“A free and pleasurable sexuality can bring a good deal of harmless enjoyment and pleasure into our lives.”

Albert Ellis

Invites and transgresses to an (even) more intense sexuality

In the search, in the discovery and in the disagreements with pleasure, there are things that practice, trial and error teach us and others that only specialists know.

Sexuality manuals tell us that, as a general rule, it is in this sequence of search, discovery and disagreement that what many call “the human sexual response cycle” takes place. But in practice, sex and pleasure may not adhere to that rule to the letter.

“Although for a long time, desire has been present in this three-phase model, practice shows something different. Many people engage sexually without much or any desire and, with the partner taking the initiative, that desire and arousal end up appearing,” said Jorge Cardoso, clinical psychologist and sex therapist, in his reflection “Female pleasure vs. male pleasure.”

So often taken as a synonym for orgasm, and it may not be, pleasure remains as competent at bringing men and women together as it is at separating them. But why? Around the world, many experts have tried to answer the question.

“Sex is about one human being showing his or her sexuality to another in order for the other to discover his or her sexuality”

says relationship expert Roberto Hogue

And he finds four ways to do it:

Know your anatomy

More than half of the world’s population says they are dissatisfied with their sex life. American Dr. Laura Berman, sex therapist and founder of the Berman Institute for Sexual Health, says knowing your own body goes a long way toward sexual satisfaction. “If you want your partner to be inside your vagina, you have to be comfortable with your vagina, too,” she says.

The first step to becoming comfortable with the female anatomy is to use the correct terminology, Dr. Berman says. “I encourage people to use the actual terms-we use dozens of synonyms because we feel too uncomfortable to actually say ‘vulva’ or ‘clitoris’ or ‘vagina.'” And she also talks about how you should teach your children the correct anatomical names. “That’s the first sex education for them.”

She also explains the external view of the female anatomy. When it comes to knowing the body, Dr. Berman says women should learn what everything is, where it is located and what it does. A woman’s vulva is the entire external region, and the vagina is just the internal part, she explains. “When you call [the vulva] a vagina, you’re reducing all of a woman’s genitalia to that internal canal,” she says.

Clitoral stimulation is the most common source of female orgasms, Dr. Berman says. “The clitoris is actually 10 to 12 centimeters long. It branches internally and reaches almost to the pubic bone in a woman’s body. But this area has more nerve endings than any other part of the body and more nerve endings than a man’s entire penis. It’s a very important hot spot in a woman’s anatomy.”

As for the inside view of the female anatomy, he explains that if a woman wants to have a vaginal orgasm, she needs to find her G-spot. “If a woman is lying on her back, inserts two fingers into the vagina on the navel side [about two-thirds of the way in] and moves her fingers…she will feel the G-spot,” he says. The G-spot tissue is different from the rest of the vagina. “Some women say it feels almost like the tip of their nose.”

While you’re doing this experiment, don’t be surprised if you feel like you have to go to the bathroom. “When you’re stimulating the G-spot, you’ll have the sensation that you have to urinate because of the proximity of the G-spot to the urethra … That’s a sign that you’re in the right place.”

You have to identify your own G-spot before anyone else can. “You have to find it yourself first,” says Dr. Berman. “Otherwise, you may never be able to find it.”

Muscles in a woman’s pelvic floor region contract and release when she has sex. According to Dr. Berman, the strength of these muscles contributes to the strength of the orgasm a woman can have. “They also provide more friction against the G-spot if they are used during intercourse,” she says.

As a woman gets older or if she has a baby, the pelvic floor muscles may loosen. “These are the muscles that tighten to stop the flow of urine. That’s how they’re identified: they’re the Kegels,” says Dr. Berman. “You have to strengthen them through those core muscle exercises and Kegel [exercises]. And if you have really strong Kegel muscle control, you should be able to squeeze the vagina … in and up [and] in and back, and if you really have control, side to side.”

For a free and courageous sexuality
Know your anatomy
For a free and courageous sexuality
Innovate without fear

Prioritize and innovate without fear

Don’t be afraid to do it. For women, pleasure is something to be conquered, discovered and pursued. But they are much less trained in the pursuit of sexual pleasure. They have to want it, they have to claim it as something important in their lives, they have to learn to get out of control, to surrender, to let themselves go.

Jorge Cardoso, clinical psychologist and sex therapist, adds other clues valid for both genders. “Sex gets along with two things, novelty and transgression, and novelty does not mean having sex with a new partner every day, and transgression is not synonymous with violence or sexual crime.” Sometimes it is enough to go against the routine, betting on new scenarios at home or abroad and/or trying new sexual positions.

There are times when your sex life cries out for more romance. However, although we see more and more erotic toys in stores and new sexual practices proliferating on the Internet and social networks, there are those who prefer the traditional, which does not necessarily mean monotony.

Jorge Cardoso has no doubts. “Anything that has a new flavor is always welcome in sex,” he emphasizes. “There are those who have a fantasy that can be realized, for example, having sex in public or semi-public places, such as an elevator, which mixes a dimension of privacy with a calculated risk,” he says. “And it’s this risk that also increases desire and the associated level of pleasure.”

To the power of novelty, the sex therapist adds that of repetition. “It’s obvious and something we’ve always learned, but the only rewarding thing to do is repeat,” he goes so far as to recommend. The problem is that nowadays, absorbed by the many daily tasks, many couples end up forgetting how pleasurable sex can be, as several international studies have shown in recent years.

Say what you want and how you want it

Speak up. Don’t be afraid to express yourself. “Many of the problems women report in consultations reflect a lack of communication,” says Jorge Cardoso. In fact, the specialist reveals that, “many men want to know what gives them the most pleasure and, many times, they and they fantasize the same, they are even in tune, but either of them think that they will not be receptive and do not move forward”, he adds.

Maria do Céu Santo, coordinator of the Sexual Medicine Nucleus of the Portuguese Society of Gynecology, indicates that it is common for women to be too focused on their problems, and stresses. “In my consultations, some tell me that the relationship is not good at the moment and that they don’t feel sexual desire, and I ask them if their husband is happy but many don’t know, they have no idea what their partner likes or thinks.”

“Instead of waiting for the other to guess what you want, it is urgent that both talk about eroticism, because the stimuli, the clicks are different,” adds Ana Carvalheira. The subject should be approached “like any other subject.”

And when it comes to practice, you have to lose the shame to say what you want, advises Maria do Céu Santo. “We must keep leading. More to the left, more to the right… It’s essential,” she suggests.

Move closer and move away

In a relationship of two, one usually likes one more than the other. “One loves and the other lets himself or herself be loved, which doesn’t mean that this won’t change over the course of your life,” describes Maria do Céu Santo. As the relationship progresses over time, sex, contrary to popular belief, may even improve. “When you have a new partner, arousal levels increase, but orgasm is less intense, due to insecurity and ignorance of the other,” she says.

“The intensity of orgasm is much better in a long-term relationship,” she adds. There are studies to attest to this. A happy couple in this field is the one that has the ability to find points of convergence but also to create individual spaces,” considers Maria do Céu Santo. “They should not always be glued together, otherwise desire will not breathe,” she warns. “There has to be oxygen for the flame.”

Jorge Cardoso agrees. “The most important thing is to learn to live in freedom in the relationship and this is fundamental because it brings love and brings desire, although it is very difficult because there are problems at the level of control.”

This is also one of the biggest challenges for relationships today, Ana Carvalheira stresses. “We have to share power, to know how to be in a relationship of equals.”

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