There are a lot of reasons that sex can be complicated. First off, different people have different drives, desires and expectations. Then there’s the fact that we all carry baggage from childhood, past relationships and previous encounters. Add to this that our culture creates hangups about how we look, what we feel and how we act on it – and it’s no surprise that what goes on in the bedroom can be a recipe for confusion.
But it doesn’t have to be. If you let go of your inhibitions – and these seven deadly sins of sex – you may find yourself in a closer, more intimate relationship… not to mention a little slice of heaven between the sheets!
Sin Number 1: Shame
Despite the fact that sex is the single most natural act in the world (without it, humankind would cease to exist), many of us consider it shameful. That’s ridiculous! How can the very thing that brings us into existence – which sets off every pleasure center in the brain and triggers the hormones that foster connection – be shameful? The answer is that it can’t. Or at least it shouldn’t be, no matter what some outdated doctrines suggest.
Sex is something to be celebrated! And while shame may whisper that your drives, desires and fantasies are embarrassing and unique (or that you’re all alone in having them), the only unique thing about your sexuality is that it’s personal. Sexual desire (in every flavor) is part of the human condition… And satisfying your desires is part of a healthy, whole existence – in the bedroom, and beyond.
Sin Number 2: Insecurity
At one time or another, we all experience insecurity – whether it’s related to body image (my butt looks big from that angle!), skill set (I’m not as experienced as my lover’s ex!) or anything else (will they ever call me again?). This kind of thinking is not only self-destructive and pleasure-inhibiting, but it’s pointless.
No matter what any air-brushed magazine cover screams at you from the grocery store, no one is perfect – physically, sexually, or as a person. Our flaws are what make us individually sexy, and growing together as sexual partners (learning what pleases each other and ourselves) is a process of discovery that ultimately binds us to the person with whom we choose to settle down – hopefully giving us some great experiences along the way. Your lover finds you sexy… or they wouldn’t be with you. And if they don’t, it’s not you – it’s them, so move on instead of beating yourself up.
Sin Number 3: Dishonesty
The parameters of a partnership are individual. In other words, only you and your mate – not some societal scale – can set the rules of your relationship. Whether you’re into missionary or masochism, monogamy or multiple-partners, is a personal decision. But like all decisions, making the right one requires full disclosure and absolute honesty. (“I like it when you do this, but that doesn’t work for me.” “I’ve always wanted to try x!” “I will absolutely never try y.” and so forth.)
Dishonesty about your needs/wants/intentions/expectations is a recipe for sexual disaster. The consequences of shielding yourself from embarrassment, judgment or anything else that you’re doing by not being honest far outweigh the risks of spilling your secrets. Especially when you consider that infidelity, hurt feelings and mutual dissatisfaction are just a few of the possible results.
Sin Number 4: Selfishness
Sex is an exchange between two people – not a service. As such, almost nothing is worse than a selfish lover. While the occasional “this one’s all about me” is certainly acceptable – in fact, even required – generally speaking, lovers should want to please each other, not just themselves. Mutual enjoyment. Mutual enjoyment. Mutual enjoyment. Remember those words!
Sin Number 5: Selflessness
Remember that whole “almost nothing is worse than a selfish lover” thing? Well, here’s what is worse: a selfless one. By not taking the time to ensure your own satisfaction, you are robbing your lover of one of the greatest joys of sex – pleasing you. Plus, you’re setting yourself up to commit insecurity (what’s wrong with me that I’m not enjoying this?), dishonesty (sure, that was great for me!) and quite possibly, infidelity. After all, the unsatisfied will almost always have to look elsewhere – if not sexually, then emotionally… which can be even worse. You deserve pleasure – and receiving is half of the sexual equation. Don’t forget it.
Sin Number 6: Judgment
Linked directly to shame (the sexual sin that leads us to assume ourselves inferior because of our desires) is judgment (the sexual sin that allows us to presume ourselves superior because of someone else’s desires). And while it’s easy to judge something we either don’t understand or find particularly unpalatable, the only thing you can rightly critique in relation to your partner’s desires are your own feelings about them.
If your lover expresses their wants and needs in an honest fashion in an effort to create a mutually satisfying sexual experience – then count yourself lucky! Also, assess your interest in exploring these desires. And be sure to have an open, honest discussion about them. Whether or not you’d like to accommodate your mate is up to you. But judgment leads to dishonesty, and fosters insecurity – and it is undoubtedly selfish… making you a serious sexual sinner, and practically guaranteeing your dissatisfaction.
Sin Number 7: Lack of Imagination
Last but not least, long-term sexual relationships require a lot of care and a lot of creativity. Even short-term flings (including one-nighters) lose their excitement if they simply repeat a standard. It follows then, that one of the cardinal sins of sexuality is close-mindedness or a lack of imagination.
Maintaining a “status quo” mind-set when it comes to sex is tantamount to stagnation – just as life is about growth, sex is about pushing your own limits. Of course those limits are individual, but the point is, if you don’t explore, you’ll never know your own depths – or heights, sexually speaking. And just as a good book keeps us reading with the twists and turns in the plotline, a good lover keeps us wanting more by opening new doors of desire, and exploring new avenues of pleasure.
Dare to dream big when it comes to sex. Even if your thoughts remain fantasies in your mind, you’ll be a better lover because of them!
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