By SHAWN MAXAM
Sex can still be great, even without an orgasm.
-Charlotte York (Sex and the City)
I am always perplexed when people say sex is overrated. I think the act of love-making is integral to a healthy and happy intimate relationship for many people. I think it isn’t sex that is overrated but rather that our expectations are unbelievably high. We often describe sex with superlatives both negative and positive. a few of these include the words incredible, magical, breathtaking or terrible, horrible and overrated.
We are taught by films, television and pornography that sex is finished when a man is satisfied and has had an orgasm. Men and women internalize this and it creates unrealistic physical and psychological expectations. If a man doesn’t have an orgasm then did he not enjoy the sex? If sex is complete once a man orgasms should we even be concerned about the woman’s fulfillment? There’s a mental dance that accompanies the expectation of having an orgasm that is exhausting. It prevents mates, partners and spouses from engaging in something that can be physically freeing and primal but also emotionally uplifting. We avoid sex because we think we don’t have the energy or time or motivation to bring our partner to orgasm. We miss the beauty of the whole forest because we only expect to see one tree.
If we approach sex free of objectives there’s less pressure. Neither party has to have an orgasm. Climaxing isn’t a steadfast rule we have to follow. My rule of thumb is - it is better to start the journey and enjoy where you end up instead of worrying about the specifics of your arrival which prevents any exploration from ever really happening. I believe not focusing on the orgasm makes us better lovers and therefore better partners as well.
Disclaimer: This is all based on heteronormative relationships of course.
The Good Men Project is a cerebral, new media alternative to glossy men’s magazines. Founded by Tom Matlack in 2009, it’s become a social movement: an ongoing in-depth discussion asking “what does it mean to be a good man in these modern times?” Proceeds from The Good Men Foundation are used to support organizations that help at-risk boys.