I had sex recently, and it was good – very good – but I didn’t come. I don’t really know why (Booze? Fatigue? Stress?), and to be honest I don’t really care either: it’s not the first time that’s happened, and I can’t imagine it’ll be the last.
The sex was full of the good stuff. There was kissing – lots of kissing – and dirty talk. There was hair-pulling and shoulder-biting. There was her fingers on my belt, impatiently tugging it loose, and my fingers under her skirt, rolling back and forth over her clit. There was sucking and licking, of lip and neck and nipple and cock. I fucked her mouth for a while – rough, jerky, forceful bumps against the back of her throat, saliva pooling around the base of my cock – and when her eyes started to water and her breathing became ragged, I turned her around and fucked her cunt instead.
But I didn’t come, and neither did she. I got close a couple of times, but for whatever reason my body just couldn’t quite find the catalyst for that final, chain reaction. After a while, we stopped and rearranged ourselves, collecting and adjusting half-discarded clothes with goofy grins on our faces. My hair was damp with sweat and her skin was already starting to colour with the following day’s bruises. My cock was still semi-erect as I zipped up my suit trousers, but I didn’t feel tense or unsatisfied. In fact, while I was tired and a bit tipsy, the casual intimacy of sex with someone I like left me feeling more relaxed than I had done for days.
Orgasms are great. Orgasms are fan-fucking-tastic, in fact, and I’m as greedy for them today as I was at 16, frantically rubbing them out one after the other on my top bunk. There are days when all I want – all I need – is to feel my stomach muscles clenching, my thighs tensing, and my cock throbbing as it sends hot, thick ropes of cum shooting out onto my chest, or onto my partner’s arse, or deep inside her as she thrusts up/down/back to meet me. I crave that moment, when someone hits the pause button and the world around me freezes; and I crave what it does to my brain in the few seconds before and after, when oxytocin comes flooding in, and it feels like my mind is both cloudy and perfectly clear at the same time.
When I think about sex though, orgasm is not what I crave. When I remember the sex I’ve had, or daydream about the sex I want to have, I don’t really think about that final exclamation point – instead it’s the poetry and the prose, the dialogue and the descriptions, all the little pauses and paragraph breaks and punctuation marks that float around my head. It’s the smell of her skin and the noises she made. It’s how she might taste.
One of the more frustrating features of even the best erotica – and regardless of the author’s gender – is how often the male orgasm is used to wrap up a sex scene or story. A guy and a girl fuck; she comes; he comes; the end. It’s the same in porn, but with the ‘she comes’ bit as more of an optional extra. Either way, male orgasm is the focus and, by implication, the point. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with thinking about sex in that way on an individual level. Girl on the Net has written brilliantly about how, for her, feeling (and hearing/seeing/tasting) her partner come often is the point of sex – to the extent that she’s faked orgasms in the past just to trigger his climax.
However, it can be problematic in a wider sense. It diminishes the significance and value of female pleasure, obviously, but it’s also kind of boring and reductive; it paints sex as something that can take many different roads to the same ultimate destination, rather than acknowledging that multiple end-points exist, and that the fun often lies in the journey itself. For whatever reason, some people still can’t get past the notion that sex finishes when the guy comes – and that if it doesn’t happen that way, it can’t have been any good.
I don’t need to come in order to enjoy sex. I don’t even need my partner to come – not every time – though I always feel a lot better about it (and about myself) when she does. Orgasm shouldn’t be seen as a validation of what you’ve just done: its relationship to sexual ability is not non-existent, but neither is it direct or easy to map. I’ve had crap sex with lazy, selfish lovers, and still managed to come hard at the end of it; likewise, I’ve had great sex with fun, filthy, talented partners, where our orgasms have been either incidental or completely absent. If necessary, I can always make myself come later, when we’ve gone our separate ways: what I can’t do on my own is feel someone’s lips on my skin, or their legs wrapped around my waist, or their tits pressed against my chest.
Going back to erotica, I understand the desire for closure. When we read, or write, or watch movies, or play sport, or whatever, most of us want to be able to identify a beginning and a clearly-defined end. We don’t like to leave things just hanging there, ambiguous and unsettled. I suppose I just don’t think sex has to be that way, and certainly not with a regular partner. Sex is something you can pick up, and put down, and play around with in any way you like. It’s fluid and flexible. It doesn’t always need to end with a bang.