Friday, June 21, 2013

Let's Talk About Sex!


Sex! Sex! Sex! Sex is a hot topic – no pun intended. We all have different names for sex, we all have different views about sex and we all have different comfort levels talking about sex.  But no matter how much we talk, examine and study sex and sexual practices, sex remains one subject that enlightens some and eludes others.  And because of its ability to confuse and confound, amuse and amaze, soothe and satisfy, sex is a topic that will be discussed until the end of time. With so much more to learn and understand about sex, that’s good a thingJ.

Whether you are having sex with a partner, or just having sex with yourself, it is a natural part of life. But even though sex is a natural part of life there are many ways to do it, enjoy it and experience it. So let’s be clear about one thing: there is no such thing as “normal sex”.  When it comes to good ole sex, everybody has his/her own definition of “normal “.  Even though variability and variety are good things, too much difference in sexual beliefs, practices and/or needs can affect relationships. So much so that sex continues to be one of the primary reasons why couples consider counseling.

So what are the main complaints/issues? I am happy that you asked. Couples complain about the lack of sex, the frequency of sex, the lack of variety of sex, the lack of pleasure of sex, the timing of sex, the function of sex, the importance of sex, the need for sex, changes in sex, toys used while having sex, the physical positions involved in sex, the balance of power in sex, what to do during sex, what is considered taboo in sex and the lists goes on.

The reality is that sex is one topic that every couple will address at some point during their relationship.  The failure to effectively address the issue of sex and/or sexual performance can and will affect the overall health of your union.  

Although sex may not be the easiest subject to discuss, it is a topic that must be addressed with honesty, vulnerability, compassion and courage.  In other words, sex is not a topic for wimps. So let’s have a grown up women’s discussion about sex.

First, despite your sexual prowess and your sexual experience, you are STILL a sexual student. Why? Because every new sexual partner requires that you learn new sexual skills, movements, tips, tricks and meanings because no two women are the same. No two women reach climax the same, no two women experience sex the same, no two women’s bodies are the same, no two women’s sexual appetite is the same, and no two women’s needs are the same. Women are wonderfully different; and that’s a plus. If you are honest with yourself, you will admit that you are not always the same sexually either. Your body craves different things, different ways, at different times and for different reasons. And because we all change and our needs change, we are all students, sexual students.

The concept of being a sexual student is difficult for some couples to grasp and accept. Many times during couples counseling one partner will say “I am a good lover. All of the women that I have been with said that I was an attentive lover”. And I gently respond by saying, “I understand that other women have said that, but we are not talking about what other women think, we are talking about this woman, your partner and/or your wife”.

My comment may seem insensitive, but it isn’t.  Why? If you really love a woman or if you really want to make love to a woman in a way that satisfies her, you must be open to learning what makes her sexually happy and what makes her tick. Yes, technically you already know how to lick, rub, touch, twist, kiss, knead, suck, pull and push body parts. That’s the easy part. But what you must learn is how to do those things or what combinations/sequences of those things bring pleasure to your current partner.

If you really want to be a good lover, you have to be a sexual student. You have to be open to discovery, exploration, experimentation and demonstration. You have to be open to learning and unlearning at the same time. If not, you will do things sexually that you are good at, but not those things that please her.

Secondly, having great sex requires that you set aside judgment. Unfortunately, many partners use their own sexual history and their sexual appetites as benchmarks to determine and define “good” sex and the parameters of sex. But let’s consider this: if you enjoy something and you share that information with your partner, and your partner classifies you as “too freaky”, “too nasty”, or “too anything”, that’s a problem. Remember that the moment judgment enters the bedroom, trust and vulnerability go out the window.

Let’s be clear -I am not advocating that you do something sexually that does not work for you. Absolutely Not! I am advocating that you have an open, honest and label free conversation that allows both of you to freely share your sexual desires and needs. Maybe during that conversation you both discover that your sexual needs are too divergent. Or, maybe you discover that your sexual experiences have never exposed you to additional ways to receive or give pleasure.

 Whatever the case, it is important to have the sex conversation, and if possible, have the conversation before you have sex.  If you have already had sex, I recommend having another dialogue and, if possible, have it outside of the bedroom and in an environment of trust. Sex conversations should be ongoing and as Imani Evans likes to say, continue to “talk and touch” and “touch and talk”.

Thirdly, good sex is inextricably linked to emotional health. If you have low self-esteem, poor body image, feel unworthy, racked with shame, don’t feel safe, struggle with demons from your past, lack confidence or suffer from anything else that affects your spirit, your sex life will suffer. Why? Because anything that affects you outside of the bedroom, will somehow creep into the bedroom.  Believe or not, good sex doesn’t just happen between your legs (body). Good sex also happens between your ears (mind) and behind your ribs (heart). And, if one of those 3 is not healthy, your ability and/or desire to have sex may be affected.

So if that is the case, what should you do? I am glad that you asked. 1) Be honest with yourself and your partner. Your partner can only be an ally and an advocate if you share. 2) Seek a counselor to travel with you on your healing journey.  And, know that finding the right counselor/therapist/life coach may take time. You and your counselor must click, and only you can define what “click” means to you. 3) Commit to your own health. Make your physical, spiritual and emotional health top priorities in your life.

Lastly, never make orgasms your ultimate goal. Yes, I know that orgasms are wonderful things to have. They relax you, soothe you, and act as nature’s sleeping aid. However, an orgasm should never be what defines good sex. In fact, sex should never be a goal-oriented activity because it brings undue pressure in the bedroom. Just think about it. If you are trying to time your climax, coordinate your climax, delay your climax, determine if your partner is faking a climax or judge if your partner has had a climax, how can you really enjoy sex? How can you really let yourself go if you are judging, monitoring and assessing sexual performance? How can you free your mind enough so that your body can speak and think for you?

Sex is something to be enjoyed, not graded. And sex is more rewarding and satisfying when it involves passion, touching, openness and escape. Let’s face it – if sex was all about achieving orgasms, many of us would be happy with our vibrators alone. We would not need or crave physical touch or emotional connections. The only things we would need are some good Duracell batteries right?

Remember, sex is about the journey, not the destination. And the journey may or may not involve a physical orgasm. So try to shift the focus from orgasm to the overall act of intimacy. Try to be present emotionally, spiritually and physically with your partner in a way that allows your souls to connect. Try to celebrate her body and allow her to celebrate yours. If you have an orgasm, consider it a wonderful bonus/blessing of a great sexual encounter and/or experience.

As I stated before, sex is not a subject for wimps. It is topic that demands a willingness to be physically, emotionally and spiritually vulnerable and engaged. It is a subject that requires you to unload your emotional baggage and challenge your spiritual assumptions. It is a topic that requires you to learn your body and honor your own spirit. It is a subject that demands that you fully show up as a woman, a powerful woman.

As Imani stated in one of her articles, sex softens you.  It helps you connect and communicate with your partner in ways that words cannot convey. Safe sex is a gift. So enjoy it, relish it, appreciate it and honor it. You deserve it and your partner does too.

I look forward to exploring the connection of sexuality and spirituality in the coming months. So stay tuned. Blessings as you continue to CREATE Love!

SharRon Jamison
Author, I Can Depend on Me



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