One of the conspicuous disadvantages to our peculiarly limited notion that heterosexual sex is – other than appetisers- orgasm focused intercourse is that it frequently places women in a double bind.
That bind is something like:
“ He always wants to enter me before I’m ready. Knowing that means I can’t relax, because I know that anything else we’re doing, no matter if I like it or not, is a warmup for intercourse. And once that starts, I can’t relax into the experience, because I’m always monitoring myself to see if I’m going to orgasm, because if I don’t, he’ll be disappointed”
And even in self pleasuring, those ideas come into play, because they’re so pervasive. So, you might be having a nice experience, get aroused, have a clitoral orgasm, then be disappointed when your vagina is resistant, or unresponsive, and think there might be something wrong with you.
The upshot is that the vagina is often thought of in negative terms:
- It’s resistant
- It’s not experiencing what it should be experiencing
- Touch there is uncomfortable rather than joyful
- There is something wrong with me
Everyone gangs up against the vagina. It’s like a door that won’t open properly, or a surly, unco-operative underling : if only it would do what it’s supposed to do!
Underling? Well, ok…What about changing “it” to “she”:
“If only she’d do what she’s supposed to do!”
Which leads to
“ If only she’d want to do what she’s supposed to do!”
Then, perhaps to
“ What does she want to do?”
Which changes everything. If we stop thinking of the vagina as a ‘something’ which, inexplicably, isn’t working as it should, to thinking of her as a person, that changes everything. Why?
Because it makes touch relational. It makes touch like a dialogue, or like a dance, rather than someone trying to get a machine to start, if only they could press the right button. And because it’s relational, it can bring up all the past experience of touch, the hurt and disappointment that might be a part of that, to be expressed then let go.
From my perspective, we carry all our experience in our body. So, the body is always expecting the next thing that it’s used to. If that next thing isn’t welcome, then relaxed, responsive, present focused pleasure is impossible. So, what’s required is to recover the sovereignty of the body, so nothing happens which you don’t want, and nothing continues which you don’t like. Then the body can relax into the present. That’s really what my work is about. So, intimate touch isn’t your body being touched, it’s you being touched, through your body. And then, all the distinctions fall away, because being touched anywhere is being touched everywhere.