How do we ever have sex again?
A friend texted me this the day after the election. To me, it encapsulates every conversation I’ve had about women’s & reproductive rights since then. Conversations like:
- How do you prepare for the changes that are likely to occur?
- What are those changes even going to be?!
- How will abortion be legal in 4 years?
- Am I going to have to pay for my birth control again?
- Should I get the IUD – if so what is it and where can I get it?
- What can men do?
The uncertainty around all these answers sucks big time. All we can do is speculate, hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.
Part of that preparation is answering this major question: how do you have sex amidst all the grief and terror and rage and potentional revocation of rights?
Feel your feels right now – if part of that involves having sex, go for it. If not, that’s ok too.
All of your feelings are valid.
Then, milk every bit of pleasure from your sex life & relationship.
When the times comes to get it on, devote yourself to discovering what else brings you pleasure, building your capacity to experience pleasure (see #7 below) and sharing that with your partner(s).
This doesn’t mean you won’t have so-so orgasms. Or that sex won’t sometimes be boring or disappointing (though if it is & you want to change that, try these simple ideas to spice it up). Or even that you won’t be let down, get stuck in comfy relationship hell, or be left longing.
It means experiencing as much pleasure as you can, as often as possible. Because, for many of us, the spaces & opportunities to do that will likely dwindle.
Also, be intentional about preventing pregnancy
Unless it’s in your 4-8 year plan, we all have to try really really hard to not get pregnant. Actively taking steps to avoid pregnancy in a way that up till now maybe you (and certainly I) haven’t.
13 Ways to Be Safe without Sacrificing Pleasure – that anyone can do
Remember: most of what impacts our sex life has nothing to do with sex. It’s about turning off the offs like feeling unsafe or self-conscious or worried about getting pregnant or worried about getting pregnant and not having options. For many of us, this election really fucked with our sense of comfort & safety. Now’s the time to take extra precautions and turn off the offs, so you can enjoy as much pleasure as possible going forward.
- Find the perfect birth control for YOU. Going through all your birth control options is beyond the scope of this post. My go-to resource for that is Bedsider. However, remember that there’s no single perfect method for everyone. You’ve probably heard a lot recently about the IUD and yes it’s an amazing option but it’s not right for everyone (though if you’re considering it, now is definitely the time to get it). Otherwise ask yourself Qs like: do I want a method that’ll last 4-8 years? Will I be able to pay for my current method out of pocket if it’s no longer covered? Am I in a place to support a child if an unplanned pregnancy occurs and I don’t have options? Do I want to use a hormonal method or not? How good am I at keeping up with a routine?
- Stock up on Plan B. For yourself and others.
- Rely on dual method. This can be done with any two forms of birth control including the Pill, LARCs, condoms, and fertility awareness methods (see 12). Historically not a fan of condoms? Check out new, female-friendly brands from my friends at Lovability and Sustain. And if you’re on birth control, have a partner with a penis and they have amazing cum control (see also number 7), pulling out/withdrawal can be an effective secondary method. Please please please do not rely on withdrawal as your primary method of birth control unless it’s the absolute only option for you in the moment.
Need birth control or emergency contraception? Visit your ob/gyn or click here to find a clinic near you
- Explore sensation play. I give you 6 ways to do just that in this post.
- Do less PIV. PIV = penis in vagina sex. Obviously this decreases your risk of getting pregnant but it’s also super practical, especially if you’re short on time (perhaps while being an activist superstar)! Focus on oral, mutual masturbation, handjobs & fingering, cuddling, self-pleasure, & makeout sessions. All of these are safer forms of sex and bonus! 70% of people with vulvas need clitoral stimulation to climax so you know, everyone wins.
- Give the butt a chance. Not sure how to get started or worried it’ll hurt? Click here (hint: it’s not all about penetration).
- Practice edging together. Not only will it help you have stronger, longer, better orgasms (which we could all use since they help reduce stress!), if your partner has a penis, it’ll help them improve their cum control.
- Get a little kinky. It’s not as intimidating as it sounds PLUS it makes you happier, more confident, & more resilient. <– science says so.
- Focus on pleasure, not orgasm. I agree that orgasms are the ultimate form of release but they don’t have to be the goal – in fact they shouldn’t be, especially if you struggle to experience them! By focusing on pleasure you can stay more present, really feel & enjoy every sensation. And orgasm you’re more likely to experience orgasm too!
- Use toys. This one is self explanatory right? If not, read this. If so, click here to get your goodies.
- Escape into a romance novel. Lose yourself in someone else’s happily-ever-after. Plus, use the sexy scenes as #sexinspo + foreplay.
- Learn & track your cycle. Yes, even if you’re on hormonal birth control, start tracking it so if you have to go off, the habit is already there. There’s a ton of apps out there like, though my favorites are Clue, Spot On, & Kindara.
- Find sisterhood. More than ever, we must rely on the powerful women in our lives and not only our partners. If you don’t already have a community, now’s a great time to find one. Explore Meetups in your area or find a virtual group online (Pantsuit Nation moves a bit too quickly for me so my go-to is the Embodiment Tribe run by my dear friend & colleague Nadia).
Your pleasure is revolutionary.
And I don’t use that word loosely. Throughout history, women’s pleasure has been demonized, belittled, and punished. We’ve been called witches and diagnosed as hysterical (ironically with the “cure” being an orgasm). We’ve been told to shut up and take it, that it should hurt, that our wants don’t matter.
Don’t believe me? Listen to Dorian Electra:
Warning: you’ll be singing “the clitoris, clitoris!” for the rest of the day.
So my dear pleasure revolutionary, every single fucking time you:
- have sex outside of a marriage
- have sex & choose not to get pregnant
- experience orgasm
- do it some way other than missionary PIV
- and so much more
you give a big ol’ middle finger to The Man (literal and figurative) and whatever restrictions they try to put on us. Because we refuse to be held down (unless that’s your thing and then go on sweetie – your kinks are beautiful).
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