Book Excerpt: Mind-Blowing Sex: A Woman's Guide by Diana Cage
The most important thing is for us to take the reins of our own desire experience. It does us no good to wait passively for a partner to put us in the mood. The idea that we’re all sleeping beauties waiting for someone to come awaken our desire with a kiss is a terrible trap. There is no way another person can know what we need to get turned on in any given moment. We can have better sex more often if we take control of getting turned on.
Keep your sex drive alive by engaging with erotic stimuli on your own terms, and then use the turned-on state you create on your own to have great sex with your lover. Keep some dirty books and a vibrator in your nightstand. Read some smut to get your juices flowing. Treat yourself to regular orgasms, whether you currently have a lover or not. Sex is a reward system—the more orgasms you have, the more you want.
Try this. List some past experiences where you found yourself really turned on seemingly out of the blue. What did it for you? A scene in a movie? A kiss? A fantasy? If you are in a low-sex-drive period and want to change it, it can help to think about times when you’ve really wanted it. Recalling moments when you’ve felt a rush of desire can help remind you that you do indeed enjoy sex, even if you are currently in a funk.
Write down five hot-for-it moments in the space below. Don’t think too hard; just write down whatever comes to mind. You’ll be jotting down notes quite a bit throughout this book. The process of writing helps you connect to your feelings. It also helps you remember things once you’ve brought them to mind.
THE PERFECT SEX LIFE
Forget it. It’s a myth. Buying into the idea that there even is such a thing is screwing up the sex life right in front of you. We’re all convinced that somewhere out there people are having sex with easy-breezy, multiple, simultaneous orgasms every single time. That men have raging hard-ons that last all night; that women come from nothing more than vaginal penetration; that everyone has a perfect body, a perfect sexual response, nice, sweet, innocent turn-ons that don’t make them feel ashamed, the perfect amount of intimacy, and uncomplicated feelings about love. The reality is, the couples who report the highest amount of sexual satisfaction are also the ones that have the most down-to-earth expectations and accept the limits of their bodies.
A 2006 study at the University of Arizona asked couples to record how they felt about each other every day for two months. Guess what? Even the happiest couples didn’t always feel desire for each other. And some couples reported being hot for their partner one day and cold for them the next. The researchers also noted that couples who had the most positive feelings about their significant other overall were the ones who had the most passion for each other. The big passion-killers were negative emotions like anger, anxiety, neglect, and sadness. Buried anger and resentment toward a partner are sure sex-life killers. If you suffer from unresolved feelings, take steps to resolve them. They hurt you, they hurt your partner, and they hurt your sex life.
New-relationship energy, also called limerence, rarely lasts longer than three years. This is common and natural, and doesn’t mean you’ve fallen out of love and your relationship is over. Rather, studies show that we get bored first. Once the new relationship energy drops off, we don’t have the experience of spontaneous desire to fall back on, so we think we’ve lost interest in our partners and/or sex. The truth is, women who understand their sex drive and the sexual ebb and flow of relationship dynamics can re-create the early excitement phase. Sometimes it will be high and sometimes it will be low, but it won’t disappear completely unless you let it.
Break your bad habits. Do you find yourself always saying no to sex because you think you are too tired? You might be tired, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get in the mood. Sometimes an orgasm is exactly the kind of relief a stressed-out woman needs. If getting turned on seems daunting, employ your vibrator to speed things along. Saying yes to sex can pay off by keeping us connected to our libido. Letting it go too long can make getting started seem even more difficult. So say yes to pleasure, even if it takes some work.
Explore new types of sex, and don’t ever judge your desires. Female sexuality has been pathologized and stigmatized for too long. There is no such thing as “normal.” It isn’t any more normal to be straight, vanilla, and monogamous than it is to be into SM and anal sex. Get rid of rules and self-imposed restrictions. Do something new and maybe even kinky from time to time. Engage in sensual, sense-stimulating activities that make you feel sexy. Try limiting the major desire-killers—anxiety, worry, stress, fear—through self-care activities like yoga, massage, and talk therapy. Remember that you don’t need a lover to be sexual. You can explore sexual stimuli like erotica and pornography regardless of whether or not you have a partner. Treat yourself to solo sex more often. Allowing yourself to be sexual and embracing your own desire outside of responding to a partner’s needs is a major step in creating a more satisfying sex-life.