Orgasm Negotiations

Around 80 percent of women have issues orgasming through vaginal intercourse. There are ways around that. You have a conversation with your partner about the magical properties of oral sex, you introduce toys into the bedroom, you surround your relationship in aphrodisiacs. And, eventually, yes, you will orgasm. Or at least seek professional help if you don’t. And that’s great, if you’re in a relationship. If you’re single and going through a revolving door of Tinder dates, however, you don’t have the luxury of time.

When I’m not writing, I spend a lot of time in business meetings and conference calls negotiating incredibly dull and nonsexual things like contract clauses and venue pricing. Somewhere between the roar of an air conditioner and the faint “are you still there” coming through a speaker phone, I start to think about sex.  Business and pleasure intersect more than people would like, especially in negotiations. You have something I want. I have something you want. Neither one of us will give it up unless it’s under a set of specific circumstances. So what would happen if we applied negotiation tactics to a hookup lifestyle in order to ensure an orgasmic experience?

The biggest misconception people have about negotiation is that you have to compromise. If the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit made a habit of compromising, there would be an entire brand of getaway helicopters contracted to the government and a private island where all the international kidnappers of the world clinked glasses over a fire of sequential hundred dollar bills. While such an island may exist for billionaires, chances are that if you’ve had a standoff with the FBI over a hostage situation, you didn’t get away.

So let’s think along those lines. It’s the end of a great date night. You’re both consensual adults ready for a couple of rounds of bedroom wrestling. We all know, however, that it doesn’t matter how great a person was over a light dinner and drinks, it doesn’t guarantee that they’ll be any good in bed. That means that prior to a performance, your orgasm is being held hostage by your date. Here are the FBI negotiation tactics (known as the Behavioral Change Stairway Model) you need to apply to your conversation:

1 Active Listening: The difference between hearing what a person is saying and “active listening” is that the other person can easily tell that you’re absorbing what they’re saying.

2 Empathy: The easiest way to express empathy is to repeat what you’ve just heard back to the person.

Person A: I like being upside down because I like how it makes my head feel.

Person B: “So you’re saying that you like being upside down because you like feeling of blood rushing to your head?”

3 Rapport: Empathy and rapport go hand-in-hand. Rapport means that the other person feels that you understand them. They’ll say something like “yes, that’s exactly what I mean!”

4 Influence: Once your date feels that you understand them, they’ll be open to your needs. Here’s where you roll out the step-by-step guide to making you orgasm. Toys. Whips. Whipped cream. Handcuffs. The United States Constitution being whispered into your ear. Now it’s your turn to make your demands.

5 Behavioral Change: It’s not much of a change if you’re using these techniques for a hookup, but if each step went well, you now both have an empathic understanding of each other’s sexual needs. You know what they want. They know what you want. You’ve come to understanding of how these wants can be exchanged. Orgasms are no longer hostages. Now you can proceed to the fun portion of the night.

In a perfect world, the person you’re spending the night with would be able to know exactly what you need to get to the “Yes!” by reading your body language. That will never happen. While there’s nothing wrong with hooking up with someone on the first date (and maybe only date), if that’s what you choose to do, there will always be a hint of awkwardness. What’s the point of going through a night’s worth of awkward motions if you’re going to have a subpar sexual experience? You’ll get more out of your night by letting your date know your needs and listening to their needs as well. Happy dating!

Gem Blackthorn is QMT's Sex Columnist, and the author/curator of Lust Thrust Thursdays. Send her your submissions and questions at sexsexsex [at]

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