by Janne Robinson
“Make love when you can. It’s good for you.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut
Up until my mid twenties I truly believed that I was unable to orgasm with a partner during sex. I also thought I was alone until I shared my feelings with other women who claimed they also had difficulty climaxing in a duo. Apparently up to 10 percent of women haven’t had an orgasm, with or without a partner.
Sex with my first lover was a monologue—it was about the finish line, and not necessarily my finish line. I’ll cut my ex and myself a break here—after all, we were 17 and 21 and still figuring it all out. We aren’t born great lovers. Sex is like a relationship…it takes work. If you expect to float by on honeymoon butterflies in love or in the sack—you’re an idiot. There are some things in life that I feel are allowed to be shitty—stepping stone jobs, outhouses, IKEA on a Saturday, a hair cut you got from a groupon, drip coffee in hotels, pretty much anything that is free—sex, isn’t one of them. So let’s quit having shitty sex and start having orgasms like it’s a job.
1. You have to talk about sex.
My first partner never asked me what I liked. I also never told him.
We never talked about sex.
This is so important.
Outside of the bedroom we all like different things. Some people take their coffee black, some with generous amounts of cream, some with aspartame crap, some people hate coffee—prefer tea.
Of course we need to talk about what makes our libidos crank—duh.
Some like it slow, some like it to be an aerobic act.
Some like to shower first, others get turned on by the smell of their partners sweat.
Some people like to role-play, some people get weirded out by talking dirty.
Some people will run for the hills if you pull out a bondage kit.
Some people really want to touch feet.
Some people like it rough, hair pulling, to be chocked—some people hate that.
Some people need sex to start in their mouth, thirty minutes kissing foreplay.
Some people like butt plugs, some rather anal beads.
Some people like having sex with three bodies, not two.
Some people love shower sex, some people fall in shower sex and wreck their backs and hate it.
Some people want to get dressed up in high heels and wear lace.
Some people want au natural–some people will tell you to shave that shit off.
Some people gag while brushing their teeth and some people love swallowing.
Some love 69 and others will feel it’s too much going on at once and get overwhelmed.
I mean, shit—sex is so complex. You expect to just walk into this world with a mental sexscript on what every woman/man likes?
Having sex with a new lover is like learning a new language; every single body has different needs and wants.
Do you expect to just do it in the dark, blind, with no words and for it to be magic?
Fuck no—it takes talking, patience, understanding, time, experimenting.
2. We have to figure our bodies out, together.
Every time you show up for a new lover you are like a blank canvas, with untouched brushes and paint and you get to create in a way you never have before.
In order to have great sex, we have to speak the same language with our lips, limbs, hearts and everything else in between.
At first it might be hard to speak your sexual truth but I promise it will get easier.
There’s a partner that will devour and savor you like the delicacy you are—who will beg for your words louder than your love.
And we need to feel connected.
We have to feel seen, heard, and understood by our partners to have radically intimate sex.
We have to feel connected to not only ourselves, but also our partners.
We will inevitably squeeze some connection out of sex, whether it is good or bad sex but we should be wary when we rely on sex to be the main source of intimacy and connection in a relationship.
3. The stronger the connection before you take off your clothes, the better.
We have to clear space energetically so we can show up open, vulnerable and available for sex.
“Sex is always about emotions. Good sex is about free emotions; bad sex is about blocked emotions.” ~ Deepak Chopra
Part of having sex is getting naked, right?
Try an activity before sex where all the emotions floating around in your body from your day are articles of clothing.
Now, one by one take them off. Do whatever it takes for you.
Move through them alone, or with your partner so you can show up emotionally and physically naked.
If there are things you aren’t saying they can easily manifest in between the sheets.
If I feel emotional blockage, or unresolved sensitivity it creates a wall for me.
I’m in my mind, not my body.
I can’t participate fully in the sensations and experience and therefore I don’t come.
Monkey mind clit blocks my pleasure.
4. When communicating what you want in bed, focus on praising the things your partner is doing that you love rather than saying “I don’t like this.”
I am still learning to ask for what I want. To not be shy, or embarrassed, shameful or scared when I speak to my lovers.
To freely, without hesitation say, “I like it when you move slow, like this, and move there—that way, left.”
Although sometimes I want to sit up and say, “What are you doing down there?”
That will often close them off, making them feel insecure and possibly less receptive to hearing feedback.
Just as how sometimes yelling at your partner when he forgets to take the garbage out is less successful then praising him when he does.
Our brains take note of mental praise, when we do something that makes people we care about happy, we naturally want to do it again—we got a treat. Who doesn’t love treats?
When communicating, practice talking more about what works, and less on what doesn’t work.
Of course, if you are uncomfortable with something or don’t want to participate sexually in a way—have boundaries, say no, be stern. Sex should be safe.
5. I use my own hands, to be the teacher.
I let my lover be a student in how to make my body tighten, shake, tremble and explode in shudders of joy and delight.
My previous belief “I can’t orgasm with a partner” is a myth.
I am capable, so very capable, after all—I just need to show you what I need.
6. We must be a Participator, not a Spectator in Sex
I realized in my early twenties that I was continuing to participate as a spectator in sex.
Sex continued to be about my partner, and my own satisfaction didn’t exist.
So, I swung the pendulum hard.
Sex was about me—I wanted to participate in my pleasure.
I was selfish, baby.
I had years of unsatisfied sex to make up for.
I realized I had a right to give, and also to receive.
That this whole pleasure thing, wasn’t a one-way street.
7. I am accountable, the most accountable for the dry spells of O’s.
I realized that as much as I wanted to point the finger at all my partners for my sexual dissatisfaction, they weren’t to blame—I was.
I wasn’t sexually empowered.
I didn’t do the work, I didn’t show up to sex in a way that I needed to.
So, how did I walk over my expired belief that “I couldn’t orgasm with a partner?”
I owned it and then I did work.
An orgasm isn’t a free ride, baby.
8. It started with masturbation.
“Don’t knock masturbation — it’s sex with someone I love.” ~ Woody Allen
Of course I’ve masturbated.
But I always had shame attached to it.
Why is this?
Why do we have shame with sex and self-pleasure?
Why is something so natural, taboo?
I felt like it was wrong, that I should hide it.
I kept my pleasure in the dark—in a place full of shame and fear.
Shocking that it manifested into difficulty orgasming with a partner.
I pulled her into the light and let her breathe.
She came alive.
I shouted—literally, I moaned gasped and let all the light in.
I let the trees and the woods, the mountains and the wind hear my pleasure howl.
I touched myself in the morning, in a sleepy delicious haze.
Under the moon, howling my pleasure and delight at the stars.
9. I found partners who I had emotional fireworks with.
“Sex without love is as hollow and ridiculous as love without sex.” ~ Hunter S. Thompson
I spent time deciding whether men deserved my heart, my mind and my body.
I hadn’t been treating my body like the temple it is.
I do now.
I praise her, listen to her, ravish her, am patient to hear and heed what she needs.
She’s the boss, and after having her mouth duct taped shut for so long she’s got a lot to say.
10. I then brought my confidence, the what-I-like bit into sex.
My knowledge of how I got their solo, and shared this knowledge and sweet nectar with my partner.
And when I did—they devoured it.
The men I was with were starving to have me speak, to have empowered women give them some direction so they aren’t wandering around in the dark.
A man recently told me his biggest turn on was when a woman knew what she liked in bed and not only told him, but showed him.
This just in: It’s a turn on to speak your sexual truth.
I am still on my path to sexual empowerment.
I truly don’t think one can master sex.
We cannot know it all, and therefore I will always be a student—in and out of the sac.
Maybe we can’t always have fireworks and rockets, but–they exist.
If you share the belief I battled, I implore you to go there—to your sexual purple elephants and hang out with them.
You are here to have nothing less than extraordinary sex.
Janne Robinson is a poet, writer, bushwalker, idealist and animal activist currently residing in Vancouver Island. She cuts kindling with her teeth, eats Bukowski for breakfast and makes the habit of saying the word feminist as much as possible. She surfs naked, pees in the woods, and loves whiskeys that swing their hips when they walk and know what they are doing. Janne’s life-work is to be transparent. She makes a living off hanging her dirty and clean laundry out for the world to see. Her mission is to give others permission to also walk and exist with the same transparency. You can connect with her on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Please also visit and connect with her Facebook writer’s page. Check out Janne’s website.