Mind-blowing sex: animal instinct or careful practice?
Reconstructing the scene is easy, as it will forever remain burned in my memory:
It’s October 1997 and I’m a sophomore in college. The guys and I are sitting around my buddy’s dorm room playing cards, drinking and burning through bags of pretzels and Cheetos. Though we touch on sports, video games, music and of course, the philosophical and intellectual virtues of being invincible youths, the conversation revolves around the mystery that is “woman.”
Of course, we see no real mystery once our goal is attained. The “how” concerns us, but once we reach the Promised Land, we’re good to go; we all know what to do when the time comes. Then a group of girls passes the open door of the room and a particularly pretty brunette peers in. She catches my eye, offers a quick, alluring little smile and continues on her way. Strangely, that’s precisely the moment when a nameless fear begins to worm its way into my consciousness; the fear had always been there, I guess, but it was just now making itself known.
The horror was real: The “end game” was the biggest damn mystery of all and we refused to admit it.
Looking back now, I suppose all men think they’re Casanovas after their first few intimate exchanges with a woman. Sure, we’re a little nervous the first time, but once the deed is done, we’re suddenly experts. We could teach porn stars a thing or two. We could make any woman squirm and squeal, and the bottom line is we will never disappoint. As I’ve gotten older, though, two nasty little secrets have revealed themselves to be true:
- Men will not admit they need practice.
- Until a man disappoints, until that dire day comes when he realizes he isn’t really a sex machine, he just doesn’t get it.
I hope my male brethren will forgive me for spilling the secret I’m willing to bet most women already know. The pretty brunette who passed the door that one fall evening many moons ago probably knew. But…it’s extremely difficult to accept. It could be hardwired into every male brain, but I’ve had to keep reminding myself of the number one secret up there. Sometimes it feels like a constant battle, as if I’m always beating back the rising tides of, “you really are great at this!” Unsurprisingly, I face this after a positive sexual experience.
It’s a great confidence-builder but even so, while I know I’ve satisfied, I also know I’ve disappointed (the latter admission is kinda like having a wisdom tooth yanked without Novocain, but it’s getting easier). It has also helped to run into men–and women–who have encountered similar issues; for example, there is a widespread belief that our inherent animal instincts play the biggest role and experience isn’t as critical.
Certainly, there is an instinctual element. I just think it’s dangerous to assume instinct is the deciding factor, and I’ve worked very hard to combat that assumption. I am also applying this Experience Counts–yes, capitalized–theory to both sexes, though again, I’m guessing women are a step ahead of us. They might actually obsess about performance more than men, though perhaps in a different way.
I have determined it’s a bad idea to keep this all bottled up. And it’d be a mistake to assume other men and women can’t relate; I’m guessing millions can relate. It’s why I like to go online every now and then and frequent various sites to find both peer and expert advice. GirlsAskGuys, an open, uncensored forum where the two sexes freely collaborate and clash, is a really cool place, for instance. And just based on the sheer number of questions concerning sex and relationships, one comes to the conclusion that a lot of people are confused. When I want the female perspective, I check places like Red Lipstick Project, though it sometimes feels like I’m doing something wrong, as if I’m peeking into the girl’s locker room after gym class.
That’s the point, is it not? Recognizing one’s limitations and embracing reality, as opposed to assuming, ignoring and posturing. It’s about education and logic, vulnerability and proactivity all at the same time. The fear I felt back in the dorm room? It’s still there. But now I’ve got the tools to wage a successful war and I’m making solid headway. The enemy may never surrender but that’s okay, ‘cuz I’ll never quit, either.
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