The case of stamina vs. pleasure: is lasting longer worth it if you’re not having fun?

The post “Why Lasting Longer in Bed isn’t REALLY What She Wants”on The Good Men Project is interesting. If you’re not subscribed to this website yet, definitely give it a look.

I’ve written articles in the past about improving stamina (naturally, not with any of those horrendous numbing products) yet I’ve never actually considered what might happen in that extended time. The author discusses men who want to last longer in bed and how their partners may not actually care so much about lasting longer. They might have other more important needs that aren’t being met.

Though the article is framed as men and women I think that this conversation is important for any combination of genders. There is really a common perception that longer is, in some way, better. This is similar to the idea that bigger is better. These ideas are passed down through media (film and tv jokes about “coming too soon” or gags about “small penises”) and perpetuated in day to day life by people who just want to have a good time.

These are super harmful ideas because the ability to last longer in itself doesn’t really add anything to the experience if you’re not already having a good time. I think that’s really important and something that the author touched on as well.

The rate of people who are actually ejaculating prematurely is fairly low. To be classified as a PE’er you’re going to have to be having intercourse for about 15 seconds before ejaculation. I would guess – though I’m not certain – that a lot of men consider a few minutes premature, when it’s simply a matter of being excited or not knowing when to slow down and pace yourself (among other possible explanations.)

If time isn’t a problem – or once you’ve solved the problem of time – the focus should be 100% on making sure that both partners are having fun. That means strengthening other things besides your pubic muscles.

It’s also important to recognize what things get you closer to an orgasm more quickly. Going fast may be perceived as the quickest way to get to an orgasm. However, mental stimulus (roleplaying, dirty talk, a sexy body) can get you there quick too. So can a clench of the kegels, a different angle of the body, or an addition of lubrication.

Instead of putting so much pressure (and attention) on stamina, pull back a few steps and work on answering this important question: what do you like best, and what does your partner like best, and how can you best use that time so you both leave satisfied?

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You must be uncomfortable with your own sexuality

Twitter is a breeding ground for really horrible discourse. Really just awful. If you can challenge yourself to have intellectual conversations with people in Twitter, more power to you, give it a real shot. It’s totally doable, but boy is it hard.

One interesting hashtag I follow on twitter is #sexuality. Half the time it’s stuff I don’t care too much about. Every now and then you get to see a trend hit and it’s fascinating to watch the stream begin to change. That happened this morning around 9am when the world was introduced to Ms. Caitlyn Jenner.

What I wanted to mention specifically was this quote:

“Just because I have an opinion or whatever about his gender doesn’t mean I’m uncomfortable with my own sexuality.” (Usually followed by stfu, fag, douche, or other such pleasantries.)

Such an interesting idea that I would like to argue in favor of (and then argue against.)

It can be very difficult to be comfortable with your sexuality. Most of us grow up in an environment that consistently reinforces heterosexuality. For a lucky few, it is possible to discover yourself in the midst of those messages and come out with your true identity, the thing you’d been all along. For others, heterosexuality is something that they’ve simply adopted, assume themselves to be, or actually are. Heterosexuality is both the default and for the moment, the perceived norm.

As the messages about sexuality change, that can really heat up the pot. People who have been simmering in ignorance (of sexuality) or fear (of their own sexuality) can become agitated by all of these things they don’t understand and all of these things they fear.

It is much more likely that someone who doesn’t like themselves is going to respond with a “why couldn’t they just be male?” remark. It could very likely be self-reflective. “Why can’t just be male?” Ignoring or straight out rejecting new trans, gay, bi, or otherwise non-mainstream figures can be a way to prevent oneself from accepting the same stories for themselves.

I also believe that people who have the most anger or sadness have the most to figure out. People who have to spend a lot of time talking about other peoples very personal business are generally putting off dealing with a lot of their own personal business.

I feel as though a statement like “you must be uncomfortable with your own sexuality” is inflammatory. It adds nothing productive to the conversation. It is just as wrong to make assumptions or judgements about that person – even if they are acting a fool.

If you feel a desire to lash out on people who are different than you or make judgements about the way they choose to live their lives, it may be a good time to question your own life, and the happiness you are or aren’t experiencing. Be honest with yourself and who you are and equally you will learn to value and appreciate others that do the same.

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Q: I think I’m trans* but I don’t know how to profile myself

Hi, I hate to bother you again. I am very,very confused by this realization I discovered about myself last week. I have it listed below in quick points: 1) I believe myself to be transgendered (closeted). 2) I am attracted to men. 3) I hired a life coach to help get my life in order. 4) She had me try online dating ,profiling myself as “gay” but describing myself as eventually becoming MTF trans. I had previously had a profile as a CD, planning on transitioning. 5) As I tried to find matches, and sent out messages,no one returned any. I have never had this problem before dating women when I was trying to cover my true feelings, or as a CD. 6) I felt kind of wrong seeking gay men. Nervous and like I was doing the wrong thing. I had no such feelings seeking str8 guys in previous profile. what’s wrong with me?

It sounds to me that if you are a MTF transgender person, despite not being fully-open and out at this moment, you still might view yourself as heterosexual. More simply put, without the labeling, you might prefer men that prefer women. You want men who want women, not men who want men. If it’s this simple, it makes complete sense to me. If you do not view yourself as a man or identify as a man, why would you want a partner who wanted you to be a man?

The problem with dating sites – at least in my previous experience – is that they rely heavily on sorting techniques. This means you enter things like your sexual orientation or your gender in order to get matched with someone else. Well, those things might not always be clear, or constant. They might not always match up with what you’re looking for, or with what someone else is looking for.

If it feels wrong to seek out gay men, don’t seek out gay men. While gay might cleanly describe how you look right now, a man looking for another man, there’s clearly a lot more depth to who you are. That simply just doesn’t begin to describe it.

Labels make things easy for people to understand. This may be why you experienced success with cross dressing. There was that label that told people what to expect. Using the label trans may offer similar assistance in finding dates. I realize there is a lot of pressure in figuring out where you fit in, who you are, and what you want. Gender and sexuality are complex and fluid and sometimes it can take a while. Sometimes people just shrug and go with queer.

If you’re not ready to commit to something, continue to think on ways of expressing who you are and what you’re looking for that don’t put you in these boxes.

Good luck!
Do you have a question about sex or love? Submit at the top by hitting ask advice and I’ll answer it on my blog.

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The good _____ narrative: On the Gender Binary… and Other Bullshit

It seemed like it was only a matter of time until Bruce Jenner announced what everyone had been inappropriately speculating about for months. Why are we so interested in the sexuality of other people – especially people that we don’t know? In Jenner’s case – his life has been a showcase, a staple of modern American television.Yet for now, a brief moment at least, the spotlight shines away from the boisterous daughters to the quiet father. And everyone is asking the same question: what does it all mean?

At least, some variation of this question. When did you know? What did it feel like? What changes have you made? What changes are you going to make? Because when you come out, especially as a celebrity, your sexuality is for a moment even more important than it usually is.

In many cases we desire to find a good narrative. A narrative that makes sense to us. A narrative that explains how someone could wait until they were in their 60s before they knew this about themselves. We want to understand it. To break down the pieces of these humans and build them back up so we know how they work.

The good narrative varies depending on what we know of a person. This is one trans narrative I’m becoming familiar with from reading these stories: Oh, I knew my whole life I was trans. I always played with girl toys even though I was a boy. I felt like I was in the wrong body. I was told I was a boy but I was a girl. 

This is an easy swap. It’s something that can be placed within our existing schema of gender. You were a boy, but you were really a girl, or you somehow became a girl. We can draw a little line from plot a to plot b and somehow at least acknowledge that there was a beginning, a middle, and an end. That’s comforting.

But gender isn’t comforting. It doesn’t always have some easy to define end point. It’s easy to look at public pieces like this and say “so he’s a woman?” but within Jenner’s own words we can see that’s not the case. Gender is more complex than simply “once man/now woman.” Gender is about presentation. It’s about behavior. And in our society, it’s often tied to what our bodies look and feel like.

Where do we fit in this knowledge to our already well-established and routinely reinforced societal ideas of gender? If you’re a man it’s assumed you’re going to look/feel/touch/talk/act and otherwise genetically be a man. If you’re a woman, the same. If you’re trans, the story is that you desire to exist within that binary too. Someone who is trans wants to completely shift from one gender to the next. This is just as wrong as me, as a cis-woman, desiring to be precisely every single way a woman is a woman. (Whatever that means.)

We’re seeing (and will continue to see) that people exist all along a gender spectrum. Regardless of what their bodies look like, or what their genetic makeup is, gender is breaking out of the binary. And now it’s touched down to the mainstream.

Other superstars have come out with their own stories in the past few years. Laverne Cox, for instance, slays in powerful speech, written word, performance. But is there some truth to this article on feminist current that points out that it’s not necessarily empowering to sculpt your body to fit into some long-lived paradigm?

Here’s my bottom line: there’s no one story of what it means to be trans. There’s also no one story of what it means to be a boy, or a girl, or bisexual, or heterosexual. But we will constantly see the media try to present it as there is one great coming of ____. A great coming of trans. A great coming of gay. A great coming of poly. Gender and sexuality are always over-simplified. When we are presented with something new and difficult to understand, we create a good, easy to read narrative. Yeah, these are the little golden books for adults.

The more people that come out and say this is who I am, and this is what it means to me, the greater understanding we’ll have of one simple truth. We are all different and we are all the same.

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Q: Waiting Until marriage… kinda?

My (23m) partner (24f) wants to wait until she is married to have sex (anything except to vagina/anal is ok) and I’m ok with this but I want to make sure we are communicating about sex so we aren’t going into our relationship blind. Is there a way we can still figure out if we are sexually compatible without having sex?

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This is a really difficult question to explore, because so much of sex is a journey, a constant unfolding of questions that you’re asking one another. It’s not as though putting your penis inside of her will call out a definite “yes this will work” or “no this will not work.”

It’s the open communication and actually trying things that can help you figure out that chemistry. If we think of it like that, you can definitely figure out a lot of stuff pre-marriage without actually having penetrative sex.

However, you are also missing out on a lot. For some people, that penetrative sex is the key. That’s the thing that really encompasses sex. And because they give it so much meaning, it holds so much meaning. The more meaning you give it, the more meaning it holds. So even if you do have great chemistry together, that first time you have sex after marriage, it can be kind of startling.

I hear this a lot: It was great, it was everything I thought it would be, but at that point I wasn’t quite sure why we waited.

We – and the culture we’re in – wrap up a lot of meaning in sex. And that meaning is absolutely there. It is emotional. It is physical. There are so many factors: romance, well-being, intimacy, understanding of the body and mind. Then there’s a lot of gunk that gets mixed in. Others opinions about romance. Faulty ideas about well-being. Confusion about what intimacy we want or need. Ignorance about the body. The inability to connect body and mind.

My one concern in all of this is that your girlfriend will want to have sex after marriage, but will carry those sex-negative mentalities that many who are abstinent hold. My concern would be that she still views sex as something that influences her self-worth.

Not everyone is like this. Not everyone who waits sees sex this way. But many times, it can be deeply tied to your sense of self. And that’s where you have to be careful.

So here’s what I would suggest. Learn to be sex-positive together. You can be sex-positive without having penetrative sex. Easily. Talk to each other openly and honestly about what you like and don’t like. Read books about sexuality – all kinds of sexuality. Gay, straight, bi, wibbly-wobbly, oral sex, vaginal sex, anal sex, kinky sex, sexual positions, sexual health, anatomical guides, videos, comic books, online blogs, everything. Be consuming machines. And get really good at the things you do like to do together. Whether that’s rubbing against each other, making out, teasing one another, touching, talking to one another, oral sex, fingering, mutual masturbation, you name it. Exist in a space together where the sex you are having is good, positive, healthy, we-love-sex kinda sex.

And be clear about why it is you’re holding on to that penetrative sex. Be clear why it is you’re waiting. And acknowledge truly and openly that when you do have sex together it will be special because it’s special. Not more or less than that.

Beware of warning signs as you’re intimate with one another. Can you communicate cleanly and easily? Do you struggle, but gain progress? Do you feel comfortable talking to your partner about sex? Are there compromises? Do you both respect each others feelings? Do you both feel satisfied? When you’re with one another, does it feel sexual? Does it feel sensual? Do you throughly enjoy the time you spend with one another?

These are questions that you might find you ask continuously throughout your relationship, married or un-married. Sometimes the answer will be no, and thats when you need to ask harder questions. Is this someone I want to be with? Is this someone I want to work with sexually, intimately, romantically? Do we equally want to invest in each other?

While I phrase the extent of this post around a heteronormative relationship (the penis, the vagina, the great and majestical “virginity”) this same mentality can easily be shared with same-sex couples as well. All that matters is what we perceive to be sex. Those boundaries that we create for ourselves.

It is helpful exploring sex before marriage because you can lay these foundations. You can lay that ground work together and grow that little triangle of your relationship pie. You can see what it means to be sexual with that person – and you can see if that person is going to want to and be able to work with you to a mutually satisfying end.

Do you have a question about sex or love? Submit at the top by hitting ask advice and I’ll answer it on my blog.

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Good Friends Talk About Sex

I have a friend who I talk to about sex whenever we hang out. She has told me numerous times that she does not experience a lot of pleasure in bed: orgasms, swelling, heart rate, fantasies, moaning. Nothing. She just shrugs it off like it’s no big deal but I’m appalled that she isn’t trying to make it better. How can I help her? How can I convince her that her sex should feel good and not just be something she does?

It can be so helpful to talk about your sex life with friends you are comfortable with. It can help you normalize the very real things that people do in the bedroom. You would be surprised that the experiences you have are experiences that your friends share.

It is unclear why your friends sexuality looks the way it does.

She might have grown up in an environment that reinforced the idea of sex as dirty/bad. Maybe she never learned that women can own their sexuality. If she sees sex as a secondary aspect of her relationship, she may not have thought of it as something she could improve.

On the other hand. She may be actively working to improve her sex life, but feels shame or frustration around the subject. Instead of expressing that to you, she’s shrugging it off like its NBD. It might be hard to her to talk about sex because she feels like she’s run into a dead end. She might feel like she’s tried it all and there’s nothing left to do but sigh and shrug.

It could be that she is unsure how to ask for help and is poking you for information. You could use this time to ask questions or give your own experience.

For instance, if she says something like “nothing he does feels good so I’ve given up” you could say “do you two talk to each other about that?” This can give you more information about whether or not it’s something she wants to share.

If that brings about more shrugs, how about a little story? Try to share a story that provides a similar problem as well as a solution.

“I used to date this guy named Jake and he did this weird thing with his tongue that actually turned me off. So one night when he was going down on me I asked him to move his mouth down a little bit and it felt so good! So I moaned and told him that it felt amazing and now that’s the way he goes down on me all the time.”

Some people need time to feel comfortable talking to their friends about sex. Some tiptoe into it, looking for approval that the conversation can continue. Some people mention it in passing and don’t even know that there is a conversation held within.

We all enter into sexuality at different places. There are so many things that influence our experiences! Our gender, our sexuality, our upbringing, our religion or lack thereof, our education, our personal exploration, our mental and physical health, and so much more. Throw into that the combination of your partners sexuality and sometimes there’s work to be done!

The next time you are with your friend I would suggest bringing up the subject of sex again. Try to work it out a little bit with her – either by asking gentle questions or by providing your own stories. Just have a natural conversation about sex. See where it takes you. Where you can provide knowledge (“sex can feel good!”) do it! But do so in a way that respects that the journey is hers. She’s going to have to take those steps. She’s going to have to want to.

If you have an opportunity, suggesting books for her to read can help. Even if your friend is well educated in sex and her own body, literature can always make a difference. It can give us new ideas, or inspire old ones. It can help us figure out where our hangups are and how to move past them. It can give us new ways to spice up our relationships – or tips and tricks to find new relationships.

Good luck!

Do you have a question about sex or love? Submit at the top of the page by hitting ask advice and I’ll answer it on my blog.

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Married and Unsatisfied: Is it too late to talk about sex?

Tomorrow morning I have a post queued about the book The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted. In the midst of finishing this book up, I wanted to pop up one post ahead of time regarding some problematic language.

Though the book itself has a lot of good ideas, the language used in the book can be a struggle for me to read. A lot of it reinforces ideas of men do this, women do this, even as it actively tries to tell the reader that gender doesn’t necessarily matter.

The chapter I just finished is the most problematic. “You mean we have to work at sex?” Chapter Seven.

For context, here are two quotes within a page of one another:

Our maleness and femaleness is a righteous idea. There is nothing dirty about our sexual organs. They are exactly as God intended them to be. 

Okay, that’s not so bad. Even within religion he is saying that sex is good. Then, the cliff breaks, and we fall into despair.

Clearly, many couples, particularly in the early years of marriage, need to deal with the baggage of past experience. The commonly held idea is that sexual experience before marriage better prepares you for marriage. Research indicates otherwise. n fact, the divorce rate among those who have had previous sexual experience is higher than those who have had no sexual experience before marriage. The reality is that previous sexual experience often becomes a psychological barrier in achieving sexual oneness in marriage.

That’s right. If you’ve had sex before marriage your sexual dissatisfaction may actually be a productive of fucking around.

Nevermind the huge confounds here. If you were a Christian and had previously had intercourse, perhaps you had done it in a first marriage. Then, you had gotten married for a second time, and had intercourse again. Given the statistics that most second marriages are more likely to fail than the first, how exactly (and why exactly) is sex the guilty party here?

But the chapter goes on – some partners go years without experiencing pleasure in their relationships. They don’t learn to communicate about sex. And to me, this is the real secret of sexual pleasure. Not how many people you’ve had sex with. But how openly and honestly you are able to communicate your needs.

People enter into sex from all kinds of different places. Their first time, their 500th time, a history of abuse, a broken heart. Communication takes us from a place of not knowing to a place of knowing.

But what does it mean to communicate, and more importantly, if  you are figuring out years into your relationship that you need to communicate, is it too late?

Believing it is too late to communicate to good sex can be a key reason people don’t reach out to improve their sex lives. Particularly for couples who feel pleasure is taboo, or don’t believe that they can achieve pleasure.

I can’t believe that having previous sexual partners discredits your pleasure or presents inherent psychological barriers. It’s absurd to believe that such a large percentage of the population is out there feeling bad about themselves for enjoying their bodies. The thing thats making them feel badly about themselves are people who stand on the corners and say “you should feel bad about yourself.” (In this case, it would be the pressures of anti-sex religious non-sense, which is thankfully not the entirety of religion.)

If you feel that you have waited too long to communicate, especially if you:

1. Actively experience disinterest in something you and your partner do

2. Have never achieved an orgasm with your partner

3. Deeply desire to have a more pleasurable sexual connection with your partner

Try this:

Sit with your partner and, separately, write out three lists.

The first list: Five things you enjoy

This could be things you already get enough of or things you’d like to do more of. (You can make the distinction if you feel comfortable.) This could be anything.

“I like how long we have sex. The sessions are a good amount of time.”

“I like when you go down on me and do that thing with your hand.”

The second list: Things that you would like to try

This list is arguably harder than the next list. To confess things you would like to try puts you out there. You must make it clear that this is a safe and open space where all ideas are welcome.

The third list:  Things that you’d like to do less (or not at all!)

The intent of this list is not to say “I hate these things! I’ve just never gotten a chance to say so!” It’s an opportunity to move away from things that just don’t do it for you and move towards the previous two lists. Again, if you feel comfortable you can differentiate between things you’d like to do less or not at all. Ideally couples would be open and honest about things they were not interested in doing from the very beginning.

Now compare your lists. Find spaces in list two where you can explore together. Work on including more from list one. And talk in depth about list three. Make these conversations a regular part of your intimate space.

As you learn to more freely speak about the things you like and don’t like, begin to communicate during sex. Tell your partner to move their hand, or slow down, or speed up, or to change positions. If you can feel you would like a certain kind of stimulation, ask for that, or stimulate yourself.

If you aren’t accustomed to talking about sexuality there may be a little blinking red light going off. What if you don’t know how to get yourself off, and what if you don’t know how to talk about anatomy? Getting to understand ones body and learning more about sex and sexuality can help you so much in passing along knowledge to your partner. Asking questions and reading books can help you communicate better and more clearly what your needs are.

We all have different beliefs when it comes to sex. Some people wait until marriage. Some people don’t have sex at all. What is important is not falling into ideas of sex-negativity that are beautifully dressed up as sex-positivity. The sex drive is NOT necessarily more emotional for women than men! (P. 102, ungghhhh.) Sometimes women want to get off, too! Sometimes women are visual beings, too! We are all unique. We all have needs. We ALL have preferences!

Communicating about sex is good, and we should do it all along, but some people don’t. And it doesn’t mean that it’s too late for you. There is always time to open up that dialogue and to work towards a healthier and happier sexuality. Whatever that means for you.

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What is the difference between bisexual and pansexual?

Hi suggestive! I love your blog and been following you for, gosh, 3/4 years now? Anyway, I have a question to ask and I thought you would be the best person to be able to address it. It may be a rather complicated question, as I am having trouble answering it myself, since the topic could be considered complex, as sexuality is for many.

I understand the definitions of bisexual and pansexual, and to help form my question I’m going to leave some google definitions.

bisexual: sexually attracted to both men and women.

pansexual: not limited in sexual choice with regard to biological sex, gender, or gender identity.

Now, in my view, if a person assigns themselves an identity in regards to sexuality (assuming they are assigning it solely being true to themselves), that person is picking the best label for them. I recently identified myself as bisexual, a label I’ve been putting off for awhile now, because I understand sexuality is fluid and I felt no need to assign myself a label. However, recently I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m attracted to both men and women, and have always known I could fall in love with a man (actually I’m in love with one now yay). Although I always knew I was attracted to women (and had crushes on them), I wasn’t always certain I could fall in love with a woman, because I’ve never been in a intimate relationship with one.

However, I don’t think you necessarily need to be in a relationship with a certain gender to know your sexuality, and I personally feel 90% positive that I could fall in love with a women, if the opportunity were to arise.

I’m currently given the above information to help delve into the question at hand. If a person identifies as bisexual, wouldn’t it seem likely they could be more suited for the term pansexual? Considering a bisexual person is attracted to both men and women, and thus all body parts, what stops that person from believing they are pansexual? If your attracted to both sexes aren’t you then attracted to all people? I know some people may not want to gender themselves, but still, they have the body of either (or both) sexes. I’m sorry if this didn’t come across as clearly as I may have wanted.

This is a great question. It’s also a question that has got me thinking, which is appreciated.

It comes down to a belief in gender identity, and a preference in labeling. Bisexual is older language and so it restricts more closely to the gender binary. You like men and women. It is inclusive, but does not directly confront gender as politics. There may be an implied tone that these are cisgender men and women. Men and women who were born men and women and identify as men and women.

Pansexual opens up bisexuality to include transgender people, intersex people, and like you said – people that don’t necessarily gender themselves. In other words, someone who is pansexual is more or less bisexual, but someone who is bisexual is not necessarily pansexual.

Someone who is bisexual may have a more fine line on what makes a man and a woman. They may appreciate a woman for being feminine and womanly, they may appreciate a man for being masculine and manly. Someone who is pansexual may bend those lines more freely – lets say, someone who was misidentified as a man at birth, lives as a woman, but still has a penis.

Labels are made to fill in blanks in our language, ways to describe things. As we explore the subject of gender, new language is created to discuss things in ways that we feel are most accurate. Pansexual makes room for people who do not see gender as a binary. Bisexual is a simpler (and often times much easier) way to say that you like men and women.

I think I most frequently identify as bisexual because if I’m discussing my sexuality at all, it is to pass along a message to someone else. Because not everyone is super ultra-aware of this language, I found bisexual the easiest language to pass along a simple message. “I am not straight.” In that sense, identifying as pansexual may also open you up (or restrict you) to others who are interested in gender identity or agree that gender is not a binary.

Do you have a question about sex or love? Submit at the top by hitting ask advice and I’ll answer it on my blog. 

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Can’t Orgasm Without Clitoral Stimulation?

i think i may have messed myself up for life. i started masturbating as a teenager and now i cannot have an orgasm without clitoral stimulation (for a long time too) i love my husband but vaginal sex is just not as pleasurable as clitoral sex. is there anything i can do to remedy the situation. and yes, there are times that i will provide the clit stim during penetration. but i was hoping that i could learn a way to have an orgasm through vaginal stim. is this possible?

You absolutely did not mess yourself up. Everything you said sounds precisely run of the mill, i.e. you are perfectly normal 🙂

Women often masturbate by stimulating their clit because it is packed with the highest number of nerve endings. It’s pretty common for women to masturbate primarily by stimulating their clit because it just happens to feel the best. Though it is possible to have an orgasm without direct clitoral stimulation (through things like anal play, or nipple play) I reckon that most female bodied orgasms are a result of clitoral stimulation. In fact, even when your partner is penetrating you, he’s likely rubbing up against the body of your clit in some way that adds to your overall arousal.

So even though its a “vaginal orgasm” (an orgasm led on through stimulation of the vagina) its somewhat misleading to say your vagina was stimulated to make you orgasm. It’s probably a whole number of things. Your vagina being stimulated, your clit being stimulated, your g-spot being stimulated, the weight of his body on top of you and the arousal you get from that, any kissing or touching of your whole body, any potential dirty talk you might exchange, and so forth.

There is rarely just one thing that contributes to an orgasm. A whole bunch of different factors coalesce and bam, fireworks.

It is also not unusual for the female orgasm to take significantly longer than the male orgasm. I’m not sure what “a long time” means, but depending on other variables, you could be stimulating your clitoris for a solid hour before you orgasm.

A couple things that can vary the amount of time you’re having sex:

1. Mental arousal: If you are very mentally aroused, you are more likely to respond to the physical, if you’re less mentally aroused, you’re less likely to respond to the physical. That means if you really get in the right headspace before sex you may find that it’s easier to orgasm. If your head is all over the place and you’re not in the moment, it’s going to take longer to orgasm.

2. Having the right environment: For some people, environment makes a huge difference in how they feel during sex. That could mean where they’re having sex, the lighting, the temperature, the music, any other visuals or smells. Things that influence your senses will influence the kind of sex you’re having. Things that arouse you will help bring you into the right state of mind quicker.

There are also positions you can share with your partner that stimulate the clit more directly. In missionary or cowgirl, explore various angles so that his body presses or rubs against your clit with each thrust. You may or may not want to add lubrication to help it feel more slick. Once you find that position, grinding together can give you a more intense version of what it feels like when you’re touching your clit yourself.

Yes, and continue playing with yourself. I’m not sure why we’ve attached some shame to that, but sex is about feeling good, and if you want to reach around and play with your clit I think you should do it. You could also tell him to do it for you, or grab a small vibrator. Other toys like vibrating cock rings can also provide added clitoral stimulation during sex that may or may not help you reach an orgasm.

Bottom line: have your sigh of relief. It is possible to have enjoyable penetrative sex, but you have to be willing to explore that it might not look like what you thought it looked like. Be open to finding new ways to include clitoral stimulation in your penetrative sex by communicating with your partner what positions feel best. Remember that mental arousal and different types of stimulation before penetrative sex can help everything feel more sensitive. And remember that figuring out what feels best is half the fun of having sex, so enjoy it along the way.

Have a question about sex or love? Submit at the top by hitting ask advice and I’ll answer it on my blog.

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Coming Out Day: Post #39103 About My Sexuality

Four years ago I was really into the idea of coming out. I don’t know if four years of college has helped me understand more about that process or if it has totally disillusioned me.

2010 – Coming out is important because you should be proud of your sexuality! It’s okay, we’re here for you.

2011 – Tell me your stories! Share your wounds! I want to know who you are and why you’re that way! 

2012 – I guess it’s kind of hypocritical to tell everyone to come out when you’re privileged enough to live in Portland and live in a bubble where no one cares what your orientation is. 

2013 – I mean, we’re basically all sexually fluid anyways. Why do we need to come out as anything at all?

2014- Screw it. I’m tired. I’m getting a latte. Why am I still talking about this. 

I guess I’m tired because I’ve been coming out since I was sixteen. In some way or another, I’m always coming out. I’m coming out as sexually active or I’m coming out as heterosexual or I’m coming out as heteroflexible or I’m coming out as bisexual or I’m coming out as polyamorous or I’m coming out as sexually fluid or I’m coming out as monogamous or I’m coming out as queer. What an exhausting fucking process always having to analyze and come up with a pretty box for how I happen to feel about gender and sex all the god damn time. I’m lucky that I live in a place and am surrounded by people that allow me to do this with little friction.

I mean, it’s not like anyone is asking me these questions. I don’t have a steady stream of people coming up to me like “Hey, it’s a Wednesday and I’ve noticed you’re not behaving like the sexuality you had marked on your last form. Would you like to update your status?” 

Yet, somehow, I am still always aware of how my thoughts and actions fit into the schema around me. Maybe I do this to find guidance, or answers. Maybe it’s just my brain trying to make sense of who I am and why I am the way that I am.

I wish we lived in a place where sexuality wasn’t broken down into bits and pieces and people just were. Where coming out wasn’t necessary because no one cared and it had no influence on absolutely anything else in our lives. But… it does. Even without the politics of sexuality, sexuality is still a part of our identity in some way or another. And the more people who come out, the more we continue to strive for equality, and a greater understanding of what sexuality really is.

So I’m coming out. I dunno what I’m coming out as this year. But there you have it. Hello, I’m here. If you’re making a count of people who give a shit about things being fair and equal, make sure my names on the list!

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