I am allllll for goal-setting. But when it comes to sex, being goal-oriented isn't always a good thing. Let's talk about it:
Goal-Oriented sex is pretty much what it sounds like: it refers to sexual activity that is focused on achieving a specific goal or outcome. For example: achieving orgasm or conceiving a child.
One of the downfalls of goal-oriented sex is that it focuses more on the physical act than on the emotional or relational aspects of sex. Achieving orgasm is great - but are you too focused on the goal that you're forgetting to enjoy the moment and truly connect with your partner?
Being too focused on the goal can lead to pressure, performance anxiety, and negative emotions. For example: if you're too focused on achieving orgasm you might feel frustrated if it doesn't come easily.
But it's not all bad! For some people, having a specific goal or outcome in mind during sexual activity can add excitement and motivation, and even enhance pleasure and intimacy. For example, if you and your partner are trying to conceive a child, that goal might bring you closer together and be an all around exciting and intimate experience.
Try reflecting on your recent sexual experiences. Were you focused on a goal? And if so, did it lead to positive & exciting emotions? Or did it cause a sense of frustration and/or anxiety?
Pleasure-based intimacy, on the other hand, is sexual activity that is focused on experiencing pleasure and intimacy rather than achieving specific goals or outcomes. The only 'goal' here is to enjoy the physical sensations and emotional connection in the moment, rather than having expectations.
This means forgetting about trying to achieving orgasm for yourself or for your partner. There are no goals, remember? Simply do what feels good mutually for you and your partner. Really dial up the communication and explore each other's desires in a safe and consensual way.
Leaning into pleasure-based intimacy is a part of a healthy sexual relationship. It really allows partners to focus on mutual pleasure and enjoyment without the pressure of goals or outcomes. It helps build emotional intimacy and trust, and can lead to a more fulfilling and satisfying sexual relationship over time.
Don't know where to start? Here are some tips for a pleasure-based approach to intimacy.
1. Communicate! Talk with your partner about what feels good for them and tell them what feels good for you. Help each other understand your desires and what is most pleasurable for the both of you.
2. Foreplay is the focus, not penetration. Really spend time exploring each other's bodies and building anticipation and arousal.
3. Take it slow. There's nothing to rush toward, because there are no specific goals or outcomes. Enjoy the moment. Take it slow. Focus on the here and now.
4. Be safe. This means using protection unless you've both explicitly agreed not to. It's hard to be in the moment if you're worrying about your safety.
5. Practice aftercare. Take time to talk, cuddle, or just be together after you've explored each other's pleasure. This can help you both feel more connected and satisfied afterward.
Ultimately, pleasure-based intimacy is about being in the moment and connecting with your partner. By taking the goals and outcomes out of the equation, you can enhance the pleasure and enjoyment for both you and your partner.