I could also call this little essay "Changing Your Sexual Mindset," but that doesn't offer the same degree of actionable instruction. Imagery is important, you know?
Anyways, while browsing through one of my all-time favorite sex blogs, I came across a post about wanting to grind on a guy's pubic bone in cowgirl instead of bouncing up and down on his dick and her guilt about that. She referenced a post by Miss Jezebella (sex blogger inception!) that really struck me in the way that it addressed perhaps a more significant root issue during sex than the mere "women need clit stimulation, bros" directive has. Here's an excerpt:
"Men will use a woman’s body in just the right way to achieve their own orgasm. They practise this every time they have sex until they’ve got it down to an art. They can edge themselves, slowing to delay the orgasm. That takes expert skill, to not only know exactly what to do to achieve orgasm during sex, but to be able to time it too.
Women often just don’t feel confident enough to do that. We don’t stop and say, 'This is what I need to come, I’m going to do this exact thing until I orgasm.' It takes a shit ton of confidence to stop the man who is doing to you what he needs to come and do with him what you need instead. It goes against all that social conditioning we’ve had that has told us to be desirable and give him pleasure. But I am going to argue that it needs to happen in order for us to progress sexually."
I'm not always sure where this resistance to put our pleasure first, even if for just a few minutes, comes from. It's not so much that the partners we have prevent us from taking control of our pleasure; in general, I think most of us choose male partners who want to drive us wild. I think it's just the way that our sexual narrative has followed the arc of the penis, in recent centuries at least. The cock gets hard. The cock stays hard. And when the cock ejaculates, penetrative sex is (usually) not on the table anymore, purely for logistical reasons. Male orgasm is the station the train is always headed for, so divergence from the tracks seems just... not optional.
It's almost as if deviating the gradual ramp-up of the guy's orgasm is selfish, or a turn-off, or makes us terrible in bed. That if your pussy isn't stimulating his dick in progressively faster strokes, he'll suddenly go limp and run from the room screaming. This is, of course, not true - if anything, taking a little time to grind on him in cowgirl or making sure your clit gets some lovin' in missionary is probably just going to increase the duration of sex. Which is great for everyone.
The major disconnect when it comes to hetero sex is that the female body can make the male body feel amazing and vice versa, but not always simultaneously - at least at peak levels. With the state of sexual politics, I think we're in a much better place in terms of taking turns during foreplay, but I don't think that exchange is something we as women give ourselves permission to facilitate during sex. The majority of that is how accommodating we're taught to be, and a small part is that we're hellbent on finding a solution that carries us both off into the sunset of Orgasm Land together.
Unfortunately, the notion that foreplay is Where the Woman Comes can make actually coming during foreplay even more of a mindfuck for women; a lot of the time, foreplay is only a few minutes long, and women generally take longer than that to even get turned on enough to become capable of orgasm. To be expected to have one that quickly isn't feasible for the vast majority of us, and it's definitely not as much fun for our partners as being inside of us is.
What I'm trying to say here more than anything is that I'd never considered that our mindsets may be holding us back more than anything else - that we might be inhibiting the orgasm gap from closing just as much, if not more so, than anyone else is. Miss Jezebella said what I - and so many other women - need to hear constantly:
"The most important thing to realise is you are just as capable of achieving orgasm during penis in vagina sex as a man. Don’t believe the myths. If you can orgasm through masturbation, you can orgasm with a penis-owning partner."