How To Receive Pleasure

How To Receive Pleasure

Sarah Riccio

Do I look okay? Do I smell okay? Am I taking too long?

If you've ever felt awkward while receiving pleasure from a partner, you're not alone. Many of us have trouble relaxing and staying in the moment when we're the focus of sexual attention. We may love it, but we can't help but wonder if, somehow, we're doing it wrong. 

Let's talk about how to lie back and receive so both you (and your partner!) can enjoy your pleasure with minimal anxiety, tension, and distracting thoughts.  

How Can I Relax and Receive Pleasure?

I love this question because the truth is, there are a lot of tips out there for how to give pleasure, but few for how to gracefully be on the receiving end.  

There are a lot of reasons why you might feel embarrassed or uncomfortable receiving pleasure, including but not limited to:

  • Past trauma
  • Concern about giving up control
  • Body dysphoria
  • Guilt 
  • Performance anxiety
  • Fear of not being able to have an orgasm

Let's look at three things you can do to feel calmer and more mindful, as well as  some things your partner can do to make you feel comfortable and ready for pleasure. 

Learn more: How Do I Know If I Had An Orgasm?

Tip 1: Be Mindful

if overthinking is your main inhibitor, use all of your senses to help you stay rooted in the present moment. When your mind starts to wander or insecurities creep in, ask yourself:

  • What parts of your body feel good?
  • What does your partner's skin smell like?
  • What does your partner's breath sound like?
  • What is the sexiest thing you can see right now, on yourself or your partner?

Guide your focus toward what you see, hear, smell, taste and touch, or pick out one sensation specifically. Remember: arousal builds from what occurs at that moment. When you find yourself thinking about your to-do list, your appearance, or something that happened in the past, acknowledge it and bring yourself back to the sensations you're experiencing right now.

Learn more: What's My Lust Language?

Tip 2: Schedule Pleasure

If your main inhibitor is fear of giving up control, try scheduling pleasure sessions with your partner. When I say schedule, I mean quite literally pencil them into your schedule. This helps you carve out time for intimacy the way you do with other important events in your life. 

When those designated days of pleasure come, it can help to set a timer for yourself. For instance, on July 7th, I'm going to indulge in 15 dedicated minutes of receiving pleasure, during which I have no other job than to let myself feel good.

The idea is to set small, achievable pleasure goals for yourself. Setting a timer can also help remind you that being in control and allowing yourself to experience pleasure are not mutually exclusive. As you get more comfortable, you can extend those time limits and ultimately ditch the clock completely. 

Learn more: What Is Foreplay? 

Tip 3: Breathe

Now, I know this one sounds simple but hear me out. Conscious breathing is one of the most powerful things you can do to relax and allow sexual energy to move through your body. This isn't just based on my experience studies show that conscious breathing from the belly during intimacy heightens the sensations you feel by relaxing your muscles and boosting blood flow to your nether regions and the surface of your skin.

Not sure how to breathe consciously? Try breathing in for four seconds and out for four seconds. To help you stay blissfully in the moment, try this brief, easy exercise:

  • Ask your partner to put their hand on your chest
  • Put your hand on their chest in a similar position
  • Synchronize your breaths. Four seconds in, four seconds out

For this exercise, you can each close your eyes or look at each other, whichever you prefer. For me, this exercise was a game-changer in terms of my ability to focus on pleasure and feeling more in tune with my partner. 

Learn more: How to Have Better Sex More Often 

How Can I Help My Partner Receive? 

Are you a giver who wants to help your partner chill out and receive with less stress and insecurity? Here are some things you can do to make sure they're as comfortable receiving as possible.

Answer their unspoken questions

Many receivers get caught up in intrusive thoughts that detract from the stimulation at hand. They wonder if you're getting bored, like how they taste, or what you're thinking. So what can you do as the giver? Answer those questions before you get down to business. 

You're going to assure your partner that you love the way they taste and smell. It's your privilege to enjoy their body, from top to bottom. You don't care how long they take to finish because their pleasure is your pleasure. In fact, you hope they take their time. 

 Learn more: How To Eat Pussy Like a Pro

Reassure them during play

When you're in the moment, let your partner know how much you're enjoying yourself through moans of satisfaction and words of affirmation. Tell them how good they feel, taste, and look. A simple "I love seeing you like this" can go a long way toward reassuring them and making them feel desired. 

Ask for feedback

Check in during play and let them know their pleasure is your priority. You can ask things like:

  • Does this feel good?
  • Do you like this pressure or do you like it gentler?
  • What else can I do for you?

Asking for feedback helps keep them in the moment with you, and reminds them that you're thinking about their comfort and enjoyment just as much as they are about yours. Like so much in relationships, it all comes down to honest communication and caring about each other's experience. 

Learn more: How to Talk About Sex