Two years ago I ran three posts over on The Generous Husband trying to explain to men how women experience and think about sex. I want to redo the posts early next year, and I thought you ladies could help me improve them. I’ll post the content of the three posts below so you don’t have to chase them down.
My question is what do you want your husband to understand about your sexuality? Not just the physical part of sex, but the whole thing. What totally non-sexual parts of your relationship with him and your life, in general, affect your sexuality? What do you fear? What do you secretly desire. What do you wish he would do, but you’re too afraid to ask? What do you wish he’d stop doing, but are afraid to ask?
Hit the comments and teach me so I can teach other men. (And feel free to tell me what I got right and wrong in the posts below!)
Sex is easy for most men – we desire it strongly, a bit of nudity is enough to get us aroused, and the odds of us climaxing are very high. For most women, sex is far less easy, and far less guaranteed. Imagine with me that sex for you was more like this:
- It takes 5 to 15 minutes of foreplay to get a decent erection. Except that…
- About 1 time in 8 you can’t get an erection, no matter what she does.
- What gets you hot varies from one time to the next.
- During intercourse, a sudden noise or a distracting thought can cause you partially or completely lose your erection.
- Sometimes you can’t orgasm, even though you want to and feel the need. You get close, but then you lose it.
- When you do orgasm, it can be anything from mind-blowing to “I think I did, but I’m not sure.”
If sex was that way for you, might you think or feel some of the following?
- I’m tired and there’s a good chance I’ll get really turned on then not be able to climax.
- Is she wondering what is taking me so long?
- Does she think I’m broken?
- Why would I want to put myself through the frustration and embarrassment?
- We should wait until I am less stressed so I have a better chance of getting turned on.
Most women struggle with at least one of the things on the first list. Some women struggle with most or all of them. Do the thoughts and feelings on the second list make sense when you understand what’s behind them? In particular, she’s afraid she is broken and she’s afraid you will get upset with her for being broken.
A reader going by amyhannaford65 had a great comment on yesterday’s post. After affirming sometimes sex seems like a lot of effort with no return, she said, “I will say that my husband is a selfless lover and always, always wants to see me experience pleasure during sex. It’s mostly just me that lets the frustration of having a harder time climaxing influence how I see the sexual encounter.”
I bring this up because I want to make it clear I’m not attacking men here. I’m not saying wives fail to enjoy sex because men are selfish lovers. For most women, the biggest issues are not the struggles she has with her body; the struggles of her mind are what makes sex difficult to impossible. She sees how easy sex is for her husband, and she thinks it should be just as easy for her. Porn, romance novels, movies, and television all tell her it should be easy for her, so clearly something is wrong with her. When it comes to sex, she’s broken. She’s not at all sure she can be “fixed” and she doesn’t feel it’s fair for her husband to have to put up with her being broken. Even when he’s very interested in making sex good for her, she doesn’t feel she has the right to expect him to put “so much” time and energy into her pleasure.
The first thing you can do is help her understand she’s not broken. Rather, she has been lied to about female sexuality. Here are some truths:
- She is female, and women’s sexuality is very different from men’s sexuality.
- Women in porn etc. fake orgasm, arousal, interest, and comfort. What’s shown in media usually has nothing to do with reality.
- It is normal for a woman to feel no desire when sex starts. Some women rarely or never feel arousal until they have been stimulated.
- It is normal for a woman to need 20 or more minutes of foreplay.
- It is normal for a woman to need stimulation for 20 minutes (or more) to reach orgasm.
- It is normal to get distracted and lose arousal.
- It is normal to get very close to orgasm then lose it.
- It is normal to need desperately to have an orgasm and struggle to get there.
- It is normal to find it difficult or impossible to orgasm during intercourse.
Of course, all of these things vary from woman to woman and from time to time for each woman. One of the other norms for female sexuality is extreme variety.
The other thing your wife needs to understand is how important it is to you that she enjoy sex. Not so she will have more of it, but because you want her to enjoy it as much as you enjoy it. Help her know her pleasure is important to you. Explain sex is best for you when she enjoys it, and the more she enjoys it, the better it is for you. I know this is true for the majority of husbands because I’ve talked to many men about this. For the vast majority of men, sex is a couple activity, and if it’s “just for him” very often it’s not good for him.
I’ve been expecting some lady to post to the comments of one of my last two posts saying, “I’m not like that!’ Those who study sexuality have found a small percentage of women’s sexuality is very similar to typical male sexuality: strong drive, easily aroused, easily reach climax (in fact a very few women suffer from the female version of premature ejaculation, reaching orgasm far sooner than they want). I’ve not seen anyone offer a good reason why this is so, but the consensus is women have no choice in the matter, and cannot learn to be different.
If your wife didn’t identify with the things I said in Understanding Her Sexual Reality or Help Her Understand Normal Female Sexuality, you can skip this post. For the other 95 or so percent, read on.
Give Her Time
She needs more time than you need for every aspect of sex. You need to give her all the time she needs, but you also need to convince her that you are eager to do this. She needs to know you see giving her sexual pleasure as a better use of the time than anything else you would do with the time.
Part of giving her time is making sure she never feels rushed. If she normally needs 25 to 35 minutes from undressing to orgasmic bliss, then don’t have sex unless you have at least 45 minutes. This doesn’t mean you have to give up quickies, as long as she’s okay with not having a climax on those occasions. Some women find a morning quickie great foreplay for making love that night.
Find a Sure Thing
Imagine the frustration of being very aroused but unable to climax. You want to do everything you can to help your wife find a sure way to have a climax when she needs one. This could be oral sex, manual sex, or use of a vibrator. It might even be her doing it herself while you kiss or hold her. Figure out the surest way for her to climax and then practice until it’s as close to a guarantee as possible. If she feels confident she can climax when she really needs to, she’ll find it easier to be open to sex. She may also find it easier to try new things if she has a sure-fire fallback method.
Give Her Control
The more control she has, the easier it will be for her. Since sex is easy for you, please be willing to sacrifice for her in this way. Put her needs ahead of your needs, and her pleasure ahead of your pleasure. (You will learn that in sex giving is better than receiving!)
- Let her tell you when she has had enough foreplay. Don’t ask, don’t hint, just keep going until she tells you she’s ready to move on.
- Let her decide if she’s going to climax before intercourse, after intercourse, or is going to try to climax during intercourse.
- If she says it is time to move to her sure way of reaching climax, do that immediately. Don’t let frustration set in!
- If it’s not working and she says she’s not going to climax, accept that without argument. Later you can tell her you were more than willing to keep going. Let her know you will stop when she feels she needs to stop, but she should never feel she must stop because of you.
- If she tells you to go ahead and climax, do so – and enjoy it. This will help free her of guilt she’s ruining sex for you.
- If she wants to try to orgasm during intercourse, let her choose the position.
- If she offers something just for you, say yes, enjoy it to the fullest, and thank her afterwards. Saying no feels like you are trying to manipulate her into having sex for both of you. It doesn’t matter if this is your intent or not, it will feel this way to her and that will add pressure to her feelings about sex.
Make Her Comfortable
Being comfortable and at ease will make sex easier for her.
- Make the room temperature what’s good for her. This will probably be a bit warm for you, but you being warm won’t interfere with your sexuality nearly as much as her being cold will interfere with her sexuality.
- Let her wear socks. In one study, researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands found 80% of women wearing socks had an orgasm while only 50% of the barefooted women reached climax.
- Let her wear whatever else she wants, or agree to dim lights or total dark. Yes, she needs to get past those things, but let her learn to want and enjoy sex first.
- Watch what you say – certain words or phrases can turn her off. A good discussion of this away from the bedroom would be a great idea.
- Be sure you don’t stink! Her sense of smell is much stronger than your sense of smell, and she’s especially sensitive to body odour. A good shower very shortly before sex is always a good idea. Also brush and/or use mouthwash.
Yes, I’m telling you to cater a great deal to her sexually. I’m asking you to put your desires on the back burner for a while so she can discover the pleasures of sex. This is the right thing to do, and it is the wise thing to do. If she learns how great sex can be, you have many great nights ahead of you!