Note: As normal for these, I am going to write from the perspective of a heterosexual male, because I am one, but the principles can be applied to all types of sexual partners. I just wont pretend to understand exactly how as I could easily miss something here or there when moving beyond my own experiences to reflecting on areas of study alone.
The best sex always comes after giving a massage. Not necessarily right afterwords, simply after the discovery. Yes, this is not a massage to break apart knots, it is a discovery. Take 2-3 hours listening to exactly how the body responds to sensation and pressure. What is too much pressure and how does their body communicate that? What is too little? At what point do they melt into relaxation or excitation? This is a moment to rediscover this point again and again all over their body.
Time is important here because it is a different type of learning. We are not learning intellectually. We are learning body awareness and creating muscle memory. This is an important distinction, as making love is about presence. So when we pull into our minds to think about doing “this” or “that” we loose the most basic principle and purpose of the experience itself. When we learn to listen, though, we can let our bodies have entire conversations constantly making micro-adjustments subconsciously to allow our partner to blossom into new levels of pleasure.
This is not about taking the lessons learned from massaging shoulders and applying it to ones more sensitive areas. It is the opposite. It is about approaching the entire body with the careful attention and care we would offer their most sensitive parts and adjusting pressure accordingly. You’ll discover that bodies are very clear in their communication. They will tell you exactly what they want and don’t want. Let go of any ego here and just listen with curiosity. Its not about giving a perfect massage; for example, one of the most important things to do is pay particluar attention to the whole cascade of subtle reactions they make when they are feeling displeasure. Over time their body will guide you to the ways in which it most likes to receive attention.
Speak up! Yep, this is also a time to talk to one another. Be vocal about what is feeling great, and not so great. Learning here will allow so much more communication when having sex, and gives us practice speaking up durring sex too.
Sadly non-verbal communication is a tool that is highly underdeveloped this day in age. I didn’t realize just how much so until I started doing Contact Improv. Contact Improv is a dance that relies on creating and cultivating a non-verbal conversation. At first it is an odd feeling, and can be a jolting experience. Over time the body learns how to listen and it can become a fluid conversation. “Yes” and “No” become more neuanced to an ever enriching vocabulary letting you know so much about what your dance partner is feeling at that moment. It can be playful, sensual, sad, joyful, healing, silly, and often a little bit of it all.
I highly encourage people to explore this dance and let it be about learning a new language, not just sexuality. Dance with men and women of all ages. Learn how everyone is unique and how to adjust your energy and sensitivity to start a conversation with anyone. This is actually a really important point. When people only dance with others they are sexually attracted to they come into the dance with too much expectation and bias to be an active student. It will only work against you. You wont see the difference between the energy you are bringing in verses what they are brining in. Again this exercise is about listening. Instead dance with everyone and over time you grow your ability to read others. This is invaluable as your partners body, breath, and presence speaks to you.
There are many ways to make love. Make sure to take a few times, especially in the beginning, where you take more time than you think you should exploring their body. Watch their breath. How long does it take for them to become fully aroused? Some will be almost instantaneous, others will be half and hour or more of stimulation. Everyone will change over time and on different days. How does their breath change as they start to climax? How do their bodies react to this? What does it feel like inside of her when she orgasms? What about just afterwards? Is it different when they have their second orgasm? This can be a really fun afternoon of just discovery. Let the experience be just about your partner with no agenda other than discovering how their body experiences pleasure. Then stay curious. Ask yourself every time how this moment is unique. What is their body saying differently this time.
Be thorough. I would suggest kissing every square inch of their body. If you haven’t done this with a partner I can almost guarantee that you have missed a fun erogenous zone. We all know the basics, the sides of ones neck, ears, lips, the inner thigh, nipples, etc. What is talked about much less frequently is that erogenous zones are actually quite different for each person, and can show up in unexpected places. This is because there is a lot of nurture in the wiring of erogenous zones. For example, in some cases someone who has been paralyzed will have another part of their body become highly sensitive, sensitive enough to bring them to orgasm, such as an ear. So take the time to really honor and discover your lovers body with different types of sensation. You get to discover which parts of their body really turn them on the most. It’s quite fun when you find an area of pleasure than neither you, nor they, expected.
- Pay particular attention to the change in their breath and what that change means to them. Breathing patterns have some carryover from person to person, but are really quite different when you get into it.
- Follow their heartbeat. Find areas on their body where you can most sensually feel their heartbeat. A hand on their heart directly is an easy one. I say this as two fingers on their wrist isn’t always the most romantic. Then again every couple is different.
- Follow the tension and relaxation of their muscles and nipples. Learn from their perspiration. Their entire body will speak. Listen!
A Real Yes!
This takes the concept of consent to another level as well. I have encountered several times when I received a verbal “yes” but a non-verbal “no,” and vise versa. Here we should always follow the lowest common denominator. Always listen to a “no.” It is easy to hear the words “no” and register that, but we must understand that we are very complicated beings. This means that a verbal “yes” is only the start of a yes. A true yes will have the body saying yes too. I have held more than one women in tears because for the very first time someone listened to her body and not just her passive “yes.” The intimacy and safety created in these moments are so healing. They lead to great connection and incredible sex.
Women are taught to believe they are crazy when they feel taken advantage of if they don’t speak up. But they always speak up. Just not always with words. Bodies are never silent.
Women can feel a lot of pressure to give pleasure, they can be confronted with mixed emotions, and they can simply be horny but not physically excited enough yet. There are lots of reasons why they may say “yes” when their body isn’t ready yet. So take any verbal “yes” as an invitation to check in with the body to see if they are giving a full “YES!”
If you are noticing that their body is saying “no” this can be a great opportunity to check in with them and/or have fun warming them up and helping them relax. The route forward really depends on what their body is saying and don’t be afraid to ask for some direction here. Very loving statements can be “I am noticing your body really tensing up. You are not fully aroused. Lets slow down and help you relax before making love.” Or, especially for new lovers, “You are so beautiful. I am also noticing that you are really tense right now and want to make sure that everything is ok. If you are just stressed from life then lets have fun helping you relax first. And again there are many ways we can connect if you are not ready to have sex right now.”
Let me deconstruct that last one, as I don’t expect anyone to say these words exactly. First I am reassuring them that their is nothing wrong with them. I would still love to fuck! Many women will feel rejected if you stop the act of sex thinking there is something wrong with them. Second, I’m letting them know what I noticed and not assuming to know why it is. I’m offering a possible excuse, and a solution. Lastly, I’m inviting them to connect in a way other than sex. This gets at the fact that if someone says they want to have sex then they want to connect, but may just be trying to please you. By connecting in another way they’ll understand they are not being rejected and that their feelings are ok. All of this sets a stage of understanding where hopefully they will feel comfortable letting you know what they want. Even after this conversation, I always yield to what the body says. Frankly, at best, sex that’s not a total mind-body-spirit fuck yes just isn’t worth having. At worst, it can hurt someone or reinforce an area when they have been hurt in the past.