I am a woman. I’m also a therapist who specializes in working with women. Over the years, I have had the honor of being trusted with the innermost thoughts and secrets of hundreds of women.
The topic of relationships, including sex, inevitably comes up in my work with my clients. Because of this, I can safely say that I know more than most about what women are looking for in their sexual relationships with men.
What I have learned will probably surprise many men who have grown up with the message that their ability to give a woman a great sexual experience is directly correlated to the “skills” they’ve developed and the number of partners they’ve had.
But my clients tell me this isn’t true.
In fact, it’s the opposite.
Women want men who can provide penetrating, present intimacy. They want to feel safe and cared for according to their own desires and preferences—not the desires and preferences of all the women who have slept with their man before them.
Here’s what I have learned:
Most women want secure connection, mindful presence, and passionate self-confidence from their man in bed.
(Notice I didn’t mention technique or performance.)
First and foremost, women want to feel safe, cared for, and adored.
In fact, a highly experienced man with lots of “techniques” can make a woman feel pressure to perform herself, causing her to focus on whether or not she’s keeping up. That keeps her from being fully present in the moment.
When a man is bringing what “worked” with previous partners into his current sexual experience, his partner can wind up feeling like she’s getting a tune-up from a mechanic. Women’s bodies work uniquely, and an inexperienced man is more likely to appreciate that fact, because he isn’t operating from the framework of what worked with other women.
What men should know:
When a woman is with a fully present man, regardless of his experience, sex becomes an exchange instead of a one-way street.
She and her partner can pick up cues from each other and fine-tune as they go. They learn from each other’s needs and desires and find a path that works specifically for them.
The best thing for an inexperienced man to before a sexual situation happens is to tell a woman that he is fully present with her and wants the experience to be great for both of them.
He can ask her to let him know if something isn’t working for her.
Deep conversation might not happen when you’re in the throes of passion, but sex is a way to converse with your body, to make a partner feel beautiful, desired and safe.
Think about how you can convey your emotional accessibility through your physical actions.
Focusing on all the women you haven’t slept with is no better than an experienced man reminding her of all the women he has.
Women aren’t just looking for physical pleasure. Frankly, they could do that themselves. A partner can provide penetrating, present connection. This leads to true intimacy, and where emotional intimacy begins, our bodies follow.
What women should know:
It’s about creating something bigger than you as individuals.
Be clear about what is working and what isn’t. Be open and honest with him about what you need for it to be a good experience.
Being open and honest doesn’t mean criticizing or berating his shortcomings. It means taking equal responsibility for the shared experience and communicating clearly but gently.
Let him know how you’re feeling—physically and emotionally. No man is a mind reader, and most men love to please their partners. Show him the way to connect with you and make you feel good, and you will go there.
If you’re aware that your man doesn’t have a lot of sexual experience, don’t shame him. Making any kind of negative comments about his lack of experience is not only counterproductive, it’s also incredibly unkind.
Respect and honor his vulnerabilities as much as you want him to respect and honor yours. That means having an open mind about what the experience can be, not deciding before it even begins that it will be bad because he won’t know what he’s doing.
If you are more experienced than him, don’t bring the other men you’ve been with into it by silently (or not silently) comparing him to them. Look at it as an opportunity to create something new and give him the benefit of the doubt that experience—or lack of it—doesn’t have to have anything to do with it.
A powerful sexual experience is the responsibility of both partners.
That means you need to at least be on the same page about your intentions.
Is the intention merely to have an orgasm? Is it to get to know each other in a new way? Is it to express your feelings to each other physically?
If one partner is looking for an orgasm and the other is looking for deep, spiritual connection, this can make for a disappointing sexual experience.
Know what you want, have an open mind for yourself and your partner, and there is no telling what will happen.
Author: Amy Beth Acker
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Editor: Toby Israel