Ashley Madison, the world's leading married dating site,1 and Shelby Sells, certified love, sex, and life coach, have recently learned just how prominent the pleasure gap still is in relationships today. Specifically, women aren't receiving frequent or adequate oral sex, men are largely unaware that their wives aren't climaxing during sex, and many women who voice their sexual needs are doing so to no avail. To raise awareness, they have joined forces to release the exclusive co-branded Sexual Health is Wealth merchandise line.
"We know historically, a lot of porn has been portrayed through the male gaze and hasn't always captured the true nature of female pleasure," says Sells.
Among the reasons as to why these women aren't receiving oral pleasure are their partner's perceptions of oral sex as gross or unsanitary (18%), a physical challenge or uncomfortable (20%), as well as their own displeasure with their partner's oral skills, resulting in the decision to stop them from ever doing it (32%).
Having a conversation about sex is rarely easy, and because we all need a little direction, we asked Shelby Sells to share her top communication tips.
Use a space and time where you feel most comfortable. This helps take any pressure off of sex in the moment. In addition, talking about our desires outside of the bedroom can help preface communication and make any "asks" or "adjustments" less personal and more of an opportunity for pleasure.
Affirming pleasurable things your partner does in bed helps keep the attitude playful versus a constant criticism. This framework allows people to feel excited to try new things versus feeling defeated.
i.e. "You know what feels good? When you do _____. And you know what else would feel good?''
If there's a specific technique you'd like your partner to try, feel free to show them by touching yourself (solo sex) or using your tongue on a sensitive part of their skin. Demonstrating is both sexy and educational!
A ''no'' or directional request is not a personal attack but an invitation to better navigate your partner's body. Reflect on a time that you've given feedback to your partner during sex for some added perspective.
Knowledge is power! No two bodies are alike, so it's essential to be open to learning everything you can about what feels best for your partner. Remember that wants, needs, and desires are subject to change! Try to be fluid with your partner as your sexual relationship ebbs and flows.
Don't shame your partner if they don't know what they want in bed. Instead, remind them with words and actions that you are available to hold space for them to experiment with their pleasure and how you can support them.
Ashley Madison is the global leader for married dating with more than 70 million members worldwide since 2002. Available in 52 countries and 19 languages, the company’s mission to offer adults a platform to discreetly connect has made it the premier destination for affairs.
Shelby Sells is a certified love, sex, and life coach based in New York City. Her work is centered around unpacking emotions and relearning tools for successful relationships. Shelby's mission is to empower authentic intimate connections by holding space for people to explore their sexuality with open hearts and minds.
For more information on the campaign or merchandise line, or to speak with Shelby Sells or someone from Ashley Madison, please contact [email protected].