What Your Mother Never Told You About S-e-x

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Dr. Hilda's Featured Excerpt...

What Is Sex?

Ask one hundred people to define sex and most will define it as "intercourse, coitus, or some sort of joining of the genitals. For most people, all other intimate activities fall into the category of foreplay, meaning they are the opening acts for the main sexual event – appetizers before the main course, if you will. While some people debate whether or not oral sex or masturbation qualifies as sex, I define sex broadly to include a generous number of pleasurable, sensual activities.

When you get right down to it, any intimate physical contact designed to give erotic pleasure is sex. Amorous touching is sex. Sensual kissing is sex. Tasting your partner's intimate juices is sex. So if any of my patients begin to talk about sex only as it relates to the genitals, I remind them that any sensual activity is as important as the next and that many of these sexy pleasures need not end with intercourse. Stroking the body of your lover can be just as sensuous and gratifying as intercourse, if not more so. Remember when you were a teenager how thrilling it was to spend an evening kissing on the sofa or in the backseat of a car? Who says that you can't enjoy that kind of pleasure now? Even if your teenage years are long past, an innocent necking session can be a wonderful way to bring excitement back into your love life. There are endless ways to share erotic pleasures with your partner. The more of these techniques (and variations) you know about, practice, and master, the more fantastic a sex life you can expect to have.

That's why I've included a step-by-step guide to each sexual technique and variation. It's true that good sex should not be mechanical or technical, but to be a great lover--and to receive the best possible pleasure from your lovemaking--you need to be aware of some basic lovemaking skills. If you want to play the flute, you must learn where to put your fingers and how to blow on the hole. In the beginning you may feel a little awkward, but with a little instruction and practice, you can become a virtuoso. It's the same with sex.

In this section, I describe sexual intimacies as "delicacies," and intercourse is but one of the many delights. With this menu, there are no rules. You can have dessert before the appetizer and the after-dinner mints before the entrée. Or start with the main course, then try a little dessert, then go back to the main course and end with the appetizer. It can be a banquet or a barbecue. It's up to you to decide. If it's true that "variety is the spice of life," you're sure to have a very tantalizing, delicious sex life.

Playing by the Rules

Often it's "the rules"--our notions about what one should or should not do in bed--that keep us from fully enjoying our sexuality. I try to get my patients to let go of that kind of sexually limited thinking, but there are a couple of rules that I ask them to honor always.

Rule Number One: Always Communicate
Being able to express yourself with your partner is vital to a good sexual relationship. For example, when you’re making love, let him know when he touches the right spot in the right way. That doesn’t mean you have to have a long conversation about it; you can moan, sigh, or whisper his name. He’ll probably get the message and appreciate the applause. Of course, if you’re moaning with pain rather than pleasure, he needs to know that. And whatever you do, don’t fake it. If he thinks he’s pleasing you, he’ll keep doing what he’s doing. Likewise, you should also find out whether or not your moves are pleasing to your partner. That means you two have to talk about your sexual relationship – in bed and out.

Sex therapist Miriam Biddleman recommends this simple exercise for learning more about your sexual desires and those of your partner. First, each of you should make a list of what turns you on – the things you already enjoy doing together as well as things you’d like to try. Then make a similar list of what you think turns your partner on. Have fun reading the lists to each other and make mental notes for the next time you are intimate. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised – and excited – by your partner’s unspoken desires.

Every woman’s experience of sex is different. Sometimes sex is a magical, spiritual, out-of-body experience; at other times pleasure is focused in your physical feelings. Your lovemaking experience may change from day to day, year to year, or partner to partner, but it should always be a mutually enjoyable activity defined by the two people involved. I emphasize the word mutual, which brings us to rule number two:

Rule Number Two: Never allow yourself to be pressured into any activity that makes you uncomfortable, no matter what your partner may want
Yes, you may be a little nervous or awkward as you experiment and try new things, but whatever you do, remember that you are in charge of what you do sexually. There is no right or wrong way to have sex, and no one has the right to tell you how, when, where, or with whom to have sex. If it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.