Dr J's Sex Facts

Fun sex facts and accurate information from a clinical sexologist for a hotter and more fulfilling sex life.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sexual Concerns, Part 2A: Women’s Guide to Getting Your Groove Back

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”
Anais Nin

In the past week, we’ve had a huge increase in readership; so in addition to welcoming you newbies, here’s a note about how to get the most out of this blog. As regular readers can attest, you might find it a bit different from others you’ve read because my intention is to be both entertaining and educational. Each new post is based on information presented in the previous one; so to get the maximum benefit, I recommend you begin with the introductory post from August and read forward from there.

Last week we discussed how many sexual concerns are related to ignorance (“Girls aren’t supposed to know about sex”), misinformation (when he was a child, my partner’s friend told him his mom had a penis!), negative childhood messages (many girls are given two washcloths—one for the rest of their body and one for that dreaded “down there”), emotional difficulties like depression, and relationship issues (and who among us hasn’t been there?).

Happily, several readers have emailed me to say their concerns were alleviated merely by reading last week’s post about those contributing factors. In fact, many sexual concerns can be relieved simply by becoming more educated.

However, often in this era of tabloid TV and self-help books, we want simple answers to complex problems. To offset this, I offer the following suggestions, which are not meant to be an end, but a beginning to helping you with sexual issues:

If you haven’t yet had an orgasm: First, you need to get comfortable with yourself as a sexual being. This means overcoming all those negative messages you’ve internalized about female sexuality, including the idea that women shouldn’t be interested in sex or knowledgeable about it. Would you drive a car down a crowded street if you didn’t first learn how to steer around a safe, empty parking lot? Learning about your own orgasm takes time, especially when everything’s new to you. Talking to other women is helpful, and so is reading about their experiences
–-especially those who have struggled with the same issues and overcome them. The surest way to orgasm is through self-pleasuring, so what are you waiting for? Getting over any discomfort is the first step. The second step is determining which of your hands works best.

For Yourself: The Fulfillment of Female Sexuality by Lonnie Barbach, has lots of supportive information, and The Hite Report by Shere Hite details how other women have experienced their sexuality. Both of these are classics in this area and have helped thousands of women. Once you’ve learned how to orgasm, you can decide if you want to share this with a partner; with this knowledge, you’ll be able to communicate your needs.

To develop orgasmic reliability: Practice makes perfect, and lots of self-pleasuring will teach you what works best for you. You can experiment with teasing yourself—going up and coming back down. You’ll get a sense of control, which is very important. If you have a sex partner or partners, let them know what might turn you on as well as what definitely does turn you on, and let them know whether you need them too spend more time stimulating you, or if you need a different kind of stimulation. You can also show them how you like to be touched by placing your hand on theirs and demonstrating–-they’re probably learning too, so be patient with them.

If you’re using alcohol or drugs to relax or zone out during sex, be aware that they may inhibit orgasmic reliability. Examine why you’re relying on them. Perhaps you still have some unresolved anxiety or fear?

If you experience pain or tightening of the vaginal muscle during sex: Make sure you’re turned on! If you’re not, explore why. Perhaps you feel angry, conflicted, guilty, or resentful. Is your partner unconcerned with your pleasure, or just clueless? Many relationship issues can also inhibit arousal, as can guilt and/or discomfort with sex and past sexual trauma. Be honest with yourself; and if none of the above fits for you, see your gynecologist for a “well woman” exam to determine whether there are any contributing physiological factors.

If you lack desire or have low desire: Are you still turned on to your partner, or just going through the motions? Maybe you’re bored because sex has become routine. Or maybe you’re feeling like your partner doesn’t want the same things as you. How can you find out? ASK. In some cases, people totally turn off their desire for sex—regardless of whether they’re partnered—because they’re guilty, conflicted, etc. And for some people, sex is just not a priority. If this is true for you, be yourself and don’t worry about it. Don’t let anyone try to convince you you’re defective!

One final thought: Often, sexual concerns are multi-causal; there may be several factors complicating your sexual enjoyment, for instance: body image (“My breasts are too small to be sexy”), guilt (“Every time I self-pleasure, I can feel my mother’s disapproval”), and ignorance (“Men don’t want women to take the lead in sex”).

Of course, education alone can’t always solve everything. After reading and trying the above, if you’re still having a concern, a clinical sexologist can help you decide on your next steps. If you can’t find one in your area, I’m happy to provide referrals.

The really cool thing is that as you learn about your body, take responsibility for your own pleasure, and become comfortable with yourself as a sexual being, you’ll develop what I refer to as “sexual self esteem.” And no one can take it away from you!

Next Week: Sexual Concerns Part 2B: Men’s Guide to Getting your Groove Back

Let me hear from you; your questions and comments are welcome.

With Pleasure,

Dr. J


  • At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Great news about your blog being reviewed in Jane's Guide. Love your Amazon ads.
    You rock!

  • At 1:18 PM, Blogger Dr J said…

    Thanks! You rock too! Dr. J


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