Ever since my husband and I started seeing a sex coach, I’ve been researching everything I can related to sex. And by “researching”, I mean attending a class where I masturbated with a group of women, a workshop where my husband learned to tie me up and a dinner where the waiters and waitresses seduced their patrons. One must not rest on her laurels though, so I recently continued my “research” by dragging my husband to a class titled “Polishing the Penis”.
I had a New Year’s resolution to up my blow job game, and by the title of the class, I assumed it was going to be just the class I needed to knock that resolution out of the park. However, as I read the full description, I learned it was about erotic massage, not blow jobs. This made me pause, because despite all off my struggles around sexuality throughout my 20-year relationship with my husband, I had developed somewhat of a specialty around hand jobs and considered myself quite an expert in the space.
But I knew Charlie, one of the instructors, and the class agenda included a live demo which sounded way more interesting than a lecture. So I signed us up, and a few weeks later we were headed to Oakland for the workshop. During the drive, I told my husband all the things we would learn: different penis pleasuring techniques, how to track the receiver’s response and how to overcome obstacles that the giver and receiver might be facing. Again, I looked at the agenda and smugly thought, “Well, this will be interesting, but I’m pretty good at all those things”.
As the demo began, Caroline showed us moves with names like “infinite up” and all sorts of other ways she could play with the receiver’s cock to move him from a pleasure state of 4 (warm and tingly) to a 7 (heightened pleasure) and back down again. She liked using a 1-10 scale and would check in with Charlie every minute or so to see where he was in order to make sure he wasn’t at an 8 (one step away from a 9 or 10, the point of no return). She even talked how she enjoyed playing with a soft penis and demoed this to us.
As one might expect, it was hard to watch this and not get a little hot and bothered. But it wasn’t until we got home that I realized something important; the instructor could have been doing LITERALLY ANYTHING. Because it wasn’t what she was doing, it was how she was doing it.
Sure, we were learning techniques on how to touch and communicate, but those skills were kind of a red herring when I reflect back on what I really learned in that class. What I really learned is that the absolute most effective way to turn on my partner is to be confident and enthusiastic. Seriously, this woman was so INTO what she was doing and so INTO her partner that it would still would have been hot if she was slathering his cock with peanut butter while reading him the federal tax code.
I only fully grasped the importance of what she was implicitly teaching us when we went home and I started putting some of the new touch and communication techniques to use in the shower. Things were proceeding well, but I noticed something was different between what I was doing and what she had been doing.
Suddenly I remembered the breathy voice she was using, the intense look she was giving, the way her entire body moved when she touched him and the sheer delight she expressed during the demo. And while I knew these behaviors matched the feelings I always had in my head when giving my husband a hand job, I realized was keeping those feelings to myself. I wasn’t overly expressive with the tone of my voice, the motion of my touch or the unmoderated expression on my face. I was censoring myself! And I realized that part of the reason I was doing that was because I grew up in a society that told me that women shouldn’t enjoy sex.
This was a profound moment for me. I suddenly saw how different my sex life could be if I could stop censoring the pleasure I was feeling and become demonstrably enthusiastic.
I’d be lying if I said that moment shifted things for us overnight. Realistically, it’s been more like a flower blooming in slow motion. I’m still working on not feeling self-conscious about so vigorously expressing my enjoyment, but in the moments where I am successful… the bedroom sure is a whole lot steamier.
New to this blog and want to start at the beginning? Check out this post about why I started a blog about sex.
This blog reflects my real-life experiences. I'd love to hear about your experiences, so let’s continue the conversation in the comments section below.
You can also check out these resources or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in classes or coaching to explore your own sexuality. I am a sex and relationship coach and if I can't personally help you, I'd be very happy to connect you with other wonderful sex educators, coaches and therapists.
© Pam Costa, 2016