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Hollywood has screwed us up when it comes to sexual expectations.
First, we expect that great sex is always going to happen in the missionary position.
Second, we think the man arrives with a wealth of accurate sexual knowledge about the female body.
(Look at me – I just wrote a love scene for the next romantic comedy blockbuster.)
Not surprisingly, the glamorized images of media and entertainment seep into our marriage, where we are shocked to discover that depicted sex is nothing like real life sex.
Never mind that depicted sex is… well…depicted.
Your favorite Hollywood actors? Yeah, they aren't actually having sex in all those scenes, where everything from the lighting to the pillows to the make-up to the hand positions is choreographed flawlessly.
So, here you are in your marriage bed having sex, but not experiencing pleasure and you think, "What gives?! Is this what I signed up for?"
If you are not experiencing orgasm when you make love to your husband -- but you want to -- it is mostly your responsibility to set that trend on a different course. I may receive a bit of flack for laying such a proposition on the table, but first hear me out (then feel free to chime in if you think I'm looney).
As for your orgasm, you gotta cut your husband some slack that he doesn't know how to bring you to the edge of ecstasy if you've never shown him.
The female body -- what a bewildering landscape that terrain is.
And we expect him to navigate it with nothing more than what he learned in the locker room or in drunken banter at his college frat parties. Poor guy.
Now all you husbands reading this, don't think I'm getting all negative on you, because nothing could be further from the truth.
I think we put an unrealistic amount of pressure on husbands to know how to please their wives sexually – every chick flick your wife takes you to and every lame innuendo floating around cyberworld seems to reinforce this idea that husbands should telepathically understand all the idiosyncrasies of a wife's body.
Truth be told, we don't even really understand our bodies on any given day. And we live in them.
So to think that you as a husband will be able to traverse the terrain successfully without a little guidance is ludicrous. And unfair. (I haven't even mentioned the fact that what we gals find arousing one day may not be arousing the next. See the kind of craziness I'm talking about?)
Most of the rest of this post is for your wife, but feel free to tag along.
My encouragement to you wives who want to experience orgasm...
1. Figure out what turns you on.
"I don't know what turns me on!" you say. Well, a good place to start is with touch.
Touch can run the spectrum from a deep tissue massage to the lightest of caresses. If you don't know what feels good, give your husband free rein on trying different touches – and then you give him encouraging feedback.
My recommendation? Take a hot bath or shower first. You'll feel clean, refreshed and about three steps into the relaxation phase. Read this fabulous post Sheila Gregoire did for me, where she gives delicious insight on touch.
2. Take your time.
I've enjoyed quickie sex, but honestly, it's never my preference.
But I don't need sex that last for hours either (are there actually people out there who have sex for hours?! Maybe it's just that I'm over 40, but the "having sex all night" scenario sounds exhausting and mythical, if you ask me. No one asks me these questions, but that's what my answer would be. Exhausting and mythical.)
There is, though, something to be said for enough time to really focus on each other.
If you have difficulty experiencing orgasm, let him spend a lot of time on you. Trust me – him caressing your body and drawing out the foreplay stage is actually going to turn him on big time. I doubt you will find him complaining.
Encourage him to explore every inch of your body. Foreplay typically plays a huge role in the intensity of your orgasm.
3. Encourage enough stimulation of your clitoris.
The clitoris is a fickle little creature. Much more unpredictable than the penis. Go figure. But God designed both, so we need to trust that He knows what He is doing.
The thing about the clitoris is that you usually don't realize the type and rate of touch needed -- until you have an orgasm, that is.
Earlier in this post, I wasn't speaking too favorably of missionary position. It's not that it can't come to the party, but I'm not sure if it always needs to be the center of attention.
Missionary position (man on top, face-to-face) can be less than ideal for you to experience enough clitoral stimulation....unless, of course, your husband moves forward enough so that the shaft of his penis is rubbing directly on your clitoris (yeah, this is not how they depict sex in the movies, because it means that his chest is more at your eye level as opposed to his eyes being at your eye level).
If you want to have an orgasm, you need to figure out the amount and type of stimulation your clitoris needs.
4. Give yourself permission to feel pleasure – and show him what you specifically find pleasurable.
Orgasm feels great. Some would even say it is one of the most indescribable experiences that even exists, leaving us speechless or writhing in pleasure or a combination thereof.
Some women, understandably, have difficulty allowing themselves to experience pleasure.
Unresolved pain from past sexual abuse, shame about previous relationships, skewed theology about sex handed down from relatives or the church, modesty or any of a number of issues can make a woman downright hesitant to put the words "pleasure" and "sex" and "good" all in the same sentence.
If some of these experiences are still plaguing you, please seek Christian resources and counseling to find hope and healing. (Mrs. Hot Holy Humorous has a very insightful post on past sexual abuse, by the way).
For a great majority of women, though, they simply don't think their sexual needs and desires even matter in marriage. Orgasm doesn't come easy (no pun intended), so they simply fake it or conclude, "Well, I guess I'm just not meant to experience pleasure."
God designed the clitoris. It serves no other purpose than sexual pleasure for a woman. No other purpose. It's not regulating your heart. It has nothing to do with your fertility. It doesn't balance your blood sugar levels. And it is never going to improve your eyesight.
Sexual pleasure for a wife and a husband is God's design. Teach each other what feels good sexually.
5. Get selfish.
By "selfish" I don't mean that you manipulatively ignore your husband or get greedy sexually. What I do mean is that to experience an orgasm, you have to become a little inwardly focused, especially right before you climax. Lean into that feeling. You'll probably orgasm harder, which will be a big turn on for your husband.
Awhile back, I wrote a post explaining that some orgasms you have to work very hard for. That post has additional helpful insights.
We can try to skirt around the issue all we want -- or hang on Hollywood-manufactured versions of what really leads to sexual ecstasy.
But I'd rather rest in the truth. And the truth is that your orgasm is your responsibility (mostly).
Copyright 2011, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog.