A reader share with me a very interesting story. He'd met a woman and they started dating. As the relationship progressed she told him that she had endometriosis. One of the symptoms of which is pain during sex. Well, pain during vaginal penetration. They eventually broke up because they could not have sex together. He said that he wished they had spoken more about different ways of having sex before they had a very sad break up.
A long time after that experience, he was reading a Savage Love segment. Dan Savage was explaining to a straight female reader that gay men simply ask each other what the other is into before sex. Not all gay men are into anal sex, gasp, clutch the pearls, I know (sarcasm intended). Some gay men only like oral sex, some only like hand jobs or to only be a top or a bottom, etc. It all counts as sex. My reader admitted that as a straight male, it never occurred to him to explore other ways in which to have sex with his new lady friend. He would have been willing to work with her had it occurred to him (or if she had brought it up) to talk about what all else she was into sexually.
Oh yes, there are many points between A and Z! I don't personally think that penetration is needed for sex to be satisfying. However, I have had several straight female friends ADAMANTLY tell me that sex feels absolutely incomplete without penetration. They love it! Fear not straight men. However, on the inverse, I've also had conversations where straight female friends grill me to know what (besides the obvious) happens during sex with another woman. I've seen many a straight woman's jaw drop as they exclaim, "I've never had a man do all that..." Yes, guys, I am well aware, from first hand experience, that there are those of you who do take the time, interest and joy even in exploring all of a woman. Sadly, though, there are many who do not. "Doing all that takes too much time when you're hard, " I had one straight male friend tell me. Many men are so penetration/penis centered that they forget that there are many parts of a woman that are erogenous zones. Intimate, sensual exploration of these forgotten zones will only make her want to have sex with you more. So many men claim to want to please women, yet, will ignore the vast majority of a woman's body if allowed.
I had one male partner just touch my hands and kiss me for hours. I was shocked by how sexually charged the experience was. No penetration happened that night. I went to sleep smiling and very satisfied. I think that, in general, the hetero world can get trapped into the lips, breast, cookie (pun intended) cookie cutter formula of sexual experience. The "hands on" experience was such a world away from the norm that I remained aroused and thinking about him touching me the entire next day. Each woman is different but our entire bodies hold the potential for being erogenous zones. Imagine if your partner took the time to caress you all over your body in different ways with just his hands before ever even kissing you, ladies. How many women would even ask for such a thing even if they were curious to know how wild this would drive them?
Why is it that we don't have sexy conversations about what we are into, desire or are curious about exploring? If these desires are brought up what makes adult humans remain awkward about furthering the discussion? I've had the experience more than once of asking a male partner what parts of their body do they like to have touched... besides the penis, only to be answered with silence or nothing much. Great. I'm left wondering if I should just shut up and stuff a penis into something. It's sex people. It's supposed to be enjoyable! Pretend you didn't hear all those things you've heard about sex growing up. I grew up with British Caribbean parents. If I can free myself, anyone can :-D! Relax, you won't die.
I encourage all women to start initiating these conversations. Make it an exploratory game. If your partner touches something that feels good, make a joyful noise so that your partner is clear and vice versa. There's a whole big wide world of sexual experiences out there to be had. Hate to break the bad news to you fellas but only 30% of women can achieve orgasm from penetration alone. Women who orgasm from penetration alone are the exception not the rule. Yes, sometimes she's faking it (She's only doing it because society has her feeling inadequate about not being able to get there from penetration alone.) The good news is she can still have a very satisfying experience from penetration even when it doesn't result in the big O. So stress not about that. When you get to the level of being physically intimate with someone focus on playing, exploring and enjoying each other. Start off by being open to conversation and asking: What are you into? Ladies, let him know: Touch me there.
If you go out to dinner with someone, you find out what they prefer in food. We ought to be able to have a conversation to find out what people prefer when it comes to sex. -Betty Dodson
- 10 Fact About Erogenous Zones (Read all 3 pages!!!)
- Sex Rules: Four Things You Should Always Do During Sex (psychologytoday.com)
- Jill Di Donato: Seven, Seven, SEVEN: Real Women Describe Their Erogenous Zones (huffingtonpost.com)
- Disability and sexuality: everything you think you know is wrong (feministphilosophers.wordpress.com)