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in this issue ASA BUTTERFIELD BY MITCHELL NGUYEN MCCORMACK

Sex : Rules That Spoil Sex

Each of us believes in a set of “sex rules.” These, however, some of these might end up doing more harm than good to our sex lives. Dr. Tara Few explains

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We learn about sex from our experiences, from other people and the world around us. Our culture circulates information and ideas about what sex is, what sex should be, how often we should be having sex, who we ought to be having sex with. Sometimes we choose to believe things that do not help us find and sustain sexual pleasure. Instead, we buy into rules that lead us o suppress our deepest desires and to deny the hope that things can get better. Some of your “Sex Rules” will hopefully be positive; beliefs about your entitlement to pleasure, your freedom to explore what sexual fulfilment means to you and recognition of your entitlement to awaken and celebrate your sexual potential. You are probably also investing in other beliefs, which may be destructive to having great sexual experiences and are actually a source of anxiety and insecurity that undermines your confidence. So, take a look at the five most common beliefs that block sexual happiness, and see which ones sound familiar.

  1. SHE SHOULD KNOW WHAT IT TAKES TO TURN ME ON

If we hold on to the idea that it is someone else’s responsibility to “give” us an orgasm, then we are abandoning our own responsibility. There are no magical techniques that will send every single person into the throes of sexual ecstasy. Expecting your partner to be responsible for your sexual pleasure is unreasonable. It allows you to remain detached from your own sexuality and lets you hang onto an imagined sense of safety through the lack of your own participation and responsibility. Do not make other people do the work for you, trying to guess what it is that you want: It is not a successful strategy for great sex.

  1. SEXUAL PASSION IS DOOMED TO AN INEVITABLE DECLINE

The specific danger of this belief is that it justifies and reinforces the temptation to give up and stop trying to create and maintain sexual passion in a long-term relationship. This can easily lead to a situation in which there is no longer any physical touch between you and your partner and emotional connection and intimacy levels will begin to diminish. Although it may not be easy, find the courage to talk to your partner if you feel that you are not happy with your current sex life. You need to recognize that better sex takes effort, time and commitment.

  1. A REAL MAN IS READY FOR SEX, ANYTIME AND ANYWHERE

This conviction completely simplifies and trivializes men’s sexual responses. Men are not sexual machines who are ready to perform upon command, although many messages that we receive about sex tell us that this is the case. When sex fails, some women tend to find it easier to blame the man rather than acknowledging that sexual connections between two people are controlled and created by both people, not just the man. Reflecting upon this flawed assumption can enable them to take more responsibility for their own sexual pleasure. While for men, it can come as a welcome relief from taking total responsibility for giving a woman the gift of sexual pleasure.

“Masturbation is a fantastic way to enhance partner sex because it is all about exploring your own sexual potential”

  1. THE MORE SEXUAL TECHNIQUES I KNOW, THE BETTER A LOVER I AM

Learning more and better sex tips and tricks to bring you greater sexual satisfaction is not always the key to sexual fulfilment. Some people do have great sex lives and want to learn more about how to make it even better. In this kind of situation, tips and tricks can add another element to the relationship. However, if your sex life is not fulfilling, expecting a quick fix in the form of “things” to do is unlikely to bring you what you want. Technical proficiency alone can make for an emotionally isolating experience, if not for you then possibly for your partner. It comes back to the sex-self-spirit connection. Can you let go enough emotionally and physically to open yourself up to pleasure?

  1. MASTURBATION IS ONLY A SUBSTITUTE FOR “PROPER” SEX

Masturbation is a fantastic way to enhance partner sex because it is all about exploring your own sexual potential. You do not need a lover to explore your own sexuality and raise your sexual energy. In fact, the more you know about your own sexual response, the better a lover you can become. When you take responsibility for knowing about what you like and dislike, then you are able to show a partner how to please you. Many people view masturbation as something of a last resort for a single person. However, learning how to pleasure yourself enables you to develop a rich fantasy life that can enhance your sexual relationships with other people. Creating sustained sexual happiness requires you to be comfortable with who you are and that you are aware of your sexual style, as well as your likes and dislikes. Other people’s reactions are their problem, their issues—not yours. It can seem as if you have to take on board the discomfort and judgment of others, but you do not. Remember that you get to decide how to react to other people and you can choose to be courageous, confident and act with the certainty that you know and accept who you are as a sexual being.

Dr. Tara Few is an noted expert in sex and relationships, and is popularly known as “The UK Sex Coach.”

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