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Yeah So…What If You Hate The Sex Positions That He Likes?

Not every sex position works for everyone, chile.

Sex

While doing an interview not too long ago, I was asked how I come up with some of the topics that I write about. The interviewer described them as "Things that folks think about but never really get to read about." Personally, I take that as a high compliment because that is exactly what serves as my inspiration. As a writer, I spend a heck of a lot of time reading and, when I can't find what I wish I could, I usually say to myself, "Shoot, I'll write it then." And when it comes to the topic of sex, I can speak from once-upon-a-time very personal experience what it's like to enjoy a sexual partner for the most part and yet sometimes, not really want to have sex with them because he's always trying to put me in a position that I'm simply not interested in.

If you just did a double take and then heard yourself say, "That part", I'm glad that this resonates with you in some way because sex needs to be great on every level. And since sexual positions play a huge and pivotal role in the act itself, let's do a little exploring on how to handle it if you truly are sick and tired of trying to maneuver your way out of sexual positions that you really don't like all that much to begin with. For whatever the reason.

Have You Always Hated Those Sex Positions? If So, What’s the Reasoning Behind It?

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The thing that's interesting about sex positions is there truly is not a one-size-fits all to them. Meaning, they are totally up to the individual. That's why I find myself sometimes rolling my eyes whenever I read articles that say that doggy style is a must-do or throwing your legs over your partner's shoulder is the absolute bomb. TMI maybe, but it's whatever. Doggy style is cool to me, but in all honesty, I can live without it. Traditionally, I like eye contact and the penetration from that angle isn't actually the way I would prefer to feel it. And legs pinned all back 'n stuff? The older one gets, the more challenging that can be (and shoot, I used to be on a gymnastics-like team!). So, while I wouldn't say that I hate either of them, I can't say that I'm gonna write a ton of articles singing their praises either.

However, there are some other positions that I kinda loathe. Like the wheelbarrow. So, you really want me to hold up my own body weight while you're moving all around and you think that I can focus on that and climaxingat the same time? What in the world, dude? Or caboosing (when a man is sitting up and you back your body into him while also sitting up). OK, maybe it seems good in theory, yet I feel like I'm just gonna break, umm, something if I'm—well, we're—not careful.

I could go on, yet I think you get my point. You might hate a sexual position for reasons similar to what I just shared. Or maybe it's something a little deeper like you have bad memories of one from a past relationship or experience. Perhaps certain positions cause you to feel more self-conscious when it comes to your body image.

The reason why getting to the root of your disdain is so important is because it's not good enough to take on the "I dunno. I just don't like it" stance, especially when your partner feels the complete opposite. The reality is that none of us hate something for absolutely no reason. Knowing the trigger cause can bring about some clarity, some resolve and maybe even some compromise.

This brings me to the next point.

Most Sex Positions Can Be Modified. Have You Tried?

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Lawd. It seems like every partner I've had has wanted to throw my legs to the back of the wall. I recall asking one of them why that seemed like such a big deal. You know what's a trip? He said that he assumed all women liked it that way because men could get in deeper in that position. See, this is the reason why sexual communication is so essential. If you're out here doing stuff to me out of comparison or assumption, that's a definite way to misfire, more times than not. On the other hand, when I find out that a guy likes a position that isn't my favorite and it's for his own sake and pleasure, typically what I'll do is try and modify it. Back to doggy style. Although I do prefer eye contact positions, there are a couple of exceptions. Like, have you ever seen two cats have sex? It's basically just like doggy style only they tend to be on their stomachs rather than their knees. Some folks call that position the flatiron. Whatever it is, it feels awesome (to me) and it's definitely a modification of going the doggy route; only now, I don't have to keep fidgeting with my arms and/or worrying about if my arch is just right. Or say that your partner really likes sex while you're standing up and you would prefer to take a hard pass on it. If you get up on the edge of a counter or the dryer (while the cycle is on in order to catch the vibrations), that could be a happy medium for you both.

The bottom line here is the best lovers know how to compromise. Not only that, they're not interested in doing something solely for their own benefit if their partner isn't getting fulfilled, on some level, by it. So, while you shouldn't continue to do anything that isn't satisfying (and definitely not something that is painful or uncomfortable), do consider how you can "meet him halfway" on some positions by making a few adjustments. Doing so might end up catching you off guard, in some of the best ways possible.

Don’t “Fake Tolerate” Positions You Don't Like. Discuss.

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Just this morning, a friend of mine and I were talking about the importance of authenticity. At the end of the day, being authentic is about being real and a woman by the name of Janet Louis Stephenson once said, "Authenticity requires vulnerability, transparency and integrity." Show you right. I am a huge fan of being authentic which is why I am absolutely not a fan of faking it, on any level, when it comes to sex. A couple of years back, I wrote an article for the platform about why (you can check it out here). One of the main reasons is because faking it is not being honest with your partner and if you're not telling the truth, how is sex supposed to get any better? And sex—it should always be improving upon itself.

That's why, I don't care if it's because you feel self-conscious, talking about it seems "awkward" or you think it will hurt your partner's feelings or that he'll take it too personally—if you keep having sex in positions that you don't enjoy, don't fake it and act like you do. What tends to happen via that approach is you end up resenting him for not pleasing you and he either keeps on thinking everything is fine or he starts to feel some sense of detachment because you don't seem to be as "into it" as he is.

While we're on this point, I really want to make sure that couples in long-term relationships keep this in mind. I've worked with some wives who've been faking sexual pleasure for most of their marriage. They fake an orgasm, wait for their man to fall asleep and then go somewhere else to masturbate. Uh-uh. You deserve to be just as sexually elated and fulfilled as your partner. Still, he's not a mind-reader. He shouldn't be expected to figure out if it's "all good" or not. You need to speak up and tell him (check out "9 Sex-Related Questions You & Your Partner Should Ask Each Other. Tonight.").

Yes, You Can Grow to Like Certain Positions in Time.

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Aight. You know what I think can nip a lot of this in the bud? Trying new sexual positions. I will never stop saying that one of the biggest challenges when it comes to sex (especially in long-term relationships) is making sure that you and yours don't end up being bored to tears. Well, when it comes to sexual positions specifically, even if there are some that he likes and you don't, who said that the focus needs to remain in that sexual cul-de-sac? I don't know any man who isn't down for adventures of the sexual kind, so why not make the time to check out articles like Women's Health's "This Is What Your Sex-Position Bucket List Should Look Like" (which features 46 positions and illustrations) or the book "Sex Positions: Sex: The Top 100 Sex Positions to Try Before You Die"?

Another tip? Pardon the pun but, stay open. Because a lot of us came into our current sexual situation with our own level of baggage, sometimes we take on the attitude that what we don't like, we never will, when the reality is that sometimes, a different partner can make the same experience totally different. You simply need to relax, not overthink or be willing to explore how your present could end up being very different from your past.

Sexual positions need to be about discovering which ones bring the most mutual pleasure, the most consistently. This requires trial and error, patience and again, a willingness to compromise. Life is too short to be out here hating positions and ultimately, not liking sex as much as you could—and should. Hopefully, these tips will make it all a lil' better. Or at least help you to have more fun trying. #wink

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You may not know her by Elisabeth Ovesen – writer and host of the love, sex and relationships advice podcast Asking for a Friend. But you definitely know her other alter ego, Karrine Steffans, the New York Times best-selling author who lit up the literary and entertainment world when she released what she called a “tell some” memoir, Confessions of a Video Vixen.

Her 2005 barn-burning book gave an inside look at the seemingly glamorous world of being a video vixen in the ‘90s and early 2000s, and exposed the industry’s culture of abuse, intimidation, and misogyny years before the Me Too Movement hit the mainstream. Her follow-up books, The Vixen Diaries (2007) and The Vixen Manual: How To Find, Seduce And Keep The Man You Want (2009) all topped the New York Times best-seller list. After a long social media break, she's back. xoNecole caught up with Ovesen about the impact of her groundbreaking book, what life is like for her now, and why she was never “before her time”– everyone else was just late to the revolution.

xoNecole: Tell me about your new podcast Asking for a Friend with Elisabeth Ovesen and how that came about.

Elisabeth Ovesen: I have a friend who is over [at Blavity] and he just asked me if I wanted to do something with him. And that's just kinda how it happened. It wasn't like some big master plan. Somebody over there was like, “Hey, we need content. We want to do this podcast. Can you do it?” And I was like, “Sure.” And that's that. That was around the holidays and so we started working on it.

xoNecole: Your life and work seem incredibly different from when you first broke out on the scene. Can you talk a bit about the change in your career and how your life is now?

EO: Not that different. I mean my life is very different, of course, but my work isn't really that different. My life is different, of course, because I'm 43. My career started when I was in my 20s, so we're looking at almost 20 years since the beginning of my career. So, naturally life has changed a lot since then.

I don’t think my career has changed a whole lot – not as far as my writing is concerned, and my stream of consciousness with my writing, and my concerns and the subject matter hasn’t changed much. I've always written about interpersonal relationships, sexual shame, male ego fragility, respectability politics – things like that. I always put myself in the center of that to make those points, which I think were greatly missed when I first started writing. I think that society has changed quite a bit. People are more aware. People tell me a lot that I have always been “before my time.” I was writing about things before other people were talking about that; I was concerned about things before my generation seemed to be concerned about things. I wasn't “before my time.” I think it just seems that way to people who are late to the revolution, you know what I mean?

I retired from publishing in 2015, which was always the plan to do 10 years and retire. I was retired from my pen name and just from the business in general in 2015, I could focus on my business, my education and other things, my family. I came back to writing in 2020 over at Medium. The same friend that got me into the podcast, actually as the vice president of content over at Medium and was like, “Hey, we need some content.” I guess I’m his go-to content creator.

xoNecole: Can you expound on why you went back to your birth name versus your stage name?

EO: No, it was nothing to expound upon. I mean, writers have pen names. That’s like asking Diddy, why did he go by Sean? I didn't go back. I've always used that. Nobody was paying attention. I've never not been myself. Karrine Steffans wrote a certain kind of book for a certain kind of audience. She was invented for the urban audience, particularly. She was never meant to live more than 10 years. I have other pen names as well. I write under several names. So, the other ones are just nobody's business right now. Different pen names write different things. And Elisabeth isn’t my real name either. So you'll never know who I really am and you’ll never know what my real name is, because part of being a writer is, for me at least, keeping some sort of anonymity. Anything I do in entertainment is going to amass quite a bit because who I am as a person in my private life isn't the same a lot of times as who I am publicly.

xoNecole: I want to go back to when you published Confessions of a Video Vixen. We are now in this time where people are reevaluating how the media mistreated women in the spotlight in the 2000s, namely women like Britney Spears. So I’d be interested to hear how you feel about that period of your life and how you were treated by the media?

EO: What I said earlier. I think that much of society has evolved quite a bit. When you look back at that time, it was actually shocking how old-fashioned the thinking still was. How women were still treated and how they're still treated now. I mean, it hasn't changed completely. I think that especially for the audience, I think it was shocking for them to see a woman – a woman of color – not be sexually ashamed.

I hate being like other people. I don't want to do what anyone else is doing. I can't conform. I will not conform. I think in 2005 when Confessions was published, that attitude, especially about sex, was very upsetting. Number one, it was upsetting to the men, especially within urban and hip-hop culture, which is built on misogyny and thrives off of it to this day. And the women who protect these men, I think, you know, addressing a demographic that is rooted in trauma that is rooted in sexual shame, trauma, slavery of all kinds, including slavery of the mind – I think it triggered a lot of people to see a Black woman be free in this way.

I think it said a lot about the people who were upset by it. And then there were some in “crossover media,” a lot of white folks were upset too, not gonna lie. But to see it from Black women – Tyra Banks was really upset [when she interviewed me about Confessions in 2005]. Oprah wasn't mad [when she interviewed me]. As long as Oprah wasn’t mad, I was good. I didn't care what anybody else had to say. Oprah was amazing. So, watching Black women defend men, and Black women who had a platform, defend the sexual blackmailing of men: “If you don't do this with me, you won't get this job”; “If you don't do this in my trailer, you're going to have to leave the set”– these are things that I dealt with.

I just happened to be the kind of woman who, because I was a single mother raising my child all by myself and never got any help at all – which I still don't. Like, I'm 24 in college – not a cheap college either – one of the best colleges in the country, and I'm still taking care of him all by myself as a 21-year-old, 20-year-old, young, single mother with no family and no support – I wasn’t about to say no to something that could help me feed my son for a month or two or three.

xoNecole: We are in this post-Me Too climate where women in Hollywood have come forward to talk about the powerful men who have abused them. In the music industry in particular, it seems nearly impossible for any substantive change or movement to take place within music. It's only now after three decades of allegations that R. Kelly has finally been convicted and other men like Russell Simmons continue to roam free despite the multiple allegations against him. Why do you think it's hard for the music industry to face its reckoning?

EO: That's not the music industry, that's urban music. That’s just Black folks who make music and nobody cares about that. That's the thing; nobody cares...Nobody cares. It's not the music industry. It's just an "urban" thing. And when I say "urban," I say that in quotations. Literally, it’s a Black thing, where nobody gives a shit what Black people do to Black people. And Russell didn't go on unchecked, he just had enough money to keep it quiet. But you know, anytime you're dealing with Black women being disrespected, especially by Black men, nobody gives a shit.

And Black people don't police themselves so it doesn't matter. Why should anybody care? And Black women don't care. They'll buy an R. Kelly album right now. They’ll stream that shit right now. They don’t care. So, nobody cares. Nobody cares. And if you're not going to police yourself, then nobody's ever going to care.

xoNecole: Do you have any regrets about anything you wrote or perhaps something you may have omitted?

EO: Absolutely not. No. There's nothing that I wish I would've gone back and said to myself, no. I don’t think at 20-something years old, I'm supposed to understand every little thing. I don't think the 20-something-year-old woman is supposed to understand the world and know exactly what she's doing. I think that one of my biggest regrets, which isn't my regret, but a regret, is that I didn't have better parents. Because a 20-something only knows what she knows based on what she’s seen and what she’s been taught and what she’s told. I had shitty parents and a horrible family. Just terrible. These people had no business having children. None of them. And a lot of our families are like that. And we may pass down those familial curses.

*This interview has been edited and condensed

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Feature image courtesy of Elisabeth Ovesen

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