goal oriented sex

Want more enjoyable sex? Don’t make it so goal oriented

Focussing on outcomes (like penetration, or orgasm) can make for disappointment in the bedroom. Learn how to shift your sex from goal oriented to pleasure oriented

It can be tempting to think that if you just learn the ‘right’ strokes, and focus on getting the ‘right’ results, you’ll have more pleasure in the bedroom.

But that approach can actually be a bit of an own goal!

You’ll have more chance of more fun if you approach sex less as a task to get right, and more as an opportunity to play.

What does play have to do with sex?

Play is a pretty pleasurable activity. It’s also how we relate to the world, and to each other.

If you’ve ever watched a baby or child exploring their world with natural curiosity you’ll know that playing is essential to their learning and development, and the science backs that up.

When a child plays they’re building skills and resources for navigating the world.

The same is true for adults – although, sadly, the opportunities for play seem to largely disappear as we grow out of childhood.

So what is play?

Play is a spontaneous, voluntary, pleasurable and flexible activity … In contrast to games, play behaviour is typically done for its own sake (i.e., the process is more important than any goals or end points). Peter K. Smith – Goldsmiths University of London

Why play helps create a different approach to sex

Unfortunately – in our goal oriented culture – it’s become normal to think of sex in an outcome-focussed way: which bit goes in which hole, with an expectation of a certain end point (orgasm).

In other words: sex = achieve the thing.

That’s fine as one option, but it’s really not the whole story.

Because sex also has the capacity to be playful, emotional, and connective, without needing any particular result.

In other words: sex = an experience.

Just as joyful play would be spoiled by imposing a set of rules or goals, the same is true of sex.

Great sex doesn’t need to have a pre-defined outcome. In fact the more you try to impose one, the more likely you are to be disappointed. Bottom line – as Dr Justin Lehmiller at the Kinsey Institute writes – sex should be about fun instead of achieving goals.

Why having too many expectations can lead to less pleasure

The reason goal oriented sex can so often be disappointing (especially if your goals are that it needs to include certain acts or end with an orgasm) is that your body isn’t a machine.

Even if you try to do the exact same thing each time, every experience of pleasure you have will be slightly different because the components combining to create it will never be quite the same as at any other time.

Setting expectations, or goals, creates pressure – pressure to deliver an outcome.

And pressure is the enemy of pleasure.

When you feel under pressure your nervous system starts to move into a fight, flight or freeze response, which means you’re much less likely to feel relaxed, or safe, enough to find enjoyment easily.

Intentions vs goals

An intention is a little different from a goal…

A goal is usually a specific outcome you want to achieve, and then if that doesn’t happen it can feel like you’ve somehow failed (which can create even more stress in your body).

An intention is more flexible – perhaps something you’d like to explore or learn more about, or an experience you’d like to have. Your intention may shift or change, but it can help provide a starting point for exploration.

Which makes it much more useful in the bedroom.

How to shift from goal oriented to pleasure oriented sex

If you want to experience more pleasure in your love-life here are 3 quick tips to help you:

  • Take away the goals – great sex isn’t achieved it’s experienced
  • Get more playful – play is how you learn and grow
  • Focus on the experience, not the outcome – sex is about so much more than just fucking and cumming

 


I’ve put together a simple short guided practice to help you focus on pleasure without outcomes – all you’ll need is your skin, and 10 minutes of free time! Just let me know your details and I’ll email you the guide: