I’m the mom of 3 girls ranging in age from 7 to 15. I’ve told them the basics about sex in the terms of making babies but never anything about pleasure. Do you have any advice on how to talk to my daughters about pleasure? I don’t know where to begin.
Great question! The fact that you’re asking this says a lot to me about the kind of parent you are. 🙂
Having a conversation with our daughters about pleasure can be extra difficult because we’re culturally conditioned to think of pleasure as shameful and bad — especially in reference to females. It isn’t uncommon to hear a mother joke about her son who can’t keep his hands out of his pants. However if she said the same about a daughter others may think there’s something “wrong” with her, or that somethings been done to her to make her “that way.” The fact is that masturbating for pleasure is a part of our sexual development that begins even before birth.
“We recently observed a female fetus at 32 weeks gestation touching the vulva with fingers of the right hand. The caressing movements were centred primarily on the region of the clitoris. Movements stopped after 30 to 40 seconds and started again after a few minutes. Furthermore, these slight touches were repeated and were associated with short, rapid movements of pelvis and legs……. We observed this for 20 minutes.”
— The Story of V, Catherine Blackledge
So how do you start? Start by using correct terminology when discussing their sexual anatomy and avoid “dumbing it down” with terms like “front bum” or ”pee pee.” We use these terms to lessen our own discomfort and in fact they just feed the already imposed cultural shame around our genitals. If you don’t know the correct terms then please learn them before you talk. You can explain to them about their clitoris and how it’s the only organ in our body that’s sole purpose is for pleasure. I’d tell them that masturbating is normal and natural and that basically everyone does it and that it’s a 100% safe way to have sex. (only say the safe sex part if it’s age appropriate) I’d even go so far as to say that you and your friends masturbate so they know that you’re not just speaking rhetorically. This may feel a bit awkward to say at first but I think you’ll notice from their response that they appreciate hearing it. It also helps for them to know that pleasure through masturbation is normal at different stages in life. Of course discussions about masturbation should also include discussions about appropriateness and safety and you will most likely have a different conversation with your older girls than your younger one.
With your older daughter(s) I would also tell them that the pleasure they experience through masturbation can and should also be experienced in sexual experiences with others when they are ready. This bit of information was a missing link for me as a teen because I masturbated for pleasure alone and had sex with my boyfriend without pleasure. It didn’t even occur to me that pleasure had anything to do with sex or that I could have both at the same time because no one told me that was possible. I want my daughters to know this. Sex for my own pleasure was a completely foreign concept and I see this carry through with adult women who talk about “good” sex. When questioned on what this means it is often apparent that “good” simply means not awful and has very little to do with actual pleasure.
I hope this helps as a starting point for the conversation with your daughters. I find in my Orgasm Coaching practice that the best indicator of sexual satisfaction as an adult is if the woman masturbated as a child. If you have any other questions or would like some anatomy diagrams to print out please don’t hesitate to email me again. You’re a wonderful mother to be seeking this information for your daughters!
When I masturbate I have a hard time being able to forget that it’s my own hand and not someone else’s. I can orgasm but I want it to feel like it’s someone else doing it so I can enjoy it more. Knowing it’s mine makes me feel bad. How can I make it feel like someone else?
Thank you for your question although I have to admit that I felt sad reading it. While I completely understand wanting to be touched by someone else, I’m curious about why you feel bad knowing that it’s your own? What about someone else’s touch would make you enjoy it more? Because I don’t know more about you and your feelings, I can only answer you based on assumptions and experiences I hear from other women.
Touch is a physical act but it comes from a place of intention within ourselves. I like to think of our hand as simply a vehicle carrying and delivering this intention. Through touch we can deliver powerful messages ranging from love, appreciation and acceptance – to boredom, expectation and even hate.
I’d like you to ask yourself what your intention is when you touch someone else? What do you think they’d feel from you? What changes your intention when you direct it towards yourself? Rather than trying to make your own touch feel like someone else’s I recommend changing the intention with which you touch yourself to one that is loving, present and curious. If this feels too difficult to do then pretend you’re touching someone you love and hopefully after time you will begin to feel that for yourself.
You are guaranteed only one relationship your entire life and that’s with you. It can be the greatest of all love affairs, something to count on and a safe harbour, or something to tie you over when there’s nothing better. It’s up to you to decide.
Much love to you J,
Have a question for you. Situation is new to me so I wasn’t sure who to ask.
I have been seeing this woman for a while and things are great. When we first started sleeping together she told me she squirted. I was kind of excited by this because it was new to me, now I’ve been questioning it a little because it seems too easy.
What I mean by this is that at first it was quite exciting because men often don’t get to see such physical evidence of their effort to pleasure their partner. We were getting to know each other physically and it was kind of a rush, no pun intended.
Now though, it almost feels too easy. She will squirt 7-10 times and while I hope it’s because if something I’m doing I can’t help wonder if it’s just natural for her and I’m not really doing anything. I feel like I should have to be working harder for this if that makes sense. At this point I’m using other cues to judge pleasure because the squirting happens so easily.
So here is the question, what exactly is squirting? Is it like cumming? Is it easier for a woman? Should it be this easy or am I just overthinking this whole thing and should just enjoy the experience?
Hey! I’m so glad you asked me! These are great questions and ones that I’m sure many guys have. It’s also interesting for me to answer because I rarely hear the male perspective of this scenario.
First of all squirting is ejaculation but it is not an orgasm. It can accompany an orgasm but just because a woman squirts does not necessarily mean she orgasmed. This is true for men as well in that “cumming” is not the same as orgasming. Many men ejaculate at the same time as they orgasm ,but with practice can learn to delay the ejaculation while allowing the orgasm. This means that a man can keep his erection and continue having penetrative sex.
Some women squirt very easily and love it. Some women don’t or haven’t squirted. Some women who squirt don’t experience any pleasure from it. Some have learned that guys like to see them squirt so they do it almost on cue. This doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy it but it can mean that at times it may be more of a performance or distraction from the fact that she isn’t orgasming. Squirting is a release that does not (and should not) require bearing down or pushing, but rather letting go.
For both men and women sex can become more of a performance than an actual experience when we are more worried about the other person’s feelings or perceptions than we are about our own pleasure.
I can’t tell you what this woman is experiencing but you seem to be a guy who wants to know both that his partner is experiencing pleasure, and that you are doing what you can to support her in that. These are both great things! I think what’s necessary here is a conversation between the two of you about what each of you like and what squirting is like for her. You may also feel that you’d like the opportunity to practice pleasuring her in other ways and this conversation would be a great time to express that desire. Just like a woman can get stuck in the habit of quickly having a clitoral orgasm**, she can also get in the pattern of quickly squirting. Part of practicing being a good lover is learning variety in giving and receiving pleasure.
I really encourage you to talk to her — gently and absolutely non accusatory. Having an open dialogue about sex is healthy and it means that the possibility of so much MORE is there!
I hope this helps. Please keep me posted!
** Normally I prefer to not categorize different types of orgasms because I believe that they all come from the clitoris – either directly or indirectly. Squirting happens from stimulation of the g-spot which is not a spot at all really but rather the back end of the clitoris, which can be accessed inside a woman’s vagina. For the purpose of simplifying my answer I categorized clitoral orgasm.
Recently I’ve heard some specific concerns from women, interested in doing a Bodysex workshop, that I feel need to be addressed in more detail than I provide in my list of common questions asked. I will attempt to answer them here but please let me know if you have any other questions. I’m here for you. http://natashasalaash.com/bodysex-qas/
- “I’m interested in your workshop but I’m afraid of other women in the circle. I don’t trust other women.”
I remember first hearing this concern from a woman when I began leading Bodysex workshops 3 years ago. At that time it really shocked me to hear her say it as I thought the biggest concerns would be shared nudity or group masturbation! The fact that women could be afraid of the other women hadn’t even crossed my mind. Since that first time, I’ve heard this concern voiced many times and each time it makes me sad but I’m no longer surprised. We live in a culture that raises us to fear other women. From the earliest Disney movies and t.v. shows we watch, we are exposed to the idea of evil step mothers and step sisters or girl friends fighting, lying and cheating in order to get the boy to like them. We see these things happen and they become the norm that we expect from other women.
Having sat in several women’s circles now I believe that the reason our culture tries to make us mistrust women, is because they are afraid of the strength and power of women joining together. There is nothing more sacred, more healing or more powerful than a circle of women. If this is your fear I encourage you to step into it so that it can change. I cannot imagine my life without the women that I share it with.
- “I’m scared that I’ll cry like a lot. Maybe even through the whole thing.”
This is a very normal and common concern and I personally take it as a great sign that you can feel deeply. Sometimes women are so disconnected from themselves that it makes it difficult for them to access those deep emotions. Everyone is welcome in the circle as they are and whatever happens in the circle is okay and necessary. I often cry while listening to other women’s stories and feeling their pain. I cry when I share my own. I cry when I orgasm. The Bodysex circle is safe for you to be you… and no one will mind when you cry. In fact many will cry with you. While parts of the workshop can bring you to tears, I think you may be surprised at how much you will laugh. Have you ever hung around with friends buck naked, eating snacks and talking about all the things your body does that you didn’t realize everyone else’s does too? It’s fucking fun and hilarious. Just be you…… We welcome and accept you as you are.
If you have any other questions that haven’t been answered on here already please don’t hesitate to ask me. That’s what I’m here for. <3
I orgasm pretty easily by myself and when my boyfriend goes down on me. It feels good but the orgasm is just in my vagina and clit. I’ve read about full body orgasms and heard that orgasms can happen in other places in your body too and I’m curious about that. How can I have a full body orgasm?
Thanks for your great question! Many men and women have asked me the same thing and I can assure you that you’re not alone. Orgasms are the result of built up sexual energy that has accumulated in your pelvic region. The stimulation we receive or give ourselves is what causes the build up and the orgasm is simply the release of that. When you hear people mention having a full body orgasm, a “laughgasm”, “crygasm” or a “spiritual experience” when they orgasm, it just means that the built up energy has spread from their genitals into other parts of their body. This movement of energy changes the orgasm from a genital experience into a full body one.
There are several things that a person can do to encourage this energy to flow into other parts of their body, but I’m just going to focus on one of them with you. The best and most effective way to bring your orgasmic experience into the rest of your body is through your breath. Breath is the life blood of your orgasm. When we hold our breath, stagger it or don’t fully inhale and exhale, our energy can’t move freely through our body. Simply put it’s “stuck” in our genitals. When we use our breath during the build up to orgasm – and continue to breathe as it is released – the breath acts a conduit for our orgasm to move on. Just imagine a boat on land without water under it. It stays stuck. Your breath is like the water.
When I tell people this they often dismiss it because just breathing sounds too easy or not interesting enough to them. But actually staying in your breath is not that easy and takes time and practice. It can be helpful to first focus on just breathing during your actual orgasm. That alone will increase the feeling, length and pleasure of the orgasm. Once you’re able to do that, try breathing through the build up. Many of us are stuck in a teenage masturbation style that involves holding our breath and clenching our body tightly to orgasm. Both of these things inhibit the movement of the built up energy in your body so really your’e screwing yourself in more ways than one!
I hope this helps you to understand why your orgasms are mainly a genital experience. Once you learn how to carry them to other parts of your body with your breath, please let me know and I’ll help you with the next step to go even deeper.
Have fun practicing!
I’m a 21 year old guy whos had sex with a few different girls but haven’t had a relationship last longer than 6 months. The sex seemed good to me with all of them but I can’t tell if they like it and I don’t know what to do to make sure they do. Since the last girl I was with a couple months ago I have been avoiding being with anyone new because it seemed like she didn’t cum when we had sex. What can I do to be better in bed?
Thanks so much for your question. It sounds like you are experiencing something that is very common among men which I like to call “performance anxiety.” Basically anxiety about how you’re performing in bed is actually causing you to avoid having sex.
First of all I think it’s imperative for you to understand that many (if not most) women don’t orgasm from penetration alone. A woman’s primary sexual organ is her clitoris and, while it can be stimulated directly externally as well as indirectly internally, it is rare that a woman orgasms without external stimulation. This is just a fact that is unfortunately not more commonly known and accepted. So if “sex” to you means penis in vagina penetration and you don’t think she came, you’re probably correct. Because of this it is a good idea to get out of thinking that she should orgasm from penetration alone and explore other ways to help her cum.
I could give you tips on ways to touch her or go down on her and they would be helpful for sure, but as each woman is different that won’t help you as much as this piece of advice right here will. I’ve learned from working with many, many women that the most important thing you can do to be a better lover (or better at anything for that matter) is simply take your time and pay attention. Go into a sexual encounter with the mindset that you know nothing at all about pleasuring this particular person. Don’t think that something must work cause you saw it on porn, or even because the last girl “seemed” to like it. Be truly curious and watch her respond to your touch, your tongue and your exploration of her body.
It may seem like a strange analogy but think of when you greet a dog that you’ve never met before. You don’t know what the dog likes or how it likes to be petted. So you start slowly by letting the dog relax and then you try different ways of touching while paying attention to how the dog responds to your petting. Some dogs don’t like their ears touched and some do. People are the same and we all have different preferences – it’s just that men are conditioned to think that they’re supposed to be able to know everything the first time. This is bullshit! There is a chance that the woman you are with will fake and pretend that she’s enjoying something that she isn’t just to please you. This isn’t your fault or your problem and not up to you to change. Just do your best to listen and pay attention to her responses.
When we pay attention it is so easy to see the subtle movements that the other makes either to get closer or pull away from the stimulation. If you feel comfortable enough to do so you can combine this exploration of her body with questions. Touch or lick different areas and ask her which one feels better. Avoid asking what she likes as many women have too difficult of a time answering or may not know themselves. Instead ask specifically about two different kinds of licks or places to touch etc. and she will hopefully be able to say which one feels better.
A fantastic lover is simply one who doesn’t think they know everything and is willing to take the time to pay attention in order to learn.
Good luck! The fact that you’re asking means that you’re enthusiastic and that’s another quality of a great lover!
“It looks like a gaping wound,” “It’s ugly,” “It’s too fat,” “Somethings just not right,” “ Too dangly,” “Not like the one’s on porn,” “It’s the wrong colour,” “It looks loose,” “Smelly,” “Dirty,” “I’m too scared to look,” “I think it’s damaged from masturbation,” “Not tucked in nicely,” “Too wet,” “It’s uneven,” “I thought of cutting that part off before I showed you so you wouldn’t see it.”
These are words that I’ve heard from women in Bodysex workshops or individual Coaching sessions, and I’ve tended to think that I’m immune from these thoughts. However this week I saw my vulva “style” in the “before” pics for labia plasty surgery and I can’t stop thinking about it. If someone like me feels bothered by it, I can’t imagine how a teenage girl would feel. I don’t have what in todays society you’d call a “porn pussy.” I have longer inner lips than outer causing them to “peak” out. At any given moment my vulva looks like a flower that’s just beginning to bloom, but when I’m really turned on it’s in full bloom – open to the sun. It’s beautiful. I know it is. I really do. And yet here I am terrified to admit this. My fear makes me realize just how deeply entrenched the cultural shame is, over how we think our bodies are “supposed” to look.
It’s my hope that by sharing this slideshow we can all gain an understanding in the wide range of normal in regards to vulva styles. We birth from our vulva – it’s sacred, special, unique and has evolved to be this way over thousands of years. Our children need to know this. We all need to know this. Give your vulva a hug today.
For more information check out this fantastic video: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/video/2016/sep/23/vagina-dispatches-part-one-what-vulvas-look-like
* Art by Betty Dodson. Special thanks to all the women who gave permission for me to share their beautiful vulva pics.
** For people reading this who have chosen to undergo labia plasty for medical, emotional or cosmetic reasons my intent is not to shame you. I realize there are times when this surgery is necessary for the physical and emotional well being of the person. It’s my intent rather to support and educate people on the wide range of normal in regards to labia so that unnecessary surgeries may be prevented.
Q&A: I’m Pretty Sure I Have Some Pussy Shame….. Like It’s Not Normal Maybe Or That The Men I Choose To Be With Won’t Like It
I think I need to take one of your workshops in the future. I’m pretty sure I’ve got some pussy shame. I didn’t really notice it until I recently became single. I was comfortable with my long term partner, but now I feel like mine is bigger than normal, or something. Like, it’s always been more rounded and pronounced than other’s, I noticed as a child, that I didn’t have one of those cute, tiny little v shaped pussies, and yeah, I guess I feel ashamed. Like it’s not normal, maybe, or that the men I choose to be with won’t like it, or think it’s fat and gross or something.
Thanks so much for sharing your shame with me. Pussy shame is really common and unfortunately very normal. I’ve heard this exact concern from other women and, because we rarely see examples of normal vulva’s, it’s no wonder you’re unsure.
Vulva’s come in many different “styles” – some skinnier, some rounder, some have protruding inner lips and some have tucked in inner lips – none are perfectly symmetrical. In Jamaica the name for vulva is ‘pum pum” and a woman with a rounder or more pronounced vulva is considered highly desirable. I can remember seeing what seemed to be wider or chubbier vulvas when I was a little girl and wondering what was wrong with my skinny one! The fact is there’s nothing wrong with any of us, we’re all made uniquely and that IS the beauty of it.
My advice to you is to spend time naked with yourself, touching, exploring and getting used to your pussy just as she is. Using coconut oil pleasure yourself over and over enjoying the roundness of your pussy. It’s my strong belief that in order to truly be able to enjoy pleasure and let go in sex, we need to find understanding and acceptance in our sexual anatomy. This is the foundation of sexual pleasure.
If you have children or are close to any little girls in your life, imagine that it was one of them who felt like their vulva was fat, gross or abnormal. What would you say to her? Would you want her to accept herself as she is? Would you want to help her find the beauty in her unique body? Finding beauty in a part of our body that we feel shame in is an act of compassion for ourselves. You are definitely welcome to take a Bodysex workshop, but I can tell you right now that your vulva is normal and if anyone else doesn’t like it they’re missing out on your beautiful “pum pum.”
Love her up until she feels beautiful,
ps. Here are some drawings on the different vulva styles, by my teacher and artist Betty Dodson, along with her words about her own vulva shame.
“At the age of 35, I still had an ugly mental image of my genitals. In the past, men had “gone down” on me, but I was always much too uncomfortable to reach an orgasm. The thought of someone tasting my genitals struck me as being unsanitary. Worse yet, he might see everything. I could only allow oral sex for a few minutes before I pulled my lover back up on top of me for “normal sex.”
Q&A: How can I control the sexual energy accumulated in my genitals so that it won’t ” explode ” as quickly
I am 37 years old, married and my sex life is not bad but my orgasms for the past 4 years are very quick. I’d like very much to extend the play and also to enjoy of the clímax more in each sexual act like I used to. I think the change in my orgasms is due to my last delivery as I failed to achieve a natural birth and ended up in cesarean attempt. My vagina tore and it cost me 2 years of penetrative sex. I was so afraid when we started having sex again that I felt I should orgasm as soon as possible so I wouldn’t tear again. Since then my orgasms are very quick and brief.
My question is: How can I control the sexual energy accumulated in my genitals so that it will not ” explode ” as quickly and thus feel better in every sexual act. Thank you!
* question paraphrased slightly to make more sense to the reader as the author is ESL
Thanks so much for your question! There are two things that need to be mentioned here.
First of all what’s happening to you makes complete sense and is to be expected following the circumstances of your painful birth experience. Our orgasms and response to pleasure are connected to and affected by the health of other parts of ourselves – emotions, relationships, trauma we experience, physical health etc. It sounds like you’re experiencing some anxiety around pleasure and orgasm because you’ve associated it with pain. Anxiety during sex is extremely common and even if you aren’t worried about your vagina tearing now ( or maybe you still are) the association is there and it sounds like you’re responding to it by orgasming as soon as possible.
The problem with orgasming quickly is exactly what you mentioned in your email – you aren’t enjoying the climax as much. This is because orgasms are the release of accumulated sexual energy in your body. If you haven’t built much energy the release is bound to be smaller.
Another problem is that anytime we place expectations on our orgasms to be a certain way we are bound to be disappointed. Expectations create a sort of “performance anxiety” in that we’re hoping and waiting for a specific result and when it doesn’t happen (often because we aren’t relaxed and present enough to just be in the experience and not try to create it) we get disappointed. This disappointment carries into our next sexual experience and so on and so on until we are completely disconnected from fully experiencing arousal and pleasure in our body. The easiest and clearest example of this is when a man experiences some sort of anxiety during sex and loses his erection. The next time he goes to have sex the stress of this happening again will often make it happen and this cycle continues until he can learn to get out of his head and back into his body.
My advice for you is to slow everything down. First of all explain to your husband (if you haven’t already) what’s going on, how you’re feeling and how you miss the more intense orgasms you had before the birth of your child. I know it’s difficult to make yourself slow down but you can do it. There is a practice called “edging’ where you decrease the stimulation as you get closer to orgasm and also use your breath to level out the build up. Then when it’s levelled you can begin stimulation again. This means that you build to the edge of orgasm over and over and when you finally let go, it’ll be much stronger than usual due to the built up tension in your body. Edging is best practiced alone as there is often less performance anxiety and worry that way. So masturbate, masturbate, masturbate!
I also encourage you to touch yourself or invite your partner to touch you without hoping for orgasm. Try your best to stay present in the feelings of pleasure in your body and out of the thoughts in your head. When you touch, do so with the feeling and intent you’d have when touching a lover. Your body has been through a great deal and brought your child into the world. Touch yourself with appreciation for that so that you can help the emotional wounds heal. This also takes time – like any kind of practice – but you have everything in you necessary to do it! I’m closing with a link about edging/orgasm control. Please let me know how it all works out.
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