We were in a hot tub underneath the stars and surrounded by forest. He was caressing my arms. It was no wonder I was feeling so… annoyed?
The setting was right. I adore sex outdoors. The touch was right. I had recently asked for soft and slow foreplay. By all accounts, this should have been the perfect start to some out-of-this-world sex. But something was off. Why wasn’t I getting turned on? Why didn’t he seem turned on? Why wasn’t anything working the way it was supposed to?
With me clearly not getting in the mood, and him getting increasingly frustrated that doing what I had been asking for had absolutely no effect on me, the night ended in joint frustration. Neither of us felt up to talking about it in the moment, but we agreed to bring up the encounter in our next session with our sex and relationship coach.
A week later, we were sitting on our coach’s sofa sharing the hot tub story. After listening patiently, she suggested trying a few experiments. For the first experiment, she wanted me to explain again what I wanted from him, and then see what happened when he touched me that way right there on her couch.
I explained that I wanted soft and slow touch that started on my arms and legs and didn’t move too quickly to my genitals. And as he began to give exactly that to me, it was like we were back in the hot tub all over again with neither of us enjoying it. We both looked up at our coach and said in exasperated voices “See?!?”
Our coach looked at us with her ever perceptive gaze and asked what he found arousing about this kind of touch. This seemed like a strange question because it was me who wanted this kind of touch, not him. So, of course, he responded “Not much. She’s not even getting aroused.” Then she asked me, “Are you enjoying this?” To which I responded, “Well, it’s nice, but it’s not arousing.”
She then shifted us into the second experiment. She asked my husband to mix in some of the type of touch he enjoyed. After thinking about it a little bit, he started to touch me. This time his touch was a mixture of alternatingly slow touch on my arms, legs and face paired with more urgent touch of my breasts and inner thighs. Interestingly, even though it wasn’t exactly what I had asked for, something about the way his energy had shifted started to awaken my nether regions. It seemed like progress, but something was still missing.
We then shifted into the final experiment. She encouraged me to lean into anything that felt nice, even if it wasn’t explicitly arousing. She suggested I could try breathing more audibly, or even moan. My immediate, stomp-my-feet, internal reaction was “Moan?!? Wouldn’t that make me an actress, faking it for the sake of my partner?” But before I could say anything out loud, my husband responded to our coach “YES. That would be amazing.” So, we tried it again. This time as he started to touch me, she actually got right up behind me and started being my surrogate moaner… moaning into my ear as he touched me. Sometimes her moans were soft and barely perceptible, and other times they were downright orgasmic.
You know those cartoons where there is a little devil and angel on someone’s shoulders telling them what to do? Initially, it felt like that, which made me giggle. Like my coach was the devil that wanted me to embrace pleasure and be overly expressive, but who was competing against the angel who was saying “Oh my! You shouldn’t be like that! You should be a quiet and proper lady!”
But as I settled into the experience, I realized how much my coach’s moans were actually helping me get turned on. So, while I’ll admit to being a little self-conscious at first, I decided to try and moan a little myself. It was hot! And as icing on the cake, I noticed a positive feedback loop in that the more I moaned, the better my husband’s touch got. Suddenly, what started as something neither of us was turned on by, had transformed into something I was actively and audibly into, which made him get into it, which made me turned on, which made him turned on, which made me even more turned on!
In the months since our three experiments, I have gotten increasingly comfortable with being expressive in (and out of) the bedroom. It might make a bystander uncomfortable when I let out a happy sigh after a kiss in public, or awaken a houseguest when I completely let go and moan loudly in the middle of the night… but hey, I’m a grown up now and don’t really care anymore if Santa thinks I’m naughty or nice.
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