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I used to tell myself a story about sex, one that was used as a litmus test to my own sexual experiences. This story went something like this:
Having sex is super easy. First, you get yourself aroused instantly just thinking about something sexy. Moments later, your vagina drips wet, begging to be filled (no need for lube). Next, effortless penetration which creates total ecstasy in your body.
After a few minutes of intercourse, the climax comes—earth-shattering, boisterous, and perfectly timed with your partner. This leads to multiple orgasms that roll throughout your body endlessly, giving you even more reason to yell and scream.
And when it’s all said and done, you’re left with an overwhelming hunger to do it again and again and again. . .
I lived and breathed that story for most of my erotic life. It’s the way I thought sex was supposed to be.
I can look at that story now and see all of the problems within it—how lifeless it seems, how cookie-cutter it is. But back then, this story felt like the gospel truth. How could it not be? That’s how it was in nearly every sex scene I watched.
Thanks to this fantasy sex story, I always thought that I was doing sex wrong; and not just wrong, but poorly. The sex I had never looked like that story, not even close. Which was perplexing, because I would take painstaking measures to get it to resemble it.
I tried all the methods that were deemed “for her pleasure”—the ribbed condoms, the warming lube, reverse cowgirl, and the introduction of porn and vibrators. None of this did anything for me.
Well, it did things for me, just nothing that looked like the story.
An interesting thing happens with the belief of these sex stories: another story usually follows, one that is more true to life and looks way different than the first.
The sequel to my fantasy sex story involved a lot of frustration, confusion, deep resentment, and shame. When having sex, these were the things that were happening in my head:
Am I aroused right now? Why am I not super wet? OK, we’ve been having sex for a little while now; where is my orgasm? Why isn’t my vagina responding ecstatically to penetration? And where is my orgasm? I thought that this was supposed to feel good. I must not be doing something right. There must be something wrong with me.
It makes a lot of sense that back then a mere glance from my partner that hinted erotic intent produced nauseating dread in the pit of my stomach. Having sex was a stark reminder of my pitiful inability to do it the “right” way. Having sex created more credibility toward the belief of my brokenness.
All thanks to that fantasy sex story.
And even though I was unhappy with it, I still held onto this story, doing everything I could to try to make it work—like forcing my feet into shoes too small. I kept thinking that if I just kept gritting my teeth through the frustration, eventually I would become a multiorgasmic woman with no sexual hangups. (Which, spoiler: That never happened.)
I continued living with this story for years before allowing my mind to explore the possibility that maybe the fault wasn’t in me; maybe it was in the story. There was something very exciting (not to mention liberating) about that.
Even more exciting: The idea that there might be nothing wrong with me after all.
Which left me with the question: “If this fantasy sexy story is completely bogus, what is the true story?” Or, in other words:
What is the sexual story I want to believe instead that both fits me and works with me, not against?
Slowly, I began to pick apart that fantasy sex story, underlining the things that created pressure in my body or just seemed unattainable, like instantaneous arousal and “no need for lube”. Then, I started the radical journey of creating my own new sexual story.
Here’s a snippet:
I am a sexually confident woman who feels totally at peace with the erotic. I trust my body and the way it receives pleasure. I allow my orgasm the space it needs to be released—no matter how long it takes. I give my sexual desires room to blossom. I choose to be open and curious about sex and my sexual expression.
Over the last few years, I’ve been living in that new sexual story and have given myself ample time to truly embody and trust it. These days, I’m enjoying the feel of playing in that new story. And I’ve been fine-tuning it, too. As I continue to grow as a sexually liberated woman, the expression of that only deepens and expands.
When I think about who I would be if I were still subscribing to that old fantasy sex story, I feel a familiar nauseating dread in the pit of my stomach. I know that the sense of home I feel in my erotic body wouldn’t exist. And the incredible sex I had yesterday morning probably wouldn’t have happened either.
The stories we tell ourselves (and the stories we were bestowed) about sex and sexuality hold so much power. So, I have to ask:
What are the sexual stories you tell yourself?
And who would you be without them?