But I’m A Giver

‘It’s not about my pleasure. I just want to give’

I hear this from male clients all the time. (And sometimes women also, but mostly from men) What we think is selfless and giving is actually putting a lot of pressure on our female partners.

But actually being the ‘Giver’ is a less exposing role, so easy to hide in, as we put our partners into the vulnerable ‘Receiving’ position.

When intimacy breaks down in long term relationships, I often hear the man just wanting to give and the woman is switched off. And no one knows why.

(And again this can be any gender dynamic, it just seems this is the popular one when it comes to couples in challenges).

When the toucher has an agenda / goal (to turn you on), the receiver’s body responds to this expectation to have pleasure during touch/Sex, and after months / years of this giving through our expressions of pleasure, and ‘turn our partners on’ with our own arousal / climax, the body says ‘enough’.

This is what Betty Martin (Wheel of Consent creator) calls in-direct pleasure.  This gives us a rich opportunity to work on direct pleasure.

So, a lot of my work with men is teaching them how to receive and get pleasure from their own sensation, instead of secondary arousal through external stimuli: porn, fantasy, their partners pleasure.

And then the woman’s body is allowed to feel whatever they need through the touch. Because my ‘pleasure’ might not be orgasm in that moment. It might not be erotic at all. It might be more needed to allow it to feel nourishing, affirming, healing, supportive.

And of course it is very much a two-way street.  Women need to know what their body needs and take responsibility in asking for it and directing out partners.  I’ve definitely said, more than once to lovers: ‘don’t try to make me orgasm.’

I have shared this with clients of mine and I’ve had men who just didn’t understand or believe me, or think maybe it was only me who thought this.

But see below the many responses I got from women, when I posted these words originally on social media.

(Always shared with consent)

“Wow…this offers such validation to my own experience. Thank you.”

“I feel a visceral relief reading your words. Thank you for getting it.”

“I have totally experienced this personally and with clients!”

“Yes! So well expressed. Looking for affirmation seeps through …’your pleasure but on my terms’. Response arousal only goes so far…”

“I have definitely experienced this! Feeling that my pleasure isn’t actually for me but a catalyst for their own pleasure, which doesn’t feel pleasurable. They think they are giving and think they are selfless. I have not met a man YET who had the self-awareness of this. So well said Jem Also feeling validated now and my voice for pleasure is getting more confident, my body has said enough. thank you!!”

“Very true and it doesn’t make you feel wanted – just a sense of validating the ego.”

Gosh, I thought it was just me…….I was actually asked recently “why do you deny yourself pleasure”? It was hard not to cackle. I am not denying myself pleasure, but your intent to make me come, and ejaculate (oh the audacity) was so off putting in it’s focus….. I might as well have been in the dentist’s chair having a root canal. The technician was solely focused on that root canal – not the fact that my jaw was aching from being jammed open or that all that rummaging around, more and more urgently, more and more insistently, started to feel a little bit forceful, a little bit neglectful of my body’s responses, as it redirected them to HIS will and goal. Oh yeah, just vile really – what passes for “I love to give pleasure”. I know how to have pleasure. I know I am multi orgasmic. And I know when someone believes they are God’s gift and are ego tripping too. Let me come to life in your arms, allow me the space to feel and unfold in your presence. Don’t try to make me come. Thank you Jem for pointing this out.”

“I feel like some men see giving a woman pleasure/making her orgasm as a goal to get to without caring about how they get there. The entire squirting thing became an obnoxious goal for many men – without any regard for the person they were with (or any understanding of how it *might* happen). It’s not the fun playing field it used to be”

“Better to drop the idea of pleasuring completely. When invited just try to drop into being and not doing. It can become an art but be careful not to think of yourself as being/becoming the artist.” (Man’s response)

“Also just want to add that it feels needy AF to me and a proper turn off”

“Yes to all of this. This killed one of my long term relationships. At best it’s misguided generosity, at worse it is claiming another’s pleasure for your own ego.”

“It also feel important to add the rejected and scared and lost parts in men that arrive when they don’t understand why this habit, that primarily comes IMO from cultural norms about men and women in sex and life, doesn’t work. I benefited also from learning about the how and why of responsibility for my own pleasure. It’s a two-way street.”

“I really thought I was alone in feeling outrage at their declared “I wanna pleasure u””

“I not only felt pressure, but over time also objectified, even angry! For me it feeds right into the the discourse that ‘woman should please’ and be focussed on pleasing the other, rather than on/in their own experience. Wow that would be way too selfish wouldn’t it ! Lots of men struggle to get it and in my experience can say things like ‘but I find you so sexy’ or need the female partner to get aroused for them to get aroused, those dopamine receptor need retraining! It’s a journey as you said of re-education and positive practice and above all, taking responsibility.”

“I’ve not recently been in any long term relationship recently so it’s all about sex…but it’s become exhausting how much men want to “give”. It’s never giving! It’s just a goal. And I’m not a box to be ticked!”

If any of this strikes a chord for you, why not book a consultation call to see how we could work together.

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