In the beginning of a relationship, before a woman feels trusting and open, and both parties are working to deepen the emotional connection, the pressure can make it difficult for a woman to achieve orgasm. But it was shown long ago that one of the most arousing aspects of the heterosexual sexual experience for men is being able to turn on a woman. Many women learn through time that the more sexually expressive they allow themselves to be (or seem), the more their partner enjoys the sex. This means that, especially early in the relationship, women may fear that if they don’t orgasm during sex, they will appear to be unresponsive, deadened, and their partner will lose interest. Their anxiety, even shame at “how long it takes” may end up compelling them to fake orgasm.
Whether it’s online dating or out in the physical world, there are a lot of people looking for and trying to establish a friend with benefits arrangement, or “FWB”. The problem is, when an FWB hasn’t had time to develop organically, the label doesn’t fit and may add pressure when it’s intended to take pressure off. When you’re entering a new arrangement, calling it an FWB is confusing because it doesn’t reflect the complicated nature of what you’re trying to create with someone you barely know.
Remember back to your first relationships: was one person the pursuer and the other the pursued? Especially when you were experimenting with what it meant to like and then love someone, there can be imbalance in the relationship—one person is more invested in pulling the other close. This imbalance creates the experience of insecurity for the pursuer. And amid this insecurity, instead of participating equally in the creation of a relationship, one person may use the tools at their disposal in the attempt to engage their partner in emotional reciprocity.
Sex can be one of these tools.
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