Shame and Letting Go

Shame and Letting Go

Sexual Performance Anxiety

A recent The Guardian article, ” ‘I mentally rehearse what to do’: the truth about sexual performance anxiety,” raises two issues: shame and letting go.

Shame is particularly evident in cultures that frown upon hedonic pleasure. Southern Baptism, where the adoration of the Lord is preferred to the adoration of the flesh, would be one of them. We often think of this as “prudish,” but it’s really anti-hedonic.

As Charles Gabriel said in his “The Glory Song”:

“Oh, that will be glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me,
When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me.”

I’m not saying this is wrong. I’m not scorning religion or dismissing Charles Gabriel’s contributions to our culture.

Culture Plays a Role

But if the subject is anorgasmia, then culture plays a role. People from Muslimic cultures will know what I’m talking about: the delights of the flesh are shameful for women. Perhaps you experience shame yourself, and that contributes to your sexual performance anxiety.

More important is the inability to let go. This is your inability to forget yourself, to stop observing yourself as though you were a third person, and to let your body take over. Sexual pleasure can be one of those all-enveloping physical experiences, like a really good meal with a superb wine and fascinating company. Yeah, it can be that good. And every human body on this earth is capable of experiencing this kind of exquisite sensuousness — because that is the way Nature made us. But you have to surrender to it.

Surrender to Pleasure

How do you surrender to pleasure? Forget about penetration, for one thing. Penetrative sex is good essentially for procreation, but, oh, there are so many other ways to experience sexual pleasure. Women: get a vibrator and practice. The Magic Wand (formerly Hitachi Magic Wand) is the vibrator of choice. Nothing else comes even close to it. Get one and practice, practice, practice.

Secondly, get his mind off penetration. That’s all he wants. His nipples, his anus, licking his face: all that, no thanks. Wham, bam, thank you, Ma’am. No, this is not the way we do it. What we used to call “foreplay” can be the essence of the sexual experience. Tell him, “I really want you to turn me on,” rather than just lying there wondering if you’re going to orgasm.

Finally, don’t be orgasm focused. There’s much more to sexuality than that. Your body has a lot of moving parts. Many of them give pleasure. Get to know them with a man (or another woman) who understands that you want to experience pleasure, maybe for the first time ever. Consider deep kissing, your nipples, your anus (oops, that just slipped out), and what you actually wear to bed.

Want to feel dominant? Dress for it. Want to feel submissive? Suggest gently to the top that he or she be properly attired. This isn’t rocket science. If you feel uncertain, tap into the wisdom available on Flickr. You will likely find inspiration there to overcome sexual performance anxiety.


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