Back to the Body


The Pleasure Paradox: Why It's Not as Simple As You Think

If you believe that our DNA holds generations of memory and cultural values, then you can understand why so many women have such a difficult time with sexual pleasure. If the values that are imprinted on our very cells inform our behavior, without us even understanding the "why", erotic pleasure becomes a difficult noodle to push up a hill. This is why woman can often do the "Pussy-Talk", but not feel the "Pussy-Pleasure" in all the ways that are possible.

There is a layering to our healing, and reclaiming of our bodies:

1. Women have been taught for generations (value) that our sexuality is for the pleasure of men (behavior). Sex has often been transactional on multiple levels and not for a woman's own pleasure (desire). Women have resourced their sexuality for safety, or for our children, or power, or for a woman's very survival.

2. Men also have this DNA structure where, on some level, they too believe that women's sexuality is for them and not for her pleasure. Again, this may not be conscious.

3. To rewrite these DNA messages, so that they are not passed on to future generations of men and women, requires a deep willingness to move ourselves from ingrained often unconscious behaviors to new ways of visioning the relationship between men and women as well as the importance of sexual pleasure in the lives of women. And I believe that we are doing that now.

4. The struggle is real. It is a real struggle for women to reclaim their body for their own value. It can feel impossible to be able to name desire or truly love our own bodies. It is a struggle for women to image themselves for their own pleasure, not for the eyes of male attention. It is a struggle for women to put their pleasure on the menu and to reclaim it not only for themselves, but for the DNA of future generations. We can change this culturally. We can change this through the somatic.

5. We cannot truly consent when we freeze erotically and no one notices. When we conceal our pain for the pleasure of male sexuality and a sense of obligation. When our sexuality is a transaction instead of being our own birthright to pleasure.

You are not alone.  The question is if you can allow yourself to fully participate in this time of reclaiming.

"Remember, you will always have friends, guides, and love, but no one is coming to 'save you.' That's the adventure package you signed up for.  The one that comes with all the superpowers, guaranteed rebounding abilities, and the all-powerful scrunched-nose-when-you-smile."  ~Pamela Madsen

Waiting for a Rescue?  Rescue yourself...

Most women think that men have it all figured out when it comes to sex with women.  The fact is, when a man has sex with one woman, he has had sex with ONE woman.  All women are different.  We are wired differently and even our genital anatomy can vary between women.  For most men, being with a new lover or even a seasoned lover is like a mystery novel. 

Why do most women believe that it is some kind of taboo to tell their male lovers what turns them on? 

The plain truth is that too many women do not believe this one simple truth:  Most men not only appreciate it, but love it when women tell them what they want when it comes to sexual pleasure. 

Somehow, as women…so many of us have put the male in charge of the “teaching us” to know everything about great love making.  This is some kind of hold over from the days of good girls didn’t know about sex and shouldn't prepare for sex.  If you educated yourself, you were a “slut” or a “bad girl”.  I know this sounds oddly dated; but this taboo of women “knowing” still lives on in some kind of cultural DNA, in too many female bodies.  The fact is, if your expecting your Knight in Shining Tin Foil to teach you everything extraordinary about love making, you may be waiting forever.

It’s not that there aren’t men who understand a woman’s body and how to make love with women-there are!  But that is not the point.  It’s about giving up our own responsibility for our own pleasure when we go all quiet and not showing up to support our lovers in unlocking the mystery of our own bodies.

Remember, that once the initial hotness of new love and new sex wears off-communication can become even more essential. Take this on as an opportunity to explore with your partner and open a dialogue about what feels good and what you might like to explore.

In my sex coaching work, I have worked with hundreds of men and the down low is that they want to know how to please their women!  They want to bring their women pleasure!  They want to feel like winners in the bedroom and they often tell me that it is like playing “Blind Men’s Bluff”.  They often have no idea what is pleasing their lover because their lover simply does not communicate to them.

If you want pleasure with your lover-or even let’s call it “Sexual Ecstasy”-it is not going to happen during a game of “Blind Man’s Bluff”.  You have got to give him your pleasure map, and if you don’t know it-then it is your responsibility to figure it out.  There are a lot of resources out there, including our own Back to the Body Sensuous Retreats for Women and our Portals.  Go get it and then bring it home!

And, I understand that speaking your desires and pleasure may feel very uncomfortable for you.  But, if you are frightened that you will emasculate, upset or humiliate your lover by giving him some support and guidance during sex-you need to give up that fear.  He wants it!  And, it might even turn him on more!

When you try to pretend that sex feels good and it does not to protect your lover’s ego, you are not being in service to anyone.  Not to him and not to you.  Ask yourself these questions: “Am I honoring my body?” And “Am I really honoring him?”  Faking pleasure and enduring sex is the fasted way to end a relationship.  The solution is really simple:  if something feels good-tell him!  Make sounds!  Move!  Use your voice! And if something does not feel good, try telling him that as well.  Asking him to slow down.  Move his hand to a place that feels better.  Shift positions and moan when sex feels good again.  Our lovers want to share pleasure with us!

I know that it can feel uncomfortable when you need to communicate that something doesn’t feel as good as it could feel.  Sometimes we need support in getting it out.  Try this phrase:  “That feels good, but what could make this feel better is…”. This is a great way of gently guiding our lovers.  

Sex communication takes practice

Move through the awkwardness and get to the good sex!  Sex is a team sport and requires coaching and communication between lovers.  And when you start communicating with your lover, you have given him permission to communicate with you too.  We can make sex be more enjoyable for both of you.

"I think one of the biggest take-aways for me, from my work with the Back to the Body staff on the table, was the encouragement from the staff to let my lover know what brings me pleasure.  When Ron said, "yes that's it, good noises", a light bulb went off for me.  Not only is it okay to make noises, it is essential to make that noise.  To let my partner know, not guess, this feels good and I want more."  ~Back to the Body:  Sensuous Retreat for Women Participant

You can change how both of you communicate during sex and you can turn this game of trying to see in the dark into an experience of light and extended pleasure for both of you.  Break the taboo…communicate and ask for what you want!

Loving you from here,

Pamela Madsen