Come Again? (aka Why I Have a Bone to Pick With Orgasm-Centric Sex)

One of my favorite college memories is of a time when I experienced one of the greatest emotional connections I have ever had with a romantic partner. That evening, he and I decided to become sexually intimate with each other. We fooled around for a couple of hours, helping each other masturbate, but neither of us was having any success bringing the other to orgasm, even though I had my handy dandy vibrator in tow. We could not pinpoint what was missing, as we were used to getting each other off all the time; our bodies simply weren’t cooperating how we wished. Eventually, we paused to rest and decided to quit for the evening.

I remember my partner’s frustration with himself and with the situation. He felt like he failed us both. I, on the other hand, felt an incredible closeness to him and a wave of relief. That experience became my most vivid memory of emotional intimacy in our relationship, even though it was entirely one-sided.

That moment was the first time I realized that guys don’t always have an orgasm every time they set out to achieve one.

Back then, I knew far more about cis-male sexual norms than cis-female sexual norms, thanks to hounding my guyfriends in high school with questions at every opportunity. Each time I had engaged in sexual activity with a guy, he always orgasmed. I simply assumed it came (pun intended) with the territory.

In contrast, I had no clue how to orgasm with a partner, nor was I sufficiently concerned to learn. I had been warned that it was a difficult feat for women, in general, so when no partner before this fellow had ever successfully helped me climax, I assumed that was normal.

Fun fact! Only two of my nine boyfriends have ever successfully helped me achieve an orgasm without the aid of a vibrator. Vibrators are a godsend, y’all, and I can’t praise them enough. But, I digress.

I do not mean for my don’t-set-out-just-to-cum sentiment to extend to orgasm denial or other forms of orgasm-centric (and awesome) kinky play. With that said, to base an entire encounter on getting one or all partners off can easily create too much pressure with a means-to-an-end goal. The presence of a partner brings a lot more stimulation for all five of your senses, and that can be detrimental when you’re trying to maintain or elevate the physical state of your sexual arousal.

I find that orgasming with partners is easiest — and most pleasurable — when it’s not the goal of a sexual act, but a byproduct.

Even when one or all partners don’t get off, you can still have an emotionally fulfilling and sexually gratifying experience. If that attitude is not part of your regular routine, I encourage you to give it a few whirls and see how you feel.

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