How Can You Enjoy Sex More? NOT Trying Orgasm Improved My Sex Life

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Our culture pushes the belief that the more orgasms you have, the better your sex life will be. We’re always talking about how to orgasm more quickly or easily, have more powerful orgasms, or have multiple orgasms. But is focusing on improving a split second of a sexual experience really going to better that experience overall?

In my experience, not really. The best sexual experiences I’ve had have been ones when I didn’t orgasm. In fact, what probably made them so good was that I was just enjoying the moment instead of worrying about how it would end. I'm not as good at this as I used to be, though. When I first started having sex, I was on anti-anxiety meds that made it difficult to orgasm, so I figured, why even bother? I focused on other things, like the sensations and the emotional connection, and it was great.

But my partners didn’t always see it that way. Many asked me what they could do to make me come, which was well-intentioned but ultimately left me feeling like my way of having sex was wrong. It felt almost like I owed them an orgasm as a token of appreciation and was being unappreciative for denying them it.

After going off my meds, I started orgasming with a partner for the first time, and I was super excited about the whole experience. I wanted to do it as much as possible. Ironically, I got into the exact same mentality that had made me feel inadequate before. And sex got less enjoyable for me. I was always thinking about what I could do to get to the finish line: what fantasies I could bring in, what I should tell my partner to do, how I should move to get the right angle. I became intent on controlling the experience from the beginning to the end (but especially the end).

“If we can get past this idea of chasing an orgasm or a goal and make sex and masturbation about the journey, it will be more enjoyable and less stressful,” Alexis Thomas, sex educator and owner of the sex-positive shop Taboo Tabou, tells Bustle. So, I've begun trying to let go of my race-to-the-finish-line mentality, and so far, my sex life has been better for it. Here are some ways I’ve benefited from not trying to orgasm.

Sex Is More Romantic

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When you stop focusing on the physical side of sex, you can appreciate the emotional connection more. Your attention shifts from your own genitals to your partner's face and feelings. Sex begins to serve a totally different purpose.

I’m A More Giving Partner

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When you’re fixated on what you need to do in order to orgasm, it follows that you’ll be fixated on yourself. If you can let go of that goal, you’ll be more inclined to please your partner — and you’ll actually enjoy it instead of seeing it as part of a transaction to gain pleasure yourself.

I Feel More Sensations

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There are a lot of delicious sensations that come up before orgasm, but if you’re rushing, you might not notice them. By slowing down, I’ve learned some cool things about my body, like that my vagina contracts throughout the experience. How it ends doesn't matter so much because the whole thing is enjoyable.

I Usually End Up Coming Anyway

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Orgasms are sort of like falling in love. They’ll come (no pun intended) when you’re not looking for them. When you’re focused on the sensations, they amplify, which can bring on an orgasm. When you’re stressing over whether you’ll orgasm, on the other hand, you’re less likely to come because you’re not even thinking sexy thoughts.

There’s a big move right now toward orgasm equality, and I think that’s great. I’m not suggesting that women should put up with less pleasure than their partners. What I am suggesting is that people of all genders redefine what pleasure means.