That’s what my typical day looks like:
✓ Write something.
✓ Check emails.
✓ Make dinner.
✓ Have sex.
I have a deep need to be highly organised, so to-do lists help keep me sane.
But the teenage me, who fantasised about how earth-shattering sex would be when I finally did it, never imagined it would end up scribbled on the end of my list of things to do.
But it did.
And I wonder how many other women find themselves mentally checking sex off, while he’s mid-thrust?
How many women are actively excited about, and looking forward to having sex, and how many women see it as another chore?
Like just another task that has to be done. So you grin and bear it.
Because female pleasure has been widely ignored and suppressed for the past few centuries.
We’ve been taught — through patriarchy — to feel shame around our body, and our sexual desires. We’ve learned that our pleasure comes second — if at all — to his.
For some of us, sex is no more than a way to conceive and give birth. Or no more than a way to keep our partner satisfied.
It’s not that I don’t want to have sex with my partner.
I want to have sex. But I want to want to have sex.
Like, really want it. The same way he does.
And like any loving partner, he wants me to want sex that way, too.
Of course he does. Because it’s no fun when only one person is enjoying themselves.
It’s something we’ve talked about a lot in the past two years. And that’s more than a lot of couples do.
Some women bury their true feelings, and carry on. Because they don’t believe they deserve more, or they’re afraid to have that conversation.
Maybe because they have no idea where to begin addressing lifetimes of sexual dissatisfaction.
I was afraid, too.
I pretended everything okay, when it wasn’t. So many times I planned on having that conversation, but I just couldn’t get the words out. But eventually, they overwhelmed me, and everything flooded out.
We haven’t stopped working on it together since.
For whatever reason, I’m not entirely comfortable with sex. It makes me tense up. I struggle to voice how I’m feeling. And pleasure isn’t an emotion I’m experienced in.
Perhaps this is the result of being taught that my sexuality as a woman is dangerous, and can lead to harm. Maybe I’m not as comfortable with my body as I think I am. There’s also a part of me that believes this is the result of sexual experiences I’ve had in previous lifetimes, and carried with me. Or maybe, just maybe, I’m unknowingly burdened by the sexual frustration that is and was felt by my mother, her mother, and all the women who came before.
Regardless of the reason, for the most part, sex has usually been something I’ve just done, so I can cross it off my list for the day and forget about.
I know this isn’t the way it’s meant to be. I know I — and all women — deserve more.
So I’m working on it. I’m working on addressing and overcoming lifetimes of sexual dissatisfaction.
I’ve realised that I need to speak about my experiences to and with other women, and show them they aren’t alone, and that they do deserve better.
I’ve realised that I need to be more open, and communicate how I’m feeling.
And I’ve realised that my partner can’t help me, if I don’t help myself, too.
So I’m doing my best to get myself excited about sex.
Because I want it to be something I look forward to, and enjoy every moment of.
Relaxing is one of my biggest struggles, so I give myself plenty of time. This is difficult because I’m still battling with my inner achiever on this, convincing her that this isn’t a waste of time.
I take a shower so I feel refreshed, and allow the day to wash off me. I light a candle, put some music on, and slip into something that makes me feel sexy. I might meditate to help me relax more, and get comfortable in bed. Then I might begin to play with myself — starting off slowly.
Sometimes this takes an hour, sometimes more. Every day is different.
And aside from a partner who cares about my pleasure, this is what I need to enjoy myself. To get myself in the right head space for sex. And to then, hopefully, enjoy sex.
There will always be other things that try and steal our time away. Other priorities, responsibilities, and things that unexpectedly crop up.
But this is what I need, so I’m starting to honour that, without guilt.
I’m starting to voice what I want and need from my partner.
I’m starting to give myself the time and space I need to feel pleasure.
I’m starting — ever so slowly — to stop seeing sex as a chore.
And I’m beginning to see it as the beautiful, earth-shattering experience I always knew it could, should, and would be.