If you're feeling bored or frustrated about your sex life that's a cue for a shake-up. Boredom and frustration are BIG indicators that the status quo just isn't cutting it anymore. It could well be that you're adhering to the collective rules of sex and it's time to part ways with them.
Fact: The rules of sex that govern your intimate life are actively feeding the blocks that you have about sex.
The best news is that sex doesn’t have any rules. The only foundation that everyone must have is that it is safe and consensual between two adults. Beyond that there's freedom. There’s liberation. There’s choice.
Whenever your head uses the words I have to, I must or I should do x, y and z, these are your three warning bells that you are living by sex rules that act as pleasure inhibitors, stress inducers and feeders of your sexual blocks.
Here are some of the common sex rules I hear from women that need to be broken, dispelled and banished to a faraway void:
Rule #1: When you are in a long-term relationship, all sex must = intercourse. This simply isn't true and limits our sexual skill set. When intercourse is a rule between long-term couples, it's a trigger for women to close-up. When I was an adolescent, penetration and intercourse was considered going all the way and it was this final step that we were all clamouring towards. But here’s a newsflash: we aren’t teenagers anymore and we have choice. When intercourse is a must of sexual expression between two people we start to close off other options and other possibilities within the whole spectrum of touch.
It creates predictability that leads to boredom, which leads to frustration.
One little sex hack that lots of couples don't realise is that is that women are not exactly the same throughout all stages of the menstrual cycle (or the week, the hour. We are changeable). This sounds obvious on the surface but when it comes to sex we express ourselves differently through the four different phases. This will be blocked if you are on hormonal based contraceptives – I’m a condom fan personally. The phase of the menstrual cycle where we are most receptive and most eager for intercourse is ovulation (days 13-15). We are better lubricated and we have all of our hormones in a really nice beautiful sync with a little peak of testosterone as well.
Women need to stop treating and forcing their bodies to be the same every moment and everyday of their lives. It is stunting our potential.
We need to simultaneously shed some of the ideas of adolescence (or the early parts of a memorable sexual relationship) and go back to retrieve some of the curiosity and the exploration that was such a driving force within our sexual bodies.
What sorts of touch did you play around with during adolescence before intercourse?
What was going through your mind as you discovered each other's bodies?
What's been abandoned in your sex life because intercourse is the go-to?
A tell-tale sign that intercourse needs to take a bit of a break from your sex life is when you're really negatively anticipating it happening.
When a woman negatively anticipates penetration of any kind, her body starts to close up and her pelvic floor tightens, her lubrication can slow down and she feels dry.
Physical signs aside, the real indication is what's going on in your head because there remains a possibility that your body can still express signs that point towards Yes. I want this. (I'll talk about this phenomenon in future).
But if your head is saying No. I don't feel like it. I don't feel ready. I don't want this to happen right now… whatever that no sounds like then that's your cue that you need to do something else then and there. You can always revisit the idea of intercourse later. If this is always happening, it’s time for your whole sex life to have a break from penetration of any kind. I’ve spoken about this is the Intercourse Trap article.
Let’s go deeper:
What's happened with foreplay in your sex life?
Where has massage and sensual touch that doesn't focus on the erogenous zones gone?
Where is oral sex that expects nothing in return?
But the biggest question of them all is…
What is the worst thing that will happen if you break this rule of sex?
As a woman, are you worried that he won't love you as much or he will feel rejection? As a man, are you stuck in the habit of thinking that this is what is always done - this penetration is what constitutes sex?
Sex has very broad parameters and I urge you to open up your definition of it. Consider what constitutes something erotic and sexual in order to increase your repertoire and to give yourself choice. That’s where freedom lives, baby!
Rule #2: Sex is a must happen for special occasions like birthdays and celebrations. Having a must attached to an event of pleasure is a sure-fire sabotage generator. Sabotages happen when we set up expectations around having a pleasurable experience, especially when we save up all of our pleasure to release it in one big go. When we go celibate with our pleasure, only to release the pent up tension in one big go (like when you save sex for a special occasion) you inadvertently create expectations and expectations are best friends with pressure.
Sex should not be a must for special occasions in life. Really, the more pressure there is to have sex to celebrate special occasions, the more it should be avoided.
It's not that there's anything wrong with scheduling sex or keeping it in mind but the anticipation can be more negative and anxiety provoking than enticing. The expectation to be sexual can mean that apprehension is more anxiety than excitement and when anxiety has the steering wheel, women sabotage that sexual possibility in order to quell feeling on edge. Creating a sabotage gets them out of nervousness and feeling inadequate (and on a deeper level, so many women don't believe that they are worthy of sexual pleasure). This happens by picking a fight, drinking too much or withdrawing completely to reduce the possibility for sex and intimacy.
If it feels like a must for you to celebrate a special occasion with sex I strongly recommend having sex before the actual occasion happens. Why? Because if the special occasion involves eating, drinking and lots of outward socialising, then when it comes time to snuggle down you are too exhausted and feel spent. If you really want sex to be one of the special ingredients of a celebration, have sex before you go attend the special event.
Rule #3: You need to be having or working towards vaginal orgasms to have the ultimate experience of sex. The myth that there's something missing or lacking if you don't have vaginal orgasms still needs work. As soon as I think this one’s been busted, another woman will mention it to me as a source of ongoing inadequacy and not-enoughness.
This myth has such a stronghold over woman's libidos and capacity for pleasure because the rule that we should be moving towards vaginal orgasms, that we should be able to have them and that we are all capable of having them is impeding our growth and it’s getting stuck in our heads on repeat.
It's another message that women really don't need. We’ve already got enough negative messages out there to contend with during sex. We don't need one more thing taking us out of presence and giving us pressure.
There is a stat floating around but about 30 to 35% of women are capable (such a sexy word!) of vaginal orgasms. This means that more women don't have vaginal orgasms than do!
Let me strip orgasms back to their basic physiological function for you – sensations travel through nerves to your brain to create this explosion that humans describe as orgasm. The nerve for the clitoris and the nerve for the vagina are different. Just because you feel more through one nerve’s pathways than another doesn’t mean that there's anything wrong with your body.
Orgasms can be really healing and really cathartic and can take us to new depths and higher highs but you're definitely not going to taste those places if you're on a mission and you're pressuring yourself to get there.
Go ahead and read up on orgasms - get all the information from credible sources and go explore but don't get attached to it all and don't get hooked into the mindset that there's something wrong with you if you can't orgasm vaginally. If you start striving and don't feel these feelings, it's going to make you feel tense and unsafe in your own body (it’s your home: if you aren’t safe there, you aren’t safe anywhere). It will create a ravine between you and your pleasure. And we don’t want that!
What rules of sex do you need to break?
Do you need more to break free of the bullshit rules of sex? I provide a really effective process for women to shed the conditioning and call in the good stuff through my 1.1 session packages. Find out more here.
If groups are more your style, I have Conversations coming up very, very soon and Amplified starting again in late July 2017. Come give my unique perspectives on female sexuality a test drive before you commit to going deeper for yourself.