4Men - Gay Relationships

Intimate and sometimes explicit advice and tips on the gay relationship and bedroom scene

Give And Take

By Alex James

Giving is receiving, as the saying goes. But in sex, it’s not always quite so straightforward.

Try to remember some of the most memorable sex you’ve had, the horny highlights that stick in your mind. Those experiences probably stand out because you were able to fully receive pleasure and give yourself 100 percent to those sensations. You weren’t trying to give and receive at the same time. Instead you were able to completely accept what was offered, and in doing so, the experience became much more pleasurable and intense.

This choice in sex is one we make all too rarely. We’re taught that sex should be about giving and receiving pleasure at the same time. But think about this logically and it’s clear we can’t fully enjoy our own pleasure when we’re simultaneously trying to give to our partner, who’s also trying to give to us! Giving our full attention to more than one thing at the same time is tricky — and this is as true for our sex lives as for anything else.

For most of us, it’s much easier to give than to receive. There’s the joy you get from seeing a loved one’s face light up as they open your gift, or the pleasure of cooking a delicious meal for friends. Giving is the easy part. But receiving can sometimes make us uncomfortable. It’s as though we’re hardwired to feel a bit guilty about taking pleasure without trying to give in return. But ironically, when it comes to sex, most of us get off on the idea of giving to a partner who’s totally enjoying themselves and able to fully go into their experience. Remember that the next time you get a twinge of guilt because your lover’s working hard for your benefit!

Most importantly, giving and receiving is not about who’s the ‘top’ or the ‘bottom’, who’s active or passive in the traditional sense. Receiving doesn’t mean lying back and thinking of an island holiday, drifting off or zoning out.

Conscious receiving means staying awake and present in the moment and with your partner. It’s also about setting your intentions and deciding who’s going to give and receive pleasure at which point, about asking for what you want and taking turns to either fully give or fully receive. That enables you to enjoy the experience of receiving without feeling guilty about whether your partner’s having as good a time as you are.

Remember that good oral skills are the key to great sex — and by oral skills, I’m not talking about whether you can tie your shoelaces with your own tongue. Communicate. Tell your partner what you like. Ask them to go a little harder or more gently. Tell them if you want less teeth and more tongue, don’t just think it.

Work together so you can experience pure giving and receiving. Then you can surrender totally — and enjoy true freedom and fulfilment in your sex life.

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