How they read into our behavior, how they perceive our actions, what their true expectations are… there’s plenty to be learned from a glimpse into the other side.
We’ll be publishing a series of features from iVillage; articles originally written by women for women, but with insight that’s invaluable to men. Of course, in exchange, we had to offer up some intelligence of our own… all the more reason for you to get on the inside track as soon as you can.
Her sexual emotions
Her refusal to jump into the sack with you at your every beck and call could run deeper than fictitious headaches. iVillage.com helps you understand your woman’s inner sexual issues so that you improve your between-the-sheets relationship, which will hopefully result in more future late-night romps.
You just don’t feel like it
To say women are complicated sexually is about as obvious as me pointing out you’d be awfully tired if you tried to swim from here to Australia. Everyone knows women find it harder to orgasm than men do. Here’s a rundown of the reasons why — and how to up your chances of enjoying hassle-free sex like he does.
Pinpoint exactly what’s happening
Temporary lack of desire means you normally love sex but are just going through an off period. Long-term lack of desire means passion hasn’t lived at your house for quite some time. Low sensation means you want sex but your body doesn’t, refusing to respond physically to erotic arousal of the brain. Your genitals remain dry and you’ve got a low sensitivity to touch and sensation on your clitoris and vaginal area.
If you’re suffering from low sensation, head to your doctor and ask for a referral to a good gynecologist for a full checkup. The problem’s usually physically based with common culprits being pelvic surgery like hysterectomy, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol, hormonal changes like having a baby and medications.
Temporary lack of desire can usually be pinpointed to a specific event if you think hard enough. Apart from the obvious things like having a baby, there’s stress (Just got a promotion? Moved to a new house?), exhaustion (all or any of the above), the death of a loved one, tension in your relationship, and any one of a number of things which make you feel less than wonderful. If you can identify a specific event, the solution usually presents itself along with the realization. Super stressed? Rethink your priorities. If you’re grieving, give yourself time to heal.
If you haven’t felt sexual for a year or more and have no idea why, that’s when you need to sit up and pay attention. And be truthful. The first and most likely reason you’re not (ever) turned on is you’re in the wrong relationship or your partner’s a lousy lover. By far the biggest obstacle between us and the Big O is a partner who hasn’t the first clue about how to get us there. I’m happy to report, however, that with some open, honest communication and education about what you need to orgasm, this can be solved.
Are you subconsciously withholding sex?
A tad more disturbing is realizing the problem is not your partner’s technique, but the fact you simply don’t fancy him. While there are plenty of ways to try to spice up your sex life, it’s unlikely you’ll be waking the neighbors if the thrill is simply gone. The solution to that — deciding whether to leave or stay in a sexless relationship — is something I’m going to leave with you, I’m afraid. There are so many individual factors, only you can decide that one!
Sex is a powerful bargaining tool in relationships. If your partner’s always been sex mad, withdrawing his main source of pleasure if he’s not behaving out of bed can be tremendously satisfying. Sometimes — particularly if you’re angry — you’re aware you are doing it. (That’ll teach the jerk!) Other times, if you’re deeply hurt, it happens on an unconscious level. Sex problems are rarely just about sex, they’re usually a sign the relationship’s a bit wobbly, as well.
On the somewhat positive side
Equally as common and just as destructive to your sex life: You’ve become too close to your partner. How was sex in the beginning? If it was good and you’re still attracted to them, if not lusting after them, intimacy is rudely pushing passion aside. It’s ironic: The couples who have the closest, soul-mate connection and the best relationships often have the worst sex lives. A crucial ingredient to having good long-term sex is novelty, if you’ve become matching bookends with the same tastes and views, that’s hard to achieve. Couples who push each other out of their comfort zones, challenging each other to try new things and see things from a different point of view, tend to fare better in the bedroom.
A few other things to consider
* Rule out medical causes. First, have a full medical consultation to assess your lifestyle, general health, medication, and hormone levels.
* Desire is a decision. It doesn’t just happen; you have to make it happen. Accept responsibility for your own arousal. Work out what turns you on and do it. Spontaneous lust happens easily in the beginning, but not so easily later on.
* Make a weekly date for sex (minimum) and three other dates (an hour each time) to simply spend time together outside the bedroom. Make these dates a top of your priority list — not last on the list. When the time comes make an effort to enthusiastically participate, and you might find you enjoy it as much as he does!
* Don’t play the blame game. Just because your partner wants to get horizontal with you does not mean he is bordering on sex addiction. It’s a compliment! Fight the “Why should I do something I don’t want to do?” stubbornness. Instead, try everything in your power to make sex a pleasure, not a chore.
You’re having orgasmless sex
Pinpoint the problem
If you’re pre-orgasmic you’ve never had an orgasm, if you’re anorgasmic you’re able to orgasm through masturbation but not able to have one with your partner. Which one are you?
Never ever had one?
The first thing to do is experiment with a vibrator. Almost all women can orgasm this way and you’ll have an idea of what you’re aiming for. After teaching yourself to orgasm using a vibrator (simply hold it over the clitoral area with your vaginal lips closed), it’s then a matter of training yourself to masturbate with your fingers. Next, teach your partner how to do it and start experimenting with oral sex. The most reliable ways for women to orgasm: a vibrator, his tongue or his fingers. Add personal lubricant — a big dollop — when masturbating and you’ll notice a huge difference.
* Educate yourself about your body. Buy some good, nonjudgmental basic reference books, especially those which talk about masturbation and orgasms. The less educated you are about sex, the less likely you are to orgasm if you’re female.
* Don’t stop stimulation because you’re worried you’ll pee yourself. The first few times you orgasm, it does feel a bit like you’re about to urinate. Trust me, you’re not! Stop worrying, close your eyes and try to get past the feeling.
* Can’t orgasm even with a vibrator? There could be deep, psychological factors at play, perhaps an early traumatic experience you don’t remember but which is influencing you. Sometimes, our brain will “hide” information from us if it thinks it’s too painful to recall. Sounds clever — and it is to a point — but your brain isn’t the only thing which remembers; your body does too. If you feel there’s something wrong, but you’re not sure what, or if you feel generally uncomfortable about sex, arrange to see a counselor or therapist.
Let her learn about herself so she can better enjoy you…
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