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Venus Envy Advisory: Sexual health and pleasure alert

Q:

Dear VE,

I’ve been with my partner for almost a year and he really enjoys the sex we have. I, on the other hand, can never manage to get off when we’re having intercourse. I’ve tried guiding his hand, I’ve tried being subtle with my approach but sex with him, while amazing unto itself, has just gotten a bit tedious.

I love everything else about my partner… except when we have sex. Because I don’t want to risk hurting him or his ego, what are some toys I can use in the bedroom that might make things fun for the both of us, which would hopefully finally get me off?

— Still on the Runway in Stittsville

A:

Dear Still on the Runway in Stittsville,

Many of us spend time in the kind of fantasy that you’re in. We dream about being able to hint so well with our hips that our partners will eventually just catch on.

Getting what I want without actually having to ask for it is one of the most seductive things I find myself fantasizing about, because it means never having to risk being disappointed or hurting someone else. Plus, it’s the eye of a perfect storm of expectations; the dead centre of ‘having-it-all’, not needing too much and being very, very nice.

And I know that you want to be nice to your partner. That you see how hard the world is and how hard your partner is trying, and you don’t want to add too much to his shoulders.

But with all the tenderness in the world, I feel it’s my responsibility to say this to you: Fuck that. All of that.

Because in this case, being “nice” and saving your partner’s ego means putting your needs second, and that is not a foundation on which equitable relationships are built. You are allowed to ask for what you want. You deserve to have sex that feels good. Your pleasure is not an inconvenience.

Take a minute to write down every single thing that is making you believe that your orgasm is less important than your partner’s, and then light that shit on fire. Watch it burn.

Then, buy a vibrator. Spend some time with it yourself, figuring out where and how it feels good. Eventually, let your partner watch so he can learn how to get you off.

A bullet-style vibrator can be fun for partnered sex because it’s small and doesn’t get in the way. If you want to splurge, buy a We-Vibe Sync: this is a hands-free toy that is made for partnered, penetrative sex, and you’ll both feel the vibrations when its turned on.

If your partner is as kind and loving as you say he is, he is likely to be horrified when you tell him that you’ve been having sex for the past year without getting off. Still, I think you need to do it.

Take a deep breath and just tell him what’s been going on for you. Explain that you, like many people, need a particular kind of stimulation to get off, and that it usually won’t happen from just intercourse.

It will be a hard conversation, but try not to lose your nerve. Remember that your liberation happens in these moments… one uncomfortable conversation at a time.

— Sam Whittle, Sex Educator and Owner of Venus Envy

Send questions you want Sam to answer to editors.the.leveller@gmail.com

This article first appeared in the Leveller Vol. 10, No. 3 (Nov/Dec 2017).

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