You often hear the advice to not make orgasm the goal of sex. If you get so caught up in the last few seconds, after all, it can be hard to enjoy the rest. But what should the goal of sex be, then? It's hard to take your mind off orgasming when you don't know what else to think about.
"Orgasm need not be the pinnacle or barometer of great sex," Astroglide's resident sexologist Dr. Jess O'Reilly tells Bustle. "Sex can be profoundly satisfying both with and without orgasm — it’s up to you to decide what defines your ultimate sexual experience. Sometimes, because of stress, exhaustion, medications, and a range of personal and health issues, you may find that orgasm simply isn’t going to happen, and that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy sexual experiences."
This isn't to say that if you want an orgasm, you shouldn't go after it or don't have the right to ask for it. Women are often taught that sex is more about their partners' orgasms or that their own orgasms are too complicated to bother with. This isn't true at all.
But all of us, regardless of gender, could stand to stop racing toward the journey and enjoy the destination. Even if you do have an orgasm at the end, there's plenty to enjoy before that. Here are some things to aim for during sex that are not an orgasm.