In the article 'Girls & Sex' And The Importance Of Talking To Young Women About Pleasure, Peggy Orenstein speaks about the importance of teaching girls about tuning into their own desires.Girls are socialized to give to their partners. The topic of receiving pleasure from their partner is sadly overlooked. Too often, girls share how they will give oral sex but they are never met with the same in return. Girls should know, that if they are always focused on the guy’s pleasure and never ask for pleasure in return, they are being used. I love the example Orenstein shares about a boyfriend who is always asking for a cup of water but never brings his girlfriend a drink. In this scenario we easily see the inequality. Why don’t we see the inequality when it comes to sexuality?
Sex and sexual pleasure should include both giving and receiving. But, It should not be tit-for-tat (no pun intended). Both partners should be thinking about how they can give their partner pleasure and at the same time how they can ask for pleasure. Some partners find themselves in a double standard, where one partner is always asking explicitly for what he or she wants in bed and the other partner shy’s away from asking for what he or she wants. Your Partner cannot mind-read (wouldn’t it be nice if he/she did?) therefore, asking for what you want is essential for both of your sexual pleasures to be met. If you partner turns down all your requests for pleasure... then we have a different problem.
Sara Schapiro-Halberstam, LMHC,CASAC