Goal-Oriented Sex: If You Don’t Have An Orgasm, Is The Sex “Bad”?
Getty Images

Goal-Oriented Sex: If You Don’t Have An Orgasm, Is The Sex “Bad”?

The focus should always be pleasure.


Fairly recently on the site, one of our amazing writers, Shellie R. Warren penned a piece entitled, “So, 10 Women Sat Down And Told Me Why They Fake Orgasms...More Times Than Not.” The article sheds light on the fact that while we are very pro-orgasms at xoNecole, there are women out there who really feel the need to "fake it" during sex for one reason or another. When we shared this on our Instagram shortly thereafter, the general consensus in the comments seemed to be a lot of “sorry to this woman,” which is fair.

However, what intrigued me most about the feedback was the fact that so many commenters equated a lack of having an orgasm during sex to “bad sex.” Now, how the hell did those two things become one and the same?

Sex educator Portia Brown echoes that sentiment. In her teachings, she often informs people of how to replace goal-oriented sex with a more mindful approach to sex where pleasure is the center (or pleasure-oriented sex). And yes, ladies and gentlemen, making having an orgasm the goal of sex is a very limited way of looking at an act where mutual pleasure should be at the center.

Orgasms are splendid, wondrous things (in fact, my first vaginal orgasm was life-changing). Orgasms can very well be an outcome of partnered sex as well as solo sex. However, making it the focus and a marker of what is “good sex” versus what is “bad sex” can cause unnecessary stress, performance anxiety, frustration, self-esteem issues, and “sometimes makes orgasming more difficult for people with vulvas, especially those who are having sex with people with penises.” And who wants that?

As a mindful sex coach where breathing, pleasure, and connection reign supreme, Portia Brown takes us through the definition of goal-oriented sex, practicing mindfulness during sex, and sex as a co-creative experience.

Learn What Goal-Oriented Sex Is

“Goal-oriented sex is sex that centers orgasm(s) as the ultimate marker of success. Oftentimes people believe that sex cannot be ‘good’ unless it results in an orgasm. However, the truth is you can have very fulfilling sex that does not include an orgasm, and you can have unfulfilling sexual experiences that do include an orgasm.

“For women and people with vulvas, focusing on orgasming may result in orgasm becoming evasive. It serves us all more (regardless of gender or sex) to focus in on pleasure and feeling good.”

Unlearn The Concept Of Goal-Oriented Sex In Your Sex Life

“Start self-pleasuring and having sex without the intention of orgasming. See if you can spend 15-30 minutes engaging either with yourself or your partner without even worrying about [or] trying to orgasm. Focus solely on pleasure and how amazing you feel. Observe what comes up for you. I think you may find that sex has a lot more benefits than just orgasm.”

Practice Being Less In Your Head During Sex & More In The Moment

“All day long, our brains are making noise and distracting us, it is just what the brain does. If you find that you have a lot of distracting thoughts or if you feel you are ‘in your head’ during sex, check in with other parts of your life. Are you having the same struggles elsewhere? Try gently reminding yourself, ‘This is my brain doing its thing and making noise. My thoughts aren’t facts and my thoughts aren’t always relevant.’

"Breathe deeply and focus on your senses. With practice, focusing and being present becomes easier."

View Sex As A Co-Creative Experience Instead 

“We all have a ‘script’ that we follow when it comes to sex. This ‘script’ comes from media, porn, etc. When we co-create sex, we reject ‘the script’ and create our own experiences.

“We begin to discover the kind of sex we truly want to have with ourselves and our partners, which may mean:

  • Decentering penetrative sex;
  • Decentering orgasm;
  • Including toys, roleplay, other props;
  • Rejecting the concept of ‘foreplay’ and thinking of anything and everything as SEX.”

Understand That Nothing Is Wrong With You

"We live in a world where sex is all about the penis. The vulva and the clitoris are hardly ever centered in the way we are conditioned to have sex. Most of us do not have proper sex education and many of us are carrying sexual shame from our upbringings. There are a lot of things standing between you and your orgasm, so do not feel bad!

"Focus on exploring pleasure more (solo and with your partner), center honesty, and BREATHE! Breathing during sex is powerful and many of us have the habit of holding our breath and tensing up during sex."

Featured image by Getty Images

A Black man, R. Kelly, stands in a court room, wearing an orange jumpsuit with his hands handcuffed behind his back, accompanied by a police officer in a green uniform, bulletproof vest and gun.

*Editors note: this article contains information about sexual assault, child pornography and rape. Please read with care. If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). If you are thinking about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.

Keep reading...Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.
Halle Bailey Makes Her Red Carpet Debut With Boyfriend DDG: Here’s What We Know About Him

Halle Bailey and her boyfriend DDG are one of the cutest celebrity couples in the game right now. After confirming their relationship in March 2022, Halle, 22, and DDG, 24, made their red carpet debut as a couple over the weekend during the 2022 BET Awards. In an interview with Extra, The Little Mermaid star shared that she was “nervous” about their debut. “We’re like tryna figure out what we were going to wear. All this stuff,” she said. The couple matched each other’s fly with both wearing all-black outfits.

Keep reading...Show less
Here's Why You Should Ditch Fourth Of July And Have A Family Reunion Instead

“Who made the potato salad?” As summertime kicks off, this is the universal question that, without fail, will be asked at every barbeque and backyard kickback over the coming months. With the Fourth of July also nearing, summertime celebrations and cookouts will be in full force. However, as the tide begins to turn in this new day and age, more Black Americans are celebrating Juneteenth, instead of the Fourth of July, because, after all, there were still over 250,000 Black Americans enslaved in Galveston, Texas during this so-called Independence Day.

Keep reading...Show less
Fitness Influencer Sara Hunt Shares Her Favorite Ways To Enjoy Summer In Chicago

This post is in partnership with Toyota.

Whether it's the lazy afternoons spent laying out on the beach, or nights spent sipping cocktails at your local rooftop hangout, there are so many reasons to love and look forward to summer. It's a time for respite, fun in the sun, and adventure. But as any Chicagoan can tell you, there's something particularly special about "Summertime Chi." The vibes in the Windy City are on 100 when the temperatures rise, and the city literally comes alive in the most magical way.

Keep reading...Show less
Summer Walker Gets Honest About Motherhood And Her Child's Father: ‘I Wish I Paid More Attention’

When Summer Walker began gaining popularity with her debut album Over It, her personal life also took center stage. The “Body” singer worked on her first album with her now ex-boyfriend, producer London On Da Track, and they welcomed a daughter together, Princess Bubblegum. Their relationship was challenged by cheating rumors, and the 26-year-old found herself going back and forth with London’s exes on social media for consistently bashing the singer and the producer.

Keep reading...Show less
Exclusive Interviews
A Black woman looks into the camera and gives a closed-mouth smile. She's wearing a black turtleneck

Miss Diddy Kicks Off BET Awards Weekend With 'A Toast To Black Hollywood'

Her annual event to celebrate the culture has a new name and more intention than ever before

Latest Posts