Harder. Faster. Longer. Wetter. Bigger. More Intense. Stronger Orgasms. Anal. Rough Sex. Tying up. BDSM. Spanking. More. More. More!!
Like me, you may have noticed that the overall trend is toward harder, more intense sex. And while there's certainly nothing wrong with fast, rough sex, or any of the above, it can create a culture of unrealistic expectation (and sore vaginas).
Tinder, sex parties, porn and multiple partners can give modern penises the idea that penetration is meant to go on all night long and vaginas are supposed to run marathons. Barely a day goes by anymore when we, at Passionfruit, are not asked for some sort of mega-sex endurance pill. (No we don't sell pills or synthetic drugs).
I'm beginning to wonder if the trend toward longer, more intense sex, perhaps led by the tinder/porn/pill-popping culture is heralding a vicious cycle of unhappy encounters, and if indeed, it's a cover-up for inadequate technique and connection.
"I actually can't satisfy her unless my erection stays hard all night" "Yeah I just need him to keep pounding me until I fake an orgasm".
The explosion of male endurance pills (most of which have no data to support their safety or efficacy and can actually endanger your health) may be reflecting the performance anxiety that comes with the 'longer the better' notion.
Many penis owners wrongly assume they suffer from premature ejaculation (PE) because of the mistaken belief that they should be able to have sex 'all night long'. In fact, PE is defined as ejaculating with minimal stimulation in under a minute.
Most ejaculations occurs after 4-8 minutes of sexual intercourse. *
Worrying that your erection doesn't last for longer than about 5 minutes or that you suffer from premature ejaculation, can, ironically, lead to anxiety led erectile dysfunction (ED), where a person with no health problems, can struggle to get an erection at all. The effects of this can really impede a person's or couple's sex life. FOR NO GOOD REASON!! It's a vicious cycle that can leave you and your partner(s) stressed, vulnerable and reaching for the viagra/performance pills.
There's another relatively modern condition called retarded ejaculation or 'RE' that may also be a result of the 'hard sex' culture. Dan Savage, a very famous sex advice columnist, called it the 'masturbation death grip syndrome'. Many sex therapists are seeing a rise in this condition where a soft vagina, mouth or hand are insufficient to bring about arousal and ejaculation. A common reason for this is masturbating too hard and too often, with one's hand. Greater speed, pressure, duration and intensity are needed in order to enjoy sex or even basic arousal with a partner. This in turn leads to the partner feeling inadequate. The result is often no sex at all.
Then there is the high incidence of painful sex complaints among women. In America, 16% of women, typically between 18 and 25, report the condition known as vulvodynia, where the vulva is too painful to touch. That's 13 million sore vaginas (vulvas to be precise). With all night sex and RE a common issue, it's no wonder. You can read our blog about painful sex here.
The prevalence of porn on the internet can give the impression that sex is a marathon. Penises think they've got to be up all night (or they actually are up all night because of death grip syndrome) and vaginas fret that they're in for an all night session of pounding, making them want to shrink back with a hot water bottle.
To counter all of this pounding, high impact sex, I'd like to see something like the slow food movement, which I'll call the soft sex movement. A kind, lazy, generous state of being where the expectation is only to be cared for and gently pleasured: where the focus is taken off one's own performance and only the other person's well being is considered.
Planning for sex is a perfect way of practicing slow sex because the sex begins with the anticipation. Putting time aside, considering what's needed, sending texts, focusing on the other. It's all part of the languid sexual experience.
Going easy on yourself and your partner is important for soft sex. Erections can come and go, sex can continue after ejaculation, talking, cuddling, laughing are all part of one long session.
Adding accoutrements to your sex play can decrease the pressure to perform. Sex toys can be used between penetration, massage can warm up and arouse, ON oil is a fantastic clitoral stimulator and you know how much we love silicone lubricant to expand the pleasure of lovemaking. Erotic stories can be read together and your minds can be engaged in sex fantasies and dirty talk. The wonders of tantric sex can be explored.
BDSM, despite it being cited in the intro as part of the 'hardcore' scene, can be wonderfully sensual and soft too. Flogging can be used to warm up the blood, enliven senses and heighten pleasure. You can spend a long time administering sensation and worshiping your lover. A suede flogger can be gently moved up and down the body. Feathers, silk ties, satin or latex gloves, fur paddles and your own hair can be employed to build sensation.
Soft penetration can be a beautiful experience too - when the penis is not erect but the vulva and vagina are open so the genitals can be rubbed together and stimulated. Orgasm is not the goal but eye contact, complimenting the other and communication are critical to the enjoyment of the moment.
Recent studies show that women over 70 are having the best sex of their lives. Iris Krasnow who did the research says that many older people are having what she calls 'outercourse'. "It’s lovemaking without penetration, but that involves kissing, nuzzling, hugging, oral sex… everything but. It’s pleasuring each other with sexy talk. Perhaps it’s erotica or sex toys. It’s playful and comes in quite handy as you age."
"After 70, there comes a sweetness about making love. We go slowly, there is no rush anymore. When you're younger, it's all about the orgasm, then it's over. I love this suspended feeling, the absolute intimacy we have been able to achieve."
Anecdote from Krasnow's book Sex After...:Women share how intimacy changes after life changes.
None of us should feel pressured to endure high impact sex just because it's the flavour of the moment. Whether you are young, old, well or suffer from health issues, 'soft sex' is low anxiety, relaxed and not so focused on an end goal.
Instead of feeling the pressure to be a stallion or a porn star, smile with your body, lose the anxiety, be kind to yourself and to others. Relax. Have fun. Sure, fast and hard sex has it's place but it's not all there is.
*Disclaimer: There's barely any research on the prevalence of erectile dysfunction, vulvodynia, vaginismus and sexual anxiety. Mostly I'm hypothesising and observing trends after speaking with customers for over 20 years. There's virtually never a day that passes when we aren't asked for performance pills - something that for me, is a recent (and scary) phenomenon.
* Image is via @insuhyoon and the modes is Ava Little - insuhyoon.com