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  • Writer's pictureAshley Anne

A Lifestyle Lesson for Better Sex

Having good sex is a revolution against a patriarchal society that capitalizes on discomfort, doubt, and insecurity.

But what happens in the bedroom - both by ourselves and with partners - is important and is indicative of the larger relationship we have with our lives.

The quality of our sex life usually answers the question: Am I allowed to feel good?

For too many of us, that question doesn’t even cross our minds. In fact, usually the goal is simply not to feel pain.

But living a pain-free life is not the same as living a pleasurable one. Here are three lifestyle tips that can help you reclaim your right to feel good.

SEE: Notice moments of performative pleasure.

Performative pleasure is exactly as it sounds. It happens when we act as if we’re pleased when we’re not. This might mean making pleasurable sounds when something really isn’t that great or not speaking up when we’re in pain.

For many of us, especially those of us socialized to be culturally and conventionally ‘feminine,’ performative pleasure can be automatic.

We don’t even know something doesn’t feel good because usually that same something is a sex act we’ve been taught *should* feel good (e.g. penetrative intercourse vs. vulva or labial stimulation).

Side note: Did you know penetrative intercourse creates the least amount of stimulation for a person with a vagina?

Vaginas are designed so they have very few nerve endings to ease childbirth for those who want to give birth. There are exponentially more nerve endings on the vulva and clitoris (which actually is located under the entire vulva - not just at the hood).

Simply notice when you are acting pleased instead of actually experiencing pleasure.

STOP: Stop minimizing your pain.

Sex shouldn’t hurt.

(Outside of BDSM, of course).

Many of us think pain with sex is normal because we’ve never experienced sex without at least a little (or a lot) of discomfort.

When you notice you’re ignoring your pain, stop the sexual act. And stop the script in your head that says it’s not a big deal.

Because it is.

Give yourself (or you and your partner) enough grace to figure out what would work better for you. For example, avoid penetration and instead focus on external stimulation.

There are all kinds of ways to create pleasure, and the more ways you know, the less likely you are to settle for something that hurts.

START: Start learning about pleasure and sex.

There are many great resources for sex. Here are three that have personally helped me.

OMG YES: An interactive, online summary of research on female pleasure. Online at

Sex, Love, & Goop: A powerful series that follows couples as they reconnect around sex and intimacy. On Netflix.

Come As You Are: Emily Nagoski, PhD summarizes ground breaking research to reveal how sex really works. The book is on Amazon at

MAGIC MANTRA: I deserve pleasure in all its forms.


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