In my previous post, I talked about having sex to stay healthy. In response to this post, a friend of mine commented, “I don’t have a partner so I’m missing out on sex and pleasure”. This got me thinking, what is sex?
Most of us have grown up with the idea planted in our mind that sex is when a man penetrates a woman. This concept of sex, which is referred to as penis-vagina (PV) sex, is limiting in a number of ways; however, I want to speak to the limiting idea that sex has to involve a partner. If sex has to involve a partner then what do you do if you don’t have a partner? Are you supposed to wait for that “perfect” partner to fulfill your sexual needs?
We need to learn to expand our minds as to what constitutes sex so we can fulfill our own pleasurable needs. To do that let's think of sex as anything that turns you on and provides pleasure, including having sex with yourself.
Wait, you’re supposed to have sex with yourself?
Well, yes and no.
Think of it in terms of self-pleasuring. I prefer this term over masturbation because masturbation carries with it so many negative and clinical meanings. Masturbation actually used to be considered “automanipulation”. That doesn’t sound like something most of us would like to do to ourselves. Masturbation is also something that authorities have defined for you. With something so personal, how can others define what turns you on?
Self-pleasuring, on the other hand, is more positive, non-clinical, and self-defining. It’s exciting to get to define for yourself what your self-pleasure is, means, and how you do it. You get to call the shots. Why should I or anybody else get to? I don’t know what pleases you. You do! And if you don’t… start playing and exploring!
How do you start playing?
Unfortunately, some of the limiting ideas of sex can also find its way to what we think can of as self-pleasuring. You don’t have to focus only on the penis or vulva, although you are more than welcome to. You have a whole lovely body to explore. Don’t neglect it! Move those hands around and see what feels good. Play with different locations, fabrics, lighting, toys, music…everything! Find your unique recipe.
So for those without a partner you don’t need to feel like you are missing out. You have two hands don’t you? Get them moving to give yourself the pleasure you deserve!