I’d like to share a personal experience from a few days ago and what I discovered. I woke up early and sped off to the gym, determined to make the most of it, despite the cold and wet weather (snow in April?). I have learned that exercise is a great way to jump-start my day, loosen up my joints, and elevate my mood. While Spring cleaning recently, I found an iPod from back when I was dating my husband. While listening to it during my workout, I starting thinking about my husband, the fun we've had together, and the laughter we've shared. I also started fantasizing about the sex, and was getting pretty turned on. I had a really good workout.
I decided that I’d try to make it home before he started his workday and surprise him with a quickie, he really labored yesterday moving lumber so I planned to seduce him and do all the work as a “thank you” kind of thing. I walked in the door just in time to catch him in the bedroom after his shower, lucky me! He was into it. He didn't hesitate to start undressing me, peeling my sticky gym clothes off and kissing my salty neck. Normally, I would want to shower first but this was getting hot and heavy fast so I went with it, still intending to be the “seductress” once we were naked. You know that feeling of confidence we women get when we know we are desired and in control? I had that, and even though my post workout appearance wasn't as glamorous as I would have liked, I felt sexy and beautiful… I felt empowered!
So, now we are on the bed and I'm on top. Yes the bed, after all the hours of testing the Archer, for us, the bed is spontaneous sometimes. Things were going great and then I feel this slight burning in my hip, it wasn't too bad so I just shifted my body weight a little bit and it felt better so I keep going. Unfortunately, that little distraction was the point where things went from sexy to sad. I started thinking about my achy joints, wondering…if he noticed I had pain…if it was a turn off for him…does he think I’m too old? I quickly lost focus and wasn't “in the moment” any longer. My insecurities had crept in, I just couldn't regain my confidence. I couldn't get out of my own head. I tried harder by adding more enthusiasm and increasing the stimulation level but I kept sinking into the memory foam mattress and every attempt to bounce felt like I was jumping in the sand at the beach…ugh! Have you ever tried jumping up and down in the sand? No wonder beach volleyball athletes are in such great physical shape! Well, I’m not nearly as athletic as I once was and this really tired me out. I became more and more distracted. Insecure thoughts flooded my head, I was afraid I looked “clumsy,” out of shape, unattractive! My self esteem was waning!
Ok, ok, I understand not all sex is great sex and some sex is just mediocre, but why did this happen to me? I love this man. I’m attracted to this man. I crave intimacy but here we are, naked and making love, but I didn’t feel aroused like I should. Why…it started out that way? Is this normal for a woman? Sure, I know guys are pretty straightforward when it comes to sexual response and they’re usually really simple to please so I don't know why I put so much pressure on myself today. I’d hoped to share something special with him today but instead it turned into emotional and physical work for me. Hubby seemed happy enough and didn't suggest anything was wrong but I felt terrible afterwards. What’s wrong with me, and can I fix it?
Instead of letting it get to me I decided to do some research and see if I could figure out why this happened and if other women experience the same thing. Never mind the initial joint pain that distracted me, I understand what’s happening there, I wanted to know why the thoughts in my head were present and why they hindered me sexually, ultimately turning me off.
The oldest and most well known model of female sexual response, the one that many of us, myself included, base our view of “normal” on, comes from Masters and Johnson in the 1960’s, notice I didn’t say correct. It is a linear model progressing from desire, excitement, orgasm, to resolution based on the amount of stimulation present. (Think about a man, if you make him feel good enough, long enough, he’s going to orgasm no matter what distractions exist.) Medical professionals assumed that women worked the same as men, with the exception of allowing for multiple orgasms before resolution, thanks for the bonus, but that can lead to a lot of women feeling broken.
It was this outdated view of “normal” that put these thoughts in my head: Well that seems simple enough, doesn't it, just make it feel good…What happened to me after the excitement? I had desire, I was aroused, it felt really good, but the orgasm and resolution part eluded me, why?…What’s wrong with me? Absolutely nothing, and the answer to that question motivated me to share my embarrassing experience with you here on my blog and the information I found because of it.
Since the beginning of this century, there has been much more research conducted concerning the complexities of the female sexual response cycle. Two predominant models have emerged, the first by John DeLamater and the second by Rosemary Basson.
1) Biopsychosocial Model - Integrates multiple etiologic factors and determinants. The integration and input of all these components are essential for sexual response.
2) Circular Model - In some women, sexual satisfaction, not orgasm, appears to be the focus.
Both models confirm that that the sexual responses I experienced during my after-gym loving were completely normal. Due to the complexities of the female psyche, our sexual response is not as straightforward as many expect it to be.
To relate these findings to my struggle in the bedroom earlier, let’s begin with the Biopsychosocial Model. In my case, biology was obviously the trigger. My physical limitations (sore hip) immediately distracted me, shifting my focus from pleasure to pain. This in turn introduced performance anxiety psychologically, I just didn’t know how long I could keep going. We’ve all felt this at some point, I think…haven’t we? My outdated concept of the “normal” female sexual response was a sociocultural stressor. My first marriage was to a real turd so my negative experiences there also influenced my thoughts interpersonally. As for the circular model, the last step says it all, “If the mind continues to process…”. Ladies, our mind controls our pleasure, anything that distracts the mind can prevent sexual satisfaction.
So, in a nutshell, I thought I was crazy today. I felt like I was the only person in the world struggling with “normal” sexual response until I did some research and discovered that I am quite normal. Yes, I have some issues, don’t we all? But I’m not crazy or broken, and I suspect you’re not either! Remember, the female sexual response cycle is very complicated so cut yourself some slack, I know I will after learning more on the topic. We are all unique. We all have a lifetime of experiences that we bring to the bedroom, and it takes TIME to understand, accept and overcome some of the negatives so be patient with yourselves, and embrace the positives.
This seems like an appropriate time for me to put on my sales hat and transition into the positives of using the Bowchair and how I, personally, have benefited from it’s creation and use compared to lovemaking in a traditional setting like the bed or chaise.
As my husband stated in our “about us” section of this website, many years of high impact sports in my youth has severely affected my ability to achieve and maintain the proper position in which to experience true sexual gratification. My knees, hips and back just can't take the abuse any longer. This clearly coincides with the biology portion of the Biopsychosocial model presented above. I’m delighted to say this was easily resolved by using the Archer because of it’s leaf spring design that provides assisted bounce without fatigue. It also allows me to have more control of my pelvic angle which ultimately leads to better sex and better sex is always appreciated! The psychology makes perfect sense when I compare today’s attempt with previous sessions, as well. My mind is not on how I'm performing or if I can maintain, my anxiety level never escalates when using the Bowchair. I know I'm in control and can use the vertical and cyclical motion to enhance my pleasure as well as keep him stimulated and engaged. Having fun instead of worrying about whether or not I'm going to run out of steam or look clumsy has really increased my confidence, too, leading to a healthier state of mind. As for the sociocultural and interpersonal portions of the model, I can totally understand how these impact me as an adult. I was raised by older parents with a completely different viewpoint on what’s “normal” and “acceptable” and often feel I have to hide my interest in sexual activity. When I was young, I felt embarrassed by this and struggled to hide my sexuality from them. I developed quite a paranoia for any sex related noises. Since the Bowchair is completely silent, I enjoy making love to my husband without stressing that anyone can hear us. I love that my husband understands that this is a big issue for me and finding a solution has proven to bring us closer both emotionally and physically.
I thank you for taking the time to read more about my struggles and I invite you to explore our website further and see why the Bowchair may be right for you in your journey towards superior sexual satisfaction. If you have something you’d like to share or if you’d like suggest a topic, feel free to drop me a line or post a comment for other readers to see in the comment section at the end of this blog.
Links to the original research sources for this article: