When you stop enjoying sex, it’s time to wake up

What is it that you love most about sex? Is it the mysterious come hither look that gets the party started? Or that special thing your partner does with their tongue? Do you love the rock and roll of a good tumble in the hay? Or does auto-erotic asphyxiation float your boat? Hey, no judgment! Okay? Whatever you love most one thing is indisputable. Sex isn’t sex till you get a wildly satisfying orgasm. But how many of us get one?

Why is it that most of our sexual experiences usually leave a lot to be desired? Is it because sexual politics often favours one partner over another? Does this mean that the partner, who wields more power and gets to control bedroom dynamics, also has the luxury of being selfish in bed? Have you ever felt like you are the giver in the relationship and that your partner doesn’t seem invested in satisfying your sexual needs. Do we only have ‘takers’ in bed?

Picture Courtesy: NeoGaboX on Flickr via Creative Commons

Some people view sex as a conquest. This is when things take an ugly turn. These people want to gain control and agency over another person’s body and bend them to their will. Their intention is to humiliate and subjugate their partner and make them submit to their whims and fancies. I’m not talking about BDSM because real practitioners of BDSM know that it is always based on mutual respect and trust and that there are always boundaries. I’m talking about exploitative sexual partners who subconsciously and sometimes even consciously associate sex with shame and therefore believe you need to be punished for wanting to have sex. In their warped sense of things, they start believing it is their duty to teach you a lesson… a lesson that involves injuring your body, mind and soul.

Now think back carefully about your various sexual encounters. You may not think you were abused, but was there ever a time you felt like something wasn’t right? Did you ever feel a little used and cheated? I’m not talking about being turned into a sex slave or being raped although that does happen in extreme cases when the powerful partner only derives pleasure by causing the weaker partner pain and making them feel worthless. I’m talking about feeling that there was no pleasure and you genuinely felt that your sense of self was being attacked as you were made to feel like just a tool designed to serve a singular purpose… bringing pleasure to the ‘conqueror’.

It is a potent form or manipulation that is so subtle that it could well be inception. Just like it is often hard to tell the difference between dreams and reality when under the influence of inception, it is usually impossible to tell how thoroughly you had been manipulated by your partner until much after you have escaped their clutches. Sometimes it is a bit like that jerk of a trainer in the gym who dismisses your cramps with “No pain, no gain,” and you realize how wrong it all was only when your doctor tells you that you need to have your appendix removed. What’s worse is that when you confront the damn trainer he dismisses you saying the appendix is a useless organ anyway.

No seriously, think hard. Have you ever had any such encounter? Are you going through something like this right now? How many times have your dates gone wrong? And how many times have you felt helpless to take any action because you had given consent before intercourse took place? Well, here’s the thing about consent. You can withdraw it at any time. You are a person, not a sex toy. You have feelings, you have desires and your self-worth cannot be compromised for any reason. Your first red flag is the absence of joy. If you are not feeling happy about sex, make it stop and get out immediately. I’m not saying everyone who fails to give you an orgasm is raping you. I’m saying, if you are not enjoying sex, stop and find out what’s wrong. Maybe your partner is just tired or stressed about something. Maybe you need to bring the magic back into the bedroom. Maybe there is a genuine reason and your partner is the good, honest and caring person you fell in love with. But if that’s not the case, maybe you need to unshackle yourself from a monster who wants to drown you in a toxic quagmire.

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