The physical act of sex seems simple: You strip down, hop into bed, and get busy. Unfortunately, the reality is way more complicated. Knowing what you want in bed (or what you want to try) is very different from knowing how to ask for it.
Sex expert and relationship coach Lila Darville gets it. “My sexual experience [when I was younger] left a lot to be desired,” she says. “I just really wanted to find the key to feeling what empowered sex was.”
Since then, Darville’s made it her mission to help women take control of their sexuality and pursue pleasure on their own terms. And now, she’s bringing her fem-positive, real-talk approach to sex to stadiums full of women as the pleasure director of a little show in Las Vegas called Magic Mike Live. Yep, the production dreamed up by Channing Tatum that’s driven women (and ticket sales) so wild, it was just extended into 2018.
“I just really wanted to find the key to feeling what empowered sex was.”
“We really wanted to steer away from the typical male view,” Darville says of the show. “It isn’t about the man knowing what he wants and giving it to you. We take [the audience] on a big journey to claim what it is that they want and acknowledge the pleasure within themselves.”
No matter who you’re attracted to, the feeling of sexual empowerment should exist in all relationships—but how exactly do you do that? Darville shares her tips for owning your right to mind-blowing sex.
Keep reading to learn what Darville wishes all women knew about sex.
1. Pleasure in life and in sex go hand in hand
Intimate time doesn’t magically separate from the rest of your life when you close the bedroom door. If you’re stressed at work or worried about making ends meet, “that ripples into your sex life,” Darville says. But the reverse is also true: “The more pleasure you experience in your life, the more empowered and turned on you’ll feel.” So if you feel content and satisfied out in the world, those good vibes will follow you into bed.
2. Stop focusing on a big finish
So much of the way you move through your life is influenced by pre-established ideas, definitions, and expectations, says Darville. This especially goes for women who might think that reaching a fireworks-worthy climax is the only way to judge whether the sex they’re having is good.
“Our idea of how we define an orgasm has been influenced by the way a man’s orgasm is experienced,” says Darville. “But there are so many types of orgasms available to a woman’s body. If you define sex as one physiological sensation, it will steer you away from anything else that’s available to your body.”
“There are so many types of orgasms available to a woman’s body.”
3. Check in with yourself—and your partner
Darville says that many women focus too much on the physical sensation of sex, which can take them out of the moment they’re creating with the other person in bed. “The kind of sex that a lot of people are having is one where it’s not really about connection,” Darville explains.
When this is the case, you miss out on a different kind of satisfaction. “It’s not about what you do, but what you connect to— that inner experience” and the journey you go on with your partner. “That’s what constitutes good sex,” Darville says.
4. Aim to please yourself
Sex should always focus on what turns you on, says Darville. “As women, our sex lives are a reflection of the lover at the time rather than this deep understanding of our connection with ourselves and our own desires.” Translation: It can be easy to get swept up in your partner’s preferred way of having sex instead of figuring out what you really want. “Be completely honest and lean into the things that give you pleasure,” Darville says.
5. Embrace your sexuality outside the bedroom
Owning your sexuality can make you feel as powerful out in the world as you do behind closed doors. “Someone who’s [comfortable] in their sexuality is really good with boundaries,” Darville explains. “They know they don’t owe anyone anything, and they can just live with their sexuality.” Here’s to rocking that after-sex glow all day, every day.
Sometimes even the most sexually empowered people in great relationships have issues in the bedroom—here’s how to keep your sex life vibrant after marriage. Unattached or looking to shake things up? Try one of these body-safe, eco-friendly vibrators.