As a founder of a sexual wellness brand for the past five years, I have had countless conversations with men and women about sex. The topic of sex at dinner parties and barbeques gets more attention than cute babies and puppies. I enjoyed these conversations so much that I became a pleasure strategist, helping women create the fulfilling relationships they have always wanted and the pleasure they deserve.
Most women want to know two things: their experiences are normal and their desires aren’t weird. I was always interested in why they were reluctant to communicate their wants to their partners. Some women aren’t as comfortable speaking about sex for a mixed bag of reasons – society, family and religions upbringing, past experiences. All in all, it creates a disconnect that makes having enjoyable sex all the more challenging. Want to know how you both can have the most pleasurable experience? Here are a few things women wish men knew about sex:
1. Porn isn’t real.
This may seem obvious, but the truth is you probably learned the basics about sex from porn at an early age, unconsciously setting the stage for your expectations of sex. Porn is awesome; it can stimulate and inspire you to try new things. However, it is produced and edited like any other film. Please don’t expect your partner to scream like she’s on fire or gush like a fountain.
2. We love to talk about sex without the expectation that it will happen.
Talking about sex, what you like, what you don’t, and your experiences can occur in the first or second date, if the vibe is right. Talking about it is not an invitation, nor it is a precursor for what may happen later. Having a conversation (preferably far away from a couch) allows you to create the intimacy and trust needed for great sex. Tell us what you like- we really do want to know.
3. Draw a pleasure map.
Now that you have gotten the initial “I like this” and “Don’t care for this” chat out of the way, you can get more specific by sharing what you prefer in a more intimate setting. Unfortunately, many women feel uncomfortable being open about their own pleasure. Ask if she’s nervous and, if so, ask what would put her more at ease.
Draw a pleasure map with your hands of your bodies so you can both see and feel what the other prefers. For example, if you are stroking your partner’s back and she moves, ask her if this spot is particularly sensitive. Make a note on a sheet of paper or your phone. Of course, referring to the map throughout sex would be awkward. Refer to it on the way to a date or before foreplay. Keep adding to it as you learn more about each other.
4. Learn her clit.
Women’s bodies are incredibly varied. What pleases one may not do anything for the other. The same goes for how to handle clitorises. Some like a lot of pressure, some don’t. According to a study of Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction, 70% to 90% of women can not achieve orgasm through penetration alone. Most women experience orgasm from clitoral stimulation, so you want to learn her preferences. Tell her you would like her to show you how she likes to be touched or ask to watch her masturbate. Preface this with that you want to learn about what makes her feel good.
5. When it comes to foreplay, you get what you put in.
In my conversations with men, some feel foreplay can take their focus off maintaining an erection, which is a fair concern. However, doing the minimum when it comes to foreplay so you can get to the “real” action will produce minimal results with intercourse. Make her pleasure the goal of foreplay, not something to get through. This is also a great way to make what you like a priority. If you like oral sex performed on you, let her know it’s important to you.
6. We own our orgasm.
This will take some re-wiring on your part, as straight men are socialized to believe their worth is determined whether a woman had an orgasm or not. Having an orgasm is part physical, part mental, and her orgasm is ultimately her responsibility. Don’t take it as a personal affront if she doesn’t orgasm as making orgasm the sole goal of sex cheapens the experience and makes it about you. We love that you make our pleasure your personal mission, but don’t think you failed.
7. You can’t heal her trauma.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in three women experience sexual violence involving physical contact at some point in their lives. With discussion around sexual assault and harassment coming to the forefront, women have become more willing to share their experiences with sexual trauma. Oftentimes, these experiences have been considered commonplace and par for the course of being a woman. If you suspect your partner is dealing with sexual trauma, encourage her to seek the support of a mental health professional. Great sex won’t resolve her pain and it is not your responsibility to heal her from her past.
Having sex is easy, but having great sex is more about effective communication and less about specific moves. It takes a willingness to talk about what you like and really hear and implement what your partner wants. If you can create a safe and open space for this to happen, you are well on your way to having epic sex.