Reclaim Selfish Sex

When it comes to hanky panky… THAT BITCH inside me melts into the submissive wet dream of a 1950’s man.

By Katriana Ciccotto

In my everyday life, I strive to be THAT BITCH. You know the one who’s just on her daily grind, doing her own thing working towards her goals and feeling cute whilst doing it all. I know what I want and I unapologetically do it for me – a selfish woman, as I like to say. In the words of Beyonce, “I dream it, I work hard, I grind ’til I own it, I twirl on them haters”. 

I am unafraid to strut up to someone I find attractive and ask them out (I love doing this and find it so empowering). I’ve no issues talking freely about my sex life with my friends, and I don’t shy away from sharing a sexy pic onto Instagram. But when it comes to hanky panky, the selfishness that I so confidently flaunt outside of the bedroom, well, it sort of disappears. THAT BITCH inside me melts into the submissive wet dream of a 1950’s man. For me, this means that sex isn’t always really fulfilling, empowering or mutually pleasurable. Actually, it can be weird and vulnerable and sometimes, just fucking awkward. I let my needs and desires go unmet and then my pleasure becomes performed. 

Now don’t get me wrong, when I say selfish I don’t mean a lack of consideration for other people (‘cos that ain’t cute sis). I mean the act of prioritising me: my pleasure and my needs. Because for too long, women have been expected to be these sorry altruistic angels who put other people’s desires before their own. I felt SEEN when I read that only 4 per cent of women cum from hookup sex. I’m not saying that in 2020 we’re still expected to lie back and think of England, have perfect pin curls and buzz off hand washing our darling husband’s work suit, but I do think that the historic expectation of selflessness still haunts the millennial woman, especially in the bedroom. 

We’re all too familiar with that horrible dark cloud you can find yourself in the morning after a steamy shag. The one that can make you feel like shit – insecure and a bit anxious. Sometimes I can feel a bit used if I’ve put up with things that I haven’t particularly enjoyed but I know my partner has, which leads to regrets, overthinking and ultimately for me, self-resentment. This all comes as a result of me not being selfish enough: not communicating what I want. 

Here’s an example – I love giving blowjobs. It’s an essential part of sex for me (not just foreplay, I hate that word), that I put blood, sweat and TEARS into every time. But as soon as I feel his seedy hand creep up to the back of my head to start pushing me into his penis, the enjoyment for me comes to a sudden halt. Like no, please stop. To me, it’s an obvious thing that any human being with a conscious would not do without someone’s enthusiastic consent? I could never imagine force-feeding my clit to a partner without asking them, like wtf r u ok hun. But admittedly, I find these boundaries very hard to establish.

I’ll give you some more examples…

I usually want “foreplay” to last longer and be slower but won’t suggest it in the moment because of this weird nuanced fear of rejection and humiliation. I wouldn’t dream of asking for oral sex, even though I’ve recently come to terms with the fact that it’s a non negotiable part of sex for me. Or, if I can see he’s going above and beyond to find my clit, but is still, rather irritatingly, rubbing my flap, to protect his ego, I won’t tell him. Also, If I’m having really rough sex with a man, and he starts pulling my hair so far back that it’s giving me a cheap botox effect, I find myself putting up with it because I know he’s probably loving it. Or if he has a massive dick, like so big that it’s painful in some positions (@doggy) it actually kind of hurts, I’ll put up with it so he thinks I’m a good fuck. Or sometimes, when I can feel myself reaching a climax, and start moaning to him “don’t stop, right there” and he moved 1mm to the right and it stops feeling good, I’ll fake that shit so he feels like a good fuck.

I’ll put up with all of the above at the expense of my own pleasure. Why? Because I wouldn’t dare kill the mood, or make things awkward, or even embarrass my partner. I’d rather keep all these insecurities in my head and feel like shit the next day for it. It’s like I am burdened by a duty to please him. And I know I’m not alone in this, according to Dr Laurie Mintz (legend) ‘Becoming Cliterate’ only 25% of women consistently orgasm from sex with men. And 30% of women claim to feel pain during sex compared to 5% of men. So many of us have disowned selfishness, deeming it bad or wrong – wanting to be anything but selfish. But female pleasure has been mansplained to us for years, it’s TIME for us to be selfish. It’s overdue.  A guy thinking I’m a good shag just doesn’t quite cut it anymore, I want to feel real sexual pleasure. 

When I think about it, when does it ever occur to us to develop sexual communication skills that are so essential in our relationships? It’s like when we get into the bedroom with a partner, we’re having sex blindly believing that we know what they want – and that they know what we want. But what are these assumptions based on, when we don’t know how to talk about sex? 

From childhood, the idea of discussing sex with my mum (my dad was never an option, purleeez) filled me with deep embarrassment and shame. Even now, I hardly discuss sex with my parents and still very much turn bright red in the face when a sex scene comes on the telly. It’s similar with friends; there is only really a handful that I can truly talk about nitty gritty sex with and that’s been something that’s only started very recently. 

What I do know is that when I don’t communicate or fake my orgasms, not only am I doing myself a disservice, but I’m training my partners to do the very things that don’t please me. And surely the fact that every person needs something slightly different to reach orgasm makes it even more important to tell a new partner what I like?

Reclaiming Selfish Sex

Before lockdown, started to put my new thoughts into practice on Hinge dates, completely stepping outside of my comfort zone, but motivated by a fierce boredom with one-way sex. It was difficult to know where to begin, because I was a total sex communication virgin. But I reminded myself that the premise was simple – boys aren’t mind-readers and they need to be told, explicitly, what I like and what I don’t. Here’s how I approached it. 

  • Step 1: Decide I want to sleep with them I’d strategically wait for the point in the date where I know how many siblings he’s got, I know all about his job, he’s mentioned something or other about his travels (but I wasn’t really listening because I was trying to imagine his sex face). Then comes the point, 2-3 glasses of wine later, when I’ve decided I fancy him. 
  • Step 2: The sexy transition BAM. I hit him with what I call a sexy transition question – a question that de-rails us from standard small talk to heated, flirty sex chat. Can I ask you something personal? What are your wildest fantasies? Where have you always wanted to fuck? What are your three biggest turn ons? What’s your favourite sex position? I find that guys are usually surprised (in a good way) by the directness. 
  • Step 3: Mutually pleasurable and respectful sex Having a harmless chat with someone before we get to the bedroom, for me, opens doors for when we do get there. It lays a foundation that makes me feel more at ease to ask for what I want. And let me say, it feels so magical to be able to freely tell someone my intricate desires and to have them received openly, and acted upon. It feels so good to use my genuine moans as positive feedback to my partner. 

To be honest, this shouldn’t have to feel magical, it should be a given, but my standards have been far too low in the past. If a man goes just slightly above doing the bare minimum – e.g asking if something feels good, or god forbid eats me out, he stands out as a great lover. The reality is that this is the minimum that we deserve

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