Everyone wants to have great sex. Singles, marrieds, polyamorous and the whole LGTBQ sandwich wants loving and empathic sex. The young, the elderly, the foot fetishist, the B&D practitioner, the rich and the poor want it.
Well, perhaps not everybody. There are a few (mostly – but not exclusively – males) who think of sex in terms of power and conquest. On the spectrum from a loving empath to a soulless sociopath, they are much closer to the latter. If they find themselves in a position of power, they will abuse that power. Dealing with sex may include confronting and fighting evil all the while you are looking for ecstasy.
Empathy is everything. Really good sex requires that you be as sensitive to your partner as you are to yourself. Without it, you will miss the subtle cues that are vital to good sex. I realize some guys, especially the younger ones, don’t get that. To them, sex is all in and out and shooting their wad and then they are done. I feel sad for them and their partners. They miss out on so much of the joy in life.
I think it would be wonderful if our children learned at an early age that masturbation is good. It is not a blemish on your manhood or feminine virtue. It is a universal mode of relief when a partner is unavailable or unwilling and nature made it especially easy for humans. Serving yourself doesn’t make you less macho of a man. It makes you more of a man if it prevents getting frustrated with a partner who can’t/won’t go all the way. (Ditto women) On the other hand, pushing your partner harder – or badmouthing them afterward – always makes you a turd. Green light all the way on solo masturbation, watching each other masturbate and masturbating each other. Celebrate yourself!
I could write a book about how unimportant social status and physical appearance are in a lover. If I did, it wouldn’t sell, so I won’t. Runs counter to everything we learn, but it is true. The most beautiful partner in the world is the one you’ve got. While you are making love with a person, they should know that you think they are most desirable and attractive person in the world. You are sharing the deepest gift two people can share. Everyone is beautiful when seen through a lover’s eyes.
First-time sex is invariably awkward. You can’t expect anything in terms of technique. He may last a fractional second or he may not be able to orgasm at all. She may get blood and a bit of pain from entry but no pleasure. I’d like to recommend that virgins have their first intercourse with someone who is older and experienced and has a very kind, nurturing nature. But I can’t because it would often be illegal and could be interpreted to give pedophiles a green light. Makes for a good movie, too.
What I will recommend is that a virgin try to be that kind and nurturing person, even if you don’t have a clue what is going on. Study up on the subject. The Joy of Sex is a timeless book and one I cut my teeth on as a teenager. Don’t rush it. Learning to control desire rather than letting it control you is as important a lesson as you will ever learn. Be sure of your birth control, take it slow and be upfront with any limits. Remember that foreplay is your friend. Being the kind and nurturing person you are, you won’t be criticizing your partner for failing to perform or for deciding not to go all the way. You will be offering reassurance that everything is ok. First times almost NEVER go perfectly.
Don’t you dare promise to stop and then keep pushing!
And the corollary to that is…
Don’t you dare intentionally promise more than you are willing to give!
And since it is cruel to bring your partner to the edge of intercourse and then unexpectedly close the gate, the kind and nurturing part of you should reserve a small corner of sympathy for your partner.
Really good sex requires that you care about your partner, even for a one night stand. You need to let go and fall into a kind of pseudo-love, if only for a short time. If her pleasure is more important to him than his, she will respond. And vice versa. If the feeling is mutual, everyone gets earthquakes and aftershocks accompanied by skyrockets and floods of oxytocin, norepinephrine, dopamine, and endorphins. That’s the ideal situation. That is fantastic sex.
Sexuality has a certain momentum and once started, isn’t easily abruptly stopped. The “yes” is usually implicit, while “no” may be subtle and easily missed. Having achieved one level of intimacy, you move on to the next and you gauge whether to continue by your lover’s response. Go slow and use words if there is any doubt. That’s just reality and no rulemaking will change it.
Sex isn’t the countdown for a rocket launch with a dispassionate ground control who executes holds and sometimes scrubs the launch according to an explicit protocol. The notion of explicit permission at every step is never going to be executed by a pair of slightly drunk and very horny kids. What we need – yet again is more empathy from all parties involved. And communication over what to expect.
I could shout communication a hundred times and not say it enough. If you’d like to change the position slightly, say it. If you’d like more foreplay, say it. If you want oral sex, don’t just shove your crotch in their face. Ask for it, kindly. You want your nipples to be stimulated? Make a verbal request. An experienced lover will figure all this out without a lot of cueing because he/she will try many things based on the “feel” of the situation and ask for your suggestions for things that haven’t been tried. However, not everyone is experienced or empathic so you must advocate for yourself. Experimentation is how a lover learns what they like.
One must be upfront about what one is looking for in intimacy. If all you want to do is a bit of necking, say so. If you want to get naked and make out like crazy – but no intercourse – say so. Of course, it is possible for a person to change their mind midcourse and develop cold feet. You would say, I’m sorry, I just can’t (whatever you can’t do). Then you propose whatever you do feel able to do. Use your empathy to break the news gently. You’ve just disappointed a good person and pissed off a bad one.
Many of us have psychological blocks to letting go, not the least of which is the fear the momentary love may be one-sided or that love may last beyond the encounter. Or maybe that level of emotional engagement leaves one too vulnerable. Positive thoughts and positive experiences will lessen those blocks. If they are severe enough that you can’t make progress against them, there is no shame in seeing a therapist. Inhibition leads to mediocre to poor sex.
Or maybe distaste for certain activities or certain body parts. Ah well! If your lover wants to do (or wants you to do) something you find distasteful, either you work on eliminating the inhibition or you look for a lover who shares your preferences. There is no blame to be placed. As long as it is voluntary and nobody ends up injured, there is no right or wrong in sexual practices, just what floats your boat.
Bad sex falls in two categories: Disappointment and pain. Disappointment is inevitable. Plumbing sometimes doesn’t work right. The empathic connection isn’t there and it’s just a mechanical exercise. These things happen. Any endeavor has the risk of disappointment. Physical pain is a different matter. There is no place in intercourse where pain is acceptable. If something hurts, stop, back up and try to identify why. If you can’t fix the problem then it may be time to travel down a different road. Or maybe just a snuggle-fest. Pain, your or your partners, is a sign you are doing something wrong.
Most people have had a one night stand where the partner couldn’t let go the next day, even though you’d lost interest. It is ok, not your fault. It is a risk you take every time you get intimate but not committed. Most broken hearts of that nature do not resolve into stalking and just require sending the message repeatedly. Some do and they need the Fear of God put into them.
If a partner attempts to push sex beyond what you are prepared for, don’t expect body language or a verbal hint to stop anything. Just say, “No more!” Be verbal and specific – don’t just wrestle. (Many people find wrestling erotic.) If your partner keeps pushing, leave. If he/she blocks you, you have an absolute right to self-defense, ranging from simply threatening action, up to calling the police and/or bathing your pursuer in pepper spray. The good news is that violence is rare and you can reduce the chances by doing some research on a strange partner in advance. The bad news is that it only needs to happen once to ruin your sense of well being.
Many people have had sex they really hadn’t been up for just to be nice to another person. If you care about them then perhaps it was an act of kindness. If you don’t, then perhaps you need to look at why you are doing such a thing. Did you let someone whine their way into your bed? Well, that is your fault for failing to be resolute. Did they use their position as an employer or other authority to coerce you? Now we are getting to a serious problem. Sex can be good. Sex can be bad. And sometimes sex can be evil.