Here’s What Happened When I Decided That Having an Orgasm Wasn’t the Goal of Sex

Jun 2, 2017 at 3:00 p.m. ET
Image: Getty Images

There are many reasonable negative connotations tied to having sex and not getting off. But what if we let go of that focus for a moment?

So often it’s been assumed that leaving a hookup without having an orgasm implies that you’re unsatisfied, and of course, we all want to get off, but when and where do we draw the line that this is the end-all goal to a satisfying experience?

Sex, whether involves penetration or not, is a complicated moment where two or more bodies mesh together to create a bunch of good feelings. There is no rule book that checks off a moment of pleasure as successful or not. Only you and you alone know when you’re enjoying your ride with your partner. As for myself, I became the most liberated and free once I decided that orgasms were not my end goal with foreplay or sex.

More: What 7 Women Wish Their Partners Knew About Getting Them Off

While I preach about the inequity in the orgasm gap, I know that sex is also circumstantial. If my body isn’t feeling it this morning, my partner will do everything in their almighty sexual power to garner a response. It’s beautiful, really. But I’m also aware that sex is enjoyable and fulfilling without an orgasm and this goes for my partner too. To be with someone who also agrees that, obviously, orgasms are wonderful but if they don’t happen, then they don’t happen, is an imperative influence on my new outlook. Sometimes we trade off. I came last night during cunnilingus; tonight he will come with a blow job. We switch our focus on one another but sometimes, our bodies have their own sets of ideas.

Before, I would find myself frustrated and flustered, almost angry, if my partner didn’t come for me. I placed the blame on myself or questioned what I was doing wrong. I would apologize repeatedly or ask what I can do, disrupting the silence and the moaning to try and find some resolution to the problem. But is this an actual problem?

It’s not as if my partner can’t finish or that I can’t have an orgasm. On the contrary, I can have several blended orgasms throughout foreplay and intercourse. So, why do I assume that intercourse or sex should result in the all encompassing, body-arching orgasm?

More: Orgasms Are Most Elusive for Straight Women

“You took a little longer this time,” my partner says. And that’s OK. It’s just a statement, not a complaint. What they did yesterday to my body may feel differently to me today. The same goes for when I perform oral sex. Some days are better than others. Either in my performance or in their response. No one is to blame; no one is “broken.”

I think much of this change in approach also led to my confidence in bed with my partner. Mental health therapist and certified sex therapist Kristin Marie Bennion told Bustle, “When someone is sexually insecure, their minds tend to be taken out of the moment and over-focused on performance or approval — like what they may or may not be doing ‘right’ or what they don’t like about their body.”

Once I threw away my negative connotations tied to orgasms versus the success of the sexual experience, I abandoned all feelings of anxiety that were tied to my performance in bed.

Pure intimate pleasure took my anxiety’s place.

In fact, it has heightened my sexual experience and made it more liberating. It has lifted the stress of reaching a goal. We’ll get there if we get there.

As I said before, I am able to have multiple orgasms in one romp — I’m lucky and I know it. I have never struggled with climaxing or communicating to my partner how and when I want it. The revolution of the orgasm lives well in my body. I preach about its importance, the lack of effort put forth by men and the empowerment felt when it’s achieved. There is a large cultural imbalance between male and female orgasms.

I don’t want this to be a love letter on being content with your orgasm-less sex life. By all means, you need to come! This is a love letter to breaking that idea of the desirable goal. Working too hard to reach a climax reduces sex to a beginning and an end. Orgasms don’t cap off intercourse. You don’t wipe your hands, pat each other on the back and shout, “Good job!” after an orgasm. The inability to relax, the onslaught of overthinking, and becoming incredibly tired can build up and create an immense amount of pressure for you and your partner. Women have resorted to faking it because of the inflated male ego. "Did you come babe?" has become a punchline. It’s exhausting just thinking about it.

More: The pressure to act like a porn star in bed is ruining sex

What’s even better is that since communicating this idea to my partner, cunnilingus and foreplay in general have become an important component of my sex life. My partner’s dedication to focusing just on me for long amounts of time contributes to my multiple orgasms, my numbing toes and my gyrating legs. I’ve had more orgasms now than I have ever had in my life. To just let go and feel our bodies, our rhythm and our sensations has amounted to more pleasure since freeing my mind of any climactic goals.

By S. Nicole Lane

Originally published on HelloFlo.