I previously wrote a post on How to Get Used to Sex When You’ve Been Raised to be Ashamed, but it was cursory and mainly an overview of getting over social conditioning and shame. Today, I want to talk a bit more in-depth about learning the basics of sexual pleasure.
Unfortunately, when you grow up in purity culture, there is a high chance that you will not get any sex education (or at best a woefully inadequate one). This means that you don’t generally know much about your body or your spouse’s body, and you are also working against the previously mentioned shame. Both of these set the stage for having a difficult time and are counter-intuitive to enjoying sex.
In light of that, if your sexual experience is or has been dampened as the result of these difficulties, you’ve come to the right place for information. Let’s get you up to speed on the basics of sexual pleasure!
I don’t think I can over-stress the importance of foreplay. Sex isn’t just supposed to be about penetration and orgasm; that is an extremely reductionistic view of it. It is supposed to be, among other things, a bonding experience between the spouses that brings them closer together and fulfills sexual needs. While it isn’t always the case, sometimes women get more out of foreplay than they do from intercourse. And, certainly, foreplay can encourage both parties to be psychology and physically ready for penetration.
2. Learning Anatomy
Many men and women don’t know the first thing about female anatomy. The word “vagina” is often used to refer to the entirety of a woman’s genitalia but is not the correct term. There are inner labia, outer labia, mons, clitoris, etc. It’s worth noting that some women can’t reach orgasm from penetration alone. The ones for whom sex ed has been denied may even find that they don’t know what or where their clitoris is! I highly recommend both men and women learn this kind of anatomy so that women can actually experience sexual pleasure.
Lubrication is something that goes along with foreplay. If foreplay is not involved in a sexual encounter, women may not make the natural lubrication that they likely would if they were properly stimulated beforehand. Not all women’s bodies make their own lubrication and, even if they do, it may not be enough. In cases like these, you can buy a lubricant or use something like coconut oil (beware of this option for condom users, it can compromise the integrity of the material and cause it to break). Without lubrication, you can end up in pain and potentially have sores similar to rug burn—not fun and certainly not sexy!
4. Sensory Deprivation
Sensory deprivation can be helpful in tuning out “white noise”, allowing you to focus on what is happening and not get distracted. It can also help if you deal with sexual shame. Sensory deprivation can be a blindfold or low lighting, ear plugs, or really anything that tones down sensations that take your focus off of the sexual stimulation you are experiencing.
5. Lingerie – feel sexy, be sexy
While lingerie can be a sexual crutch, I think there is a degree to which it is helpful for women with body image issues. Sex can be hindered by not feeling sexy so, in a way, lingerie can be like self-care for confidence. If you think you look sexy, you will feel more confident and less likely to accidentally self-sabotage enjoying sex out of low self-esteem. There’s nothing quite like the feeling that comes from seeing your man’s eyes brush over every strand of lace, every buckle, from your neck clasp to your garters.
This is certainly not a comprehensive list, but these are some of the basic things I recommend to my soon-to-be-married and newlywed friends. As the saying goes, knowledge is power. A general knowledge of sex, or lack thereof, can make or break your honeymoon.