The orgasm gap is built into our different male and female physiology. Learning to awaken our arousal mechanism is a required first step for both men and women, and we often mistakenly believe that our genital response is where arousal begins. In truth, the sexiest part of our body is housed in the limbic brain, where memory, sexuality, and emotion awaken. The neurological circuitry for male arousal is more direct and faster than it is for women, and female arousal is a more interior process.

In truth, problems with sexual dysfunction between men and women are not as different as they may appear at first glance. Women who have long associated pain with sex and have trouble getting aroused are suffering from the same kind of dysfunction that men have when they have canā€™t maintain erection or have premature ejaculation.

Ease Anxieties By Slowing Down

Taking steps to slow down intimacy and becoming curious about the many and varying visceral experiences of pleasure helps everyone. Shifting the focus away from the rush towards completion and towards an exploration of pleasure will reduce our collective anxiety about sexual performance.

One way to approach the conversation is to start with the idea of the ā€œslow sex movementā€, which is similar to slow food. In many ways, they are parallel. The idea that we deserve to take time to truly taste and savor the flavors we are eating is no different than taking the time to touch, smell, and taste the incredible human body you are enjoying while making love.

Substituting a leisurely pace creates room to spice up your sexual experiences with your curiosityā€¦ wondering ā€œwhat if?ā€, and using words to describe what feels good changes the sexual encounter and the relationship in surprising and lasting ways.

Slowing down sex means that it begins the moment we enter the bedroom space. To the degree that we equate sex with only intercourse, we miss out on hands-on stimulation of all kinds, not just clitoral. So many of the oral pleasures we enjoy in sex also get condensed into brief moments. For most couples, the average sexual experience lasts 7 to 14 minutes. Why rush one of the best moments of life this way?

Climax, Then Penetration

One of the best-kept secrets that transforms painful sex into an explosive interactive orgasm comes from following the rule that any kind of penetration should only be the follow-up to an external clitoral orgasm. The external clitoral orgasm is the most commonly understood and experienced female orgasm and performs multiple functions. Not only does it heighten a womanā€™s experience of surrender to pleasure, but it physiologically engorges the vaginal tissue with fresh blood, and wakes up the clitoral crura, or legs, along the sides of the vaginal opening, inviting deeper penetration. Vaginal penetration that occurs prior to sufficient arousal will often be painful, even with lubricant.

Six IdeasĀ to Try TonightĀ 

Here are six tips for slowing sex down and diving into the mysterious space of pleasure.

  • Redirect your mindset about sex from performance (or achievement) to sensing and expanding pleasure in all its forms.
  • Learn to savor with flavor. One of my favorite sex treats is berries or cut up fruit in a small shot of plum brandy. The combination of sweetness and fire is an excellent metaphor for actually tasting your partner while you kiss.
  • Increase your olfactory capacity for heightened sexual pleasure. Where we smell is also where we process our sexual response (along with our emotions and memory). Add aphrodisiac essential oil scents to awaken arousal and tap the fuel of your fantasy life.
  • Dare yourself to add another minute to each one you normally spend in sex. Doubling your time will change not only the climax but the relationship itself. Devote those extra minutes to sensuous massage (remembering every body part slippery is way sexier than the same part dry)
  • Discover new erogenous areas and take note of how it feels to just rub the temples, the inner thighs, the sacrum. Sexual pleasure spots exist all over the body and each one heightens genital response.
  • Slow down penetration by using different types of strokes, making patterns that both partners are following of shallow vs deep. Space the deep ones as far apart as you can for as long as you can. It will surprise you and also bring you closer together during intercourse.

Give these tips a try, slow sex down, and you'll be even closer to mastering the mysterious orgasm.