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You know that racing to cross the “finish line” when it comes to sex usually means hurrying your way towards orgasm. And while you know that sex is more than just the last few seconds, it can be hard to relax and enjoy the rest when you’re focused on what’s next or waiting for a grand finale.

If the goal of sex is orgasm, then sure, focus on that. It’s not easy to take your mind off orgasming when you don’t have any other goals in mind. But what if we reframed the goals of sex?

Pretend orgasm isn’t going to happen. Now what?

Sure it very well might happen, but to get thinking about other goals during sex, let’s pretend it’s not even an option for now.

First, know that orgasm does not need to be the measuring stick of great sex. Sex can be immensely satisfying for everyone involved—it’s up to you and your partner(s) to define your sexual experience. Sometimes orgasm simply is not even on the table—medications, stress, exhaustion, illness, and a variety of reasons could be to blame. It just isn’t going to happen. The good news is that it does not mean you can’t cozy up to new ideas about your sexual experience.

And by all means, if you or your partner(s) want an orgasm, you have permission to go and get it (not that you need our permission).

Regardless of your goals between the sheets, we could all use a little dose of the “be here now” mindset and instead of racing towards the “finish,” taking the time to stop and smell the (ahem) flowers and enjoying the ride could do us all some good. And if you end up in orgasm-town at the end, there are plenty of attractions to enjoy while you’re on your way there.

Here are some ideas for some other things to aim for during sex:

  • Pure joy
    Bliss and satisfaction don’t always have to translate to a climax. And heck, it doesn’t even need to involve genitals! Pleasure can involve all five of your senses and can come from your partner’s caress on your skin or their scent as you draw in closer. Touch alone brings a bunch of positives—including lowering stress, heart rate, and even blood pressure. Hello bliss!
  • Unplug and unwind
    Because sex is a physical activity, it can be a wonderful way to de-stress and unwind after a frustrating day at the office or letting go of whatever’s on your mind. It can also be a great way to let go of the days less enjoyable parts and take your mind off what’s distracting you from your pleasure.
  • Closeness
    Sex can deepen your emotional connection with your partner(s) and help people feel heightened levels of attraction, closeness, and intimacy. It doesn’t even matter if you reach orgasm—for many people, the experience of being physically close and sharing pleasure are some of the most enjoyable benefits of sex.
  • Happiness 
    Um, flooding your brain with feel-good hormones? Yes, please! When was the last time a playful romp left you in a bad mood? Even better, if you’re feeling a little icky about your day, sex can help you get out of your head and into a more joyful place.
  • Mindfulness & Being Fully Present 
    Like peeling back the layers of an onion, sex can open us up to different sides and deeper layers of ourselves that might not be apparent in our ordinary lives. Feeling present in your body and getting in tune with your breath and your physical movements and all the sensations during sex can help deepen your stillness or meditation practice.

When you pause to feel your body’s response to sex fully instead of focusing on an outcome, you can become more aware in your everyday life.

You get to decide what sex means to you and what makes sex satisfying. It’s also important to communicate with your partner(s) what you’re thinking and feeling so they can understand and get to know you better.

Are you having trouble enjoying sex or just have some questions, coaching might be for you. Get in touch and see how we might be able to help!

 

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Image by May Tanferri

Sexology International, like all of our work, is for people of all sexual preferences and all forms of gender expression, including people whose identity is something other than male or female. As such, we like to use gender-neutral pronouns. More recently accepted alternatives include words like “ze” and “hir” or the universal pronoun “they.” Throughout our work, we will be doing our best to use alternative pronouns, such as “they,” whenever gender or plurality is unimportant. In doing so we hope it helps everyone to feel included in the discussion and that it inspires you to think outside of traditional sex and gender binaries.



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