November 7, 2021
Pleasure & Desire | Sexual Empowerment

Sex is a Skill

Most of us experience fumbly, awkward, unsexy early ventures into the forays of sexual pleasuring with a partner without sex skills. I certainly did.

In a culture like ours, where we place so little emphasis on teaching sex education, we are all left to stumble about and try to figure it out on our own. Sometimes we have a happy accident and something new is learned and pleasures, even orgasms, happen. Cheers for happy accidents!

But by and large, if we don’t work on learning the skills of sex, the quality of our sexual lives will reflect that lack of emphasis.

I am always amazed at how many people do not realize that, yes indeed, SEX REQUIRES SKILL! Good sex does not come naturally. Nothing does, except breathing.

When we come into this world, we don’t know how to do anything—not even eat. Most new Moms need a breast-feeding consultant to help their baby learn to latch onto the breast and suckle. Baby just doesn’t quite get it.

When we are born, we don’t know how to drive a car, play Frisbee or soccer, study for an exam, cook a turkey, or dress ourselves with style. All of these things must be learned.

And so must sex.

Yet we have all these romantic notions that somehow sex is just natural, it “just happens,” and it’s perfect with “the one” you love, right?

Gender roles have a particular hold on men in this ready-and-able department—quietly dictating that men should always want sex, be ready for sex and know how to do it. Whoah! Pressure! No wonder so many men have difficulty getting erections when they want them.

My first lover taught me so much about how to love, how to be in relationship. I got to learn that language. Then I remember that with all that love, a very long, painstaking path to learning to orgasm that never did happen in that relationship because it was the blind leading the blind.

But eventually I got the education I needed about my body, how pleasure works, how to work towards orgasm and it happened. I was completely ecstatic and had a newfound pride in my body and my ability. And that led me to want to get better at it.

See, as we build confidence in anything, it encourages us to keep going. And keep going I did, all the way to graduate school.

I remember the lover I had a long-distance relationship with who taught me how to talk dirty. I got Master’s level practice in our five and six hour marathon phone calls. As I ventured into the forays of kink, there were a whole slew of other skills to learn. Nearly 25 years later, I’m not even close to done.

All skills require practice to become good at them and sex is no different.

Since most of us had no sex education, or limited education that focused on prevention of unwanted consequences, we have to roll up our adult sleeves and do the work to learn the language of erotic pleasure.

When we take time to develop our sexual skills—everything from sexual techniques, breathing/breath work, anatomy & sexual functioning, communication, how to create deeper intimacy/relationships, developing awareness of desires, how to flirt and be playful, how to give a good spanking and how to touch our lover in a way that pleases—we reap the rewards of more satisfying sexual lives, bigger orgasms, and deeper sexual connection and intimacy. What sexually engaged person wouldn’t want that?

So what sexual muscles do you want to work on? What skills would you love to learn or improve?

Deciding to get rid of the false expectation that sex should happen magically or naturally, and telling the ego that thinks you should just know it all already to pipe down are key to becoming the magnificent lover that same ego imagines you already are.

Your HomePlay Assignment, should you choose to accept? Make a list of the top 5 or 10 sexual skills you’d like to learn or improve. Then look at where and how you could learn those things. What books could you read? What teachers and coaches teach these topics? What lover might explore them with you? What webinars, courses or other events could help? What community resources might be useful?

Then take some action.

Your sex life and sex skills will not magically get better or materialize out of nothing. They will develop out of your consciousness and commitment to grow them. My education and coaching work are my commitment to helping people grow sexually. Whatever else you do, put some energy into your sexual life this year and see what blossoms. Whatever you give your energy to grows. Why not have that be your sexual life?

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A’magine, formerly Amy Jo Goddard is author of Woman on Fire: Nine Elements to Wake up Your Erotic Energy, Personal Power and Sexual Intelligence and co-author of the best-selling classic Lesbian Sex Secrets for Men. She earned her Master’s degree in Human Sexuality Education at New York University and has been teaching and speaking about feminism and sexuality for over two decades.

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