When Sexual Vulnerability Empowers You

November 27, 2019

In the right circumstances, sexual vulnerability leads to sexual bliss.

When you read the words “sexual vulnerability,” what do you feel? For many of us, it triggers our innate gag reflex, and we think “sexual abuse.” Many courageous women have come forward in the recent past to educate us about the ways sexual vulnerability can be exploited by men in power. And while women are the primary victims of such abuse, they certainly are not the only ones. Thinking about it makes us sick. And in our efforts to contain and ultimately eradicate this devastation, women are cultivating their fierceness. Strong women are safe women. And safe is good.

Except when it’s not. As a sex therapist discussing the intimate details of women’s sex lives for hours every day, I am often immersed in both the advantages and the disadvantages of female sexual fierceness.

But it’s the disadvantages that can easily be misunderstood by women and men today. When women are determined to avoid feeling vulnerable in the context of a trusting, respectful long-term intimate relationship, passion and great sex are easy casualties.

Vulnerability in general, and sexual vulnerability in particular, is a key element of great sex. After all, it is when we are vulnerable that we bring down any barriers we have between us and our lover. Being vulnerable means showing up as our most authentic, unprotected self. It creates those tender, exquisite moments in love-making when we are seen for who we are, and accepted. When our most personal selves are embraced, it can form the most healing, powerful moments of our entire romance.

Take a moment and consider your own experience. Can you identify your most memorable, fabulous sex? Perhaps you were trying something outside of your comfort zone, or engaging with a lover you knew well but who still remained mysterious in some captivating way. You offered your body or emotions to your lover in a way that felt risky, and resulted in an exquisite adrenaline rush. You allowed yourself to be seen in some kind of elemental, very private, and tender way. It’s a connection that occurs in a place beyond thought—much deeper than we can achieve in even intimate conversation. In a word, you allowed yourself to be vulnerable.

And what about your least memorable sex? We’ve all had sex that was boring, and hardly worth the effort. In those situations, your vulnerability was nowhere to be found.

Vulnerability is also essential because it impacts the sexual dance between you and your partner. In general, the more sexually directive you become, the more likely your partner is to follow you. The more vulnerable you become, the more your partner will take the lead. In this way, what you bring to your sexual experience has a lot to do with how your partner responds to you. Thus, your sexual fierceness is a powerful tool in your sexual toolbox, and unless it closes your heart (which fierceness is capable of doing) it can result in an exciting, invigorating romp with your lover. Both you and your partner will enjoy that side of you.

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