I just finished listening to an interview on CBC with Dr.Ruth Westheimer, the famous and adorable old lady of sex. She was talking about her new book Sexually Speaking: What Every Woman Needs to Know About Sexual Health.
Two things she said stuck with me. First, she still gets embarressed talking about sex. Who would’ve thought that a woman whose main occupation for decades has been talking about “down there” in direct terms would still get a little redness creeping into her cheeks. It just goes to show how taboo such topics are for our society. What I take from that is that even if it may be a little cringe inducing, it still needs to be discussed. Wheter it’s with your kids, your friends or your partner, keep the lines of communication open.
The second piece that stuck out for me ties in with that first lesson – “Women are responsible for their own sexual satisfaction.” We may know this deep down even if we haven’t identified it. Some of us are still looking around for the magic potion, the man with the right skills, the right toy or the perfect scenario to make sex be perfect for us – finally. All of these things may help, but in the end, you have to know what you want, need, like and what works for you then own it and communicate it.
This last part is actually the hardest part. Especially if you’ve been in a relationship for awhile. At the beginning of a relationship it’s often easier to say “I like this, don’t like that” as there is nothing to lose as yet. There are no expectations or habits built up. Once we’ve gotten to know someone and developed a “routine” it can be more difficult to speak up. What if their feelings get hurt?
Whether you’re in a new or established relationship, the fact is, you are responsible for your own satisfaction. This is as true with sex as it is with all parts of your life. When you start to close your mouth for fear of hurting someone else, being misunderstood or fear of bringing a relationship to an end, you are doing yourself a disservice which will only lead to you feeling more and more dissatisfied.
This shows up in a number of ways:
- feeling like you’re walking on egg shells – being extra careful in your communications
- feeling more and more overlooked and misunderstood
- not bringing up even small hurts or issues for fear of the floodgates opening
- suffering in silence
- making excuses that everything is “fine”when you know it’s not
This is not a fun way to live. It doesn’t serve any one in the grander scheme of things. So be responsible for your own orgasm, your own happiness, your own needs.
Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want. ~Joseph Wood Krutch
- bring up things that are bothering you immediately. The longer you wait the harder it gets.
- understand that your needs are as important as everyone else’s
- ask for what you need calmly and without blame
- compromise only in the sense that both people get what they need, not in a way that causes you to give in and feel unheard
- be prepared to do what it takes to be happy – you are the only one who can make it happen
Know yourself, be yourself, ask for what you need in and out of the bedroom.
At the end of the interview Jian said that he’d love to meet Dr.Ruth in person sometime. She told him to come out to New York and she’d buy him dinner. She knows how to get what she wants and give to others as well. There’s the key. When you get what you want, others can get what they want and everyone has a great dinner in New York. Just make sure you invite me as well.
A final thought: Talking from morning to night about sex has helped my skiing, because I talk about movement, about looking good, about taking risks. ~ Dr. Ruth