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Learn to Say Yes and Make Your Sex Life Better

I don’t make resolutions at the beginning of the new year, I set one word that will guide me for the year and use it to form intentions for my life. Last year’s word was intentional, this year my word is Yes.

Let’s look at Yes and how it might lead to a more fulfilling sex life—whether you’re partnered or solo. I am talking about consent in terms of putting ourselves in a yes frame-of-mind when it comes to sex. Not to say that you have to agree to sex all the time. The process of finding your Yes requires you to think about what you like about your current sexual activity and what you don’t like. Is there something you’re currently doing that you want to say No to? If you can’t articulate the “no” then you can’t fully say yes, can you?

Learn to Say Yes and Make Your Sex Life Better

 

In 2013 I did some work with a sexological bodyworker, and as preliminary step we had a long Skype conversation. We talked about what I wanted to accomplish in our sessions. He asked me about my ‘No’, in order to get at what I was asking for, or saying ‘Yes’ to. He wanted me to be clear on what I didn’t want, as a way of clarifying what I did want. “If I can’t trust your No, how can I trust your Yes?” I wasn’t sure I really understood that at the time but as I’ve practiced this in various aspects of my life, not just sex, I’ve seen the power of being really present to what I am doing and what I want.

You’re the only one who can really know what this might look like for you, but here are a few examples of the process of finding your Yes:

  • I know my partner loves sex in the morning but I always feel uncomfortable about my waking breath and body odors. I want to get up and ‘freshen up’ first but it feels like I’m breaking the mood. I am more likely to engage and enjoy the intimacy if I can brush my teeth first.
  • My boyfriend wants me to watch a sexy video with him before we have sex – he thinks it will get me more excited. I’m not sure about that so I hesitate. Maybe I should say yes once, sharing my reservations, but being open to how it might make me feel. I can always say no thanks, even if we’re in the middle of watching the video.
  • My husband doesn’t understand that my dryness is partly due to a lack of arousal. He tends to rush straight into intercourse; I need more time to get ready.  Yes, I still need lube (and by the way-lube is a wonderful sex tool for all of us, dry or not) and I’d feel more aroused and interested in sex if I could tell him that I want more of _____________________ (fill in the blank).
  • Just once I want to tell my partner exactly what I want sex to be like. I want to describe in detail what my fantasy would be. How he/she would undress me, where I want to be kissed, stroked, and how slowly I want it to happen. I don’t always feel like the sex I’m having is the sex I’d like to be having.
  • I miss having sex but I don’t know what to do and I don’t want to find a partner just for sex. It feels a bit lame to self-pleasure myself but don’t I deserve to feel pleasure? Maybe I should try it out and see how it feels to be giving myself what I need.

If we could learn to speak about the things we want, to talk what works and what doesn’t, we would have better sex. Better sex in that we’re not holding back, or feeling uncomfortable. Better sex because we’re sharing the things that matter to us. Better sex because we found our voice and our partner listened and respected our needs. This is what consent, in this context, is all about.

We can’t really enjoy an activity if we’re not in full consent. We become unwilling participants, or slightly resentful, or we tune out because we don’t really want to be a part of what’s happening. Could it be as simple as articulating our wants and desires? What would happen if you found a way to share your vision of intimacy? If you could admit to your desires and stop doing things that don’t please you?

midlife-boulevard-columnist

 

Walker Thornton

We are delighted to have Walker Thornton as our Women’s Sexual Health columnist. After working for over 10 years in the field of sexual violence against women, Walker is now enjoying a new career as a freelance writer, public speaker, and sex educator with an emphasis on midlife women. Her blog, <a>WalkerThornton.com </a> was ranked #5 by Kinkly.com in their top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2014. You can connect with her on <a>Facebook </a> and <a href="http://twitter.com/WalkerThornton">Twitter</a> For questions about sexual health, write her at [email protected]

Norma Jean

Friday 30th of January 2015

I just wanted to add that this has caused some huge fights. When he refuses to take the same time on me that I take on him, I feel totally unwanted. I would really appreciate any advice or words of wisdom.

Walker Thornton

Sunday 1st of February 2015

Ah yes, charity sex! It does sound like you and your partner need to change things up a bit. I would love to use your question as a Q&A on my blog, www.walkerthornton.com, if you don't mind. I have your email and will send you a note.

But, let me say, in general, that being able to communicate your needs during sex is important to any relationship. No one wants to feel like sex is one-sided. Suggesting your partner read a little about women and desire might help-if you can do it in a way that doesn't feel critical or threatening. Norma Jean, thank you for reading and for trusting to ask.

Norma Jean

Friday 30th of January 2015

Walker I absolutely love your articles and advice. I am only 35 but I can relate to all of this!! I don't know what to do because my partner of 7 years refuses to do what I ask him to sexually. I'm not talking 50 shades either...normal things like kissing and caressing. I've tried to explain to him several times that women are like an oven...you can't put cake batter in an oven that hasn't been preheated and expect it to turn out. He thinks all he has to do is tell me he wants to have sex and I should be ready to go. This is creating a huge rift in our relationship because I find myself having "charity sex" almost all the time. I never orgasm, or get really any pleasure out of it because it seems to be only about him. I don't know what to do! Please help:(

Walker Thornton

Wednesday 14th of January 2015

Jennifer, so what could you do to change things? Think about what you might enjoy and how to present it to him. Is there something that would make you more open to sex? Could you do a weekend morning when there's time to really wake up...maybe get coffee and come back to bed? The first step, which you've taken, is knowing what you do or don't want! Thank you for sharing this and voicing what many of us have felt at some point!

Jennifer Sikora

Wednesday 14th of January 2015

That first one hits me perfectly. I hate having sex in the morning because he just wants it and I am still trying to get myself woke up!

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