After watching a film called Sexology (which I’d thoroughly recommend despite the cheese) I realised that a HUGE part of sex is about letting go, relaxing, and just enjoying.
One of the women in the film states:
“In sex, you need to let yourself go… to the point of foolishness”.
This resonated with me so deeply. It’s about allowing yourself to be vulnerable. Surrendering and releasing control. Being pleasured and finding pleasure.
That ability to be present, to let go and relinquish control, to give over to pleasure and let the waves of sex sweep over you, is what you see movie stars do. Porn stars. The ideal sexual encounter.
The sensual woman isn’t afraid of allowing herself to be swept completely into the space that sex provides her. She is free.
But, how many of us allow ourselves to REALLY just let go?
Why don’t we just relax and enjoy it?
This “letting go” is a hard task. We need to trust our partners, feel safe, supported, attractive, and not worry they’ll judge or hurt us.
Often, its because:
We worry during sex. How much our bum is jiggling. Whether the bedside table needs a dust. Whether the neighbours can hear. I personally find it SO hard to stay in the moment, stay present, and give myself over to pleasure and enjoyment.
We can’t relax- there’s a sense of shyness and embarrassment of what the other person will think of us. We’re ashamed of saying what we want and need in the bedroom. This often comes from the idea that we should act “a certain way” in the bedroom, that we’re not a “true feminist” if we do certain acts (that we enjoy, I might add). Women are so often judged for being a slut, a hussy, a whore, frigid, beige, a starfish *don’t get me started on that term!*… it’s hard to see the bedroom as a judgement free space when all around us our behaviour is commented upon. This means being vulnerable in this space is something that isn’t a given but needs to be worked towards.
We haven’t given ourselves permission to seek pleasure: as women we’re socialised not to own our own pleasure. Our society attaches taboo and stigma to women who do let go and become sexually liberated, and historically sex has always been about a man’s pleasure and women just have to “lie back and think of England”. Bez Stone (who I love) talks about the payoff of owning your own sexuality and being able to express yourself sexually as one of the most powerful things women can do.
Maybe it doesn’t feel THAT great: Without taking responsibility for our own pleasure (and asking for what we want) sex might just be so-so… it’s unlikely we’ll be swept up in the moment when you’re getting friction burns because he’s going too fast! Sex on TV and in porn isn’t real life, so don’t get too het up with re-enacting your fave film sex scene because the farting, seal noises and flesh slapping have been heavily edited out!
We don’t view sex as ridiculous: we can get so caught up, because we live in such a “sex sells” society, in looking good and acting sexy that we forget sex is meant to be hilarious! We make funny noises, pull funny faces, slip off chairs because someone spilled the lube and fanny fart during the horniest of encounters. We’re often conditioned to think of sex as this serious, goal orientated thing when in fact it’s just two people coming together for pleasure.
This article is really great at explaining how women can feel ashamed to fully let go, because we’re shy, unable to relax or unable to ask for what we want or express our fantasies. I was (and still am) the ultimate in being awkward, inflexible, prudish in bed because I was so worried (for all the reasons above).
I’ve discovered a few tips and tricks to help me relax more in bed, so here they are….
Feeling safe to let go:
To feel safe to let go during sex, you need to feel safe both emotionally and physically. This comes from a sense of trust, respect and understanding with your partner. If we’re even slightly worried they won’t listen to our no, pick up on subtle body cues, or feel resentment or unresolved conflict (which creates distance between the two of you), it can impact on our ability to lose ourselves in sex because we need to stay alert.
2. Create a safe, sensual bedroom space
This is about what you need to do to create a bedroom in which you can fully engage with your sexuality. Do you need a lock on the door? Are you comfortable? Do you need to adjust the temperature? What about how it’s decorated- does it inspire you to have sex?
I added some fur rugs, scented candles and some pictures to our bedroom. That room should be your sanctuary. We’re in a rented flat so not ideal for decorating, but I think pastel pink and grey with white candles is my idea and I can’t wait to focus on creating a bedroom fit for sex in the future.
3. Don’t be ashamed to embrace pleasure,
We can feel shy, embarassed, afraid that we’ll be judged for our enjoyment of sex, which is all bollocks! The best way of doing this I found was to surround yourself with a sex positive community. Talk with friends who are able to embody their own pleasure without fear. Follow sex positive blogs. Join the Scarlet Ladies. Do what you need to do to be around people that can inspire you to strip away any judgement you have around that horrid Madonna/Whore complex!
4. The power of vulnerability
Watch this video. You’re welcome.
5. You need to ask for what you want (otherwise he’ll never know)
I had lots of problems with this because I felt shy, and like I didn’t have the language I needed to express myself. Until one day I realised that if I’m not enjoying sex, why the fuck aren’t I being assertive and asking for what I need? It’s insane that we’d continue having luke warm sex- life’s too short not to love every minute of it! Find out more about this in my article about the awkward girls guide to dirty talk.
6. Bare your neck
So I’m sure there’s something animalistic about this, or maybe something around feeling safe to be dominated by a partner, but I discovered it accidentally whilst relaxing more into the moment the last few times I’ve had sex. If you bare your neck (and by this I mean tilt your head back or to the side more than you would normally to expose your neck) it feels like quite a sexual pose. We’re exposing a really vulnerable part of us, and it can help you to tap into that vulnerability you need to surrender to sex.
7. Relax and rest your arms above your head
So this reminds me of Kate Winslet in Titanic- the old resting arms jobby. Similar to the above and tapping into being vulnerable, when you are laying down (and he’s going down on you or you’re in missionary) gently rest your arms on the bed over your head. I’m sure it’s something about the way your back is slightly bent in this position, meaning your pelvis goes down so your breasts are more on show, that can be calming. Another way to get the same effect is to wear a blindfold.
8. Visualise your perfect sexual encounter
Close your eyes, and imagine. Visualise who you want to be in bed, what you want to move like, look like, sound like. Close your eyes and focus on your body and what it feels like. Write that shit down. Make vision boards. The clearer your vision the more likely it’ll become reality.
9. Make noises (especially during foreplay)
This links to pleasure and sensuality- make noises. To begin with if you don’t know how, just breathe heavily, sigh, give soft moans. The sound will anchor you to the present moment, and hopefully turn you on 🙂
10. Give yourself enough time
After I began to track my sex life and what was going on, I realised a HUGE part of what was turning me off sex was having enough time to do it. We always had sex late at night, and if he tried to initiate something at 10.30pm I knew we’d be going for at least an hour, and that meant less sleep so I began to panic about tomorrow and how I’d function. So, making sure you get to bed with an hour to spare before your actual bed time can mean it’s so much easier to relax, enjoy sex and know you’ll get a full nights sleep still.
How about you, what do you do to fully let go during sex? Or, like me, do you struggle to relax and surrender into it?