She Wonders: Am I “Doing It” Right?
Maybe that’s why a number of my women students and blog readers have said they watch porn to figure out what guys like — not because they enjoy it, themselves — either the sex on screen or the sex moves they learn.
And they end up worrying about whether they are adventurous enough, moaning enough, loud enough, or “right.” And are they taking too long to cum?
When I told one of my friends about all this, “CJ” began telling me her story. As we sat at a kitchen table, drinking tea, she began:
“I used to wonder why I liked masturbation but not sex. And at some point I realized that when I had sex with another person I got too distracted.”
She turned her eyes to her cup, and then glanced back at me, continuing, “What I mean is that when I was having sex I liked the missionary position the best, but I’d heard guys complain about women who just lie there and don’t do anything. But when you’re doing ‘missionary’ there’s not a lot for the woman to do!” she laughed.
“So instead of enjoying sex I’d be thinking, ‘Does he think I’m being too passive? Not engaged enough?’”
I asked if she had felt any pressure to do more “adventurous” sex, then?
“Yeah, I did,” she said. “I’d worry about whether I should be doing something different — some other position — something that I didn’t like as well but that my partner might. Porn stars do all these crazy things. So, yeah, I would worry that my boyfriend was thinking, ‘This is so boring!’
“‘Am I adventurous enough for him?’ That’s what I was thinking, instead of enjoying sex.”
When I asked why she liked the missionary position, she said that she could focus more on her bodily sensations, instead of wondering whether she was “doing it right.” At least when she wasn’t fretting about whether she should be doing something else.
“In fact,” she continued, “I think part of the reason I liked the missionary position was that I didn’t have to get so stressed out about technique. I could just lie there.”
“Eventually, I figured out that being on top was actually way better for me,” she added. But for a long time I didn’t want to do that either.”
Why not? I wondered.
“I think I felt too exposed. How did I look? Was I was doing it right?”
Things are better now, she says. CJ has been able to let go of a lot of her worries and focus more on her pleasure, now that she is with her husband, whom she loves and trusts.
But distractions can still creep up. “Even now I still sometimes worry,” she admitted. “Once my husband said something about me doing more or being more engaged. I can’t remember how he worded it. It wasn’t a criticism. He was just trying to make sure that I was into it. So even though I’m really secure in my relationship I still retreat back to those thoughts, sometimes.”