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Sex - Overview | June 10, 2021, 10:05 CDT

You First: How I Put My Ego Aside to Have Better Sex
Media encourages men to dominate, but listen and learn from your partner about what they want.

Written by

Joshua Dean
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Photography by David Heisler

"I want to come, too!"— a statement responsible for shattering my ego and fragile masculinity. She was sitting across from me, in the passenger seat. I gasped in disbelief, and grumbled some nonsense like, "Didn't you come?" She responded in the negative. Megan Thee Stallion's iconic line from "Freak Nasty" came to mind: "You know I ain't come boy if you had to ask me."

We sat in silence. The desire to experience an orgasm seemed reasonable enough, but I was caught between embarrassment, frustration, compassion and sorrow. She broke the silence: "It's not that I don't enjoy sex with you. It's just that I want to come, too."

The situation felt hopeless. I did what the guys on Xvideos did to the best of my ability: relied on speed, force and dominance in every position. My girlfriend was still unsatisfied. I couldn't help but wonder how many partners in the past were also unsatisfied due to their unwillingness to have this difficult conversation.

Messed-up messages men learn about sex

A tremendous number of adult films teach us sex is not an experience for both partners to enjoy. It offers the image of one person dominating, while the other serves. I admit porn should not suffice as sex education, but at that time in my life, that's all I had.

More important, I wasn't alone—most guys use verbs like pounded, slayed or beat when they refer to their performance with a woman. This sort of language pervades most rap tracks as well. For example, 2 Chainz once dubbed himself the "hair-weave-killer," proclaiming to enjoy pulling his partner's weave out during sex.

This sort of aggressive, self-serving sexual behavior is embedded in American culture.

Luckily, my girlfriend was prepared to guide me through this awkward situation. She said, "Maybe if you went down on me longer, I might come." I nodded my head in agreement. I can't remember where we were heading to, but I remember not being able to muster a word for about 10 minutes. We just drove in silence.

Starting over with help from your partner

After admitting I was ego-tripping, we made it through the conversation. I knew her needs were important, even if it came at the expense of dismantling my preconceived notions. The next day, we decided to put her hypothesis to the test. After massaging her clitoris with my lips and tongue for an extended period, she orgasmed. Her body throbbed as she contorted in quick motions. Finally, she pushed my head away, breathing deeply.

After she could control her breathing, we continued. Instead of emulating a porn star, I tried to be present in the moment. I was no longer performing. Now, I could exist in the moment without anxiety or any external pressures.

The result? She said that was the best sex she had ever experienced and mentioned the sex felt more intimate than before. Before, I was never myself in the bedroom as I was trying to emulate what I saw in bedrooms through screens.

As a man, the toughest act was listening. For partners who play a more submissive role, the toughest act they commit to is silencing their needs. It's no wonder burgeoning artists like Megan Thee Stallion or City Girls are insanely popular. Instead of sexualizing their bodies, they own their sexuality by demanding to be pleased—or at the bare minimum to enjoy luxuries for the inconvenience of not being pleased.

Their records scream, if men won't prioritize my needs, then I will. In a culture that prioritizes the needs of men, it's hard not to appreciate their liberating message. You can appreciate the results, too, the next time you have sex—by listening to your partner's needs, practicing reciprocity and making sure everyone reaches their climax.

Written by

Joshua Dean

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