How to know what you like, and tell your lover what you want

Recently I've seen so many memes that indicate that telling your lover what you want in bed is super simple, and the missing ingredient to all the great sex you haven't been having.

Huh. Like it's that easy. As if it's never occurred to you: "I should just tell this person what I want." Eureka! Problem solved! Thank you, meme of spectacular depth and nuance!

These memes breed more self-judgment and overwhelm around sex, because discovering what you want and sharing it is not that simple.

The number one desire women have when they come to me for coaching: "I want to know what I like and desire in bed, and I want to be able to tell a lover with confidence."

Notice that we get tripped up on even knowing what we want. Why?

  1. Because it's not mechanical. It's a lot more than "make clockwise circles around my clitoris while using two fingers in my vagina in a come-hither motion, 1.5 inches in." (While knowing specifics is great, it’s not the key … and specifics change, often in the moment!)

  2. Because we're a bit disconnected in our own self-pleasure, and have a hard time dropping into presence there.

  3. Because we're ashamed of our unique way of experiencing pleasure and judge ourselves for the position we like, the pressure we like, that it doesn't look like anything we've seen in porn or a movie.

  4. Because we don't feel safe to explore and express. We don't feel safe in our bodies; we don't feel safe being seen; or we have a stored startle response from being caught masturbating or playing doctor as children.

I want to let you know, if you’re not sure what you like or how to express it, you're not doing anything wrong.

As women, we aren't socialized to know what we want, and to ask for it. In fact, we're socialized to please. Compound that with the messages we got around sexuality (it's wrong, it's bad, good girls don't).

Add a liberal dose of: it's really hard to find images, porn, or written accounts of what female pleasure looks like. We live in a society that celebrates male arousal. We act like women are difficult because it takes "so long" for us to open and become fully aroused—when that's literal biology, and to me, one of the gorgeous things about being in a female body.

(Give me longer sex and self-pleasure any day: pleasure that starts with stretching, dance, breath, slowly opening and touching my full body before going anywhere near my clitoris.

Give me self-pleasure that allows for emotional release: frustration or sorrow. Give me self-pleasure that is informed by exactly what I need to heal in the moment.

Let it slowly unfold into energy work and the sense that my hands are not my own—that they are guided by the Divine. Two minutes with a vibrator doing my best to mimic male arousal ... or 15-30 minutes in my own practice, whatever it looks like that day ... I'll take the latter!)

To move into our own pleasure, we need to be non-judgmental of it. We need to give it room to explore and play. And that's a big shift of our inner world, in most cases.

Often there's inner child work to be done—so many of us have an inner child or teenager that's on high alert from being caught (or even almost caught) masturbating. She's the piece of you that lives in your body, tense, still deathly afraid that she will be seen and judged. This piece can be here even if you've experienced no big-T trauma: just from living in this culture and absorbing the dominant narrative around sexuality.

So where to begin?

  1. Make the time for self-pleasure. It can start with dance—dance where you allow your body to fully move and shake as it likes, with no regard for how it looks. It can start with full-body massage, using generous amounts of oil.

  2. Notice your inner child when she shows up as self-judgement, doubt, tension in your body, or fear. Soothe her. Talk to her as you would a child, and let her know that the adult you can keep her safe: she doesn't have to work so hard anymore.

And if you need support in any of this: this is one of my specialties as a coachUnraveling the protections that aren't working for you anymore, and upgrading your sense of safety in the now, so that you can discover what you like. So that you can begin to find it and express it in the moment. So that you can have so much more freedom, across all areas of life.

I'd love to see you for a free 45-minute alignment call, to see if it's the right fit. Simply fill out the questionnaire on my coaching page to get started.