Come As You Are: Review
You are normal. Your body, just as it is, is totally how it's supposed to be! You are not weird or different or strange just because your body might look a little different from whatever you're comparing it to! This is the overarching theme I got from the groundbreaking, perspective shifting, hella interesting book about sex I just read! It's called Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski, and I highly recommend it if you want to understand the hard science behind our sexual bodies. The information in this book is so valuable that I wanted to give some of the biggest points I distilled from it for you here. But please, if this topic interests you go read it for yourself to get all of Emily's juicy Ph. D. knowledge!
The first thing Emily wants you to understand in her decades of work as a sex researcher and educator is that you are normal. The science says that no matter what your sexual organs are, they are all just the same stuff arranged in different ways. As a fetus, up until a certain point, it's all the same down there for everyone! Once a threshold is crossed while developing, the sex organs start to morph into the different final products. The glans of the clitoris becomes the shaft of the penis. The outer labia fuse together to become the scrotum (that's why there's that line down them). The ovaries become the testicles. It's all the same parts just put together in a different way. There are also many intersex people out there, who are also totally normal! Their sexual organs are still all those same parts, but arranged in a different manner. Unless you are having pain, then you are normal down there!
I feel like so many of us are having trouble connecting and surrendering during sex because we are so worried if everything is "normal". Emily wants this reason to stop cutting you out of pleasure! And so do I! Moving into deep sexual partnership with another person is difficult enough, let's let go of the idea that we have to look a certain way down there. Accept the fact that we all have the same parts, just arranged differently and maybe this reason to stop surrendering can fall away!
Probably the biggest thing I took away from the book is arousal nonconcordance. What your brain and your body find sexual are very different and they can agree sometimes, but they probably disagree a lot. You've probably found times when your mind is like yes let's do this sexy thing, then your genitals are just not ready. This is totally NORMAL! Emily goes into a lot of the science of how we've discovered all this that is definitely worth the read, but you should know that everyone deals with this in some way. No person is always 100% in agreement between their mind and their genitals.
Pussies get wet for many reasons. Sometimes I've even been surprised or confused when my pussy gets wet. That's because the genitals are only great at knowing what's sex related and what isn't. This is a completely learned process. No one comes out of the womb knowing what is sex related and what isn't. We all go through all sorts of experiences that tell us what will lead to sex and what won't. Emily uses a great analogy to describe this. Let's say the pussy and the brain are on vacation and they want to find a place to eat. The pussy can only see that this is a restaurant or not (like how the pussy can only tell if this is sex related or not). But the brain has so much more context. Am I in the mood for that food? Is the place clean enough? Does it smell good? What are the reviews. So, the pussy keeps saying yes to all the restaurants, but the brain is making context specific choices. Your genitals have learned what a restaurant is (or what is sex related), but it's your brain that makes the choices of whether to go there or not (or to have sex or not).
So, how do I know if they're turned on and want to have sex with me?! Listen to their words. The genitals only know if they've experienced something sex related, which doesn't sound very consensual if you're only trusting the genital response. My pussy thinks pressure is sex related, but that's not saying I want to have sex every time my pussy gets pressure. If they say yes to sex, but their genitals aren't ready, then find what their genitals think is sex related and go from there. Or just use lube. It's totally ok to use lube for thousands of reasons!
The final point I want to make about this book is about desire. Since most research before about 30 years ago only focused on men, the science is whack until recently. Most of the time we think men have a pretty spontaneous desire. As in, they go from not really being interested in sex to very quickly being totally ready for it. It's called spontaneous desire, and it's not limited to only men, and not all men have it. The other type of desire is called responsive desire. As in, pleasurable things need to happen before they desire to have sex. The biggest point to understand here is that both of these are responsive desire. Just one happens more quickly than the other.
I've seen men get turned on and ready for sex just by me taking my coat off, or brushing my teeth, or dropping a pen. But it's not really spontaneous desire. A trigger happened, and they quickly moved into being ready for sex. It's a response to a circumstance. Whereas, I've heard from women who really aren't' interested in sex until they're having it. The circumstance for their turn on is just different. Neither persons desire is right or wrong. They're just different. The most important tool you can gain from this is to start to understand your desire response. Are you spontaneous, or responsive or somewhere in between? The more you know about yourself, the more you can create circumstances that will lead you to the sex you desire. The worst thing that can happen is you see spontaneous desire and wish you had it. You can't really change the desire you have. But comparing will most certainly not make you feel any better!
Gosh, it was so hard to choose my favorite 3 lessons from this book! There's so much more I want to talk about! Like context, and orgasm, and finding your joy! If these things tickled your fancy then definitely go get Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski!
INSPIRE ACTION: What came up for you as I talked about these things? A lot of fear and judgement and shame can surround this topic for most people. If those things came up accept and love that part, too. Use the power of knowledge to help you heal and grow and transform!