Pandora Was Right: On Finding What You Want

Q. My boyfriend and I are having issues with sex. As in, he wants it and I don’t like sex. We have sex every now and then and I would like to enjoy it but I don’t. I never have. I also don’t like to give head. Any suggestions to help me? I really want to enjoy sex with my boyfriend, I just don’t know how. 

A. My darling, have you ever heard of the story of Pandora’s Box?

Certainly most of us are familiar with the connotations of when the phrase is used; the tinge of anxiety that spins through the bloodstream and up into the crevices of your spine. But instead of the normal legitimacies, let us turn our focus to that origin tale for a moment. A classic Greek myth, the story begins with Pandora, the first woman to ever step upon the Earth. Zeus, her said creator, ordered Hephaestus, the god of craftsmanship, to create him something that would be, in the most honest sense, perfect. Hephaestus set to making her, creating her limbs with water and earth, the clay home for a soon-to-be spirit. Zeus’s cohorts then endowed her with many gifts, on the occasion of being the first woman on earth was something of a big deal. Athena, the goddess of intelligence and bravery, clothed her. Aphrodite, the goddess of love, bestowed on her beauty, and Hermes, that master of transition and defying boundaries, gave her speech.

Behold: Pandora. Woman.

Now, things were going okay for a while, but this being Greek mythology, when something is going “okay,” you know that someone has to stir the pot. After all, Greek mythology is really the first telenovela. In this case, it was Prometheus’s turn to give chase to the humdrum day-to-day, so in the quest against monotony, the scamp stole fire from heaven, and you know, fire is only a privilege for the original 1%. Now, Zeus sought his revenge in a semi-backwards way, by giving Pandora to Prometheus’ less favorable brother, Epimetheus. As customary with giving women as property, there always comes with a wedding registry, so Zeus gave Pandora a beautiful box, with just one, teensy, tiny, string attached. Under no circumstances, was she ever to open the box. Ever.

So, of course, what do you think happened? Like that famous Playboy with the really groovy hair once said, “The only way to resist temptation is to yield to it.” Pandora gave into her curiosity and opened the box. All the evil, all the sadness, all the emotional plights and vulnerabilities of being human were released into the world, with Pandora staring horrified at what she had done. Of course, she attempted to fix the damage, and tried shoving spirits and melancholies back into the box, but trust me, no one has ever been successful at that method. The horrors escaped and spread all over the earth, and there she was defeated, the one soul responsible for all wrong in the world. Now, in ignoring the fact that a man giving everything to humans and a woman messing it all up always seems to always be the basis for any sort of genesis tale, there is one hook to this story that does sort of shoot for the happy ending I know we are all looking for. At the bottom of the box, there lay a tiny, bedraggled spirit named Elpis. Elpis was a spirit of hope, of a better tomorrow, and while Pandora was upset by what she had done, there was a little hope left in her box. The story finishes with Pandora seeking Zeus’s forgiveness, and he pulls a classic mansplainer move and is all like, “Silly girl, I knew this was coming! Weakness from your silly woman brain!”

Far be it from me to expound on the feminist angle on that story, but I would rather touch on what it means for you, and your sex life. I think when we seek advice, it’s mostly to know that we aren’t really so alone in the world, that perhaps someone else has been in our shoes and understands what it is we are going through. So, while I think we could talk different sex positions and sex toys, suggestions to as the ladies’ magazines like to call “spicing up the bedroom,” I’d rather you ask yourself this: Are you happy?

That’s your Pandora’s box. Not trying to figure out what it is that you can do to enjoy sex or learn to like it.

When you ask that question, and my dear, you have to be ready to ask yourself that question, because once you do, like you really do it, you will unleash some mighty things upon your emotional terrain and out into the world. I know it might be easier for you to consider a sex position that might provide some more clitoral stimulation or a way to give head without it feeling like such a chore. But I don’t think that’s the real issue here.

Perhaps you are madly, deeply, truly in love with this person you want so badly to enjoy sex with. Perhaps not. But given what you have told me, and you have told me quite a lot in five brief sentences, I don’t think that finding the trick to sex is going to be the thing that makes sex enjoyable, hell, even tolerable for you. I think you need to open the box. It might not unleash the worst spirits onto the world, but it is a box where you keep all those underlying fears and desires and feelings squished deep down in the darkness, so that in one way or another, you can do what seems “natural” or “normal.” That you should have to enjoy sex because you are with this person. That you should have to enjoy sex at all. Maybe you are a person who will find sex with another partner more enjoyable and satisfying. Maybe you don’t want to have sex at all. But the only way you are going to find out is if you make the leap into opening your box.

This is not any easy task, mind you, and you certainly have to do it on your own time. But if I can just leave you with the tiny implanted seed in your mind, it is that of another option. If we can do that, I think we have succeeded in the smallest of ways. There is no should, have to, or I would like to, that needs to be resolved here. There is just you, and what you want, but, as some bright, young women once said, what you really, really, want. Take that deep, hard look into yourself and be brave enough to open the box that seems more frightening and horrifying than any tale ever. Release whatever it is that is in there, even if you know it might destroy the very thing you are looking to save. Perhaps it needs destroying. Perhaps what you think you should be doing needs to be destroyed. But you will never know unless you take the step to focusing on what it is that you really want, even if it is pushed down into your gut and protected by layer upon layer of what you think you should do. You might unleash some unpleasant things upon this world and upon yourself. But like Pandora, once all those spirits have been let out into the world and there is no taking them back, all you need to do is look at the bottom of the box to realize, that there is always a little hope.


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By TheLadyMiss

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