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Lori Bryant Woolridge Headshot

When Did Sex Become So Dang Serious?

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I got to pondering this subject after a coaching session with one of my Stiletto University students. We'd just begun our Sexual Wow unit and I could see she was shutting down. After some gentle coaxing, she reluctantly admitted that in her heart of hearts, she really didn't enjoy sex that much and had been faking orgasms for years. Getting down to the nitty gritty of the situation, it turns out her husband enjoyed watching the occasional adult movie, and she was paralyzed with performance anxiety. She was so worried about not pleasing him and not 'doing it right,' that she'd psyched herself out of enjoying sex at all.

She's not alone. I had another student whose husband got down right angry because in the throws of making love, she'd burst into happy laughter. According to him, her reaction ruined the moment, and hard as she tried, she couldn't convince him that her giggles were about joyful pleasure, and not a commentary on his performance. He actually told her that laughter did not belong in the bedroom.

Really? When and why did sex become so dang serious?

In our quest to boink like porn stars, we've lost one of the great pleasures that accompanies intimate sex -- fun! Pressure to be the sexual bomb has us faking orgasm and becoming novelty acts instead of authentically sexual, sensual beings. Technique, appearance and the age-old search for multiple orgasms has made sex so goal-oriented and pressure-packed that instead of being the 'freaks' we envision, we've simply freaked ourselves out.

It's time for many of us to loosen up and start having fun with sex. Stop thinking you have to blow his mind every time you take off your clothes. True, sometimes sex is raw and passionate. Or it can be quick and intense. Or soft and loving. But sex should also be spontaneous and delightful. It should be playful and include laughter and joy and not be so serious that you're afraid of making mistakes or not pleasing your lover.

Fun sex leads to adventurous sex. It's about trying new tricks and stretching the limits of your passion knowing that unsuccessful attempts at experimental acts (okay, maybe that whole having sex ducktaped to a wall wasn't such a great idea) should be met with giggles and kisses, not embarrassment and scorn. Loving fun should be dictated by your comfort level and your willingness to sometimes 'fail' and look silly in bed, knowing that you are creating unique and loving memories together.

Playful sex also strengthens your intimate ties. Taking away the pressure of performance allows you to feel safer and more secure in your relationship, which ultimately allows you to open up and communicate about how you feel and what you want in and out of bed. And as time marches on, great intimacy, built upon a foundation of loving delight, joy and laughter, will ultimately trump unsustainable XXX sex.

Writer John Callahan once said, "Laughter and orgasms are great bedfellows." I must concur. So, lighten up, and add a little laughter to your lovin'.