Here’s some things you need to know.
By Nicole Charky and Do The Good Stuff
Our friends over at Do The Good Stuff are kicking off their new online course, “The Sex Talk You Never Had” online on September 10th, and we’re partnering up with them to share resources throughout the course and join in on the group conversation. Use the code TABU at checkout to get our discounted price of $10. Learn more here!
This goes out to anyone (you!) who missed “the talk.” It’s a shout out to the ones still waiting for the birds and the bees basics.
Turns out a lot of us didn’t get that crucial information—so now we’re adults with sex lives, living without the tools we need. That’s when the Sex Talk You Never Had comes in.
Do The Good Stuff, a health and wellness brand committed to helping you tap into your health on your own terms, hosted the recent talk in collaboration with Savoir Collab, sponsored by Dosist. The results? The most REAL sex talk, with REAL experts and REAL people asking questions about doing it.
Sex is about more than penetration. It’s more than physical connection. It starts with your mind—the pleasure center—then it’s about the body. So sit back, let’s talk about sex. You’re driving. And you’re most definitely in charge.
1. Your orgasm is your responsibility.
Don’t wait for your partner to magically read your mind—because that’s not going to happen, Dr. Shannon Chavez says.
Chavez is a Los Angeles-based sex therapist. She works with both couples and individuals on how to access pleasure and break down the barriers to orgasm. Those barriers can originate in your mind, and often manifest in the bedroom. That’s why communication is so important.
“Be responsive to things that turn you on,” she says. “Don’t wait for a partner. The truth is you’re in charge of turning you on.”
Say what you need to say so you can both reach orgasm during sex (although pleasure, rather than an orgasm, should be your main goal). That requires communication, asking for what you need and really digging into new experiences that might make you feel vulnerable, but will ultimately allow you to orgasm without any mental block. You can get out of your head and feel good about enjoying it all: your partner and your orgasm.
2. Relaxation is the gateway to pleasure.
You’re in your mind all day. To enjoy sex and be present, you have to break free from that, says Kat Mills, a Los Angeles-based yogini, artist and filmmaker.
When it comes to mindfulness and reaching relaxation before sex: start simple. If you’re on the bus or train, working all day, making big decisions, constantly on your phone, then take a little time to process and listen to your body before you get busy. Close your eyes. Feel the sensations of your body. Ask this: what is your body saying to you?
“We’re allowing for the unknown,” Mills says. By being open, aware and mindful, this can which translate to less expectations for a partner and allows us to be sensitive and kind toward ourselves.
Often, people like to meditate before sex, sometimes even with their partner. She says it helps some couples mentally find their center before sex.
“Talk about your experiences, allow it to grow in you and that changes others,” Mills adds.
3. Any pain or discomfort during sex is worth talking to your doctor about immediately.
Sex shouldn’t hurt. Period. If it does, then it’s an important time to talk to a doctor, says Dr. Lisa Valle, D.O. Valle’s Los Angeles-area practice focuses on how to address pain during sex and make correct adjustments.
Painful sex could possibly indicate other health signs. And it’s important to communicate if you feel like something is wrong or hurts during intercourse, especially if you experiences any changes in discharge, energy level, heavy periods, pain while you pee or burning sensation.
4. There are two libido killers: Not asking for what you want and not taking time for yourself.
The relationship between your body, mind and spirit can greatly impact your libido.
“Sex can be a positive force in our lives, benefits all of our well-being,” Chavez says, explaining that studies have found that orgasms can actually help you live longer. That’s why it’s so important to normalize any sex concerns, she says.
And, it’s also vital to remember that sexual well-being can change. Ask yourself: what’s going on in my life? Am I happy at my job? Am I eating food? Exercising? Doing things that make me happy? Do you have too many obligations?
5. You should get ready for sex.
Getting ready for sex is helpful, Chavez says. It helps you be intentional. It helps you be focused. It should be about you, what you like and how you like to think about sex before you see your partner.
Chavez has a few questions to get your wheels spinning. And because sex is personal, it’s up to you to decide how you explore your body (the one you’re currently living in) and what you do to mentally or physically prepare for pleasure.
How do you prepare for sex? How do you groom? Do you take a shower? Do you wash your hair or do your makeup? Do you wear clothes that make you feel good?
6. Explore that body and get creative with your partner.
Don’t forget the mind-body connection. It might mean talking to your partner about approaching sex differently, and often, getting back to the basics.
“Whatever you need to feel embodied is key,” Chavez says.
Movement, including stretching before sex, incorporating pilates or yoga, can help you get out of your head and into your body.
Engaging the senses, breathing slowly and deeply, is a key to arousal. Sound, not necessarily dirty talk, but the ‘ooohhs’ and ‘aaahhs’ can also increase connection.
Have you ever masturbated with your partner watching? Have you ever watched your partner masturbate? Mutual masturbation can also be a creative approach to newness, allowing you and your partner to engage in the senses.
7. Cannabis can enhance smell and touch during sex.
That bonding feeling you get with your partner can be heightened even more with THC. THC can heighten dopamine levels, releasing oxytocin-that really nice warm and fuzzy feeling you get after sex.
There are even sexual wellness cannabis pens that can help you connect with your senses and feel more aroused, less in your head, and passionate.
8. Get real. Tell your partner how to make you orgasm.
Say what you want. Say what you need. Ask all the questions. How often do you like to have sex? Where? When? What does it look like, feel like or smell like?
Sometimes partners come to bed with really bad ideas about female sexuality, says author Emma Koenig. These toxic ideas about sex need to be discussed, and in her book “Moan: Essays on Female Orgasm,” she shares stories from women about their experiences with orgasming and telling partners ‘this is how you make me come.’
“We can’t even tell people they have things in their teeth,” Koenig says. That’s why it’s important to keep having the conversation and have fun with it.
“It’s like a muscle you have to keep working at with difficult conversations,” Koenig says. “There’s something inherently therapeutic about asking yourself these questions.”
Header image illustrated by Marcy Gooberman
Keep this conversation going in “The Sex Talk You Never Had” online course starting September 10th! tabú will be sharing the resources you’ve come to know and love throughout the course and joining in on the group conversation – use the code TABU when you sign up to get our discounted price of $10. Sign up here!