Let’s talk about sex. I mean let us really talk about it!
Recent media attention on sexual harassment and sexual misconduct and the #MeToo movement has brought a variety of issues to the forefront. Slowly, it becomes clear that we might be discussing behaviours falling on a spectrum that vary from levels of misunderstanding and miscommunication to serious misconduct, sexual harassment and sexual assault. Clear cases are reported incidences of abuse of authority and abuse of power. I wrote about this before in my Post 80: “Let’s Be Honest” and placed the behaviours into the context of a toxic (work) environment, where enablers protect those with power in a climate that is prone to condoning, justifying or minimising serious misconduct.
Now, I would like to discuss the murky side of miscommunication, misunderstanding and a mismatch of expectations and a level of dishonesty not directly with ill intent, but resulting in a lack of satisfaction and hurt feelings. Although people misunderstand each other continuously and chronically, not always are these incidences ground for deeply hurt feelings of embarrassment, humiliation, failure, guilt and shame.
Logically, one would think that when becoming intimately involved with another person, it is crucial to have good communication and clarity, but alas…it seems that getting naked with each other is easier than talking about sex. I am referring to sex between consenting adults. I am not talking about affairs as these are non-consensual as at least one person affected by them is lied to. I am not talking about sex between those with a power differential as this too is not consensual and falls into the category of sexual misconduct.
I am talking about sex between people who want to give and receive pleasure. People who like to have sex because it makes them feel good. People who have sex because they can express love to each other. People who have sex because they enjoy the closeness.
The comments listed below are those I hear often. I have categorised them where I think they belong.
Lack of communication
- I never know whether she likes what I do.
- How do I know I do it right and the way he likes it?
- I am responsible for my own orgasm, if I was not, I would not get one.
- He never touches me, it is always straight for you know what I mean. Actually, it hurts me, but that’s probably age as I am menopausal.
- I am always hoping for great sex, but it is nearly always disappointing.
- Our sex was fantastic, but now it has become too rough.
- I feel he will not accept it when I say intercourse does nothing for me, I am good with it, but I am not getting what I want.
- Our sex is boring, how can I change it?
- I think I can come more often, but he is already done by that time.
- I feel forced into doing stuff, I am uncomfortable with.
- Sex always feels dirty to me.
- I hate my body, it has turned me off sex.
- It has become difficult since we both put on weight.
- It does not feel good.
- He does not smell nice…
- I think we are not doing it because the kids can hear us, and we also are too tired.
- He wants me to come so badly, I feel pressured.
- Isn’t the frequency of sex just going down after the first year anyway?
- He told me that all his other partners always came for him. I feel I am a failure.
A level of Dishonesty
- I pretend to like watching porn, but it turns me off.
- I just switch off and think about my stories…
- He has bad breath. I do not want to hurt his feelings.
- I make sure it is short, I do not want him to feel inadequate.
- Afterwards I always feel used.
- He is having erectile difficulties. I pretend I do not notice.
- It is easier to pretend to sleep, so I do not have to explain anything he does not get.
- Well, to be honest most guys do not know what to do, I just pretend it was good, to not hurt their feelings.
- How do I know she is not thinking about another guy?
- I pretend to come, so I can sleep.
Is it a transaction or a mismatch of expectations?
- Sex is not good, not bad, sometimes it is OK, but often, I just let him have it, as it is give and take.
- If I do not give it, he might go somewhere else, so I do.
- Well, if I let him wait, he does a lot for me.
- He does not care, whether I like it.
- I can only do it when I have alcohol.
- I am hoping we will get into a relationship. Therefore, I never say no.
I encourage you all to talk openly and honestly about expectations, fears, desires, wishes and fantasies before, during and after…
All comments welcome!