In many couples I talk to, sex is a sore spot. Sometimes it’s a major source of contention. More often, the sex is pretty good when they have it, but they don’t have it very often. Many women report being too tired or distracted and just not all that interested; lovemaking can seem like just one more thing someone is asking them to do.
Everyone’s different, of course; this is a broad generality. But from the many people I’ve talked with, one theme comes through:
To have great sex, a woman needs to get out of her head and into her body.
If she’s thinking about her to-do list, distracted, or irritated, it’s unlikely she’ll be interested in sex or able to relax enough to really enjoy it. She may agree to sex because she loves her partner and may find it nice enough—but likely not really wonderful. Which is a bummer.
The solution: Figure out what each of you can do to help her relax into her body—and only then move to messing around.
Here are some ways to increase the chances of good sex happening:
Partner: Take something off her to-do list. If she’s folding laundry, putting the kids to bed, checking her work email, and writing the grocery list, she is not thinking about sex. If you’re relaxing while she’s doing all those things, she may also resent you—which is not conducive to sex. So help out. As I sometimes say to male partners: If you want more sex and doing the dishes increases your odds of getting in her pants, do the dishes. (This is particularly effective when you do chores regularly, out of caring, and not only on those nights when you’re looking for sex.) Woman’s role: appreciating your partner’s effort, and using the freed-up time to relax.
Partner: Pay attention to your timing. When men are stressed—say, they have to do a big presentation tomorrow—they often reach out for sex. The physical release is relaxing, and being held afterward is comforting. Men can often put stress aside by focusing on sex. This seems less true for women. Women need to put the stress aside first, in order to focus on sex. At particularly stressful times, that may not be possible—so offer cuddles instead of asking for sex.
Woman: Learn what helps you relax into your body. A bath? yoga? laughing at a funny movie? a backrub? exercise? a glass of wine or cup of tea? a walk? reading? erotica? cuddling? Then make sure to get yourself into that relaxed place regularly (and start thinking frisky thoughts about your partner). Partner’s role: Help her explore what works for her, and help her find time to do it.
Together: Figure out how to transition from relaxed to aroused. In some cases, being relaxed into her own body means she’s ready for sexual contact with yours. In other cases, a woman may need non-sexual touch in order to be receptive to sexual touch. Try cuddling, stroking her back, rubbing her shoulders, etc., to get her skin in contact with yours before you start kissing and otherwise getting her juices going. Hint to guys: For most women, going s-l-o-w-l-y (much more slowly than you may think) is really exciting. And don’t start with the obvious parts of her body. Almost any part of her can feel sexy if she’s relaxed and receptive and if you touch with sexy intent.
Together: Enjoy! When you find ways to make this idea work for you, you’ll probably have sex more often and enjoy it more. Hooray! 🙂
[…] Have sex. Sex is stress relieving, the best couple “glue”—and fun! I grant that it may be hard to find time and energy for sex, but it is so worth it. The glow in your cheeks and happy energy with your partner can carry you through a lot of juice-box cleanups. Of course, you can’t very well demand sex from a tired partner, but the two of you can work together to make it happen. For more thoughts on this, see What Women Need to Have Great Sex. […]