I decided, post-divorce, that I wanted to change my approach to sex and my sense of self as a sexual being. Now, at age 62, I have a healthy relationship with my body and a satisfying sex life. It took me a while but I began to understand that most of my sexual behavior, from my first experience of intercourse at age 17 right through my marriage and post-divorce dating, was driven by how I saw myself in relationship to a male partner. Sex was mostly about him. I had sex at his urging. I made noises if I thought it would turn him on. And occasionally I had sex when I didn’t really feel the urge, because that’s what women did. We have sex for our partners. We fake it, we give them what they want, and we open ourselves up to them because that’s what women do. Or at least that’s what I thought.
What would happen if you began focusing on your pleasure? If you began pampering yourself, learning your likes and dislikes, and practiced speaking up for what you wanted and needed when it came to sex?
I think it’s important to prioritize our own sexual needs–and I don’t think women give themselves permission often enough. It’s why I wrote a book, Inviting Desire, about sex for midlife women and it’s the topic of many of my talks. Desire is something we create for ourselves. Too frequently we focus our desire on our partner, without realizing that we have to start with ourselves. We become better lovers and sex is more enjoyable when we understand our own bodies and what they need. If we don’t know what we like, or we don’t know how to ignite that sense of desire in ourselves we aren’t going to have as much pleasure in intimate relationships.
For me, and maybe this speaks to you as well, the first step was to give myself permission to invite desire into my body, my life and my most intimate moments. I did that through reading about sex and intimacy and by taking time to become acquainted with my body.
How can you invite more pleasure into your life? And where would you like to start?
I believe women have a choice when it comes to desire. We can choose to invite feelings and desires into our lives in many ways. If we don’t actively choose to invite desire into our lives–sexual or otherwise—it won’t just show up. Inviting Desire, A Guide for Women Who Want to Enhance Their Sex Life, guides you through a series of topics from awakening the senses to learning about sexual health and how to ask for what you want, all geared to help you successfully embrace your sexuality.
Desire flows through much of our life and isn’t just about the bedroom. That feeling of being awake and in control, feeling our skin awaken to the touch, and the feeling of sensuous, sexual energy that runs through us creates more than just a pleasurable intimate moment, it fuels our creativity and our health and our relationships.
What do you want to invite into your life?
To read a little more about the book, Inviting Desire, click here.