"He slides his hand up the inside of my legs and slips a finger inside my panties. He feels how wet I am. I can feel how easily his fingers are sliding around my opening. As he slowly slides one finger in, then another, I can't help but moan..."
I spent years reading romance novel after romance novel, yearning to experience something close to what the women in the books were getting to experience. After time I began exploring my own body as I read the books. Sometimes I'd even try exactly what the authors had written on myself.
I did this for years and I got damned good at pleasing myself.
When it came time to being intimate with other people, it wasn't like in the books. The authors didn't talk about the awkwardness. And how the characters in the books became amazing lovers was never discussed. How many people had they had to have awkward sex with until they became masters with their fingers? How many different women had they been with until they figured out exactly where the right spot is on different people?
How many times did the characters not find the clit or were just a little to the left? The women receiving the pleasure never had to tell them what they were doing wrong and what they were supposed to do.
So when it came time for me to start telling my lovers what I wanted in bed, I was really certain in what I wanted (after all I had developed a really good self pleasure practice) but not at all confident in telling them.
Luckily, asking for what you want in bed is a skill that anyone can learn.
I first learned about consent within the BDSM community. It's something that is talked about and taught in any good sex coaching program because without understanding consent, you can't really understand how to advocate for yourself. Consent is not just about saying yes or no, it's about communication.
When you are in consent with someone, you are both on the same page about what is happening. You both understand what each other wants and doesn't want. You are able to check in with each other during sex and make sure that everyone is still enjoying themselves.
But more importantly, when you are out of consent with someone, it leads to feelings that chip away at your self worth.
I HIGHLY recommend checking out The Art of Giving and Receiving and learning all about the Wheel of Consent by Betty Martin. It is life changing. If everyone understood consent in the way she teaches, there would be a lot less friction and heartache in the world.
Understanding the difference between receiving and being a martyr was eye-opening for this people pleaser!
If you've have faked an orgasm or not spoke up in bed for what you want then chances are you need more practice saying "no". If you're like me and pretty much all of my clients, saying no was not an option when you were a kid.
As kids, we're told what to do and that we should be happy with it. I have been guilty of using the phrase "you get what you get and you don't get upset." Over time we learn to tolerate things that are mildly annoying. Then we tolerate even more and more unwanted things and bad behavior until we forget how to speak up for what we want.
We say yes to things without thinking about what we're saying yes to. To change this habit, we need to practice saying no. You can being by practicing saying no to things outside of the bedroom.
Don't want to get Mexican when someone suggests it? Say no. Every time you speak your truth when it's relatively easy, it gets easier to speak your truth when it's uncomfortable. Trying to start speaking up when you're feeling vulnerable isn't easy. But speaking up when your heart isn't on the line is much easier.
Our drive for survival is innate and powerful. Part of the survival of humans has been learning how to live in community. That means deep in your subconscious, you know that it is vital to keep your partner/s (aka your key to survival) happy so that you can remain in the community.
So if the thought of speaking up to your partner to tell them that they're doing something wrong sends you into near panic, you are not alone. It can feel scary to disappoint the ones we love (or at least like enough to be intimate with). Add in some family drama and trauma and it's even scarier and harder.
Be kind to yourself if you get nervous, anxious, or panic. You are human having a human experience. The trick is to recognize the behavior, acknowledge it, and then be kind and compassionate to yourself.
Self compassion, self kindness, self love, self care... these are all parts of self partnership. It's essential to develop a practice of self partnership.
If you've been faking orgasms or silently tolerating unfulfilling sex for a long time (maybe your entire life), it's not a quick path to self advocacy. The road is full of ups and downs. Some days you will feel brave and eager to advocate for your needs. Other days you will sit back in silence because it's more comfortable because it's what you already know.
Saying yes to your needs is the most precious gift you can give yourself. Setting aside time for yourself whether that be masturbating, reading (or reading and masturbating in my case 🤣), taking a walk, dancing by yourself, sitting in silence, or any of the many things you can do that bring you joy, is part of the practice of self partnership. You are telling yourself that you are important. That your needs are important.
Learning how to ask for what you want (in bed and out) is a lifelong journey. Be compassionate with yourself as you practice speaking up. You deserve to be loved. You deserve to be well fucked.