Twelve Days of Clitmas: 12th day
Look, we can’t deny the Boris-faced, virus-infested elephant in the room that this year hasn’t been great. But in the spirit of holiday cheer, I thought I would offer a bit of light relief from all of that by giving you a carefully crafted selection of holiday gifts. Yes, that’s right, I am joining the canon of Destiny’s Child, The Muppets and carol singers far and wide to give you my take on the Twelve Days of Christmas; the aptly named Twelve Days of Clitmas. For the last few weeks, I have been gathering nuggets of both wisdom and fun from many wonderful people, which I (your true love) will give to you (our Clitbait readers) as festive treats for the next twelve days. From holiday recipes, to wild swimming spots, to tips for a more pleasurable sex life, I hope there will be something in this for everyone! So, get the chestnuts roasting as I pop these gifts under the metaphorical tree and let’s end the year with a smile.
On the twelfth day of Clitmas my true love gave to me…
Twelve tips for coming:
For your twelfth and final gift, we return to the wonderful words of Ruth Eliot. Ruth is a freelance sex educator and sexual violence prevention worker who founded and facilitates The Better Sex Workshop Series and currently works with the School of Sexuality Education and the Spit it Out Project. Read more about her fantastic work at rutheliot.com or on Instagram at bettersexworkshops. To finish off our 12 Days of Clitmas, Ruth oh so kindly shares with us 12 tips for better, more pleasurable, authentic and fun sex. Please enjoy her words and all the explorations they may lead you to!
Stop trying to orgasm so much! The more you try desperately to come / make your partner come, the more performance anxiety you will both feel – “OMG I need to make them come otherwise I’m a bad / selfish lover” or “OMG I need to come otherwise there’s something wrong with me / they will feel like a bad lover / their ego will be bruised”. Not only this, but the orgasm, if it happens at all, will be less enjoyable- more like a relief than a helpless and pleasurable joy- like shitting after a period of anxious constipation. Instead of orgasm-chasing, follow what’s pleasurable instead- it doesn’t have to be a desperate chase to climax!- after all, for many orgasm spells the end of all the fun, so what’s the rush?
Don’t overlook the supreme sensitivity of your and your partners’ armpits
Stop conflating hardness / wetness with arousal or enjoyment. People get hard and wet without necessarily enjoying (or consenting to) what is happening, and they can massively enjoy what is happening without getting hard or wet. Arousal nonconcordance means we should never construe someone’s genital response (including your own) as a substitute for verbal communication- if you want to communicate consent or enjoyment, you’re gonna have to do more than notice something being hard and/or wet!
Reflect on why you’re having sex – D L Mosher distinguishes between people wanting to have sex for intimacy (to connect with the person you’re having sex with eg to express attraction / love / intimacy), ecstacy (to experience intense pleasure in your own skin and connect with your own nervous system eg pleasure / orgasm / mindfulness / presence) or play (to use sex as medium to play out different roles / let otherwise repressed parts of your personality to get a platform to express themselves, eg playfully childlike / selfish / demanding / controlling etc). These categories are not neatly separate from one another, but have a ponder about what sex does for you, and whether you and the people you have sex with are having sex for the same / compatible reasons
Use your whole body! It’s not only your genitals / bum / boobs that are full of sexy, sexy nerve endings
If you have a vulva, or have sex with people with vulvas – remember that the external glans clitoris is not the bullseye in a game of sexy darts. If engaging with a vulva with your fingers / tongue / lips / toys, remember that the labias majora and minora, the vaginal entrance, the pereneum (between vagina and anus) are not made of stone! The whole vulva van be licked and kissed and sucked and nibbled and not the case that the clitoris once found must never be lost, but rather determinedly tongued till morn
Endeavour to discover whether you enjoy having your toes sucked, and enjoy this self-knowledge moving forward in life
Don’t be scared of rimming! Mid or immediately post-shower rimming is excellent for those with understandable fecal anxieties re ass-licking. “Worth getting over this anxiety” according to everyone, ever.
Read ‘Come as You Are’ by Emily Nagoski, whatever your/ your partners’ gender
Do a ‘yes / no / maybe’ list of sexy activities – this is a great way to communicate boundaries you weren’t necessarily aware of, and discover ways of sexual expression you didn’t even know you’re intrigued by / where you and your partners kinky parts overlap
Think about pleasure as coming in two broad varieties – direct and indirect. Direct pleasure is when you experience sensation directly on your body that feels good. Indirect pleasure is when you do something to someone else that causes them to experience pleasurable sensation (or at least seem like they are). Eg: it is directly pleasurable when someone strokes your skin in a way you enjoy, and indirectly pleasurable when your partner moans with pleasure because of how you’re stroking their skin. Reflect on your relationship to these different types of pleasure- do you feel anxious when receiving touch? Are you a ‘your pleasure is my pleasure’ kinda lover? Have you ever exaggerated your enjoyment during sex for a partner’s benefit? Ponder these things, and if you are intrigued google Betty Martin’s videos on the Wheel of Consent
Stop piving (penis-in-vagina-ing)! Or having penetrative sex of any kind! Or orgasming! However your sex usually culminates- BAN THAT THING and play with your sexy person / people with a whole different pace. Explore how differently you might go down on each other, for example, if doing so isn’t a precursor to anything else, nor an attempt to make them come. How does it feel different to shift the goals in your head / the expectations in the air of how your sex with each other is going to go?
Beth Simpson, Society and Community Editor
Header Image by the wonderful Beth!