be more turned on by someone nibbling my neck and whispering in my ear, than by having my penis touched. I think I had always known this deep down, but was ashamed to admit it”.
Let's get honest with ourselves and move past shame that's costing us so much pleasure. Let’s go back to the beginning and explore our whole bodies with an open mind and communicate what feels good to us, as unique beings.
My suggestion this weekend is that you take lots of time to explore an area you don’t usually associate with sex, and see what sensations you can generate. You might just discover a whole new world of pleasure.
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