I like sex. And I like it in and of itself — an important distinction, I think, when so many of us use sex as just another avenue for self-loathing or self-esteem; showmanship or subjugation.
I like my body, I like myself, and I care about my partners’ pleasure, all of which I think is like 99% of enjoying sex. It is a basic human need (albeit perhaps not a “right,” sorry Marie De Salle) — and I am chill enough that I like it consistently and in all kinds of ways. Every human being out to share and give and receive pleasure — easy as that.
That is, until I fucked up and thought about the question of “agency” a little too long and let it get to me.
After the last time I orgasmed with my partner, we were laying in bed, him on his back ruminating at the ceiling in the dark, when he said:
“I want to make you orgasm multiple times.”
“Why?” I asked. Because I don’t feel compelled to orgasm more than once. And he knows this.
“For the conquest.” He said.
i.e., “for me. Not you.”
There are probably a lot of contexts when I would have gone along with his “conquest” statement — taken it lightly, at face value; embraced it as a compliment like so many of us are apt to do when partners say things that look a lot like “generosity” and “care,” contentedly scooping them up like some kind of passed hors d’oeuvres.
There are women out there rallying for orgasm equality — any orgasm, presumably, since they don’t say, and I’m not sure they carved out an explicit clause that states “but it’s still hers, and not yours.” So when I’ve got an orgasm being pushed on me, I feel equally pressured to accept his “generosity” as “gender equality.” (Because at least he’s trying, am I right?)
And he’s not alone. Overall, dudes are more concerned about their role in women’s pleasure than they are about women’s pleasure itself. So if anything, this scene should be old hat by now.
But I just can’t with this script anymore.
Because look, “conquest” is 100% the wrong answer, 100% of the time. The wrong mindset. The wrong prioritization. The wrong everything.
He can want me to orgasm, he can work for my orgasm, and he can enjoy my orgasm. He can get off on me getting off, and he can get off on getting me off. (Please do!) But: my orgasm is first about my pleasure, not his.
What he gets out of my orgasm — conquest included — always comes second to what I get out of it. So when it comes time to answer “why?”, the first answer had better be: “you.”
I’m into him enjoying sex, too — there are plenty of moments that are 99.9% him and only ancillary me. I can play the part of plaything from time to time, but I am not his literal plaything through and through.
I am not a passive entity with whom he has sex, or to whom he gives orgasms — because even the idea of “giving” me an orgasm raises questions about who’s active and who’s passive in this place. (Though, pressed to choose, “give” is certainly better than “take.” Which is what’s happening when you usurp my orgasm and prioritize it foremost as “conquest” for you.)
I didn’t realize this was such a blocking issue until we had sex again and I didn’t orgasm. I thought maybe I was just buzzed, or tired, or really had to pee — anything, really; no big deal — but then I didn’t orgasm again the next time we fucked, either. Or the next. Or ever since. Which has become a new track record that’s 0% typical for me.
I still want to orgasm, and still orgasm just fine on my own. But I just can’t get there anymore with him. It’s still good, but I can feel myself hanging off the back of the wagon, watching the dirt road pass underneath us in a blur. I can see my own pleasure alive but tumbling and bumping against the gravel, still tethered but strained against the rope.
Because she don’t want it this way.
And I know it seems obvious enough to “say something” to him, but we all know it’s not that simple. People are sensitive fucks when it comes to things like sex and our partners’ pleasure, and I don’t want to make it forever worse with a tactless effort at “making it better.”
Because I guess something sounds “hurtful” or “harsh” about “my orgasm is for me, and not you.” Or “you still get partial credit, because you’re halfway there.” Or maybe the simplicity of simply: baby, my body and I ain’t your conquest.
Because damn, boo, you can offer — should offer — but you can’t force. And you sure as fuck can’t take what’s innately mine and make it yours.