Having sex is one of the most vulnerable things we do. It just is. Think about it: we spend our entire lives trying to hide our genitals. And then there are these moments where we decide to expose them to another person. And just hope that everything goes well—that we don’t get laughed at, that our bodies “work” this time, that we feel pleasure or our partner does—that the sex “goes well.”
But what does “going well” really mean when it comes to sex?
To start off the discussion, we’re going to talk about failure.
I know—failure and sex in the same sentence. Ouch! It’s not a comfortable grouping of words or experiences.
Yet this is how many of us are currently engaged in sex: as some sort of relationship proving ground where we emerge either victorious (“We did it!”) or defeated.
Sexual defeat can come in many forms: your partner said no to sex; she didn’t reach climax; he couldn’t get hard; you were stuck in your head the whole time and didn’t actually feel anything; he went too fast and when you asked him to slow down he got offended and now you’re fighting.
Why does this happen?
Because the old kind of sex—the kind that we were all taught about in school and see in movies or porn—is goal-driven.
The goal of sex could be as simple and direct as:
- Reach climax
- Keep my erection
- Have intercourse
- Get it done in 20 minutes
Or it could be something more emotional or relational, and even seem like a fun or “good” goal, like:
- Blow his mind
- Look really hot
- Feel competent
- Make sure she comes and that she’s happy
- Impress my partner and have them like me
You may be thinking, “Who doesn’t want to reach climax?! Or blow their partners mind? I want to be impressive!”
And I get it. We all want sex to go well because great sex feels incredible and is part of what relationships worth having.
Yet sometimes… sex doesn’t go according to plan. Sometimes you won’t look hot, or feel competent. Sometimes she won’t reach climax not matter how hard you try. And sometimes you’ll do everything “right” and he’ll still ignore you the next day.
That’s because sex, by its very nature, is unpredictable. The new kind of sex that I teach acknowledges that our sexual experiences simply aren’t something we can control—and that this is actually a very good thing.
Most of us have had the experience of trying really hard to make sex “go well”—and having it completely backfire.
A couple told me a very typical story recently: after becoming a mother, she had lost much of her interest in having sex. She knew it was a struggle for him, and that he wanted more of it. She was constantly rebuking his advances. One night, she decided to create a sensual evening for her partner so that he knew how much she still loved him.
She lit candles, laid out soft scarves, even put piles of grapes everywhere. She brought him into the room, laid him down, and proceeded to give him oral sex. Everything seemed to be “going well” until it was his turn to touch her. Turned on and excited, he flipped her over, reached down, and starting rubbing her clitoris.
She jumped back and clamped her legs shut. “I’m not ready for that! How many times have I told you not to go straight for it?”
He threw his hands in the air and stood up. “See? I can never do it right. I don’t even know why I try.”
And then there they were, arguing with the candles still flickering in the background and the scarves scattered across the floor.
Have you ever had that fight, or one similar? I know I have.
It is a painful, confusing experience to fight about sex, especially while trying really hard to make sex work better.
A fight about sex has us want to “failure proof” our sex lives so we don’t need to endure the agony of exposing something so personal and vulnerable as our arousal and desire, and then having it come under scrutiny or be rejected.
So how do you failure-proof your sex life?
Drop your goals and ditch your agenda.
It may seem overly simple at first, but removing the goals from your sex life is the #1 thing I instruct couples to do if they want better sex.
That’s because goals wreck havoc on sex lives. Even the “good” goals send us straight into our heads,uphold a model of “success or failure” in sex, and put us in performance-mode which increases self-consciousness and lowers pleasure.
The threat of failure puts incredible internal pressure on our libidos. This system of arousal, desire, and sexual functioning need room to breathe and space to come out to play—especially for women.
The #1 way to ensure that a woman DOESN’T reach climax is to make her think she HAS to in order to be successful. Pressure puts a woman straight into her head and has her worry so much about how long she’s taking or whether she’ll get there that she’ll physiologically be unable to relax enough to let go. And letting go is what’s required if you want to have the new kind of sex that works for women and brings everyone deeper connection and fulfillment in sex.
Here’s how you can start having more dynamic, fulfilling sex tonight:
- Drop your expectations about what you think is supposed to happen in sex or what “good sex” looks or sounds like.
- Instead, explore what feels the best right now in your own body and between the two of you.
- Rather than having a goal in mind, instead ask for what you want from your partner in the moment.
- Let sex be different and unique every single time—because it is.
You can not fail at the new kind of sex because there is no goal except to connect and explore with each other. Can you imagine what it would be like to have sex with absolutely no agenda except to follow what felt good for your body? Share your experiences in the comments below.
Want to start having the new kind of sex? Please sign up for my newsletter to learn more and stay updated on my upcoming online offerings. I also offer one-on-one instruction and coaching for singles and couples.