A long, winding road in California, surrounded by trees.
Rushing to the finish line can ruin your sexual experience.

Slow down! Great sex is about the journey, not the destination

Georgie Wolf
Georgie Wolf

When was the last time you went for a long drive?

I don’t mean a commute to work, or a quick run to the shops for bread and milk. When was the last time you took a drive somewhere just to enjoy the trip? For me, it was my holiday to New Zealand in 2015. Driving around the South Island, the country roads wound through green, grassy hills, and I had a view of the coast that stretched for miles.

Taking a long drive (or a slow stroll) is something few of us do, unless we’re on vacation. We’re usually too busy to pay attention – rushing to finish a task or running late for our next appointment.

Often, the same is true for our sex lives. As creatures of habit, we're accustomed to a specific 'script'. It usually goes like this:

  1. Kissing
  2. Foreplay
  3. Oral sex
  4. Intercourse
  5. Orgasm

This script is repeated in almost every movie sex scene and porno. It’s predictable, but reassuring; we know what to expect never feel out of our depth. And by making orgasm the end goal, we have something to focus on.

But when we do the same thing over and over, we forget to pay attention to the journey.

I’ve found that the best sex happens when everyone is concentrating on what’s happening. Meditation fans call this ‘mindfulness’ –  the ability to focus and enjoy every moment to the full.

Following the standard approach often makes us less mindful. It’s like driving the same route to work every day - when was the last time you really paid attention on your daily commute? When we follow the script, our brains switch off. This often means not fully experiencing all those amazing moments that make sex special: the feel of someone’s skin, the look in their eyes, their slow touches, and their playful smiles.

I'd like you to try a different - and, some would say, much more enjoyable - path.

Instead of seeing orgasm as the most important part of a sexual encounter, I treat it as an optional extra. And instead of rushing to the endpoint, I’m more interested in exploring. I might experiment with new ways of touching my partner or return to activities we enjoy, even if they're not the logical 'next step' in the process. For example, I may end up cuddling someone for an hour or take a break to give them a back massage.

This kind of sex takes more effort, because it means asking my lover what they’d enjoy next, instead of simply following the script. But it’s worth the effort. When we're 100% focused on what's going on, we feel intense pleasure, and explore activities we might not have otherwise considered. Best of all, it's never over too quickly.

It's all about the journey. Why not try it yourself? You might end up in some very interesting places.