Late night sex talk: Comfort over performance

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily represent those of Maryville College or the Highland Echo staff.

As I’ve said in a previous column, I have had four sexual partners in my life, two women and two men. I would say that all of my relationships have been positive, but my current partner gives me by far the healthiest and most pleasurable sex I have ever had.

Sex is not a contest. It’s not a performance, either. Sex is just sex, and it’s about a lot more than getting off.
I use sex as a way to feel pleasure, joy and peace. I use it as a way to feel closer to my partner, to learn about her body, and to learn about mine. I love the exploration and the spirituality of sex. I love it all.

In previous relationships, I have struggled with the experience of sex. Orgasm was the ultimate goal, and without it, the sex was ruined. I even faked it a few times, because I felt like my partner needed it to be happy. And honestly, that took all the fun out of something that was designed to be immensely enjoyable.

I understand the concern my partner had to make me feel good, but when there was so much emphasis on the orgasm, rather than the sex itself, I felt like I was under pressure to perform. Not only that, but I also felt that the sex had to be perfect in order for us to enjoy it. Nothing could be awkward, or the mood was ruined and we had to stop.

But that is not genuine, that is acting. And I am not having sex so that I can pretend that I’m enjoying it. I’m having sex so that I can actually enjoy it.

If you’ve ever had sex, you know that sometimes it’s just awkward. Some positions do not work the way you thought they would, and you end up having to climb around each other to regain some kind of sexual composure. Your body might make a funny sound and you find yourself being more embarrassed than you have ever been in your life. And, most commonly, sometimes even great sex doesn’t lead to an orgasm.

Let me give you a little real life example of what I’m talking about. My partner and I finally got a new bedroom toy a little while ago, and the first time we used it was both really awesome and really awkward. Neither of us had done anything like this before, so we were both totally in the dark about how to do it well.

There was a lot of “yeah, that’s good” but there was also a lot of “no, stop, this is bad.” It’s just the way the world turns, I’m afraid.

But I had a great time, because I was exploring something new with someone that I am completely comfortable making mistakes with. And when you’re trying to have great sex that is what matters.

I only realized that something was wrong with that picture when I started having sex with someone new. I didn’t realize when I was younger, but when you’re comfortable enough to make mistakes during your sex, you end up having the best sex of your life.

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