It all started with a series of featherlight strokes. And a willingness to try something new.
But before that, it was all up-in-the-air curiosity. And doubt. And a gnawing desire for something more.
For all of 2011, I heard Nicole Daedone’s name mentioned in any conversation I had about female sexuality. What I knew about her work was sparse, but I got a decent idea of who she was from a rather popular TED talk.
With big, presumptuous leaps, I jumped to conclusions about her work. While I bowed deeply to her tenacious way of bringing light to the concept of female sexuality (namely, orgasm), I couldn’t understand why so much emphasis was being put on female climax.
It seemed dangerous to exclude other genders & place so much precedence on the heterosexual, cisfemale orgasm.
I couldn’t help but think about the cismales, the transgendered, the intersexed, the queers, the non-monogamists. I suddenly became an impassioned, unsanctioned voice for them:
What about their orgasms? What about their sexuality? They’re just as hungry, just as starved for sensual/sexual absolution as straight, paired-up, monogamous cisfemales are.
Because I couldn’t make sense of the glaring exclusions in Daedone’s work, I left it alone, vowing to either pave my own way to speak to & for all gender & orientations (a lofty feat), or to learn from someone who does so with great care & wisdom.
Even though my fanship for her dwindled, I still celebrated & acknowledged the paths she was creating for [hetero] female sexuality. I couldn’t deny that it was a step in the right direction.
But despite me moving on from her work, Daedone’s name was still heavily present in most conversations I had about sexuality. I started to get emails from readers telling me to check out her work, asking me what I thought about it.
Which made me wonder. And curious.
So instead of continuing on with blind guesses, with big, humbled leaps, I dove into Nicole Daedone’s book Slow Sex with the hopes of understanding her methods & debunking my own assumptions about them.
What I know about Nicole Daedone’s work
At its core, Slow Sex is about stripping sexual intimacy to the bare minimum & becoming more conscious of what sex is really about: connection; connection to body, connection to our partner(s), connection to ourselves, connection to our sex.
So many of us have lost that connection to sex toys (specifically, vibrators), candlelit dinners, pricey lingerie, seduction & wooing tactics, & preconceived ideas of what sexual intimacy should look like. We spend a lot of time in our heads during sex, & we ruminate over the images that we see on newsstands & in films, hoping to live up to that expectation.
We treat sex like a science, rather than an art.
We’ve also lost our sense of truly feeling. Women especially, as we’ve been conditioned to view & practice sex from a male’s perspective; particularly with “the harder & faster mentality” (because speed & movement make for more fascinating images in pornography).
So Daedone poses a new way of doing things: subtract. Subtract until there’s nothing left “but two people, their nerve endings, & a light but precise stroke.”
All of this sounded great — fantastic, even! — but I couldn’t help but have my thoughts return to the groups of individuals who were being seemingly left out. Especially, the men (or, more specifically, my husband).
One of the biggest reasons I picked up Slow Sex was because I was incredibly curious to hear her explanations about why this practice is so wrapped up in female orgasm & not made readily available to ALL humans with sexualities. I scoured the internet to see if she touched on this topic to no avail.
The book gave me exactly what I was looking for: an explanation (albeit, not as long & in depth as I thought).
The idea of taking the perceived obligation of reciprocity out of the equation stunned me. It seemed inconceivable (& a bit rude) to expect make intimacy “one-sided” & selfish by having my husband focused on my orgasm.
Yet, it made sense to strip that facet of one-for-one sex away & develop a different kind of experience with intimacy, one that is about feeling sensations, not about requirement.
I also like to think that purposely giving men the reins (& pleasure) of stroking us, we’re establishing trust, safety, & security, something that isn’t always given through traditional “hard & fast” fucking. It seems appropriate to hand the task to our men in order to challenge their own conditioned views of sex & sexuality, & to entrust him with the most vulnerable part of us: our sexuality.
I think women need to be encouraged more by their partners to explore & express their delicate sexualities & desires. So perhaps our partners should be the ones to evoke a sense of obligation in “unthawing our icebergs.”
Perhaps all we need is their blessing, their understanding, their nurturing, & in doing so we can finally let go.
After reading only a few chapters, my curiosity was heightened. I wanted to give orgasmic mediation a go.
When I broached the subject of Slow Sex with Jonathan, I presented it carefully, expecting an apathetic response. But he surprised me by having an excitement to experiment with it.
“All we have to lose is 15 minutes of our day,” he said simply. “I’m down to give it a try.”
And a few days after Christmas, in our bare spare bedroom, we began to practice the art of orgasmic mediation.