I am a man.
As this particular man, I really don’t like being told what to do, I never have. I didn’t like my parents telling me what to do, I didn’t like my teachers telling me what to do and I haven’t enjoyed women telling me what to do either.
When it comes to sex, this sentiment holds as true as anywhere else. I don’t particularly like being told what to do. I don’t like being told how to fuck her, even though, yes, I get that most likely she knows the best way to pleasure her.
Unfortunately instructing me in those ways, even though we absolutely are both wanting more pleasure together, still has me contract. If we have done work around our triggering, the instruction giving may not completely send us into reactivity, yet I have noticed it still has me contract in some way.
When she proceeds to tell me exactly how to touch, stroke, lick or thrust in her, I feel less than. My confidence wavers and the thought that somehow I’m not good enough to please her can creep in. Sure I can ignore and eventually transcend those thoughts, yet it takes will… Will that I would rather use to weave our bodies closer together.
Whenever she instructs me in a way that expects me to instantly adjust myself to her whim, it will trigger me. I might feel like nothing more than her over-sized dildo and I’m sure neither of us want that—unless of course it’s exactly what we agreed that we want.
What a dilemma!
Because I want to know what she enjoys. I want to know what turns her on and brings her to the heights of absolute pleasure. I want to know how I can better touch her and be in her. I want a co-creative dance of shared ecstasy.
So how do we proceed to create this together?
I have a few thoughts and these are only my thoughts. They are by no means an accurate representation of contemplations of the male population.
If you want to know how to work with your man-love, ask him. Communication is an essential part of a relationship and the more conscious we want our relationship to be, the more important it is for us to communicate consciously. Including during sex.
I have been reflecting on a scale of communication from lukewarm to raging inferno. In my experience the least effective is direct instruction, as I described above.
The next place I think to turn is towards Non-Violent Communication (NVC). NVC is a fantastic language tool to create shared understanding and communicate needs. The simplified format is often something like “When you ____, I feel _____ which shows my need for _____ . Would you mind _____?”
Observation –> Feeling –> Need –> Request.
Kind of cumbersome, but let’s try it out.
So we might be getting it on and I am kissing you somewhere and I am getting quite enthusiastic and eager and she notices she desires to slow it down a bit, perhaps. She might say “I really like the way you are kissing me and I notice myself wanting to slow down and connect a bit. Would you mind holding me for a minute?”
How does that sound? Nice and gentle, caring. It leaves me a lot of space to check in with my own feelings and respond appropriately. I might then get to respond like “I’m hearing you want to slow down and be held. I notice I want you to feel safe as I care deeply for you.”
Sharing like this we can create a lot of understanding together, navigating and negotiating just how we want our time together to go. It is healing and therapeutic which is fantastic when things like trauma, limiting beliefs and other triggering events can emerge.
It can also be kind of boring and bland. It’s not going to make me any harder and I doubt it’s going to make her wetter. Overall it’s probably going to be pretty neutral, which makes sense considering that is its intent.
NVC is a tool designed to reduce the charge in an interaction. This makes it amazing in working with conflict and triggers. When we are having sex, however, do we really want to always reduce the charge all the time?
For me personally, no. I would rather heighten our sensations and savour the intensity of whatever is occurring. This kind of language is definitely a valuable tool to have in the toolbox, even in sexual situations, as intimacy can often take us into deep-seated traumas. To create deep connections is often to know when to slow right down to allow these things to be worked out safely and gently.
Yet if we are not working in that safe zone, how could we move into intensity rather than reducing it?
Perhaps we could drop part of the neutralising effect and refine it into simple requests.
“Can you please touch me here?”
“Can you please hold me?”
This is making progress, I think. There is still safety, yet there is also space. I am less obligated to immediately respond. If I am sensitive enough I can check in with her and say “Is this how you would like to be touched?” as I make the appropriate adjustments to whatever it is I’m doing.
It’s good, it’s clean, it’s safe, yet it’s still sort of soft and dry. Pun intended.
This kind of sexual relating is good for exploring the territory and getting to know each other in a way that doesn’t rush or force things. Also good stuff, when we wanna play it that way.
What if we want it way hotter than that though? How can a woman express what she is wanting and needing in a way that inspires me to action and turns me on even more?
The first thing I think is important is a certain sense of detachment or appreciation. Appreciation is a state of being a “yes” to the moment. It means that even though she wants something she is not actually attached to getting it. Simply experiencing, owning and expressing the desire is enough. Seriously, it is enough. It feels amazing to vulnerably own and express desires whether they are met or not. Cultivating this as a skill can lead to some really juicy heat.
From this place it’s pretty simple really, so simple I’m sure many women reading this already naturally do it.
Own it. Own what you are wanting and want it.
Want it because it feels good and simply because you want it. Want it from him, want it with him. This may sound like instruction giving, I assure you though, that it is very different in intention.
The holding of appreciation and non-attachment to getting her wants met, makes all the difference. She is no longer telling me what to do, rather she is vulnerably expressing a desire that gives me a choice of meeting it or not. And more than likely I am absolutely going to want to fulfill that desire.
“Touch me softer.”
“I want you to go down on me.”
“Look me in the eyes while you fuck me.”
“Tell me you love me.”
When a woman tells me what she wants unapologetically, instantly I get harder and my belly erupts into a swarm of butterflies. I feel empowered and I want to provide for her. Even better, all this space opens up for me to play in. I now know what she wants and I can take my time getting there, even teasing a bit. I’m not beholden to fulfilling a request and there is no pressure to perform. She has made very clear want she wants and most likely my heart is racing just hearing that she wants that from me.
This kind of sex language may seem obvious, yet for many of us speaking our minds so openly is incredibly vulnerable. Expressing a desire in this way, there is a chance of us being rejected. We might not get what we want and because we have been so transparent, a rejection can easily be taken as personal criticism.
We might protect ourselves from this vulnerability through the making of requests or giving of instructions. Unfortunately by doing so we shift the onus onto the other. Our fear of being criticised and rejected can be subtly projected as criticism or rejection onto our partner. Our simple request “Can you please do it this way” suggests that the way they are currently doing it isn’t quite right. Sure, we don’t mean that, yet language—and even more important the energetics behind language—is powerful.
The distinction is subtle. From telling to requesting to wanting. Cold to warm to hot.
Don’t tell me how to fuck you –> Tell me how you want to fuck.
What do you think?
Men: does this turn you on as much as it does me? Or is there some other way you would like women in your life to communicate with you?
Women: how does this sound for you? Is it vulnerable? Am I being insensitive asking for this? Also would a man making unattached yet unapologetic demands in this way also turn you on?
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Damien Bohler
Apprentice Editor: Yaisa Nio / Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Fred Seibert/Flickr