I love getting experts in to talk about sex.
On my show, we’ve talked about how getting older changes your sex life, what to do when you and your partner have different levels of desire, why there’s an orgasm gap, even how to get your sex life back after a life-altering event like cancer.
I was thinking back through my favorite interviews recently, and I realized there’s one thing they all have in common:
They center WOMEN in the sexual experience.
All too often, we’ve been taught that sex is something we do FOR men.
Then, when we get into the bedroom, we become self-conscious.
We worry that our body doesn’t look right. We worry that we’re not doing it right. We worry that he wants someone more uninhibited. We worry that he’s comparing us to his last girlfriend. We worry that he’s grading us on our performance.
All those worries take us out of our bodies and into our minds, where the thoughts keep racing and we can’t relax and then we feel judged for not being able to let go.
It’s a vicious cycle, and it needs to stop NOW.
That’s why the biggest mindset shift I teach women—one I’m going to share with you today—is so incredibly simple:
Have sex for YOURSELF.
NOT for him.
Is Sex Like an Oil Change?
The fabulous Glennon Doyle recently said on her podcast that she used to see sex as kind of like an oil change… essential relationship maintenance.
Because if you weren’t having enough sex, or if you weren’t satisfying him in bed, your guy could leave you.
That’s the kind of baggage a lot of us grew up with.
This idea that if you weren’t hot enough, if you didn’t look after yourself, if you didn’t make the effort to be sexy, then it was your own fault.
Women who wanted to get a guy and keep him knew the importance of sex. They didn’t let their appearance OR their performance slide.
Women’s magazines of the time didn’t help. Their cure for any sex-related issue was sexy lingerie, new positions, and surprising him at the front door clad in a trench coat and heels and nothing else.
Because what they weren’t saying—what no one was saying back then—was that women would be having more sex if sex was better for them.
Yep, I came out and said it.
We women would have ferocious desire if sex was as good for us as it was for men.
But most sex is pretty run-of-the-mill.
And when sex is run-of-the-mill, you can take it or leave it.
You’re not going to rearrange your schedule or leave a sinkfull of dishes just to have a quickie.
Which got me to thinking…
What would sex advice look like if it were women-centered?
If it were about WOMEN experiencing the most pleasure they possibly could, and men coming along for the ride?
I know a few things.
I know that men would be forced to get more creative.
Female Pleasure-Centered Sex
Someone who’s totally on board with that is the brilliant sexuality counselor Ian Kerner.
His book She Comes First is a revelation. Kerner starts off with the premise that men need to study women’s anatomy before they can hope to become proficient in the bedroom.
Because so much of what we know about a woman’s sexual wiring is brand-new—this is stuff past generations had no CLUE about—guys need to update those outdated techniques.
Unfortunately, too many guys today get their techniques from “online videos” (you know the kind I mean!). They’re doing sex TO you. They’re not present; they’re performing.
And they don’t always realize there’s an alternative.
But there are tons of alternatives. There are programs in Tantra. There are online programs like Alex Allman’s. There are books and self-study courses and retreats and a whole world of opportunities to learn the art of pleasure.
When you meet a guy who has studied how to please a woman in bed and wants to learn how to please you, you are in very good hands.
But he can’t do it alone.
This is about you, too. You have a role to play.
And that role is NOT lying back and letting him have his way with you.
From Passive to Active Participant
That’s the old romance cliché, isn’t it? “She was so overcome by passion that she let him have his way with her.”
That language was important at one time for women, because it absolved them of any responsibility.
She was overcome by a temporary madness. She wouldn’t have done this sinful thing if it weren’t for him.”
But we don’t need that kind of language now.
We know—at least, we SHOULD know—that women have desires, and women have agency, and women get to choose what they do with their bodies.
We don’t need to blame a man for overcoming our willpower and seducing us into bed.
We can say simply, “Yes, I want to. Let’s go!”
It is not a man’s responsibility to do all the work of sex.
When women show up with ideas and enthusiasm and suggestions and guidance, it’s a lot more fun for everyone.
That’s one reason why older women are so sexy. They know what they want, and they’re not afraid to ask for it.
Yet many of us have grown up with the belief that it’s our job to make men desire us, because HIS desire is all that matters. His desire means he wants us.
But what about OUR desire?
Do we ever make the time to show HIM how much we want him? Or does that feel too much like giving our power away?
I think every single one of us should ask ourselves the question:
Don’t men deserve to feel desired, too?
If the answer is yes, then how can we make men feel desired in a way that empowers us to have greater agency in our love lives?
We get to choose men, too.
We don’t have to settle for being chosen.
Do It For Yourself
This is what it means to have sex for yourself.
It means paying attention to your pleasure and inviting men to be Pleasure Partners.
Tell your guy that your goal is to see how much pleasure you’re capable of. Make it a quest. Find out what your body can do. Don’t blame him if he doesn’t get it right. Figure this stuff out together.
Because here’s what the old-fashioned sex experts never told you…
The thing a man wants more than ANYTHING is to drive YOU crazy.
Yes – a WOMAN’S pleasure is what really drives him crazy.
The more pleasure he sees YOU experience, the more pride he feels and the more he feels like a man.
So it always comes back to YOUR pleasure…
Try it. Have sex for yourself instead of having sex for him. See where it leads you!