Almost at the Altar

Friday, September 01, 2006

Question

I am engaged to the best man in the world. We are truly in love and have a great sex life. But since we started having intercourse I've found that my orgasms aren't as powerful as when we were just masturbating each other. He has tried to do what he used to do, but it's still not as good. I'm not sure if this has to do with the fact that I find oral sex dull. I don't want to tell him because he's so sensitive and wants so desperately to please me. We even bought some sex toys, which are very delightful, but even the beautiful black vibrator and vibrating cock ring don't make the sex better.

Answer

Many people look back nostalgically at the days when they were making out, longing to have intercourse, but not quite ready to go there. The feeling of doing something risky with a person one has just fallen in love with is uniquely tender and exciting. It's ironic, isn't it? Our culture values intercourse as "real sex," but fucking isn't always going to produce the most explosive or romantic orgasms possible.

You and your partner are confronting a phase that happens to many couples as they become more familiar with one another. The ideal image of a new lover is replaced by a more realistic picture of a person who has stress, shortcomings, and irritating qualities (as well as all of the things that made you fall in love with him or her). The first hesitant and passionate touches can't be duplicated. But that doesn't mean that you can't have wonderful sex. It's just going to be different. You have to consciously bring the element of risk-taking into your lovemaking.

In your case, I recommend you begin by telling your lover that oral sex is not your favorite thing. Some women would love a man who is willing to eat them for hours. But for others, oral sex just doesn't ring that little pink bell. The fact that your man is "desperate to please you" probably isn't helping his technique. The two of you seen to have set up a dynamic in which you lie back and expect him to thrill you. He is doing his best, but without some assertiveness on your part, the magic is not going to begin.

Tell your lover your sexual truth. That includes your erotic fantasies and the sex acts you are curious about. Initiate lovemaking that focuses on his body. I wonder if he would find long sessions of oral sex "boring." Would you perhaps enjoy being in control of his body, wringing almost agonizing delight from his flesh, with your wicked sexual mastery? I can't over-emphasize how important this is. Break out of that traditional paradigm of woman-on-her-back waiting to be taken someplace unbelievably special by the one true love of her life. I'm not saying you are a pillow queen (I don't know you that well), but I am making a generalization about how heterosexual women are socialized to think about how sex should be scripted. That script sets your male partner up to perform, perform, perform, and that is a penis-withering feeling. It doesn't do much for your self-esteem either. Take responsibility for your own orgasm. If you still need to have another, stronger orgasm after intercourse, get him to hold you and perhaps stroke your breasts or hold your legs apart, if that helps you to get turned on. Then masturbate. The spectacle of your orgasm may get him past the period in which he can't get an erection, and you may find yourself with a biological sex toy that's prettier than any vibrator.

Of course, a man needs to have a strong enough ego to be able to relate to a woman who tells him the truth about her body and goes after maximum pleasure for herself. It would be nice if intercourse brought both men and women to reliable orgasms, but it doesn't. Most women need more direct clitoral stimulation than they get while being fucked. I think it helps if he believes that you enjoy masturbating more after intercourse than you do when you are all alone. It's the experience of being desired by him and filled up by him that gets you so turned on.

I'm sure there are things he hasn't told you, and things he probably would like but is nervous about asking for. It's really hard to say to a partner who loves nibbling your ears that it makes you want to slap him. Nobody wants to hear that her favorite perfume gives her stud a migraine. There may be some tears and a lot of tension, but be as kind as you can to one another, and you'll come to a more honest understanding of one another's bodies and a more equal sharing out of the responsibility for making sex everything that it can be.

Sex doesn't always have to be transcendent to be good. The occasional quickie or the "meat-and-potatoes" techniques that reliably produce a good, strong orgasm can be an important part of a couple's sexual menu of choices. Sometimes you need sex just because you can't fall asleep, or because you want to be reassured that you are attractive, or because you need to blow off some tension. Giving and receiving these types of sex are important aspects of physical intimacy.

I wonder if you and your partner would enjoy making out in public places where you can't "go all the way." Or perhaps a little fantasy, on the couch, about being in a drive-in movie, would set off a bonfire. Any situation in which you both agree that you won't have intercourse is going to lead to squealing and squirming.

To completely change the subject