By Jennie Smith

“If we are being honest, we are taught to rub one off on one another and move on.”

Sex has become a frantic act in our society. It is surrounded by so much repression and constriction that when we actually get in the vicinity of sex we are ready to blow (literally). So sex turns into the equivalent of a frantic masturbation session: eyes closed, shallow breath, face planted in a pillow. No connection, no slowing down in the moment to FEEL the texture and quality of our partner, no time or space to listen to what is underneath our partner’s words, no ability to truly revel and appreciate our partner’s bodies, no ability to read our partner’s body language and use it as a map, guiding us toward the next delicious moment.

I remember the first time I had sex. It was essentially a moment in time where the boy in question physically masturbated inside of me, and I emotionally masturbated on him. 5 minutes. Done. Needless to say it was quite unsatisfying AND my first introduction to what sex “must be like.” Yikes. And unfortunately, this same pattern repeated itself in some form for the next several years.

Very few of us were taught that you can actually slow down and expand sex so that it is an artful expression of bodily connection as opposed to a knee-jerk sneeze.

The first time I looked into Jason’s eyes when we were having sex I was like “Hmmmm. This is cool….AND awkward.” The first time I had an orgasm while looking in Jason’s eyes I wanted to look away. Why? Because it was easier for me to masturbate on him, then make the physical and emotional effort to be open and vulnerable.

How many movies have we seen with two people having sex, one partner staring at the ceiling or eyes closed, and the other partner has their face practically buried in the pillow grunting away until the “grand explosion”. Or the movies with the woman writhing on top of her partner with her eyes closed as she screams and orgasms. Either way, it is two people rubbing one off on the other person. One person is the dildo and one person is the blow-up doll.

And then there is emotional masturbation. Using intimacy as a means to spew unmet needs and emotions on another human being. Once again, one person rubbing one off on another in a way that is frantic and closed, as opposed to open and vulnerable.

What if we stop telling ourselves that when sex presents itself we have to grab it and fuck it before it gets away. Or that when we have someone in an intimate headlock we have to quickly smear our fears, tears, and emotional chaos all over them before they wriggle free. What if we released the frantic “grab” and stepped in with calm, confident, desire, and approached sex with mastery. Even if it lasts 5 minutes, they are 5 minutes of absolute mastery. Mastery that involves eye contact, connected breath, vulnerability, presence, mind-blowing aliveness, pleasure, and possibility.

So here is where the rewire takes place. We see sex as a scarce commodity and we are going to get it (frantically) when we can. Fuck taking your time and savoring it….when you could lose it at any moment (commence screaming child, ill-timed phone call, and/or terror that your partner might actually fall asleep before anything juicy can begin). We see sex as an end-game orgasm, get your rocks off and it was a SUCCESS!

Mastery is exploration, curiosity, awareness, presence in the moment, vulnerability, and orgasmic in a much more than dick and/or clit kind of way.

When I look back on the days when I was masturbated in and I masturbated upon others, I cringe.  It is a painful admission and one that many, many, many people can relate to. With an effort toward reframing our relationship to sex, we can do wonders toward changing our relationship in our intimate partnership.

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Mastery is exploration, curiosity, awareness, presence in the moment, vulnerability, and orgasmic in a much more than dick and/or clit kind of way.
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