One Thing That Actually Gets In The Way Of Your Pleasure
Written By Nicole Charky
When it comes to intimacy, it’s your pleasure—your prerogative.
Whether you’re in a committed relationship or single, your sexuality is something only you can own and express, Dr. Shannon Chavez tells Do The Good Stuff.
Chavez is a Los Angeles-based sex therapist working with couples and individuals on how to access pleasure and break down the barriers to orgasm.
She’s focused on the pleasure gap—the sad truth that many women don’t experience orgasms during sex, that men are three times more likely to orgasm compared to women during intercourse.
Changing the path to pleasure starts by acknowledging that intercourse isn’t the only route. And actually, picturing pleasure solely as intercourse limits how you feel good and your overall relationship with your body.
“The relationship you have with your body is the longest relationship you will have in your life,” says Chavez.
Where Your Pleasure Comes From
It’s important to understand orgasms in terms of a mind and body approach, Chavez says. An orgasm is a reflex and it changes all the time. That’s why sometimes when you’re distracted, stressed or have a lot on your mind it can be hard to reach an orgasm.
It’s on you. You control how you talk about sex with your partner, therefore you control about how you ask for things from your partner. It’s up to you and your partner to talk about it and fully understand it. It’s up to you to speak up, especially if you feel any pain. Sex should never hurt, Chavez says, and if it does then it’s crucial to talk to your doctor about it.
Sexual Boredom: An American Story
This is something that is happening in bedrooms across America, Chavez says. Start with dialogue. Get simple: Talk about what you like. Say what you’re curious about. Take it to the next level and show your partner how you masturbate.
Maybe you don’t have a partner. Or even if you do, take a look at you. Yes, take a peek at your vulva. Do you know what it looks like? Many women have never seen their own genitals, Chavez says. Why not check it out?
How to Own Your Sexual Pleasure
Your sexuality can be a positive force in your life and it’s important to view it that way, Chavez says. Being able to talk about sex openly, being open to letting others know who you are, are all major benefits to your well-being and allow you to better harness your pleasure.
There are plenty of health benefits to having sex, and pleasure can have a direct impact on your body, mind and spirit. Chavez suggests a few practical ways to tap into these benefits by starting with self-care, anything you’re doing intentionally for your overall health and body.
Sometimes you can feel stunted in your pleasure or in the ways you reach it. Chavez starts with one simple question: Have you masturbated? Masturbation can leave you feeling happier, improve your overall mood.
Masturbation isn’t the only way to get to know your sexual pleasure. Body exploration — not just masturabtion or sex — but spending time with yourself and your body is important self care. One way is to walk around in the nude in your home, get to know your body and feel comfortable in your skin.
Do you have a visual stimuli? For Chavez, it’s Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. But who turns you on, visually? It’s called vague stirring, and it’s a form of sexual stimuli.
How do you treat that time before you have sex or experience personal pleasure? Do you feel intentional? Do you groom? What type of things do you do to take care of yourself and your body? Do you shower and put on clothing that makes you feel good? Do you do your hair? Do you do your makeup?
Are you moving? Do you stretch before sex? Do you do some type of pilates or yoga to warm up? Whatever you need to feel embodied, in your body and in the moment, is what Chavez recommends.
Saying no - it’s important to know how to say no. You aren’t responsible for your partner's feelings, something important to remember, and also you are not going to disappoint anyone. Boundaries allow you to have a sense of what you’re ok with and what you’re not ok with. There are external boundaries, which include your body, distance, touch and sex. And internal boundaries, which include your spiritual, relational and emotional thoughts.
“The truth is sex is messy, smelly, noisy, imperfect and that’s what makes it fun,” Chavez says. “Be responsive to things that turn you on. Don’t wait for a partner. The truth is you’re in charge of turning you on.”