March 8 is International Women’s Day.
If there’s one question that most men want answered, it’s this – What do women really want in the bedroom? What kind of sex do they expect? Do they want more foreplay? Do all women like to cuddle after sex? And what can men do to facilitate better sex for women? Rachel Hercman, a female sexuality psychotherapist lays bare the answers to the most important question in the world – what do women really want in the bedroom?
What Does She Want
If I asked you what a woman wants to order when she sits down at a restaurant, you’d probably answer with, “Well, what does she like?” There may be certain food groups that women tend to prefer, like fruits and vegetables, but the reality is that each woman has different affinities for different tastes and types of foods. Her hunger today may not be the same level of hunger as yesterday, and what she would order today is not necessarily what she would want to order tomorrow.
The same thing goes with the bedroom. While there may be commonalities in women’s preferences when it comes to sexual pleasure, it is important to remember that each woman is unique in what she enjoys and how she relates to the sexual experience with a partner.
What is desirable and is pleasurable for one woman may not work for another. One woman may be satisfied with having sex one time a month; another woman may want to have sex multiple times a day. Some women prefer sex to be long and slow with lots of foreplay; others prefer a more accelerated process. Some women want to cuddle afterwards and have ‘pillow talk’; others are fine with falling asleep.
It is important to keep in mind that a woman’s social personality may not necessarily reflect what her private desires are when it comes to sexual connection. For many women, it takes being in a comfortable, respectful relationship for them to allow themselves to be vulnerable to express what they want in the bedroom, and even in many of those relationships it is still difficult nonetheless.
What Does She Expect
Women’s expectations and attitudes towards sex vary across the spectrum and for many women, can vary across different relationships. Religious upbringing and social influence can play a significant role in a woman’s way of relating to sex; she might view sex as sinful or dirty and feel guilty having sex even when she is married and part of a sanctioned relationship. It’s difficult to experience and increase sexual pleasure when she cognitively perceives sex as solely a religious obligation, a vehicle for procreation, or a necessary concession to keep a man from straying.
For other women, sex is a source of passion and electricity in a relationship, and allows the couple to convey their feelings for each other on a deeper level. It is a way to feel closer, to feel connected, and to feel like one unit. In my counseling work, I’ve met many women who have been with the same partners for decades and said that even as their bodies age, sex continues to be an area where they feel young and vibrant.
For women who grew up with little or no sex education and their first sexual experience is their wedding night, the expectations and attitudes going into sex can be naïve and confused. They may find it difficult to allow themselves to experience pleasure or feel that is their religious or social obligation to be passive. It is thus imperative that brides who have limited sexual knowledge are properly educated about sex before their weddings: This is essential not only for the sanctity of the marriage, but for a healthy sense of empowerment for the woman when it comes to her body.
When Men Can Do To Facilitate Positive Sex
Even for men who have previous sexual experience, developing a sexual relationship with a new partner does not necessarily happen effortlessly. Similar to two musicians who are meeting for the first time, it may take time and practice for them to work harmoniously together and adapt to each other’s strengths and preferences. Most people are not mind-readers, which means that for a couple to have a satisfying sexual relationship, it takes open communication to convey what is desired, what feels good, and what needs to change to make the experience better.
However, many women do not feel comfortable expressing their sexual desires to their partners. For some, there is shame in being a sexual being and communicating needs to a partner feels wrong and inappropriate. Thus, if the man helps create a space where he shows her that he wants to make her feel good and wants to know what is pleasurable for her, she will be more comfortable opening up. No matter how assertive she may be when it comes to other topics, this area may be one that she feels unworthy of expressing her wishes and desires.
Ultimately, regardless of a couple’s chemistry, it takes time for partners to find their way when it comes to developing a mutually satisfying relationship. Bumps in the road are not only normal but should be expected, and can present an opportunity to grow together in improving communicating about experiencing sexual pleasure in the relationship. For some, talking about sex can feel dirty and inappropriate. However, there should be nothing shameful about a woman being open with her partner about what feels good, and how her partner can give her pleasure, and how the relationship can become more passionate.
Tips to remember
- It’s important to remember that each woman is unique in what she enjoys the in the bedroom.
- Women’s expectations and attitudes towards sex vary across the spectrum and for many women, can vary across different relationships.
- It takes open communication to convey what is desired, what feels good, and what needs to change to make the experience better.