There are times as a sex coach where I will talk to a couple who is having sexual struggles. While some struggles may seem larger or smaller than others, they all feel like big problems. As a sexual partner, you love and care about your spouse. You want to show them how much you care and experience the beauty that is your sexuality with them. There are times in every relationship where sometimes the ideas that we have about our sexuality aren’t always in line with what happens.
You may have phases of your intimate relationship where sex and desire are high, orgasms come easy and you don't think that anything will every change-- but if for whatever reason when it does (which is normal, natural and very rarely permanent) it can leave you feeling detached and depressed. You and your partner may struggle reaching climax, the hungry desire you once felt may be non-existent now or maybe you are struggling to reach orgasm...or admit that you have never had one.
We live in a society where so much of our sexuality is based on performance. “Good” sexuality is good when one person can bring their partner to orgasm with traditional, penetrative sex and everything else feels subpar. When you watch sex in the media, you see beautiful people/bodies having quick, passionate and seemingly effortless sex. They seem to know exactly what to do to bring their partners to ecstasy in just a few minutes, like they’ve known each other’s bodies for decades—after only knowing each other for 30 minutes of the movie/scene of porn. It can be hard to compete with that when you have only known your partner a few months/years and you’re still figuring out what they like. Sex isn’t always sexy, or easy or glamorous. People get sweaty, make weird noises, people get crushed/elbowed/roll too far away/change positions too rapidly/erections come and go.
Sometimes sexual experiences are fast and hot and orgasms come easily, sometimes it may feel like you have been having sex (feeling unsuccessful) for over an hour and you’re no closer to orgasms than when you started, which can leave you feeling broken and bad at sex. It’s important to remember that with the disappointing sexual experience that you have also had great ones.
Sex is an expression of love and bonding, a way to connect intimately and personally with one another. At times it’s easy to get caught up in the idea that penetrative sex that leads to orgasm is the only successful type of sex there is, but when you step back and remember that sex is more than just a cocktail of hormones dumped into our brain – it is a divine and beautiful way to connect to another soul – it can take some of the pressure to finish off your shoulders.
If your partner struggles with orgasm, either acutely (from stress/anxiety/other) or chronically (from Medication, trauma or medical conditions) that this is not a reflection on you or their feelings for you. There can understandingly be stress, frustration and sadness about not being able to give your partner the gift of orgasm but that does not mean that you are any less of a person, lover and partner to them. There are many couples who have never had the ability to orgasm together and that struggle with penetrative intercourse (for various reasons), but that does not make their intimate interactions any less valid, fulfilling or erotic.
If you listen to, love and encourage your partner sexually: You are a good sexual partner. Bringing your partner to orgasm is not the sole indicator of whether you are a good lover- the ability to listen and work with your partner is.
The brain is the largest sex organ we have, and the sexiest thing someone can do in bed is to open their mouth and make words come out. If you can express your feelings (for good or bad) to your partner, you are a good lover. Don’t get caught up on the performance that is sexuality, and let yourself be overcome by the beauty that the connection of sex brings between you.
If you are a partner that struggles with orgasm, you are not alone. There are many sexually active individuals that struggle from time to time and you should not feel bad. A lot of what I said above goes for you, too. You are not broken or defective (and if you have medical conditions, there are always things that can be done to help). Don’t feel pressured to orgasm, and communicate to your partner that they shouldn’t feel pressured to help you achieve orgasm. Sometimes, for whatever the reason, our bodies decide they want to do something else besides that—but will return to homeostasis at a later date.
Enjoy all the feelings and sensations that being with your partner gives you. Relish on the things that make you excited and celebrate the things you enjoy. There is no right or wrong way to have sex, and each person is a unique sexual being who has a body that responds different than everyone else. The best part of sexuality with your partner is that you get to learn and grow sexually with them. You will learn about things that they enjoy about their body, they will learn things that you enjoy with your body and together you will discover all new ways to enjoy your bodies together. Sex and the gospel is not for sport, and is for enrichment and growth. Don’t let yourself get caught up or feel bad when you aren’t measuring up to your ideals. It’s normal to have goals in ever facet of our lives, but don’t get discouraged if you don’t hit them 100% of the time.
Have patience with yourself and each other and know that by not being exactly where you are sexually means that you just get to have lots of practice until you’re where you’d like to be: and who doesn’t enjoy that.