Sexuality is about enjoying sexual pleasure with a lover. We experience sensual, emotional and erotic pleasure. A sex education should include a description of sexual techniques that may be used to pleasure men and women. These should differentiate between those techniques which assist with orgasm and those which provide sensual pleasure. We orgasm with a frequency dictated by our responsiveness. People of both sexes regardless of orientation have different sexual appetites. Ideally there’s a match of intellect, curiosity, imagination, sense of humour and concern for hygiene.
There are three main categories of anatomy. The sex organ is involved in orgasm and the internal genital organs in reproduction. The erogenous zones relate to sensual pleasuring and may include any part of the body. Male and female erogenous zones are similar in anatomical terms. They include the labia or the length of the penis, either side of the labia or the testicles, the entrance to the vagina or the base of the penis, the perineum and the anus. For a man there is also the prostate gland next to the rectum. Both sexes can enjoy being stroked or kissed on the mouth, nipples, ear lobes, neck, back and feet with varying pleasure depending on the individual.
The focus of marriage has traditionally been a social liaison rather than a relationship based on sexual pleasuring. Passion and lust are associated with first encounters and illicit affairs rather than with marital sex. Sexual pleasure tends to be associated with male gratification. Women are more typically in the role of providing sexual services. So sexual pleasure is defined from a male perspective. When we masturbate, we may enjoy the sensations of orgasm but we don’t usually talk about sexual pleasure in the context of masturbation. Men obtain sexual relief as well as significant erotic and emotional pleasure from penetrative sex (intercourse) and other activities with a lover. However, women are not erotically aroused with a lover. Women need to make more of the sensual pleasures of sexual activity and enjoy the emotional reward of pleasing a lover. Even responsive women, who masturbate to orgasm, only experience this erotic pleasure when alone.
Some people limit themselves to intercourse. Others enjoy masturbation alone and a variety of sex play with a lover. Some people consider these non-reproductive aspects of our sexuality to be more important than others. Attitudes in society (driven primarily by women’s dislike of eroticism) can cause others to feel ashamed of their sexual curiosity. The only prerequisite for anyone to enjoy sexual pleasure is the need for a consenting lover. Some people look for a variety of lovers while others prefer to be loyal to one. Many people (especially women) limit their sexual life to a long-term loving relationship. Other couples find that being attracted to others or sharing their lover with other people, helps keep their sex life alive over decades together.
Marriage and romance are associated with love rather than sex. Yet when a man marries, he assumes that his wife will offer him regular sex. Women can feel pressured especially if a man has specific sexual needs or a high sex drive. In the beginning of a romance, a woman can enjoy the novelty of feeling sexually desired. She may delight in the ease of a male lover’s arousal (especially a young man). She has the emotional reward of providing a man’s sexual release by allowing him to thrust into her vagina until he ejaculates.
A woman does not experience the arousal that motivates men to stimulate a lover’s body. Women have to consciously decide to engage in proactive pleasuring. Many women never even consider offering a lover explicit sexual pleasuring. Others may be aware that other women do this but they see no reason why they should offer. A woman needs a good relationship and a sense of fun to be motivated to pleasure a man. If a woman enjoys reading erotic literature or watching the occasional porn movie, she may understand the male turn-ons that sexually experienced women can provide. She may not be comfortable with providing some of the more exaggerated responses of the porn actresses. She should select behaviours that she feels fit with her personality and the relationship. She can use how she dresses to be provocative, undress teasingly and make verbal invitations or suggestions.
The sensual and emotional aspects of sex operate most effectively when lovers are young and attractive. Intercourse tends to become repetitive and lacking in romantic passion for a woman after decades with the same lover. She needs to feel admired by her lover and to feel that his admiration is worth having. Mutual respect is important for sexual enjoyment as well as enjoying each other’s company and sharing interests outside the bedroom.
Alternatively after years together, there may be more trust between lovers. If a woman has an imaginative partner and she herself is willing, a couple may enjoy exploring sex play beyond intercourse. Each partner can take turns and provide sensitive feedback on what worked and what to try next time.
Having an aging body may not be an issue where long-term lovers have invested in their sex life and built a loving and communicative relationship. As she ages, a woman’s body changes and becomes more responsive to sensual caressing. Her clitoral glans becomes slightly less sensitive. An older woman may experience a greater erotic response if a man invests in exploring different pleasuring techniques. An older man has more time to spend on sexual pleasuring because his sexual arousal is not so acute. He is able to delay his ejaculation so that he can enjoy more sensual pleasuring.
If a person is not prepared to embrace the needs and genuine desires of their partner, then they shouldn’t get into a relationship. People have to understand and be willing to provide what their partner needs more of in their relationship. (Stephan Labossiere)
Excerpt from Learn About Sexuality (ISBN 978-0956-894748)