Caution: there’s a wee bit of adult language ahead!
We all fight about sex.
Why? Because sex means so many things to us. It’s a symbol of attractiveness. It’s a way we express love. It’s a place to pin self-worth.
It is also a barometer for whether a relationship is healthy and gratifying. It reinforces love for each other.
When sex doesn’t go the way we think it should, it can be an emotional tsunami that leaves nothing but wreckage, tears, and smashed dishes.
But where do these expectations come from? I read an article today that said most men last between two and seven minutes before ejaculating during sex. That is a far cry from the all night love making we see in movies.
And porn, well, forget about it—according to porn every man has an eight inch steel rod in his pants and anal sex never hurts (Ha).
Let’s not forget the ever popular, “Well but the last time. . .” syndrome of comparing our sexual experiences to when it was really hot (which therefore implies that whatever you are currently doing as less good and probably wrong).
Then the maybe (s)he doesn’t love me as much thought comes in, and forget it— you might as well turn on the new episode of Boardwalk Empire.
All of these mental minefields of insecurity and expectations takes us away from how amazing the current moment actually is.
So, here are some things to bear in mind as we navigate the rugged terrain:
Sexual appetite tends to fluctuate.
Some weeks I really want to have sex all of the time (especially the week before my period) and some weeks I’m just not interested. It doesn’t mean anything other than the fact that my body is an organic, living, breathing thing.
Sexual fulfillment and/or attraction is not based on erections and ejaculation.
if he’s not hard he might just be nervous, and it probably has nothing to do with the cheesecake you had for dessert last week. The key here is to talk about it in a judgement-free way, and then keep going (pretending like neither of you notice just makes the whole thing more awkward). Remember that sexual intercourse is awesome, but there is so much else on the menu that is so, so tasty.
We all come with our own baggage: don’t pick up your partners’.
If she doesn’t orgasm right away, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad lover. When you get insecure around your partner’s sexual hangups you exponentially increase the dysfunction. Instead, know the person in front of you finds you attractive (which is why they are sleeping with you) and trust that he or she wants to be there. Then, address whatever is going on from that mental place.
Physical intimacy is one of the major joys we get as human beings. Without sounding too woo-woo, (even though I did recently move to the west side of LA, so maybe it’s rubbing off on me) every expression of vulnerability and opening ourselves to others is pretty darn beautiful.
The hard part is remembering that.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: all.consuming at Flickr