4 Steps To Sexual Independence: Take Control Of Your Pleasure
Sexual independence is all about taking control of your own pleasure. There may be other people involved in the process, but when it comes down to it, your pleasure is your prerogative.
You may expect your partner to pick you up from the airport. You probably expect them to remember your birthday and to fix the shower curtain that they broke. Yet, I’m sorry to tell you, you can’t expect your partner to be responsible for your orgasms.
In movies and TV, sex usually looks like three or four thrusts followed by simultaneously orgasming. Of course, anyone that’s ever had sex knows that it usually takes a little bit more than that to really get sent over the edge. And while you may want your partner to whisk you away and do what they will with you, the truth is, when it comes to your orgasms, you’re the one in charge. Here’s how to take control of your own pleasure.
1. Unpack Your Arousal
Just like everyone has different desires or favorite sex positions — everyone experiences arousal differently. You may be ready to get it on at the drop of a hat. You may need your partner to get the ball rolling. Maybe you like to masturbate before you have partnered sex. The first step to achieving sexual independence, is learning what it takes to get you in the mood for sex in the first place. Do you need an emotional connection with someone? Do you need to know that all the chores are done?
As you work on unpacking your arousal, you may find that you and your partner want sex in different frequencies. It’s perfectly “normal” / common for you and your partner to have different libidos. Just because you’re super into your partner doesn’t necessarily mean you’re trying to have sex with them all the time. And furthermore, you never need to have sex unless you absolutely want to. Learn what it takes to get you in the mood, learn what it takes to keep you in the mood. Then, learn how to express both of these things to your partner. It’s a process but you’re in it together!
2. Learn Your Orgasm
Most vaginas owners can’t orgasms from penetration alone. Let me repeat that, most people need more that a couple of thrusts to reach the big O. After finding what gets you in the mood — candles, calming music, soft sheets, emotional connection, dirty talk, etc. — start to figure out what sends you over the edge. Do you need clitoral stimulation. Do you like oral sex? Perhaps you want to bring a couple’s toy into the mix.
The only way you’re going to be able to tell your partner what works for your body is by first learning it for yourself. Masturbate. Explore your body with a mirror. Try different products and sensations. Ice cubes? Feathers? Think about your desires and fantasies. Listen to audio erotica or watch some ethical porn. Do your orgasm homework to find out what really makes you tick. If you notice that you struggle to finish with your partner, consider mutual masturbation, or having them watch you as your pleasure yourself. Touching yourself together is a sexy way to stay connected as you give them a lesson on what feels right for you.
3. Ask For What You Want In Bed
One time on a crowded airplane I watched a really bad movie with Seth Rogan in it, but there was frankly one of the most informative sex scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie. The two characters were about to have a quickie in the office, they weren’t partners, they weren’t making passionate love to each other, and yet, the woman directly says, “turn me around, spank me, and pull my hair a little bit” as though she was ordering a hamburger from a drive through. I remember watching and thinking, can it really be that easy? Spoiler alert: yes, yes it can.
You don’t need to feel sheepish or pussyfoot around. Asking for what you want in bed is a major component of sexual independence. Not only is it hot and sexy, but it’s incredibly helpful! If it feels weird to ask for what you want in the moment, try talking about it sometime when you’re both fully clothed and not about to have sex. Bring it up while you’re cooking dinner or try to turn up the heat as you text. If you make talking about sex more common, it will feel less intimidating to ask to be pinned down or to try a new move.
4. Step Up You Masturbation Routine
No one can woo you like you can woo you. It may sound silly, but take the time to really cherish your own body. In order to have sexually independence, you have to be able to turn yourself on completely unassisted. Like partnered sex, after a while, masturbating can feel like a routine. Take some time to spice it up! Take a bath. Order a new, exciting toy with a technology you’re unfamiliar with, like the Zumio. Try a new position. Incorporate a mirror. The possibilities are endless on the road to sexual independence. When you start thinking about of the box for yourself you’ll learn new things about your body and desire, and will be able to create new ideas with your partner.
Griffin Wynne is a non-binary writer, artist, and plain seltzer drinker. When they’re not discussing sex in the ~digital era~ or crying to the Dixie Chicks, Griffin enjoys camping, reading, used clothes, and documentaries about cults. They’re a Capricorn King, a genderless cowgirl, and a ’70s mama who is always down for dollar oysters and road trips. Griffin uses they/them pronouns and has the same birthday as Kyle Richards.