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

FKA twigs is back! The British singer released a new project titled Caprisongs following her 2019 album Magdalene and she took to Twitter to open up about the album’s inspiration while also explaining how it reignited her passion for music. In a series of tweets, the “Two Weeks” singer wrote about how she spent her time during the pandemic.

Keep reading... Show less
The daily empowerment fix you need.
Make things inbox official.

I’ve never been a foundation girl. Truthfully, I typically stay away from it because it can break out my skin, and it’s tough to find a shade that fits. I have yellow undertones with a sprinkle of hyperpigmentation from previous acne struggles. Foundations with yellow undertones don’t seem to have it all the way together yet. In my experience, the foundations always give banana-hued vibes. I usually purchase two foundations and mix to find my perfect shade, which isn’t always ideal for my wallet.

Keep reading... Show less

Have you been dreaming about your 2022 travel goals? If so, consider adding Mexico City to your list of ‘must-visit’ places. Mexico City is the perfect place for solo travelers. As a digital nomad, Mexico City has been one of my favorite places to work remotely from, build community, and explore all the unique neighborhoods.

Keep reading... Show less

So, it was about this time last year when I penned “12 Monthly Self-Love Themes That Will Make This Your Best Year Yet” for the site. And in the spirit of cultivating even more love, I thought it would be cool to create 12 themes, specifically for married couples — things that can help them to not just “stay married” but thrive and flourish within their union as well.

Keep reading... Show less

Have you ever had a dating, relationship, or hook-up experience that went so wrong you started questioning yourself? Is there something wrong with me? Did I somehow set the wrong expectation? Whether we want to admit it or not, a lot of us can identify with these feelings. That’s why I’m so happy that shows like Tracy Oliver’s Harlem exist to let us know we’re not alone.

Keep reading... Show less
Exclusive Interviews

Boris Kodjoe And Nicole Ari Parker Know “When To Bring Work Home” For Their New Film 'Safe Room'

The husband-and-wife dream team have found their sweet spot.

Latest Posts