Adventurers, is there anything you used to believe when you first started having sex that you now have a totally different frame of mind about? Anything you used to think was a “sure-banker” rule that you are now slightly embarrassed that you ever saw that way? What was it? Never giving blowjobs? Never doing doggy-style? Never letting yourself get sweaty during sex? Oh. You won’t tell me till I tell you mine? Fine. Sigh. Don’t laugh, but here goes: I used to have the emotional version of “a coming score sheet” and I used to believe it should balance out perfectly. I know. I shy saf.
Why did I keep a running count of how often I came versus how often my boyfriend came with the strictness of a World Cup referee? Well, at the time I thought my reasoning was sound. I was a very invested in fairness and openness and mutual pleasure. I was dedicated to having sex that showed that there was equal care for the pleasure of both partners. I was terrified at the thought of fucking anyone who was basically masturbating with my body and not interested in me as a person. I wasn’t interested in anyone who couldn’t make me come. More importantly, I was not interested in fucking anyone who would be satisfied that he had come while I had not.
I looked at it like this: if we had enough chemistry to get past kissing, got it on on a regular basis, and you were coming during every round and I wasn’t, then something was wrong and you had to go. That was my philosophy. And I thought it was a very fair one. I took it very seriously. So if in, say, the last twenty times we hooked up I had come ten times, and you had come all the twenty, I would start to look at you with shifty eyes.
Why was this? Well, I think that I was used to the tit for tat set-up of making out, where a guy would fondle my boobs then I would give him an handjob then he would go down on me then I would go down on him and we would go blow for blow, orgasm for orgasm until one of us would have to go home. You could say I subscribed to the P-square “you do me, I do you; man no go vex” school of thought. So I thought a guy’s pleasure was totally my responsibility and my pleasure was totally his. I didn’t regard myself as difficult to get off because I have an embarrassingly responsive body and I was convinced that with full-on sex the deal was the same: I work my ass off to get you off and you work your ass off to get me off. Everybody comes. Every body is happy. You get 10/10. I get 10/10. Gold star.
What I didn’t know then that I know now, is that the best sex actually happens when it is a collaborative effort. The most emotionally resonant and connected sex happens when you take over one the duties involved in getting you off: like for instance you touch your clit when he concentrates on your nipples, or he gives himself a handjob while you lick the head of his dick. The best sex happens when you serve as your partner’s apprentice in the job of giving you pleasure so you get exactly what you want.
Back then, when I was young and naive, I didn’t regard myself as difficult to get off because I have an embarrassingly responsive body. However, I didn’t factor in the fact that I was much better at giving pleasure than my partners were. I didn’t factor in the fact that a handjob, a blowjob, or in any position between my wet thighs, they would come. Whereas I needed to be in certain positions, with both clit and nipple stimulation at the same time, to get the big O. I didn’t factor in the fact that my not being able to come from receiving oral meant that their options for finishing me off were limited to either their dick or their fingers. And I definitely didn’t have the concept of a tab.
The first guy I fucked, I stayed in an exclusive relationship with for years, so luckily I wasn’t going around foisting this unforgiving way of thinking on many men and scarring random gentlemen on the street. But what it meant was that, in my relationship, if I ever surveyed the past week or two of having sex and felt like my guy was coming more often than I was coming, then I worried about whether he really cared about my pleasure. It wasn’t until about a year into my first sexual relationship that I had my Eureka moment.
A friend of mine mentioned she had had amazing sex that day and had made her partner come four times while she hadn’t. She said it so nonchalantly I had to ask: “Well that’s just a special session right? Like a “today-it’s-all-on-me-I’m-going-to-make-you-scream-session”? “It’s like the equivalent of birthday sex, right?” “Right?” Right? Chale, was I surprised to hear nothing but crickets chirping. She told me that her girl came at least three times as often as she did. She wasn’t bragging about it like she made it happen. She just said it like it was a fact, like her girl was three times as responsive as she was. But at least afterwards she is really sad she cheated you and tries to make up for it, right? The next session she doesn’t come and she makes sure it’s all about you, right? I asked mournfully. The chick said no. That was just how their sex life was structured. She was often the giver of pleasure and her partner was the receiver and she didn’t have to come for her to classify the sex as good.
I was perplexed that she didn’t feel more cheated. If coming was not the ultimate goal then what was? I rationalized that maybe it was because it was sex between two women. Maybe this not coming while your partner did was a lesbian thing. But I talked to another couple about it, a heterosexual couple, and discovered they had the same dynamic. She was the giver. He was the receiver. They had sex every day but she came maybe once every two weeks while he came every.single.time. And she was fine with that. She didn’t consider the relationship uneven and she didn’t feel like the roles were static or fixed. She just felt like there would come some point in their sex life where he would make it up to her. She would have some super-responsive period where she would be coming five times during a session and his job would just be to make it happen. She would just put it on his tab. Was this a woman thing? Maybe we were just conditioned to be pleasure-givers? I asked another couple, a man and a woman. This time the guy was the giver and the woman was the receiver. He said the same thing. He liked watching her lose control and he was sure some time in their sex life would arise when he was coming all over the place. Until that day he would just put it on her tab.
This information blew my little mind, I tell you. But the minute I learnt about the concept of a tab, my entire sex life changed. I stopped thinking about my boyfriend as a premature ejaculator because he could never stay inside me for the ten minutes of penetration required for me to come from vaginal intercourse. I stopped getting hurt and perplexed at how a nice sensitive guy could be so selfish, if after he came he just wanted to hold me and wasn’t interested in getting the ting back up so he could fuck me till I came. I stopped getting hurt if the first thing on his mind after coming wasn’t fingering me or going down on me immediately so we didn’t lose the momentum we had built up. I didn’t lie there beside him watching the orgasm I was so close to get farther and farther away and think “Well, that was a disappointment. I guess I just got cheated.”
I just developed the concept of an account, like the kind you have at your local chop bar or with your akpeteshie seller, where they know you are not going anywhere and you will pay your bill when your salary comes so you can eat or drink for free and then settle your bill later. I just started telling myself “He didn’t get me this time; he’ll get me the next time.” And I swear, it changed my life. I stopped seeing an orgasm as the goal of sex and just started seeing finding and giving pleasure as the goal. If I was really close and I felt like this one diee if I don’t finish I’ll be walking around with the female equivalent of blue balls, then my boyfriend would just finger me till I came. If that didn’t work he’d grab me in a bear hug from behind and kiss my neck and I’d touch myself or get my vibrator out and make it happen. But if I hadn’t been blue-clit-level close when he came, then he would just get me off the next time. This account concept really helped my sex life.
My boyfriend stopped feeling inadequate and spending all his time in bed with me remembering the definitions of words or matching countries with capitals or doing whatever trick guys use so they don’t come so fast. So he was more present and even more engaged and more eager to stop the penetrative sex to do something else and then go back to it when he was feeling less aroused. And most importantly, we both stopped looking at him coming as the end of the sex. We stopped seeing sex as a thing with set sessions: round one, round two, round three, half-time. Our sex life all just became one mixed-up bag of touching and sucking and fucking and coming. And it was great. Now I look back at my OCD score sheet and cringe.
So, Adventurers, what did you have to rethink about sex in the course of your sexual life? What silly rule did you have to throw out of the window? What belief did you formerly think was the fairest and most reasonable thing in the world until you discovered that it just didn’t translate to real life? I’ve told you mine so tell me yours.