When it comes to your sexual journey, what are your goals? What do you hope to achieve? Have you ever considered this before?
For sex, this could range widely. Some people don’t have any conscious goals, some want to achieve a certain number of sexual partners, to explore a deviant sexual fantasy, to achieve a certain number of orgasms in a day, etc.
No matter your big picture goals, what I really want you to consider is: when going into an erotic experience, what is your ultimate desired outcome? What are you hoping to leave the experience with?
Many people’s first reaction to this question is: orgasm. Take a moment to consider the implications of this. If your goal is orgasm, this is a very specific outcome that can be impacted by a wide variety of factors (i.e. exhaustion, stress, alcohol/drug intake, medical issues, lack of interest, etc.). If you or your partner(s) don’t orgasm and that’s your main goal, the outcome can lead to guilt, disappointment, or shame, which can eventually lead to performance anxiety.
What would it be like to shift orgasm to being a secondary or tertiary goal - or even just being a cherry on top? When you shift this to being a lower priority, what new options surface for you as the primary goal? Pleasure, connection, learning a new skill, vulnerability, playfulness are just a few options for what could move to the top. Your erotic experiences start to take on a new script when your goal shifts. It’s no longer performance-based and space for exploration opens up. What a relief might it be to go into an erotic experience and simply enjoy the moment for what it is? To explore your partner’s(s’) body simply for the goal of connecting and feeling close? Picture what that could look like for you and allow your imagination to script what your next erotic experience could be.
When your primary goal is no longer orgasm, how does that affect all of your other sex goals? Do they shift? Get bigger or smaller?
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with orgasming (it has a ton of health benefits!), taking it a notch or two down on your priority list might just open you up to having more positive sexual experiences. It could even lead to more orgasms because there isn’t such a high focus/pressure on it. So take some time, examine your goals, and consider how you can open yourself to maximum pleasure with intentional goal setting.