The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!

#287: Q&A: My Partner Doesn't Climax from Oral Sex and I'm Worried

Jacqueline Hellyer - Saturday, March 14, 2020

From my column in Body+Soul

: I’ve been seeing my new boyfriend for six months. We’re really well suited, in and out of the bedroom, but there’s something troubling me. He doesn’t climax when I go down on him. I’m 32 and haven’t encountered this before. He says he loves what I do, but I’m starting to get a bit of a complex about it. What do you think?

AnswerWe’re a little too focused on our sexual KPIs (key performance indicators) in this society. Sex has to ‘achieve’ something, it’s goal-focused, and that goal is orgasm. And not just any orgasm, a very specific peak orgasm. If you don’t achieve that, you haven’t performed up to standard. You’ve failed.

But wait up a moment, that performance approach might be appropriate in the workplace, where there are quotas and deadlines and outcomes to be met – but in the bedroom? Do we need to take that performance focus into our sex lives, with all the pressure and expectation that accompanies it? Where’s the enjoyment in that?

I say a big no to the performance model of sex! Of the countless clients I see with sexual ‘dysfunctions’, the bulk of them are actually perfectly fine, it’s the model they’re trying to operate within that’s the problem. Seriously, we can’t all be that sexually dysfunctional. I may be a one-woman campaigner here, but hello world, it’s the model of sex that’s dysfunctional, not the people.

It’s not surprising really. We had thousands of years of sexual suppression. In that time, we brought up our girls to know nothing about their sexuality (even today most girls grow up knowing very little – did your mother talk to you about your clitoris? Did she discuss with you how to relate to your lover for maximum pleasure?), and all the boys knew was masturbation. So, with no other information, when they got married, the husband would continue to ‘masturbate’ inside his wife’s vagina. Think about it – masturbation has three parts to it: first you have to be horny, then the main focus is the genital friction (anything else is just ‘foreplay’) and it finishes with his ejaculation. When the sexual revolution happened in the 60s and 70s, the only model of sex we had was this one, and it has stuck and if anything has become more entrenched

Throw away that masturbatory model, which is fine for solo sex, and instead embrace a model of partnered sex that focuses on pleasure, intimacy, connection, fun, and all those good things. Sex is about two people coming together and having a co-created experience. It’s not two people coming together and getting each other off. Sure, orgasms are great, but they are an outcome of sex, not the point of it.

Now back to you and your non-ejaculating boyfriend. Can you see that your question is based on the assumption that he ‘should’ ejaculate and that you ‘should’ give him that ejaculation. Yet, he says he’s loving it!

The problem here is the expectation of what it should be, rather than the enjoyment of the experience. If he’s loving it then you’re engaging in a really positive way. If he really needs to ejaculate, chances are he can do that through intercourse.

So you’re feeling bad because of the pressure you’re putting on yourself to give him an orgasm, and no doubt you’re also putting pressure on him to orgasm. If there’s one thing that gets in the way of orgasm, it’s the pressure to orgasm. If he knows that you are frustrated with his lack of orgasm, that is going to cause him pressure, which is going to make his orgasm even more unlikely.

Relax. If you’re enjoying giving him oral, and he’s enjoying receiving it, then that’s pleasure, that’s connection, that’s what partnered sex is all about. And with this approach, focusing on the experience not the outcome, you’re actually going to be more likely to have orgasm be part of that experience. No pressure though!



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