I was at a recent woman's Watermark networking event when the organizer, Kate Byrne, came up to me and told me that when she had the "sex talk" with her teenage daughter, she told her to always remember "sex is about your pleasure."
That was a highly unusual statement and despite all the women I've worked with and events I've spoken at, no one has ever told me that before. Kudos to Kate for being such a sex positive and supportive mother.
The question that Kate raises is not just about educating our kids about sex. For sure, most of us need to do a much better job than our parents. If you need support on this I highly recommend that you reach out to Anya Manes who specializes in helping parents talk to their kids about sex and has wonderful programs and resources.
This is a more fundamental question around women, sex, and pleasure. In many ways, women have been conditioned to accept that sex is not about their pleasure and in fact we may have to tolerate discomfort.
We are led to believe that the first time we have sex it will be painful, we will bleed, and be sore. Not necessarily true!
Many women's hymens (the thin membrane that covers the vaginal opening) have already been broken by the time they have sex, either by tampons, a fall, or other sexual play.
First time sex does not to need to be uncomfortable. Our daughters need to know that the more aroused they are and properly lubricated, the more they will enjoy it.
Let's teach them that having fingers in their vagina, (either their own or a partners) will gently stretch the opening, which helps make entry much easier.
Our daughters should also know that they never have to tolerate touch that does not feel good. We also need to encourage them to drop the "I have to be the good girl" persona and not accept everything that comes their way from a partner, even when it's well meaning.
Of course it's hard to do this if we don't take control of our own pleasure first. It's time to stop having obligation sex just to make sure your partner is pleased and satiated, especially if it's not enjoyable for you.
We need to ask for what we want during sex without feeling guilty or ashamed about our desires. This includes taking our time to experience our pleasure and not feeling rushed to get to that orgasm.
This is particularly hard to do because many women fall easily into the "caretaker" role which makes receiving pleasure much more difficult than giving it. But most men LOVE pleasuring their partner and can literally do it for hours. Think I'm kidding about this..ask them!
Ultimately, it's important to realize that sex should also be about our pleasure and we need to start talking to our partners in those terms. Women are uncomfortable talking openly about pleasure and sex...it's time to change that paradigm and embrace pleasure as our birthright.
Sex & Intimacy Coach, Best Selling Author and Your Guide To Healing Yourself With Sex, Awakening Your Pleasure and Living An Orgasmic Life