Swapping out this ONE word can change everything

You will NEVER see me promote “penetrative” sex — but not for the reason you think.⁠

As a Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) Coach, I am super deliberate with the words I choose because they affect our perception and projection of the world.

Our words affect how our brain wires itself and, as a result, how we perceive the world.

So when talking about placing something (or someone) into a person’s body, instead of “penetration,” I use the word “insertion.”⁠


“Penetration” keeps too much of the focus on the person PERFORMING that action and objectifies the receiving partner, as if their body is a fortress that must be broken into.⁠

A wall that must be toppled. A blast shield whose integrity must be compromised. An object being performed upon (that’s what “objectifying” means).⁠

Wholeness that must be made not whole.⁠

The only thing that should become ‘not whole’ is delicious baked goods.

When applied to a person’s body, that narrative feels violent and grosses me out. I don’t find the word “penetration” honoring of each person’s autonomy, their right to consent, their right to be an active participant in their intimacy, and their right to get their needs met.⁠

So I say “insertion” and “insertive sex” instead.⁠

“Insertion” returns the autonomy to the receiving partner. It reinstates them into the role of being an active, consenting participant rather than an object being performed upon.⁠

“Insertion” is a gentle word that honors consent and never threatens a person’s wholeness.⁠

Because you’re already whole. You already have everything you need.⁠

You are already intrinsically whole and can never be made anything less.

Nothing about your body, mind, spirit, or life needs to be “penetrated” — but you can choose to insert a new thought, idea, belief, value, action, or object into your life if it serves you, makes you happy, and/or helps you meet your needs or goals.⁠

See how much better that feels?⁠

Have you noticed how much of a difference language makes? What do YOU think about the words “penetration” and “insertion”?

— Meghan, the Vaginismus Coach


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This blog is for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be (nor should be construed as) medical advice, psychological advice, or a substitution for assessment, diagnosis, or treatment from a licensed medical provider. Always seek out the professional advice and opinion of your doctor before starting any new health related product, practice, or service.

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