We’ve all watched hetero sex scenes on television where the instant a woman is touched by a man, she arches her back, squints her eyes, pouts her lips and starts breathing heavily.
Damn, that’s a tall-ass order.
Sorry if I’m not squirming and moaning right out of the gate–I got a lot on my mind.
Sex can sometimes stress me out.
Making sure I look, move and sound like the sexed up images in every man’s head, turns sex into a chore and expectation. Between juggling life and wondering if I’m hot enough, it’s not always easy to be in the mood, you know?
I get in my head, hoping I measure up to what I know men are hoping to experience since they too have been fed the same visual lies of all women being sex-crazed machines who don’t have grocery lists and body shaming issues distracting them during sex like I do.
I can’t instantly turn my brain and insecurities off and dive into ecstasy the way a man can. It takes a few more steps for me than just taking off my clothes. If I’m too busy focusing on fake depictions of what sex looks like instead of what it actually does look like, I can’t come out of the noise in my head and into the bed.
What gets me more in the mood is having the power to be equal to my man, to tell him what I’m craving and need to make it fun for me, too. I am not just there to writhe in ecstasy to give him a big ego at how good he is.
No. I’m there to speak up about what I like and to coach if things are not working. The same as I would expect him to do with me.
No, I’m not going to fake it to put on a performance, but I’m also not going to sit back and hope we both know what the other person likes.
No. Let’s be real about it.
I’m in my 40s, and I still want to feel sexy, but I have to change the bar of expectation a bit. I’m not that woman on TV. Do I have to be perfect and in my 20s? No. I can enjoy and embrace where I am without self-consciousness.
Should I feel bad about my small breasts that have been deflated from feeding babies, my caesarean section scars, or my hip replacement scar? No. These are evidence of my strength, not marks that should make me feel less-than.
My husband’s not complaining, either. That’s the thing–women often get in our own ways, assuming we’re not enough where in reality men are like, “Gimme what ya got! I want it!”
This genuine showing up is the thing that is sexy. The ability to see each other inside and out and love it all.
No more comparing what I see on tv to what’s in my room. No.
There are always going to be women on TV who are sexier than we are, who make our men’s jaws drop with excitement. And that’s hard to take, right? We all want to be the prettiest, the sexiest, the most desirable. It’s the damn truth and it sucks to admit.
No more focusing on that losing fight. If I focus on that, I’ll be in my head again and not enjoy intimacy.
When I pull myself away from the negativity of comparison, I become confident. Confidence is sexy. When I feel sexy, I am sexy. When I am sexy, I am present and in the moment, not caught up in wondering if my man is wishing I were younger, hotter or better.
He wants me to be there, 100% myself, focused on reality, letting myself detangle from my brain. Sure his eyes might widen when those unrealistic sex scenes come on the screen, but he knows it’s not my truth.
I’ve straight-up told him, “Look, that’s fake. Ask me what I like and what I need.”
Because, after all, it’s not only about him and what he wants. I sometimes have to remind myself sex is for both of us. I have to undo the wiring in me that says to be a good lover I have to make sure he knows what a mind-blowing stallion he is, whether I’m happy or not.
No. What I do instead is have honest conversations with him.
I tell him to please help me get me out of my head, away from all the rusty wheels that are turning.
You want to get me to act like that woman on TV? We have to peel off a few more layers than just my clothes.
Listen to me vent a little about a coworker.
Tell me you’re proud of me.
Surprise me with making a dinner I like even if it takes doing some research.
Prove that you see me, and I will rock your world without putting on a show. It will be genuine and worth your while.
Does it make sense to hide these truths that unlock and release that side of me?
No. Not at all.
Seduction for me is a daily act that’s ongoing. I don’t get hot and bothered with one touch. No more feeling guilty or broken because of that. No.
Honesty and total acceptance of where we are is the new sexy. Letting each other in is the biggest foreplay of all–not an artificially arched back and squinty eyes with pouty lips.
All those things are great if they’re real and genuinely produced from being in a place of total surrender and fun. It just takes some work for me to get there.
And that’s okay. Because it’s real.
And real is the sexiest thing of all once we get the courage to go there and say no to the things that hold us back.
About the author: Rebecca Rine is a writer and podcaster at RebeccaRine.com. Her book of motivational essays What Waits Ahead is Way Better and Way Worse than You Imagined is out now.