After it was over, I felt depressed. I realized that I have all of this emotional baggage around sex that was coming to the surface.
I didn’t want to talk about my emotional reaction with the guy I just had sex with, because we were hanging out to have a friendly, sexy time, not to share our deepest feelings and insecurities.
I want sexual freedom. I want to be sexual with whoever I choose (consensually, of course), regardless of whether we have a deep emotional connection.
But it’s awkward to stop sex in the middle of sex and not explain why. And if I explain why, I am likely to start crying. And I don’t always want to go there!
So I decided to write all the difficult feelings down so I can do my best to work through them.
Here is what my sexual baggage consists of right now:
I try to relax and not overthink it, which works sometimes. I’ve been trying to “relax and not overthink it” for years now though, and it has not been a quick-fix type of solution. I have made progress over time though. Addressing the rest of my baggage also helps.
• I’m afraid of focusing on my pleasure during sex.
I’m afraid of indulging in my pleasure. I’m afraid of asking for things that might increase my pleasure. Plus, I don’t always know what those things are, and asking might make me more nervous, which makes it harder for me to experience sexual pleasure. I know it’s not true, but I feel like it is more appropriate and desirable and attractive for me to cater solely to my partner’s pleasure, rather than paying attention to my own pleasure. It makes me feel aggressive and unfeminine and needy to bring up my own pleasure.
• I’m worried that if I ask for things that would feel good for me, my sex partner will expect that I should orgasm.
And I’m worried that if it starts feeling really good for me, I will start wanting to orgasm, and if an orgasm doesn’t happen (which is likely for me) it could be frustrating.
• I am not worried about my body. It is hot! :)
• I’m worried that I won’t be “good” at sex.
I’m worried that I won’t please my partner, or that I’ll ruin the mood. I’m worried that I’ll be laughably awkward/uncoordinated, or that I won’t move enough/be engaged/engaging enough. On the flip side of that, I’m worried that I will take charge too much.
[This article is the antidote for this insecurity.]
• I’m worried that I don’t even know what sex is supposed to look like! I’m worried that I’m doing it wrong. I haven’t seen much video porn, and what I’ve seen hasn’t really spoken to me. I’m worried that my partner will have expectations of what sex is supposed to be/look like that come from watching porn, and that I won’t live up to them.
I wish sex felt more creative. Like it would be okay to color outside the lines – to re-envision what sex looks like/consists of, and to choose what the tone will be!
Like it could be,
and like we desperately need to touch each other
and like we’re 100% turned on all of the time
I worry that it could totally kill the mood/ruin everything/crush their self-esteem if I am honest about the fact that how turned on/into it I am can fluctuate (and that might not mean I want to stop).
• I’m afraid to say when sex hurts because it could kill the mood/the sexiness of it. And sometimes it hurts a lot. And it makes me feel freaked out and devalued to have someone continue forward with sex that is hurting me and pleasuring them. But they might not know it’s hurting me, or how much it’s hurting me, because I don’t tell them in a straightforward way; I just make gasping sounds that could potentially be interpreted as pleasure, and say things like, “Sorry, your penis is really big.” I think it’s really likely that someone would not realize how painful it is for me, even if they can tell that I’m experiencing some pain, they might assume that I am experiencing at least as much pleasure as pain.