Being Too Goal-Oriented In Your Sex Life May Be Fizzling Out Your Passion

Often when we think about sex, our brain immediately goes to orgasms. Intercourse, after all, in regard to evolution and biology is about the orgasm — at least for the person with the penis — so separating the two concepts can be difficult for some. The problem with not seeing the two as different entities means that if you have any type of sex, and one or both partners don't reach the goal — the orgasm — then there can be disappointment for both parties, as well as possible shame that you failed. But you actually didn't fail at all; you're just too focused on something that doesn't even need to be part of the sexual equation to be enjoyable.


"Because the male orgasm is crucial to procreate, our society has built this idea that the male orgasm is crucial for sex; that sex begins with a hard penis and ends with a flaccid penis," certified intimacy educator Shan Boodram tells The Zoe Report. "Since women don't have to orgasm to create life, it took a different level of societal importance. With that said, the majority of sex today has nothing to do with the desire to procreate. In fact, the orgasm numbers for women skyrocket in same-sex partnerships compared to heterosexual relationships."

It's this societal importance on the orgasm that has added to goal-oriented sex which can create stress and sex-related anxiety. It's also why your sex life might fizzle out your passion. But there are other reasons why, too. 


You're missing out on the journey

From the first kiss to the cuddles and after-care needed to help combat postcoital dysphoria, sex is a journey. And like any journey, you're never really sure what's on the road ahead or what will be at the end — and that's a good thing. You want to be surprised, you want to steer clear of doing the same things over and over again, and you don't want to be staring at the finish line when you've barely started your adventure.


"Orgasms feel good," sexologist Marla Renee Stewart explained to Healthline. "So once you've experienced [one], it's a pretty natural response to want to achieve that great feeling over and over and over again."

Although no truer statement has ever been said in regard to orgasms, it still shouldn't be a goal. You don't have a certain number of orgasms that you need to use before they expire. There will always be future orgasms, so take a breath and enjoy the journey.

You're too fixated on orgasms

If we take orgasms out of the equation, then we'd all be more relaxed when it comes to sex. Instead, we'd allow ourselves to truly and deeply enjoy the pleasure involved, every drop of it, instead of waiting for that moment when you say to your partner, "I'm coming."


"If you look at sex like, how good can I feel for as long as I want to feel it and for as long as my partner wants to feel it, great," certified intimacy educator Shan Boodram told The Zoe Report. "And if an orgasm is the final result, even better. But if it's just that you got more play time and felt great and relaxed, it's still a successful sexual experience."

Success doesn't equal orgasm, nor does orgasm equal success. Success is having a good time with your partner. It's about being open, vulnerable, communicative, and having fun. If you experience all of that, then you'll know you had a good sexual experience. 

You're not in the moment

In our culture, it's so hard to get out of our heads and into the moment — not just during sex but in a lot of situations. If your brain is someplace else and you're just going through the motions of having sex, waiting for you and your partner to orgasm, you're missing out. It's here that mindful sex becomes key.


"The same motions can become different when you take a moment to turn your senses on . . . Notice the feelings of your partner's hands holding you and mouth tasting you," therapist and relationship coach Michelle Mouhtis, LCSW expressed via Women's Health. "It immediately grounds you in the moment."

When we bring mindfulness to our sex life, it not only puts us smack dab in the middle of the moment, but our awareness is heightened and, in turn, heightens the way we experience pleasure and take it all in.

You have a narrow understanding of the word sex

It's important to realize that sex is an umbrella term for a whole boatload of sexual acts ' including outercourse. Although straight cis couples tend to equate sex with intercourse only, that's definitely not the only type of sex. Sex is, well, everything that's sex-related and because of this, different people define sex in different ways based on their sexual preferences.


"When we equate intercourse and sex and call everything that comes before intercourse 'foreplay,' we are buying into the cultural script that sex should proceed as follows: foreplay (just enough to get her ready for intercourse), intercourse (during which both women and men orgasm), and game over," therapist and author of "Becoming Cliterate" Laurie Mintz expressed to CNN.

But that's just not how things are supposed to work. Once you break out of what you think sex is and really explore sexual acts on a deeper level, it won't just open up a world of intimate possibilities, but your mind will be blown in the process.

You forget to enjoy pleasure

Sex is about pleasure! It's about two people (or more) together in an intimate setting in which pleasure is the whole point, not an orgasm. And because our biggest sexual organ is technically our brain, that pleasure should be a full-body experience that's felt head-to-toe and everywhere in between. 


"It's upsetting that the way that we talk about pleasure is very much isolated to the physical experience," founder of Ohnut Emily Sauer said (per Bustle). "And we don't talk about pleasure as it's related to our bodies combined with our emotions and mental health."

Learning how to enjoy pleasure, without any goals in mind, settles the brain from facing any sex-related anxiety. As Sauer points out, it has an impact on emotional and mental health. Because of this, we want that impact to be positive. Enjoy the ride, so to speak, and don't look beyond the in-the-moment pleasure.

You're not communicating with your partner

When you're so set on your goal to have a perfect sexual experience, you don't openly communicate with your partner about your wants and needs. Instead, you have your brain on one thing: perfection and the idea that perfect sex results in an orgasm for both partners. You just can't do this. Even if you don't orgasm, you need to speak up and let your partner know what feels good, what feels great, and what they can skip. 


"The silence means it's hard to read what their partner is experiencing, and while it needn't be a porno soundtrack, a little aural feedback is a great thing," clinical sexologist and sex therapist Cyndi Darnell mentioned to MindBodyGreen.

You might even want to consider talking to your partner about how taking goals off the table will be better for both of you and your sex life. In stressing that orgasms don't have to be the final result, you'll both be able to relax.

You're setting unrealistic expectations

If you have a laundry list of things you plan to achieve during sex, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. You shouldn't go into sex with a to-do list that you plan to mentally check off along the way. Such a thing takes you out of the moment, kicks mindfulness to the curb, subtracts focus on pleasure, and honestly, doesn't allow you or your partner to have the best possible sexual experience you can have together.


While no one can argue that being goal-oriented is a bad thing, it's something that's best left to your professional life and, to some degree, your personal life — definitely not your sex life. Unrealistic expectations and thinking that sex should be a certain way, with a specific beginning and end, aren't the way sex should be experienced. The best sex is the sex that's enjoyed with laughter, pleasure, care, and fun. That should always be the ultimate goal.