This shouldn't be so hard
May 9, 2013 7:34 PM   Subscribe

How can I (lady) have enjoyable sex?

I don't know how to have good sex. I'm a woman who has sex with men, and have been sexually active for almost two years. I started pretty late-ish in life, so most of my partners have been more experiences than me. My first sexual experiences were once or twice each with three different people, which were all pretty exciting/arousing because Sex! but after that, I started to have sex regularly with the same person and realized that I wasn't having a lot of fun. I have never orgasmed with another person, and after a while sex started to feel like a chore even though all partners have been, at least nominally, committed to trying whatever I want and communicative and open. Problem is, I don't know what I want.

I can get myself off fine, but only in the one way that I've been using since the onset of puberty (online, fairly hardcore erotica+manual stimulation+ten minutes=one orgasm and done,). Penetration is fun enough, I guess, but I've never orgasmed from that alone (which I understand is not unusual). I've never really gotten off from anything else (not for lack of trying), but I do have an idea of specific things that I find turn ons, although in partner sexual play they start to feel a lot less like turn ons (plus my imagination is pretty weak in general, which affects certain types of play). I couldn't even get off the one time I tried mutual (over Skype) masturbation even while doing all the other things that always work for me. I was almost there, I just couldn't. I didn't think I felt self-conscious, and really trusted that guy, but still.

At this point, I just feel awkward about everything. If a guy is going down on me, I get almost no sexual pleasure from it, and have yet to figure out a good script to ask him to stop after a little bit (it's something my previous long-term partner was mostly unwilling to do, so I keep wanting to do it thinking it'll be a magic bullet, but it's really not). I've come close to orgasming from only a few things: penetration in a very specific way from my past partner (that was significantly better endowed than my current partner), and fingering, but only back in that sex is exciting and everything makes my heart beat fast and is a turn on! stage that has kind of disappeared now, even with a new partner that I'm otherwise crazy about. Being on top is a big source of self-consciousness and feeling like I'm doing things wrong, so even though it's supposed to be a good go-to, it's probably my least favorite thing to do (and his favorite, so we still do sometimes, but I don't have a ton of fun).

Sex feels like a chore now and I hate that because I know it shouldn't be. I basically do it for the post-sex snuggles and pillow talk. I feel like there are things that I should explore or try, and I feel guilty because the problem does not lie in partners who have no interest in helping me out. My current partner is giving but new (so I'm not really willing to try or ask for anything especially experimental/kinky/whatever for a little while, though I may get there), and my second really regular sexual partner. I don't have some need or feel pressure to orgasm (although that would be amazing), I would just like it to be as fun as it was in the beginning or find ways in general to make it more fun for myself. Any help from the mefi crowd? Specific recommendations welcome.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (12 answers total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

One thing I really love is a man giving me pleasure before regular sex. I think it just really enhances the whole experience for both of us.

Could you ask your partner to take his time and stroke you, down below and breasts at the same time, while you think of pleasant things? Or whisper things in your ear while he is doing so?

One thing I like is to fantasize about my own private fantasies while my partner is stroking me, and then have sex right while or after I am orgasming. I personally don't like it if he talks to me during that time because it breaks my concentration.

I often didn't or don't like it if a guy is going down on me, actually. I prefer lying next to a man and having him stroke me down below and also my breasts, and maybe a bit of whispering my ear, but not a lot, because it's all in my head, actually.

I find most men love it when I tell them what I like, and yes, it can be awkward at first, but overall, they want the same thing and I am willing to do the same for them, stroke, go down, tongue twirls around the head, etc. so it's all about communication. If you can get yourself past that bit of awkwardness it will work out.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:48 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Okay, so you sound a lot like me. Here's some stuff that has worked for me that you should try:

- You can get off when you masturbate. That's good! Now, try to show your partner what you do when you masturbate. If your partner has to read the hardcore erotica out loud to you while you get yourself off, that's fine. Just try to slowly integrate your partner into your orgasm experiences.

- I also do not like to receive oral sex. So, I just tell people I don't want to do that and then we don't that. It's okay. Really. That's fine, because there's some sexual things that I would like to do, but that my partner just isn't into. There's enough stuff that we both like that we can just focus on those fun mutual things.

- I also feel self-conscious while on top and rarely want to be on top. I pretty much just confessed to my partner early on that I felt like I didn't know what to do on top and felt really self-conscious. When I get on top, he helps me by holding my hips and moving them for me. This is a huge help for me because it takes a little bit of the pressure off! Maybe it will help you too!
posted by SkylitDrawl at 7:51 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Have you tried cannabis?
posted by ottereroticist at 8:30 PM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

Vibrator! Vibrator! Vibrator!
posted by selfmedicating at 8:41 PM on May 9, 2013 [8 favorites]

Yes, vibrator -- and while many recommend the Hitachi Magic Wand (aka the Hitachi Hammer of God), I am a recent and enthusiastic convert to the Eroscillator. Pricy but oh so worth it.
posted by ottereroticist at 8:55 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you are new to vibrators, please treat yourself to this one. Really, anything by Lelo.
posted by sevensnowflakes at 8:57 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

If a guy is going down on me, I get almost no sexual pleasure from it, and have yet to figure out a good script to ask him to stop after a little bit

Heh, ok well, while a lot of (especially younger) guys might feel otherwise, the ability to do this well doesn't spring forth from some innate talent, or happen in the abstract, outside of particular relationships with particular women. He is probably 1) doing what the last partner or three liked, 2) imitating porn, or 3) tracing the alphabet. Since every woman's different, for it to be any good, you've both got to spend a bit of discovery & communication time, ideally in a kind of emotionally safe situation, where you're both motivated to bother (i.e., you're attracted to and like each other). That goes for the on-top stuff and everything else. It's a learning process, takes a while. While a fair amount can be absorbed through sheer quantity, quality learning (i.e., through a classic, emotionally committed relationship) is kind of nice in that pretty much anything feels good around a person you're really into; figuring things out is more fun; slip-ups are funny, or fine, and not a performance failure; and it's easier to share in and create an imaginative space.

Imo, learning the other way (many different partners, limited intimacy), isn't a lot different from solo masturbation, except you have less control over things, so it takes more communication. And if you don't yet know a lot about yourself (because you have not had enough experiences to create preferences), it's hard to know what to communicate, right? But, this is ok too, interesting discoveries can happen by chance, if you are committed to an attitude of relaxed exploration, vs performance.

(To me, your current set-up sounds like more of a FWB situation, but it's hard to say.)
posted by nelljie at 9:05 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

From an anonymous commenter:
I'm a woman who has been having sex for more than 20 years, and still, I find getting off very challenging. Nevertheless, I love having sex and think of myself as a very sexual person. For me, getting here has involved really letting go of what sex "should be", and embracing the things that work for me. So for example,

I really get off on getting my partner off. I don't need to orgasm or even be touched every time I have sex, or even 50% of the time I have sex. I just focus on them, and that's hot for me, to know I can make someone come, and to ride that feeling with them.

A lot of times now, I like to make my partner come, and then snuggle up next to them and make myself come. That works for me and for my partners and who cares if it's not the standard way?

I also have trouble coming even by masturbation in front of someone else. I need to have a specific set of fantasies to get off and I'm self-concious doing that in front of someone. So sometimes I can't come. But I keep trying, and I'm up front with my partner about what's happening, and sometimes I just ask to be able to zone out in my own world and fantasize while I jack off, and that works for us. For you, you know a certain kind of online porn gets you off. Is there any chance of watching this porn with your partner and getting yourself off in his arms?

I got into BDSM. It's a subculture where there is a lot of room to try different things that might get you off. Your interest in "hardcore" erotica might mean that you could get into that scene - though I'm not sure what hardcore means to you.

Finally, you mentioned you like when your partner uses his hand and also you like a larger size for penetration. How about experimenting with bigger dildoes or more fingers? You might like fisting. Although I know that idea really sounds scary if you haven't tried it, there are a lot of women who like it, and can get off by touching their clits while a parter penetrates them with fingers, a toy, or a fist.

Frankly I know this all might seem really out-there to you at this point, but if you want to enjoy sex, you might have to really stretch your ideas and your own boundaries here. Maybe start small. Find one little new thing you can try, or fantasy you can share, and go from there. Good luck.
posted by mathowie at 9:50 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

From an anonymous commenter:
Here's the thing, two years having sex really isn't much to master it (for yourself) to be honest. I mean, I started having sex at 15 with a long-term, very caring, very open and honest partner, and it still took me like a solid 4 or 5 years to really figure out how to make things work for me. I too didn't necessarily know what I wanted because I just hadn't had all the time to really know my options and explore everything yet. It just takes time, and the right partner(s), to really get into the swing of things. Keep trying and exploring and the self-consciousness will hopefully fade away.

And yes, vibrators are also helpful :)
posted by taz at 10:54 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think that you might be doing the female version of death grip. You've pretty much conditioned yourself to orgasm with X media + X movement + alone. And you've been doing that longer than sex, so it's no surprise that it works better! If I find myself getting conditioned, as it were, I cut out one aspect. No porn is usually the easiest/best way because it puts me back in my body, not situating me as an observer. Even fantasising can be different sans porn. Changing positions/style helps as well.

Mostly though? It's having a long term partner who has taken the time to get to know me and will take the time in the act as well. I mean, vibrators/shared porn/BDSM/fisting are all well and good but I'd probably try and decouple masturbation from porn first, then see how it goes, and then experiment on your own. So what if your imagination sucks? You don't have to fantasise during sex to orgasm (I promise! I used to be exactly like you) - it's a mind thing, not a body thing for me.
posted by geek anachronism at 11:39 PM on May 9, 2013 [7 favorites]

I agree that 2 years is early. I didn't orgasm outside of masturbation for the first 7 years of my sex life and then suddenly I did, reliably. I think being comfortable with your own body and knowing it well can be a huge benefit -- one thing that can help with that is spending more time naked, if you can. Sleeping naked, waiting a while to get dressed after the shower (check your email, pick out clothes, whatever), just accepting whatever it is about your body that makes you self-conscious. It's great if you come to love it, but even if you can come to a place where you stop thinking about it, that helps, too.
Lisa Kleypas writes books that always include sex passages, and I've noticed they're all basically the same -- the guy teases for long time before touching her breasts, teases for a long time before touching her vulva, etc, etc - and always gets her off first.

On a similar note is "Orgasmic Meditation". The basic premise is to detach clitoral contact from the 'you must orgasm' mindset -- so the stage is set that this is not specifically to lead to sex, the person being massaged gets very comfortable and the other person massages for like 15 minutes, with no expectations. Except after a while or a couple sessions, the person being massaged gets relaxed enough and starts to feel cravings.

Good luck!
posted by MeiraV at 6:39 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Are you very attracted to these men? The thrill of a new sex partner and of being desired wears off and if you don't have genuine attraction (not that you find them handsome to look at, but that you viscerally want them) then you're not left with much.
posted by Salamandrous at 12:43 PM on May 12, 2013

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