Sexual Satisfaction isn’t based on a mathematical formula that celebrates how much sex you are having, how often, or how many orgasms you’re having. It isn’t about number of partners or bragging rights.
Sexual Satisfaction is all about how you show up in the space of your own pleasure and joy. We create sexual satisfaction when we’re living in the present moment, showing up authentically, being clear about what we want, doing what lights us up, and totally taking responsibility for our sexual happiness.
If there were 3 big, main things I see over and over again that stop people just like you from achieving the sexual connection they desire, these are it.
- Siloing Your Sexuality
When you “silo your sexuality,” you put your sex and pleasure on the back burner or relegate it to “another life.” Doing this, you turn off your body, mind, heart, and spirit to sexual connection, energy, and possibility.
When you disconnect yourself from your own sexuality, you not only stop the sexual energy from flowing naturally, but you can also stop looking at your body as a site of sexual pleasure. When you aren’t associated with your sexual pleasure, you might stop talking about sex with your partner or with friends.
The truth is, your sexuality is a self-fulfilling cycle of energy. When you stop using it, you lose it. When you cut off yourself from your sexual body or sexual curiosity, you alienate yourself from the pleasure you are born to experience.
So, no matter what your struggle is, when you relegate your inherent, fundamental human need for sexual expression to “the back forty,” you set yourself up for additional struggle in trying to access and amplify your erotic personality and pleasure later. And this stress feeds in to the next habit I want to help you break now.
2. Enduring Shame
Many of us have felt or currently feel pretty shitty about our bodies, desires, sexual function, fantasies, and actual lived sexual experiences. Many of us feel hopeless, empty, lonely, and in pain. Many of us are riddled with shame and the messages of “not good enough” when it comes to our bodies and our sex.
Shame by definition is “I am bad.” (Thank you Brené Brown.) It is a indictment of our personhood, our worth, our value on the earth. Sexual Shame is the belief that something is inherently wrong with me because of my sexuality.
I am wrong because of what I like, how I like it, my fantasies, my approach, how much I want sex, how I talk about it, how much sex I’ve had or haven’t had, what kind or how much porn I watch, and more.
Shame can show up in our sexuality as any of the following:
- Focusing all your attention on your partner and not receiving or accepting any sexual attention or pleasure for yourself. It may also feel like a need to avoid the spotlight.
- Comparing yourself to others. You might compare yourself to your partner or to your partner’s previous partners. You might compare yourself to actors you see in pornography or models you see in highly filtered selfies on Instagram.
- Hurrying during foreplay or sexual activity to “get it over with” or to “avoid the spotlight.”
- Believing your genitals are ugly or deformed, or that something is “wrong” with they way your body looks. (FYI: Labiaplasty is the fastest growing non-medically necessary cosmetic surgery in the US, with more and more teenage girls undergoing the procedure to get symmetrical inner and outer labia.
- Making assumptions about or projecting onto your partner about their intentions, desires, beliefs, or motivations.
- Not staying present, thinking too much about what to do next rather than feeling into the current moment, checking in with yourself about what you want.
- Judging yourself, trying to be perfect, or “get it right” each time.
- Believing that sex has to happen the same way each time or that certain criteria have to be met in order for the sex to be “good sex” or “successful.” This is especially harmful when you and your partner have not expressly communicated about the criteria or do not agree.
Shame generally has a cascading effect. When you start down the spiral of shame, you may start anywhere on this list and find yourself going from one point to another. From feeling anxious to hurrying to thinking too much to judging yourself to projecting beliefs on to your partner to comparing yourself to others, and so on.
Many people report these physical experiences in the midst of a shame spiral:
- hot flush across the chest, neck, and face
- shortness of breath or holding of breath
- tunnel vision or hyper focus of visual field
- sinking chest or collapsing of the torso downward
- slumping in chair
- looking at the ground, not making eye contact
- getting very tired all of a sudden or very awake
Shame is a social construct. We experience shame in community or in connection with others. We learn shame from being in relationship with our parents, teachers, guardians, and then consuming the media of our culture.
As humans, we are hardwired for connection. It is a fundamental function of our species. In other words, humans, like so many creatures, are social animals. We are designed to be together, to connect and create together.
Yet shame is the site of our greatest fear: being forever disconnected.
We want so badly to be connected, and yet, we live in the most disconnected, over-medicated, in debt, and chronically stressed out time in human history. In America, we live in a cultural mythology that elevates independence and self-sufficiency, leading us more and more into living isolated from deep, nourishing connection.
The antidote to shame is to stretch into vulnerability and endeavor to be seen by others. To create a social unwinding of the shame spiral. When we stay silent in the face of shame, it grows and further entrenches itself in our bodies and psyches. When we connect with other people and really let ourselves be seen, we are able to shake loose the shackles and be the person we long to be.
Needless to say, enduring shame is a long cycle of internal unrest and even though a fear disconnection, the longer we endure shame without addressing it, the behaviors we do to compensate become mechanisms that keep us from creating the truly deep and meaningful connections we crave.
3. Not Masturbating at all or doing it the same way all the time.
Masturbation is the land of solo sex, self pleasuring, and self-centered loving. Masturbation is the place where we learn our bodies and discover what turns us on, who we are as sexual creatures, and how our body functions.
Masturbation is also the place where you don’t have to reciprocate or tend to anyone else’s needs or feelings or proclivities. So, you don’t have to worry about whether or not they are having fun, which can sometimes take us out of our own sexual experience. Masturbation is a place where you can be totally and completely self-centered, focusing exclusively on your desires, needs, and inspirations.
Masturbation is also the place we train our body to behave during sex. If you always masturbate that the end of a very long day, in your bed, with the covers up to your chin, lights off, by dropping your fingers or your vibrator on your clit and then waiting for the orgasm to come, you are training your body to behave the way when you have sex with another person.
Please note, there is nothing inherently wrong about the scenario I just described. I know that scene well because I’ve done it many times.
But if this is the only way you are masturbating, and you’re feeling unfulfilled or like you are chasing your orgasm during partner sex, you will benefit by diversifying your solo sex games.
Similarly, if you aren’t masturbating at all, and you aren’t familiar with what works for you, you could be waiting for your partner to figure you out. You may get frustrated because your partner isn’t able to touch you in just the right way. You may also not know what to say to describe what you need to feel good. And all this could either lead you to feel shame or to silo your sex to some “other time” in your life.
Remember how I said earlier that sex is a self-fulfilling cycle? The more sex you have, the more sex you want. Or the more pleasure you experience, the more pleasure you want to experience.
In fact, what you’re doing in your body is actively training your body to process a wide variety of sensations, emotions, biological functions, chemical release, and physiological changes throughout your arc of arousal and orgasm.
Masturbation not only trains your body to process pleasure and joy, it trains your body and brain to notice pleasure, freedom, confidence, and joy. In other words, the more pleasure you experience, the more you notice pleasure in your life because you intentionally orient yourself to pleasure and joy.
Countless movies and sitcoms have made joking reference to a character’s good mood as the after effect of good sex the night before. The character is lighter, brighter, and daily stressors, like the jerk boss or the stack of bills, have less impact than the day before.
When you invest in giving yourself the sexual pleasure you deserve, you create the conditions to feel more deeply connected to yourself and your intuition, the planet (your only home), the people around you, especially the ones you love, and your mission in the world. As anecdotes and science suggest, when you feel more deeply connected to what matters to you, you take bigger risks and make a bigger impact. That might translate into more money by getting the raise you asked for or attracting more clients, showing your art or craft to more people, celebrating a breakthrough in a project you’ve been working on for some time, or finally taking that vacation of a lifetime you’ve been craving.
Here are 10 actions you can take now to lubricate the pathway to the sexually satisfied life you deserve:
- Give thanks every day for your erotic self. Name one thing each day you are proud of or you love about your sexuality, erotic body, or sexual confidence.
- Get to know your body. Touch your genitals, butthole included, every time you shower and bathe. Integrate your genitals with the rest of you — arms, legs, stomach, and heart.
- Get to know your desires. Make a list of 100 desires and let yourself dream, fantasize, and hold your big dreams side by side with your every day to do list.
- Talk your partner or friends. Ask them what they get out of sex and what keeps them coming back for more
- Make a sexual bucket list. Name the things you want to do or try and start strategizing.
- Masturbate on your own, looking at yourself in front of a mirror or with your partner or in a group.
- Look at other people’s bodies with tenderness, compassion, and love. Look at all kinds of people, across the gender, age, size, race, or ability and see humans deserving of love, compassion, pleasure, and adoration.
- Use your voice. Speak your desires out loud. Make noise during sex with yourself or other people. Say, “Yes,” when you feel good.
- Create or join community that is actively dedicated to ending sexual shame, creating confidence and sexual satisfaction.
- Get support from a mentor you trust. For many of us, sex can be a scary place when we want it to be a gloriously free and blissful space. Look for a mentor who is rolling up their sleeves and getting to work, who has a structure you can follow, and who inspires you.
Body. Voice. Desire. Touch. Love. Community.
If you resonate with any of the above and want to take this written direction into living, breathing action, check out the Maximize Your Pleasure Live Bootcamp for Women.
Please comment below and tell me your thoughts and feelings about this article.