Welcome to Intimate Geographies. This year, two of our editors, Xoai Pham and Vanessa Friedman, are contributors of a book called Sex and the Single Woman. We took that opportunity to ask our readers and contributors to send in their juiciest sexcapades, and record themselves reading them. This submission from Abeni reminds us of the pleasure that happens when we fully let go of the rules we had been following.
“The first step in asking for what you want,” my therapist reminded me again recently, “is believing that you deserve to.”
Over and over, the universe has instructed me: ask for what you want. Over and over, I’ve refused. I was a “good person,” a giver, a top-leaning switch. I didn’t ask for anything, so I wasn’t disappointed when I didn’t get what I wanted. Even when, on occasion, my girlfriend would straddle me and grind her hips into mine, and I’d feel a thrill – I considered that desire off-limits.
“The first step in asking for what you want,” my therapist reminded me again recently, “is believing that you deserve to.” What if, I wondered, the reason I didn’t consistently enjoy sex was because I didn’t think I deserved to have the kind I really wanted?
As the partner with the penis, I’d always assumed topping was my obligation. That delaying orgasm was my primary responsibility in bed. Being topped meant letting go, accepting pleasure, and being truly present — things that I didn’t deserve. Until, that was, a few weeks ago, when I asked for what I had long wanted but had never felt I deserved to request: For her to top me.
She bit her lip in obvious pleasure. I wanted her to tell me what to do? Yes. I wanted her to push me around a little bit? Yes. I wanted her to call me a “good girl” when I pleased her? Yes. She grinned, and I felt for the first time — not knew, or realized, because I’d always known, but there’s such a vast gulf between knowing and feeling — I felt how pursuing my own pleasure, naming it, asking for it, made everything doubly enjoyable for her as well. That attempting to do right by her, by focusing on her, and not myself, robbed her of some of the pleasure.
I stripped like she asked, and fucked her like she demanded, and was fucked like I wanted to be, for the first time, and four years into our relationship we had some of the best sex we’d ever had.