Q. How do you have a frank discussion with your partner about getting off, if they really aren’t getting the job done.
A. Many of us have been here - I’ve always thought of a lover’s tactics, as a window into what their past lovers have enjoyed (I hope!!!) This could be the case, an incompatibility of technique, but before any conversation can happen, I invite you to re-think pleasure and getting off.
Pleasure isn’t something someone does to you, it’s an experience. If that experience is happening with another person, pleasure is a collabo! It’s something you’re doing together and everyone involved is playing a part/is accountable to shared, desired outcomes.
Audre Lorde emphasizes the importance of this distinction in her essay Uses of The Erotic: The Erotic as Power* “…when we look away from ourselves as we satisfy our erotic needs in concert with others, we use each other as objects of satisfaction, rather than share our joy in the satisfying, rather than make connections with our similarities and differences.”
With that in mind, assess communication style and comfort. No one wants to be told, or even think they are being told, they are bad at sex. During non-sexy times, explain to your partner you want to work on pleasure together. Tell your partner how you would like to receive encouragement/feedback about what feels good for them, and ask your partner how they would like to receive encouragement/feedback on what feels good for you. Come to agreements together on how to create a loving space for exploring that, with shared responsibility. Maybe it’s guidance and teaching in moments, maybe it’s conversations before, when people feel less vulnerable.
A topic for conversation can simply be if are you on the same page about what you both want? “Getting off” can mean different things for different people.
Find your way! Have fun! Pleasure and joy are literally synonymous! (I looked it up).
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