Carli Blau doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to talking about sex. Whether you know her on Instagram as @sexdoccarli, as a therapist or even in the field, Carli is big on telling it like it is. She uses her experience in sex education and clinical sex therapy to help all of us discuss more around the topic that may feel taboo to talk about. Whether you have a sex life or not, the curiosity still remains — “am I good kisser? How do I know what I want? When will I know there’s chemistry? Am I having sex too much or not enough?” Trust us, you’re not the only one!
WE’RE NOT ALL IN SYNC IN THE BEDROOM
For every moment in the bedroom, it takes two. With every person, there are preferences and with every preference, there are differences. Let’s take kissing, for example. Jessica thinks that kissing is foreshadowing what things could be like further down the line, but if you get there and you’re not in sync, “you realize you’re really not sexually compatible at all. You feel like you were misled because the kissing was so good.”
When starting with someone new, there’s only so much you can do when it comes to giving direction. It’s challenging to try and direct someone to do things the way you like it when you’re not entirely comfortable with them yet. But at some point, if they aren’t following the map you gave them – you may as well just kick them to the curb. Ultimately you want a partner that is invested enough to want to know what pleasures you most. If they seem stuck on doing things the way they know how or the way they’re used to doing it because that’s how their previous partners wanted it, then move on. It could be a lack of sexual chemistry or a lack of willingness on their part to learn your preferences, but either way, Carli says you just have to face the fact that it’s not going to work.
BODY COUNT AND EXPLORATION WITH MASTURBATION – LET’S BREAK THE NEGATIVE STIGMAS AROUND SEX
No matter which way you see it, there are always going to be societal pressures about whether you’re having sex or not. Although there is a lot more sexual freedom for younger women, those over the age of 30 may feel more of the backlash. For example, when it comes to the number of sexual partners you’ve had, Carly emphasizes that it’s not something you should feel obligated to tell anyone. Like it or not, there still is judgment around that number from some people of a certain generation, and you shouldn’t have to feel like you must disclose that information because a number can be totally misconstrued with no context. In fact, it’s something Carli feels pretty strongly about not being pressured to talk about. She says if someone asks you how many people you’ve been with and they don’t like the answer, too bad. “You have no right to tell somebody what kind of sexual experience or activity that they’re able to engage in, especially in their past. Someone’s not worthy of dating you because they’ve been sexually explorational with X amount of people? Who the fuck are you?”
Besides just having sex, the stigma around masturbation is also still taboo to many. But this is 2022, people, and it’s crucial that everyone knows what they want and need to get off. Being the open, straight-shooter that she is, Carli is making sure to teach her young children about having sex and the importance of doing so. Not many are taught how to have sex, let alone, masturbate, and she knows having these conversations naturally and unabashedly when they’re young will be beneficial in the long run. Is it easy? Not necessarily. But hey, look at the bright side: Carli laughs that one perk will be that you won’t need to scrub down the wall behind your son’s bed frame if he knows that cumming in a sock is his best bet.
HOW DO YOU GET OUT OF YOUR HEAD IN BED?
We’ve all been there. Getting your mind to relax and catch up to the readiness of your body doesn’t always happen at the exact same time. You may meet someone and get to a point that you want to have sex with them, but the mental anxiety some of us have is real. The first step in shaking off that mental block is learning and knowing what you like and letting that influence you. If that means having sex on the first date, then so be it, but being confident that the night will go how you want it won’t guarantee the outcome that you hope for. T.H. says it can actually go totally differently, because sex may only cause you to lust more for the other person, almost becoming like a leech. Because you had sex, you may feel connected with them – but what if they don’t feel that way with you?
In order to get into a state of strength and confidence, you need to be either on a journey of self-love or already know what it means to understand your own worth. Take the time to build up those qualities in yourself, which you can do through therapy, or even just having someone close that you can confide in. Carli believes having this kind of an outlet is so important and necessary in feeling more comfortable in your own skin. The old cliche is true, “how can you love someone if you don’t even love yourself?” And don’t ignore the real fact that if you don’t love who you are, it’s going to be hard for you to accept when someone else does.
DON’T BE IGNORANT TO THE RED FLAGS
Sex is obviously different for everyone, as are people’s individual turn-ons. For some, certain kinks may be a no right off the bat. The interesting thing is that something you like that you think is fairly “normal” may be considered a kink to someone else. But shaming someone’s kinks is not the way to start, even if you’re not particularly a fan of what it is. The point is to be in situations where you are comfortable enough with the person that these are things you can talk about, so that you can have a conversation about it before it happens. And no matter what, if anything they suggest or want to do or makes you uncomfortable, speak up!
TO ORGASM OR NOT TO ORGASM
To Jessica, faking an orgasm is her way of ending a sexual experience that may not be going in the direction she wants it to. She admits it hasn’t come to that very often, but the truth is, sometimes you get to the point where you’re just not loving the experience as much as you should be, and it may very well be because the sexual compatibility just isn’t really there. It’s ok to not finish! And at the end of the day, faking it isn’t helping anyone – not you or them. It’s not helping you because you’re preventing a possible opportunity to finish another way (if you want to), and it’s not helping them because if it’s someone you like and want to keep seeing, you’ve now given them the impression that whatever they were doing was great.
Carli says it’s so important for people to know – especially women – that a lot of women don’t actually orgasm every time, or even any time. Or she says maybe intercourse isn’t the way a woman can orgasm because they may need more direct stimulation from fingers or a tongue. The question is, how do you handle things if you know you’re not actually going to finish with the big-O? Carly has heard enough stories to know that a lot of us are in our own heads, “it’s like you kind of don’t know what to do. Do you keep trying? Are you like, okay, look, we’re not sexually compatible? Or is it that you’re so caught up in your own head with all of your own psychological bullshit body issues, self consciousness, that that’s what’s preventing you?” There are so many things that prevent an orgasm, but unfortunately a lot of women just are not able to finish. And that’s totally common, so don’t worry that there’s something wrong with you.
Carli even openly shares that it takes a lot for her personally to orgasm from sex, whether orally or vaginally. So everyone should know that sometimes it has absolutely nothing to do with your partner, and maybe is more about just re-leveling with your baseline. She says if you start comparing what others did for you in the past, for lack of a better term, “you’re fucked.” What worked with one person may not be the same with your new partner. This is why communication and vulnerability is key in these intimate moments to show what you need during sex. Carli preaches that there’s bravery in making suggestions like, “you know what, why don’t I show you what I do? Or hey, can I grab my vibrator? Would you kiss me while I touch myself?”
If you feel like you’re struggling with getting back in the sex game after divorce, you are definitely not the only one. That struggle can come in many forms – you’re self-conscious, nervous, timid, embarrassed, aren’t sure you’re “good”, worried you may not satisfy your new partner, or haven’t had an orgasm before. Carly says the good news is, your vagina isn’t broken! Be kind and gentle with yourself, you’re still very much capable of having the kind of sex that you want, you just have to make the moves to get there.