7 Ways To Prioritise Your Own Pleasure During Sex

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While conversations surrounding sex and consent seem to have been opened up much more over the past few years, female pleasure is still a somewhat taboo subject. When it comes to action between the sheets, everyone deserves to have a fun and pleasurable experience, but sometimes it can feel a lot easier to fake an orgasm and go to sleep. It can be difficult to tell a partner you’re not really enjoying yourself in bed but there are ways to prioritise your pleasure and get to know your body a little better.

Speaking on the Independent’s dating and relationship podcast Millennial Love, women's rights activist Gina Martin revealed that she thinks people's reluctance to prioritise their own pleasure is because “so much that comes before” that. She continued: “There [are] so many different things we worry about and there’s such a low bar for what we expect in the bedroom.”

Martin appeared on the podcast alongside sex educator and author Flo Perry. She added, “we’re so scared of being single that once you have the boyfriend or the girlfriend, you don’t think, 'Is this the sex I want to be having?' You don’t prioritise your own pleasure. I think a lot of women especially do that.”

Everyone deserves a full and fulfilling sex life. And if you want to prioritise your pleasure there’s things you can do to get into the habit of doing to look after yourself.

1. Get to know your body

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If you find it difficult to explain what you’d like with a partner then educating yourself may help. It also empowers you to be a bit more explorative on your own. Don't be afraid to learn as much as possible about your body and your pleasure.

Setting a bit of time aside to woo yourself may sound cheesy but it could also show you exactly what you like when it comes to your pleasure. While I can remember male masturbation being talked and joked about all the way through school, female masturabtion was always portrayed as more shameful. No two women climax from exactly the same thing, and learning what gets you going could help when you’re with a partner.

2. Think about what you want

Sex and pleasure can and should be fun. There’s so much that you can do in the bedroom, both with a partner and alone. If you find yourself with a fantasy that you’d like to fulfil with a partner, Dr. Sadie Allison, Founder of TickleKitty.com tells Self, "Describe what you’d like to explore in detail, as everyone’s kinks can have their own parameters, specific to that person. Address expectations too, and what you’d like to get out of it. For example if hair pulling is your kink, describe—or even demonstrate on him—how hard you want him to pull. The more direction you give, the better they can give you what you want. And it’ll be safest."

3. Give yourself time and don't let yourself be rushed

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When you’re in bed with someone and they keep letting you know they’re going to climax or ask you if you’ve finished yet, there's a lot of temptation to fake an orgasm or give up altogether. But if you know what turns you on and your partner isn’t doing it, try and guide them so you’re getting more out of the sexual experience. Of course, the end goal of sex doesn't always have to be an orgasm, but you deserve to enjoy the encounter as much as your partner.

4. Lookafter yourself outside the bedroom

There’s so much that contributes to the quality of your sex life, including diet and exercise. Not only does exercise improve your physique and mental health but it could also be the answer to a dwindling sex life. The Flo website says, “A 20-minute run or cycle can help increase your blood flow and lubrication, making it easier for you to become aroused and ultimately, climax. Fitness can be a good option for those who have a low libido and want to increase their physiological arousal without medication.”

5. Address any anxieties

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Sometimes your partner can be doing all the right things in the bedroom but, if you’re stuck in your own head, there’s no way you’ll reach climax. Anxiety and overthinking in the bedroom is incredibly common and Professor Lori Brotto from the Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of British Columbia said told meditation organisation Headspace that “the most common predictors and causes of sexual dysfunction in women are: stress, multi-tasking, poor body image, depression, anxiety, relationship concerns, and fatigue.” If you are experiencing any of these, addressing them may be the first step to improving your time in the bedroom.

7. Understand you deserve it

One of the most important things when it comes to understanding your own pleasure and getting a partner to appreciate it too is understanding that you deserve a full sex life and your pleasure is as important as any any one else's.