In one of my webinars called “Vulva Nights”, a lady mentioned the relief of feeling “normal” when hearing that vaginal penetration is just a sexual act, not the entire act, nor the main or most important act.
We have grown up believing and defining sex as equal to penetration. So, if there is no penetration, “something was missing”, “it’s not sex”, “it wasn’t enough”, or “it doesn’t count”.
Sex is so many things!
And if we go by just one act, well let me tell you, it’s going to get pretty boring and soon also… lots of influences, not just mainstream porn, but also movies, novels, TV series, books, music, and so on. They all have led us to understand sex as such, and also to follow a certain linear script.
For example, I grew up watching movies or series where the same thing always happened: the couple spontaneously and passionately began to kiss, perhaps for a very short time there was some oral stimulation on the breasts or lower down, and then came penetration. They both enjoy an ecstasy of pleasure, moaning everywhere and shortly after, in perfect synchronization, both reach orgasm. He lies down next to her and in post-orgasmic delight the couple hugs or kisses and go to sleep.
It wasn’t always like that, but almost always. Or it was also common to see scenes where she was left unsatisfied because he came too fast. In just this example I can spend an hour or more explaining everything wrong with believing that this is the reality of people’s sexual lives.
It couldn’t be further from the truth, and what I will say about this on time is that it is a very limiting, heteronormative view. In addition to putting pressure and expectations on the penis and its duration, it normalizes the lack of orgasm in women, as well as making people believe that penetration is the default way that both sexes should have orgasms.
This is where we get that script: foreplay begins (A), followed by vaginal penetration (B), reaching orgasm (C), and resolution (D). From here we also reinforce the idea that penetration is the main act, which has led us to endless sexual problems. These include performance anxiety, lack of or difficulty with orgasm, erection problems, and lack of sexual desire, to name a few.
Likewise, when we consider penetration as the main act, everything else remains as a secondary act, less important, or part of the “foreplay”. Once again, the masculine experience is prioritised.
I do not use that term “foreplay” to refer to the many activities that I include in my definition of sex. I define “foreplay” as everything that creates anticipation for the act. Many of these activities are what people with vulva need to have orgasms. But it also includes more inclusive activities for different moments, energies, people, bodies and orientations.
Without a doubt, if we follow this script and this limiting definition of sex in each sexual encounter, it is normal to fall into monotony and lack of desire! It’s like going to a restaurant every week and there’s only one meal on the menu…
My suggestion: Expand that menu!
Each person, couple or group must define what sex is and how they enjoy it to expand the possibilities of pleasure, so that the game is fun, different, without demands or expectations.