My Top 3 Sex Problems as a Woman. {Adult}

Via Melanie Curtin
on Dec 20, 2015
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Winter Selfie

Let me start this out by making a couple wild generalizations about sex.

First, we’re all having it.

Of course, that’s not actually true; some of us haven’t had it yet, others are going through a drought and some choose not to have it at all. But in general, it’s a widespread phenomenon. Which is good, since it’s what leads to the propagation of the species.

Second, while it’s an extremely common experience, we don’t really talk about it.

We don’t talk about it with each other (as in, the actual people we’re having sex with), and we don’t talk about it with others, even those we’re close to. Again, yes, there are exceptions to this, but generally, not so much.

I humbly submit that this is a major issue. Because it’s easy for things that are kept hidden or secret (whether accidentally or on purpose) to lead to feelings of shame, confusion and hopelessness. Plus, what we don’t talk about, we can’t get support with. And we need support in this area; sex and sexuality are fundamental to who we are as human beings.

So in the spirit of more openness, I present my top three sex problems, as a heterosexual woman:

1) Men being too rough with their hands.

I’m a pretty experienced sex-er. I’ve had a lot of it, with a wide variety of men. But I can count with just a few fingers the number of men who were good with theirs.

That’s right, I’m talking about fingering.

Even the word sounds kind of… violent. It presupposes that the “goal” or “point” of the activity is penetrative—for you to jam your finger up my hoo-ha, often in a simulated version of intercourse.

Okay! Just a few problems with this. First, most of the time when I play with myself, I don’t get all up in the inside. I don’t use a dildo, I use a baby bullet, which is just a very small vibrator that actually never goes inside me.

I stick with stimulating the clit, which is way above the vulva (the opening of the vagina).

Second, even if a man does get that The Clit Is It, he often applies so much direct pressure to it that it hurts. I feel bruised and notice that my clitoris gets numb; it loses sensitivity because it’s been so overstimulated. Again, when I play with myself, I do so gently, especially at first. The clitoris has 8,000 nerve endings; no wonder it’s so sensitive!

Before I get admonished for not speaking up about the issue in the moment, I want to say that I do say something a lot of the time. If he starts out so rough that it hurts, I often say, “Gentle gentle gentle!” Or even as it’s starting (before the pain), “Listen, just so you know, the lighter the touch, the more I feel.” But I find that a lot of the time this only works for a few minutes, and then it’s back to the jabbing.

Part of the reason this is such a problem for me is that I find myself distracted. I’m trying to protect my body while also accommodating the person I’m with (not shaming him about what’s not working). So not only am I not turned on, I’m actually anxious. I feel my stomach twist into knots when a man starts putting his hands down there, because my body is so trained to expect pain.

As I write that, I sense just how sad it is. I also find myself curious as to whether other women have a similar experience.

2) Initiating.

Honestly, I prefer for a man to initiate sex with me. And I don’t think that’s necessarily a problem. We all have preferences, and that’s mine.

But I feel like I’m not good at initiating… ever. And that feels like a problem.

What holds me back? In a word, fear.

Fear I’ll be seen as wanting too much.

Fear I’ll be seen as slutty.

Fear of rejection.

And one more that’s a little harder to describe, but perhaps the most true: fear of “making him” feel obligated.

I intellectually grasp that any man I’m with would probably love for me to initiate. But when it comes to actually doing it, I hesitate. I don’t want me initiating to have him feel like he has to have sex with me. I want him to be inspired to do the dirty with me, not do it because he should.

Realistically, this says far more about me than about men. It says that my psyche often interprets someone asking something of me as not requesting, but demanding. So I think my own request for sex will be interpreted as a demand—and I don’t want that. Since I don’t trust that my partner will “be able” to give me an honest no, it feels safer to just wait for him to ask me.

Do I feel obligated when it comes to a man initiating with me? If I’m very, very honest, yeah, I kind of do. I don’t always allow that feeling of obligation to “win”; if I really don’t want to have sex in the moment, I speak up. But most of the time, if my partner wants sex, I’m probably going to say yes, and not always because I’m totally in the mood and really want it.

Again, I’m curious as to whether other women have a similar experience.

3) Finding men who are both cocky and heart-y.

I don’t mean cocky as in arrogant. I mean literally cock-y: men who have a strong relationship with their cock (their sexuality). These are men I feel would be able to truly take me. They’d push me up against a wall and mean it. They’d pull my hair without asking for permission. They’re comfortable with what I call “fuck energy”—the desire to just fuck someone.

Listen, I’m a strong woman. I can get shit done. But while I have a lot of masculine energy (I can do, create, make things happen), when it comes to sex, I want to be in my feminine. For me, that requires a man who can be dominant in the bedroom. I’m not into hardcore BDSM, but I do want to feel like I’m not in charge; instead of having to lead, I get to be ravished.

At the same time, I want to be able to feel a man’s heart, and know that he can feel mine. I’m not talking about needing him to be a therapist or something; I just mean feeling connected on both a sexual and emotional level (even if it’s just for one night).

In other words, I don’t want an insensitive bro who’s solely fucking me so he can check another Tinder swipe off his list, and I equally don’t want a sensitive new age guy who can talk about feelings but has disowned his “fuck energy.”

I find I end up attracting either one or the other, and that’s a problem.


The fact is, most of us learn about sex in bits and pieces as we grow up, either in hushed conversations with siblings or friends, or from pornography. It’s not the easiest thing to communicate about, so it’s easy to just not. But that’s a disservice to both ourselves and others.

I think having the sex we really want (in or out of committed relationships) starts with getting real about what doesn’t work for us—what we struggle with.

So I’m curious:

What are the top 3 problems you have when it comes to sex? What blocks you from pleasure, keeps you from enjoying your body and/or the body of your partner?

I wonder if more of us share the same problems than we think. I wonder whether men and women share the same problems.

I wonder so much that I created a quick survey on the topic, which I’d love for you to take:

The Sex Survey

I aim to compile the results and then write another article, based on our collective answers.

As we share and communicate more openly about sex, it would stand to reason that it would improve for all of us.

And how much better would the world be if, on a regular basis, we all got to have stimulating, sensual, spirited, soulful, scintillating, satisfying sex?


Relephant Read:

The Key to Making Good Sex Great.


Author: Melanie Curtin

Editor: Toby Israel

Images: Carmen Lucas/Flickr // Author’s Own





About Melanie Curtin

I help men win with women. Specifically, I coach men on how to rock their love lives in order to get the sex, dating, and relationships they really want. I do this a) because I love men and feel a lot of compassion for them and their journey in this crazy world; and b) because I believe that when the healthy masculine meets the divine feminine in his power, the world is transformed from the inside out. Interested? Come talk to me.


22 Responses to “My Top 3 Sex Problems as a Woman. {Adult}”

  1. Erin Evans says:

    Thank you for this!! I want the same things, and it feels good to know I'm not the only one!! 🙂

  2. Meg says:

    Yep, everything you said. 100%. Especially number 1. And number 3. Ok so all of it 🙂

  3. Kelli lee Mistry says:

    Number one is also a huge problem for me,and three….

  4. Julie says:

    Great read and you hit the points spot on all three of them. I am a strong woman as well but still have the need to be feminine. If a man cannot “ravish” me and I have to take control I am completely over it. I want to leave that masculine energy at the door of my bedroom!

  5. TahitiNut says:

    1. No problem

    2. No problem … but rejection never stops feeling bad.

    3. About 75% heart-y

  6. TahitiNut says:

    1. No problem
    2. No problem… but rejection always hurts
    3. About 75% heart-y

  7. Rick says:

    I think this article misses yet again the most important thing about any sexual relationship. Communication.

    You don’t like something rough say so, if you like something else to be rough say so. For instance the article writer likes a strong dominant man to initiate and be physically dominate with her yet desires a light touch. That is important to know. I have been with women just like this, while at the same time I have been with women who want specific positions and want some level of control over the situation, but at the same time want such a rough level of handling that I almost feel bad. I constantly ask though no matter what simple yes, no questions. More? Faster? Harder? Slower? Softer? That Spot? asking simple things like this can allow you to really find what a person likes.

  8. mancave says:

    As a guy reading this, my response is:

    1. Sure, sorry, we’re not always great in that department, though, in honesty, we often feel the same in reverse (ie, that women don’t know what the hell they’re doing down there, and sometimes it too is plain painful)

    2. Problematic for men in the modern age when they’re bombarded with constant messages that they’re rapists in waiting and that they don’t respect women and that they need to start respecting women etc etc. This leads to men being afraid to initiate (unless they know the girl really well).

    3. See 2 above. Same deal. Many of us have the desire to take the woman we want and ravish her against the kitchen wall. But, for many of us, the doubt around whether this is appropriate, whether the woman is going to start accusing you of sexually assaulting her etc etc is a minefield to navigate. Many women I’ve met actually have confessed in private to fantasies of being dominated and ravished by a man they desire, though publicly rebuke men for behaving like that. In light of points 2 and 3, it’s far safer for a man to become an emasculated metrosexual who expects women to initiate and lead sexual interaction.

  9. Ry says:

    It’s like I wrote this myself but with better literary skills…all of it resonates with me. And I notice that a lot of the time I end up feeling guilty about one or more of those things. We’re not always going to be with a partner that fits well, and not always going to find one that is open about these things too.

  10. tierney says:

    #1..100% TRUE!!! Why do they only listen for a minute or two?? ahhhhh!

  11. Liela says:

    Number one struggle (early on in relationship): Feeling like I (as the woman) should be the keeper of the sacred YES-word to having sex. Like, that it’s MY responsibility to dictate how soon and how often we “dooo iiit!”. And that if it’s too soon or too often, I’m the one to blame for things fizzling out. “Oh no, it’s not this or that, it MUST be the sex. It must be me liking and wanting and giving the sex.” Gosh, really struggling with this one. Talk about shame, confusion and hopelessness! Is there an article on that that can slightly alleviate my panic? Existential dating issue: If I behave like a nun in the first few weeks or months, will it have a better chance of working out? PS. This article helped a lot already 🙂

  12. Robert says:

    Listen to the confusion in this post.

    In the first section you want a man to be gentle and in tune with your sensory needs specifically of the clit. Then you go on to say you just need a man with the right balance of hey baby, I'm gonna fuck you against the wall, yet he better be in tune with your clit?

    Oh but the perfect man 'out there somewhere' is going to come along and magically know just how to touch you, and throw you against the wall. How many romance novels have you filled your mind with?

    How about we all just practice communicating, as clearly and as directly as possible. Descriptive action words work best….right there, faster, harder, deeper, slower, gentler, just like that, not right there….fuck me like I'm your little whore….I mean come one, this aint rocket science. But your complaints in this post are out of tune with yourself and of course no man will be able to satisfy you just right while you are not in tune with yourself.

    I would love to meet a woman balanced enough to ask for what she needs and wants and respond to what I need and want when I communicate it. You talk about wanting to be ravished…lets see everything in this culture tells a man that we must always be 'penetrating.' Meaning moving forward into the world, taking, conquering, winning, battling….sometimes I just want a woman to toss me on the bed and fuck the hell out of me too. As a man to be able to just for once, totally relax and not have to 'do' anything but receive pleasure from my lover, yeah that sounds pretty damn good to me too.

    Good luck!

  13. Emily says:

    All you have to do is get verbal consent and then ravish. Why is that complicated? Women will find it insanely sexy.

  14. Peter R. says:

    Well said, Mancave. Appreciate you adding to the dialogue and highlighting that there is another side and in general a real challenge for the modern man in light of the societal messages and perception.

  15. melissa says:

    Yes! "I'm going to ravish you later" then me… "OK"… permission granted.

  16. Melissa says:

    Funny because that is typical man response. I know there are in- tune men out there because I know some. Those men are naturals I guess because majority are like this guy. They just don't get it because of male ego. Believe me when a man understands a woman's body the response will blow ur mind

  17. Alan says:

    I think that the biggest problem in sexual expression for both men and women is that our proscribed gender roles don’t really allow for the expression of our authentic sexuality. Women are supposed to be “sugar and spice and everything nice” , and men are supposed to be invulnerable sex machines who always know what to do. Let’s see how these map onto your 3 problems:

    1) Men being too rough with their hands. I’ve been with enough women to know that there is a lot of variation in what kind of touch women like. That’s no excuse for not paying attention to how a woman responds to how she is being touched, but why are you not saying anything? Sounds like you are being too nice. How about saying, “Ummm, I’m in the mood for some really gentle touch right now”? Not as a criticism, but as a statement of what you want. If you want it, claim it.

    2) Initiating. I think you are right to be concerned about obligating a man into sex when you initiate if that man’s ego is wrapped up in being a sex machine. No man is actually a sex machine no matter how high his sex drive. If a man has fully owned his sexuality he won’t feel obligated. So you are being “nice” by not initiating, and that could be because you sense he’s stuck in the masculine gender role. You may be a bit stuck in yours too.

    3) The only way to the cocky and heart-y place is for BOTH partners to step out of their gender roles. That requires communication about what you want as well as having a clear specificity about what kind of relationship you want and don’t want. A man following old school gender roles might be cocky without any heart, and the new age man will be hearty without a penis because he is following the ‘new man’ proscription to be nice and sensitive to women. That fuck energy exists in both men and women; I like to call it dragon energy. I like to feel the dragon in women as well, but at this point in my life want it to be within a loving container. If you want to have both, you have to be willing to reject people that you know will be only one or the other. Fully owning what you want is the only way that will happen.

  18. Fawn says:

    Ugh, #1 happens all the time! I’ve been with my man for 11 years and every time I have to tell him not so hard! Then instead of lightening his touch he completely quits! There have been times that he has gotten up and walked out! #2 is a huge issue with us as well. He is always telling me that I need to initiate, when I dont it makes him feel as though I don’t really desire him. I tell him whenever I initiate we don’t have sex, he always turns me down. He’s tired, he’s not horney or its too late. I don’t initiate because rejection kills me every time. I can’t even count the out of times after a failed sexual advance I have gone and bawled my eyes out in the shower. #3. . . Oh how many times have I begged my man to be just a little dominant in the bed room . . . Every time he asks what turns me. . . For 11 years. Still nothing.

    Glad to know I’m not the only one dealing with those issues!

  19. james616orchardwriting says:

    I get #1 and as a male feel like I do well with that (age and experience has taught me well, I guess).

    Number two is problematic. I like to initiate sometimes or even most of the time, but I want the woman to initiate at least sometimes so that I get to feel that sense of being wanted and needed in a physical way. It's a turn on and emotionally satisfying.

    Number three is also problematic. I would love to let that energy take me and every woman I have ever been with says they would like that, but then when you act on it you get your hand slapped. The response is: be better connected to your partner and know what she wants when she wants it. Problem there is that I can't read minds, people (men and women) can often be opaque in what they want if they don't communicate, this is especially true in the moments where one would take the other spontaneously, and asking ahead of time gets the response that the spontaneity is ruined and the whole point of being taken by that energy gets undone.

    Also, I would love for my partner to both be sensitive and loving, but also bold and sensual. Kind of reminds one of the stereotype of men wanting a virgin and a w***e and it's up to the woman to know which one and when. I guess men and women want conflicting things and various times and it can be hard to read.

  20. Mela says:

    I’m surprised so many women are agreeing with #1. I love getting fingered hard. I agree it’s not the same as how I do it myself, but I can do it myself anytime and I get super turned on when someone else is doing it to me. Of course I like hard fucking as well, so vigorous finger banging is right up my alley.

  21. Alicia says:

    I really would love to join my fellow ladies and agree with you on this, knowing that this is the experience for most, sadly enough. I am very in tune with my body, how it works and what it wants, and I will always ensure that happens. A very big problem is that you seem to not know your body. I was trying to take this article seriously until I read this: "I stick with stimulating the clit, which is way above the vulva (the hole)." The vulva is one of the most lovely things about the female body, and it is most certainly not the hole. The vulva even includes the clit. The vulva is you inner and outer labia, the vulva is your "outie bits." The vaginal opening is that magical hole that you speak of, which when fingered correctly, feels incredible. My favorite way to learn about this stuff is Dr. Doe, check her out.
    As far as communication goes, you HAVE to keep it open. There is no point in having sex if both partners are not enjoying it. For the most part, I have communication with the person that I will be sleeping with before hand, so I have enjoyed sexting. This is an incredibly sexy way to communicate what you want, and helps you learn how to initiate.
    *Shrug* Just try these things out, and I know you will enjoy sex so much more. A woman who knows her body has control and power over it.

  22. D'd says:

    I am going to keep this simple everything you put in this article…SPOT ON ! !!!!