• The Lover Team

Take Control of Your Pleasure

Updated: Jun 17

As of 2020, women are paid 19% less than men across the board. The gender pay gap is real. You know what’s also crazy? The Pleasure Gap.

A study in 2017 of 50,000 Americans found that heterosexual cis-women were only climaxing 65% of the time during intercourse, compared with heterosexual cis-men who were orgasming 95% of the time.

People with vaginas aren’t having the sex they want or deserve.

Image via Artsy, Pinterest

Is this a result from centuries of inadequate education of the female pleasure centers (like the clitoris), or the sexual attitudes that have been ingrained into culture?

For many, it’s all too easy to link perceived sexual ability to a partner’s response: touching those places that feel good, moving in a certain way at the right moment, using the right stroke or the right speed for the right amount of time.

Our co-founder, Dr. Britney Blair, explains that this idea “ties back to the days when women were property. Women were expected to *give* their partner their bodies, and the partner, mostly cis-male, would *give* them an orgasm in return.”

Times have changed, and when we look at this gap in terms of biological sex, women are only recently (and finally) being told that orgasms aren’t something to be “given” but instead to be “had.” Sexual empowerment includes taking control of how and when you experience pleasure.

More education is necessary around female sexual anatomy, but it’s also just as important that women understand how they can maximize their own sexual pleasure in the bedroom. In other words: if you don’t know how you reach orgasm -- how should anyone else know?

If advocating for your own sexual pleasure feels a bit selfish, try to think of it in this way: being in control of your own pleasure also means that your partner is responsible for their own pleasure. Kind of like how they’re responsible for communicating their feelings, wants, and needs (you know, things that partners do). This can take a big weight off the pressure to “perform” in sex.

How can you take charge of your sexual pleasure?

Dr. Blair says, “Masturbation is the single best thing people with vaginas can do for their sexual wellness.”

Masturbation is a tool everybody can access independently and freely. If you’re in the mood, have a quickie (or slow seduction) with yourself. Whether you’re using toys or your hands, carving out a bit of time for self exploration is easy. If privacy is an issue, do it in the bath or shower!

Experiment with different types of touch, speed, pressure, toys and even your environment. See what works, what doesn’t and you never know -- you might find your sexual kryptonite.

All bodies are different and no one vulva is the same, so it’s just about discovering what works for you. Once you know what you like, you’re in a much better position to communicate that back to your partner.

A crash course in your own pleasure

Think of your arousal on a scale of one to ten. Zero is not aroused at all, and ten is when you’re mid-orgasm.

As you start touching yourself, try to notice what gets you moving up the scale. Maybe a mental fantasy triggers those first flutterings, taking you up to a three, and rubbing your clitoris takes you up to a four or five. You get the idea.

Your body will give hints and responses to stimuli on the way to climax, so pay attention! Once you’ve become familiar with your arousal pattern, you can use this as a “pleasure hack” in partnered sex like keyboard commands.

Lean into your vulnerability

Once you know what works, share the steps and your arousal level with your partner. You can do this verbally or by using your hands to guide them.

This is also a great form of foreplay! Many couples find it incredibly hot to masturbate in front of one another, even this feels vulnerable at first. If words fail you, consider this a subtle and sexy way of saying “This is how it’s done”.

Your orgasms, your priority

Remember, it’s normal not to have an orgasm during every single sexual encounter. What isn’t normal is the thought that sex just “gets better” without knowing yourself, what you love, and how to communicate this. The female orgasm isn’t a mythical idea that can only be uncovered by cracking a cryptic code. Once you know your body and erogenous zones -- it’s simple.

Enjoy the process, get exploring, then show your partner what you’ve discovered. By taking control of your pleasure, you’re doing your part in closing the orgasm gap. The rest is out of your hands.

Want to learn more about prioritizing your pleasure? In the Lover app, you can learn with expert-designed courses to discover what feels good, how to communicate this to your partner, and how to have more satisfying sex for life.


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