WISH your sex life were different, better, hotter? It’s easy to blame your partner for not flying you to the moon. But maybe you’re grounding yourself. These six common mistakes may keep you from the sexual pleasure you deserve. But you can fix them.
Mistake: Waiting for Him to Get Things Going
It can become a habit: He starts, you respond (or not). Or maybe you’re frozen by the stereotype that “guys make the first move.” Or you dread being turned down.
“I hear from a lot of men who say, ‘I hate being the one who has to decide when and if we have sex,'” says New York sex therapist Ian Kerner.
The fix: Resolve to take the lead. If you’re shy, start by flirting or planning a dinner out. “Even if you won’t have sex for a while, you’ll set yourself up to have a sexy moment,” Kerner says.
Don’t be angry or hurt if he’s too tired or stressed. “Women often take rejection to heart,” Kerner says. “Guys tend to just figure they’ll make an overture and have a 1 in 3 chance of being rejected.”
Mistake: Ignoring That Guys Are Visual Creatures
There’s a good reason why your guy is probably more likely to give you a gift like sexy lingerie than a handbag. He likes how you look in it — a lot.
“Women tell me, ‘But I find him hot in his old boxers!'” Kerner says. “They don’t understand why he doesn’t like her thermal chicken-print pajamas.” The reason: Men respond most to visual stimulation, while women tend to use touch, sounds, smell, words, and emotions to get aroused, research shows.
The fix: Ditch the long johns – at least some nights. You don’t have to wear lace or dominatrix gear, if that’s not your style. But you’ll do you both a favor if you pick bedclothes that show off your body and makeyou feel sexy.
Mistake: Having Unreal Ideas About How Your Body Works
Don’t believe that “real” women have vaginal orgasms. Or — thanks to porn and a Sex and the City episode — that female ejaculation, or “squirting,” is the norm.
“Women are convinced it will enhance their experience,” says Madeleine M. Castellanos, MD, a sex therapist and assistant professor of psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. “But only 5% to 6% of women naturally squirt, and you can damage pelvic floor muscles by trying.”
The fix: Relax. Trying to climax a certain way only puts you on edge.
“Most women need clitoral stimulation for orgasm,” Castellanos says. Because the clitoris is rich with nerves, grinding against your partner, oral sex, or hand stimulation can do the job. A nice stretch of foreplay helps most women climax, Kerner notes.
Say you worry you’re taking too long to climax. Or you avoid a position that makes your belly jiggle.
“If you think about how you act rather than how you feel, you become an actor, rather than a lover,” says Pepper Schwartz, PhD, professor of sociology at the University of Washington.
Sex researchers Virginia Masters and William Johnson dubbed this kind of self-monitoring “spectatoring.” Research shows that women who do it have fewer orgasms and fake it more.
The fix: “Bring your focus back to something about the present — the feel of your partner’s skin, the look on his face, how much you like feeling him inside you,” Castellanos says. Learning mindfulness meditation can help you do this.
“Sure, men like to have their penis touched,” Kerner says. “But men like women to focus on other areas too, to build desire.” Too often, he says, women focus right away — and only — on the penis.
The fix: Start somewhere else. Play with neck awhile. Give a massage. Play with his nipples. Rub his scrotum. The whole body likes foreplay.
You tease him, please him, make his dreams come true. But what about you? What do you like, want, and fantasize about?
“You’re not getting a good time if you’re thinking, ‘I wish he’d move a millimeter to the left.’ You’re in your head again,” Schwartz says.
The fix: Speak up! “Better to say, ‘A little higher, a little lower, that’s great, hold it right there,'” Schwartz says. “A woman’s body is complex. He can’t know everything about you unless you tell him.”