What do women have in common with irons? They take a while to warm up. Men, in contrast, tend to be more like a light switch—quickly turned all the way on.
Maybe you already know that. But I keep running into young people who don’t. I talk to young women who think there’s something wrong with them because they aren’t ready for sex as quickly as their partner is. Or they wonder why sex hurts—often, because they aren’t fully aroused. (Sex is not supposed to hurt.)
Neither they nor their partners seem to understand that foreplay is essential for most women. Without plenty of canoodling before intercourse, most women aren’t fully lubricated. The vagina at rest is like an uninflated balloon; it needs time to lengthen and widen in order to comfortably receive a penis. And sex is much more likely to be pleasurable for a woman if she’s had a chance to relax into her body and has been feeling all sorts of lovely sensations. This can take a while (and be enjoyable to both partners).
I think we can do a better job of communicating about women’s need for time and touch to warm up—with our partners, our friends, and our teen or young adult children if we have them. Every sexually active person whose partner isn’t the same gender should know that men and women really do differ in this area. Nothing’s wrong with getting turned on in a moment, and nothing’s wrong with needing a good long time. Experimenting with ways to turn up the heat is half the fun. 🙂