Unlearning These 3 Beliefs Helped Liberate My Sexuality
I had no idea how much toxic “what sex should look like” stories were messing with my pleasure! My sexuality and whole life changed when I started identifying and getting rid of these three limiting beliefs about sex.
Photo by Ashley Armitage of @Ladyist
For example, I subconsciously believed that my pleasure was for someone else, that it was to please my partners. Whether I was having sex, dancing erotically, or posting selfies, I was more focused on getting attention or approval rather than enjoying and really feeling myself. Looking back, this tendency didn’t allow me to be in touch with my body or what I was actually wanting.
Sex was a linear progression, where penetration was centralized, any acts prior to this were called “foreplay,” and a man’s orgasm finished the experience. If I orgasmed, it was a bonus.
Photo by Camille Gorin @camillealg
I don’t blame myself or think I’m an idiot for conforming to these beliefs because they are deeply embedded in our sexist culture. However, I am so grateful I fell in love and made love with an incredible human (who happens to be a woman) because I learned more about my sexuality in a couple of months than almost TEN YEARS with men. I’m sharing my realizations with you because I don’t think you need to make love with someone of the same gender to liberate your own sexuality… or that just because maybe you have or do, you are necessarily totally liberated from these limiting beliefs! I want to debunk some toxic sexual narratives and share my insights in the hopes that it supports your sex life, no matter who you share intimacy with.
Limiting Belief #1:
My Pleasure is Not My Own
My awareness dramatically shifted when I started really practicing receiving in sex. What helped was my partner had no attachments as to what happened next. This practice was not considered “foreplay.” Receiving where there was no expectation for it to lead to penetration or be reciprocated. Up until this point, my partners would often finger me or lick me, but it was just preparation for “dick in pussy” penetration. This wasn’t the case every time, but it happened more than enough to make my body believe that this type of “receiving pleasure” wasn’t just for me. It was for my body to be prepared for something else.
Photo by Assiah Alcazar @assiahalcazar
I was able to REALLY learn how to receive pleasure because my lover was soooo into giving to me. It was amazing. She just wanted to give and give and give. At first, I felt shy, shameful, and selfish for taking up so much space, but she would encourage me to relax, lay back and open. With this encouragement and because I wasn’t worried about how tight my pussy felt around someone’s cock or where this would lead, I was able to relax! I was able to enjoy and focus on the sensations in my body...opening me up to extremely amazing pleasure/orgasms. I realized I had been holding tension in my pussy from wanting to have it be “tight” and feel good for my partner. I had no idea how much this was limiting my own orgasmic experience. Since then, I have become much better at receiving and feeling pleasure in my own body. If you want to learn more about receiving pleasure as a practice, read here.
Limiting Belief #2:
Sex Must End with Ejaculation
When I stopped believing sex was “finished” with ejaculation, so many other pleasurable possibilities opened up for me. I no longer feel responsible for my partner’s orgasms or any obligation to “keep going.” Without this pressure, often, I feel like I actually have more desire to engage and play! I can more easily listen to what my body wants and needs because my mind isn’t clouded by another’s urgency for orgasm. If you struggle with or want to learn more about unlocking sexual desire, read here.
Art by Rudd San @rudd_san
Also, I can be as loud and orgasmic as I want for however long I want without worrying about sex suddenly being “over.” I currently have two partners with penises and I do really enjoy penetration BUT they both practice ejaculation control… making sex way less linear. Sometimes we stop because we get hungry or tired or we stop because the energy has simply shifted. There isn’t a predetermined ending.Sometimes they do ejaculate, but that doesn’t mean sex is necessarily over. Often, we keep connecting and playing because sex isn’t centralized around them having an ejaculation.
Limiting Belief #3: Peak Orgasms are the Only & Best Type of Orgasm
I used to be pretty confused by orgasms. Did I just have one? What was that awesome sensation? Each time I experienced pleasure, it felt pretty different in my body and I didn’t have the language to articulate what was happening. Only recently did I learn the term “peak orgasm,” and a lot of things started making sense. A peak orgasm is an orgasm where there is a build up in sensation and then a sudden release in sexual tension.
Peak orgasms are great, but they are just one type of orgasm. I didn’t particularly unlearn this from being with a woman, but I do think it’s part of the limiting narrative. Women’s sexuality is often compared to men’s sexuality and because the most generalized way men orgasm is through an ejaculation (aka a peak orgasm), it’s a common belief that women should also experience this type of build up and release of sexual tension for it to be classified as an orgasm.
However, defining all orgasms as only peak orgasms is limiting for almost EVERYBODY, whatever sex, gender, orientation, or identity someone is. First of all, ejaculation and orgasm are two separate things. People can ejaculate without orgasm (or at least a non-pleasurable orgasm) and people can also orgasm without ejaculation. The type of orgasm most commonly associated with penis ejaculation is a peak orgasm. People with vaginas can ALSO ejaculate (no, it’s not pee) but sometimes even these experiences are not that pleasurable. Again, ejaculation and the orgasms associated with them are fabulous, but they are not everything. My point is, thinking all orgasms are only peak orgasms is a linear, westernized, way of thinking.
Art by Pierre Schmidt @dromsjel
I have found a lot of liberation and more access to pleasure by believing that all erotic pleasure is orgasm. PLEASURE = ORGASM. Period. By believing this, I can follow any type of pleasure in my body and notice it as orgasmic, rather than chasing just one type of peak experience. Ironically, when I take away the goal of certain peak experiences and rather focus on breathing and slowing down to notice the more subtle sensations in my body, I sometimes find myself in WAVES (rather than peaks) of intense extended pleasure.Sometimes the top of the wave is just as, if not more than, pleasurable than some of my peak orgasms. WHAT?! Yes, it’s true. Depending on how these feel, I like to call them “cosmic, energetic, or full bodied orgasms.” Anybody can experience wave-like orgasms, but often it takes slowing down and really listening to the body. Unfortunately, these orgasms can also be chased and idealized, which I feel is missing the whole point!
Art by Stephanie Deangelis @steph_angelis
Detaching from peak orgasms is an amazing metaphor for life and relationship too. It slows me down to ask, “What ways am I chasing a next level of relationship rather than noticing the enjoyment and connection I already have?” Generally, in life as well, if I’m not careful, it’s easy for me to “chase life.” I don’t want to just search for peak experiences and miss out on my life entirely...I want to notice, savor and extend EVERYDAY pleasures. Sexual liberation is life liberation.
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