REFRAMING FAILURE

Sometimes it feels as though knocking on our bedroom doors, are our unwelcome friends ‘judgement’ and ‘failure’. There seems to be a inextricable, yet inaccurate relationship between sex/love, and the fear of failure. 

You have no doubt heard the all too familiar tall tales;

  • No orgasm? = You failed sex

  • Can’t get it up? = You failed manhood

  • Divorce? = You failed marriage

We have become obsessed with squeezing our relationships between the narrowest of parameters. Parameters that dictate ‘goals’ that aren’t actual requirements for pleasure, nor happiness. 

Over the course of the past few years, I have spent a lot of time questioning and reframing the way I (and we) think about sex, love and relationships. Something that has stood out to me along this journey, is that we need to redefine what we deem to be a ‘failure’, when it comes to how we love, and how we have sex. 

Myth - A hard penis is a requirement for pleasure

Since I outed myself as a self labelled sex geek, I have had a large number of people with penises contact me with concerns about their struggles with ‘getting it up’. The question almost always being some iteration of ‘what’s wrong with me’?

The idea that a hard penis is a requirement for successful sex is simply untrue. This is a huge shift in thinking for many, but the fact is that penetrative sex is not the only road to a deliciously pleasurable sexual experience. In fact, more often than not penetrative sex is a less popular item on the menu for the recipient, often coming second to manual stimulation options. 

Furthermore, if we put on our ‘pleasure oriented’ hats (rather than our less helpful ‘goal oriented’ ones), the owner of a flaccid cock can enjoy some truly glorious penis massage, oral stimulation, anal stimulation, BDSM, breath play and so much more! 

Interestingly, repeatedly adopting this perspective and turning away from the overwhelming societal pressure imposed upon men to serve up a rock hard cock, creates a context in which erections are far more likely. 

Myth - If you divorce, you failed marriage, monogamy and more

So often we see marriages end with a sense of failure. Marriages that were filled with years of happiness, adventure, love, lust, and even successful child rearing! Yet, given our systemic obsession with finding and being “the one” for life, we too often deem the end of a relationship a failure.

But why? I strongly believe that when a couple (or thruple) part ways after say… 10 years? They freaking succeeded in marriage, monogamy and more! 

Not all love stories are ’til death do us part’ novels. Some are short stories, which are no less briliant. 

Myth - No orgasm means there is something wrong with the me, or them

Myth - Having a too high or too low, number of sexual partners makes you lesser

Myth - Contracting an STD or STI makes you gross

Myth - You’re single? There’s a reason

Why do we continue to hold each other and ourselves to these standards, when they wildly inaccurate, hugely damaging, and often unachievable? 

When we are guided by the pursuit of happiness, rather than the pursuit of supposed social approval, these common perceptions of ‘failure’ just don’t stack up. 

So let’s stop critiquing ourselves against these myths, and redefine failures in love and lust where fact and compassion are centred.

Photography by FROGER

 

What do you think?

What's your experience with alleged 'failure' in love and lust? Let me know in the comments below!