I got a lot of positive feedback from readers of last weeks blog, How to Take Charge of Your Sex Life. Some of the feedback I got was from men who hoped I could write on the subject from the male perspective. Yes, actually I can. Over the past 15 years, lots of men have opened up and told me many many things that I am absolutely positive they aren’t telling each other. In fact, MOST had never told anyone before me. (Just because I care enough to listen and I’m completely non-judgmental.)
Let me begin with a little warning: helping the men is going to be a lot more difficult.
Mainly the difficulty is simply that the problems are still invisible. Back in the 1960’s women began liberating themselves. I myself had a subscription to Ms. Magazine when I was only 12y.o. That was about 40 years ago. We women have had some trials & some errors during that process. However, Men have not even begun their liberation yet. At least not straight men.
To solve the problem, we must first see the problem. The problem with liberating women was a many-hundred-year tradition of indoctrinating little girls with long lists of things they were not allowed to DO or to ACT. The problem with liberating men is just as long a tradition of beating into little boys that they are not allowed to FEEL or to BE. See the difference? The message delivered to boys is delivered with emotional and physical violence – as the norm, not just the occasional horror. AND the message says the very core of who they are is WRONG. Boys are taught they are wrong to feel. Boys are taught they are wrong to BE anything except a narrow & absurd societal ideal of manhood. Still, since we’re all grown ups now, we can all take charge of ourselves and our own liberation. So, that’s the good news.
Grown men often still feel that they are wrong to have the sex drive that they are, in fact, hardwired to have. The female sex drive goes up and down, round and round with circumstances but male drive is like clockwork. Male urges and drives occur with regularity apparently based only on the passage of time. Knowing nothing of these differences, men often go into marriage thinking that the woman they love will simply be periodically horny, like they are. They assume that the arrangement guarantees that their woman will want sex with them on a regular basis. When this magic fails to happen, men often feel hurt and then angry. It feels like rejection, but its not. Its simply another painful misunderstanding based on the myths.
Grown men still deny emotions – the most basic of humanizing experiences. And many young men were shocked to discover that sex, even the most casual sex, is accompanied by a BIG emotional kick. Then to make matters worse, men are raised with the myth they THEY and not women are in charge of sex, when they really have no clue. Without the tools to navigate powerful emotions or any handbook for grasping women’s complexities, grown men can find their sex lives becoming a sort of scary tar pit. The pull is enormous, the emotions are overwhelming, and they have limited solutions and no one to turn to for help – especially in a committed relationship.
So let me tackle the problem in stages. Let’s suppose the problem of a sex life that is dead in the water is simply one of mechanics. Let’s suppose you simply need more information about how to keep the woman in your life interested in sex…with you. This is the second reason helping the men is more challenging. Men and their sex drives are simple and very similar from man to man. Women and their sex drives are complex, nuanced, and almost entirely unique from woman to woman. In other words, what you learned from any sexual experience with other women is almost completely useless. (The good news here is – if you ever thought your lack of sexual experience was a bad thing – its not. In fact, if you have NO actual sexual experience but have fantasized a lot about it? You are MORE likely to have useful skills than the highly experienced men.)
Enough about that. Now for the FUN stuff!
The Fun Stuff
When a man has sex with the woman he loves he feels happy, loved, and good about himself. For a woman to even want sex with her man, however, she must first feel happy, loved and good about herself. So we are built in reverse! This seems like an impossible dilemma until you realize this simple fact: If both partners focus on making sure that woman feels loved, happy and good about herself we both end up with what we want!
So the challenge for re-igniting women is NOT to get them interested in sex, but to get them to Feel Sexy. Instead of focusing on the act of sex, focus on getting her to feel happy, sexy and good about herself. Here’s how:
- Appreciation. Find something in her life that she’s good at or interested in & take an interest in it yourself. Learn about it, ask about it, and watch her do it. (Faking it a little is okay) Most importantly, admire her and tell her specifically how/why she’s good at it. (i.e. “You’re so creative.”)
- Attention. Suppose she doesn’t have any hobbies that you can tell – look at what’s going on with her. If she’s going through menopause, read a little about it, ask good questions, tell her what a trouper she is, etc. If noting else is apparent – take an interest in “the relationship”. Get one of John Gray’s “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus” books, read a little and “accidentally” let her see it lying around. Take her to chick flicks and ask questions about why the women do or say this or that.
If you can make her laugh, you’re half way there!
- Touch. Touch her as much as possible. Most of the touching should be non-sexual. Sexual touching will only make her angry at this point. Whenever you are near her ‘accidentally” touch her in some way. Brush up against her, touch her arm when you want to talk to her or ask her something. Slightly touch her hand when she hands you something. Touch her back or shoulder as a signal that you’re passing behind her or need to get by (instead of “excuse me”) Hug every time you say ‘Hello’ or ‘goodbye’…kiss her (in a non-sexual cheek or forehead way) every time you come in or go out of the house..every time you come into the room she’s in., etc. Hold her hand. When you’re together in public always stay in contact (without being obvious) put your hand on her waist or back, brush imaginary dust from her clothes or imaginary hair from her eyes. When she does her hair touch it lightly & tell her how good it looks. When she hasn’t done her hair touch it & tell her how good it feels.Every day when you get home, lift up her hair & kiss the back of her neck. This is especially effective. If you’re not a very touchy kind of guy, just start with this one daily. It may be all you need.
All the ladies go Mmmmm!
- Listen. Let her talk about her problems. Just don’t offer ANY solutions unless she asks. This is just a bonding ritual for women. Men do things together to bond; women talk to bond. When you really listen, that translates to “he’s interested in me.” When you offer solutions that translates to “he thinks I’m not competent to solve my own problems.” An important point here: listening means not just open eyes & closed mouth, it means asking probing questions, sharing similar experiences or saying things like “I understand” (even when you have no clue) or “Let me get this right…(summarize or repeat)” or “So you mean to say…(summarize or repeat)”. Listening well shows compassion. Compassion is very sexy.
- Compliments & gifts. These are wonderful, terrible things. Women can never get enough of either because to us they “mean” things. The problem here is if she’s not expecting a gift or complement she’s going to think, “What does that mean?” So the biggest challenge is to make sure it doesn’t mean, “I want to have sex.” (Okay, realistically all gifts & compliments from men to women probably mean “I want to have sex with you.” On some level. But just play along here.) Make sure it means something wonderful about her like, “You’re a great person.” “You deserve to be pampered.” “I love to spend time with you.” “You’re stunning” etc., etc. Don’t work too hard on this; just be prepared to explain what it means. Romantic gifts are always best: Flowers, jewelry, spa pampering, romantic getaways…. (don’t stray too far from this list! Because if you try to get her something else & its not her taste? It will mean you don’t know her. And that is poison.) Sexy gifts, like lingerie, are great once you get her interested in sex again but NOT before.
See how that compliment makes you feel?
Consider these 5 steps foreplay. Any women reading this are probably already beginning to sigh and glow a bit. If you’re doing these things regularly she’s going to get interested in sex regularly. If you wait for someone or something else to make her feel sexy again – she’s going to be interested in sex with someone else, not you.
Keep in mind that a woman who is sort of ‘turned off’ and has been living with you is going to be a bit suspicious if your foreplay steps are overt. In other words, like Inception, you must plant the idea so deep in her mind that she thinks it came from herself, not you. The key then is subtlety. Casual, subtle, frequent touch and attention with no demands. DO NOT expect to even get her attention the first three times. If she doesn’t notice at first, you’re doing everything just right!
Now, there’s one other thing you need to know: we women multitask. We focus on many different things at one time. Unfortunately, that can spell disaster if even one part of that female brain gets focused on the ringing phone, the waiting chores, the deadline or the children during lovemaking. So for great sex every component of that multi-tasking brain needs to be focused on her own pleasure. It is to your advantage to minimize all non-sexual distractions (this means planning, dates, weekends away, hotel rooms, or babysitters) and maximize the places & sensations she is feeling pleasure – from her hungry little heart to every possible inch of her luscious body.
I don’t mean to say you have to pay for a vacation every time you want sex. But let’s just say you haven’t had sex in a year or two. If you could pay for a moderately priced hotel room once a month and actually get laid every month, would you do it? Of course you would. So do that a few times till you get things back on track. Then you can drop down to buying a room once or twice a year. (Let me also mention Hotwire.com cheap hotel rooms in your city.)
The Actual Sex
You probably jumped ahead to this section when the earlier paragraphs got dull, right? That’s ok, because it tells you something. Mostly, it tells you about how men and women are wired differently for sex. You read ‘SEX’ in the title wanted to get right to the juicy stuff. That’s actually a good way to read any ‘How To’. But after you read the juicy parts, go back to the stuff you skipped over because that’s probably what you’re skipping over in your actual sex life and that’s the stuff that will turn your woman from kitten to tiger on a regular basis.
The main thing men should know about women when it comes to actual sex is this: women get MORE interested in penetration AFTER orgasm than before. It feels better, we can enjoy it more, and even the most sensitive and delicate of women can crave a good pounding AFTER the big ‘O’. Also, there’s nothing wrong with you coming relatively fast. Most women who like sex still think the whole penetration part should be done and over in 10 minutes or less. I think the prolonging of the in-and-out is just good in the movies. Besides, if you’ve gotten that far, your woman can ask you to wait if she’s on the verge of another big bang…and I promise she will, IF she’s already been there once, because she will be THAT uninhibited.
That piece of information alone could be enough to turn things around. But if you want to keep a woman interested in sex you have to keep learning how to please her. NOT learning new and different moves, necessarily, just learning more and more about HER. She will change. Her body will change. Her sexual responses will change. What she likes will change. So to keep sex fun and fresh, you only have to learn how she looks, sounds, moves and otherwise responds to pleasure. Does her breathing become deep and raspy? Do her eyes dilate, sparkle, or change color? Does she gasp, moan, groan, or sigh? Stay alert to her response and you will keep learning her body and keep surprising her with your amazing talents.
Let me just explain briefly why asking her what she wants or likes is not going to turn out well. Have you ever called tech support over the phone? A techy from India answers and you try to explain your trouble. He begins to help you by asking, “Is your computer turned on?” Right? Now, imagine your response is “I don’t know.” You hear a sigh & then he tries to talk you all the way through beginning with “Where is the on button?” up to “How do I remove this spyware and win my new game?” and you’re not even sure he’s speaking your language. Now imagine the Indian man is your woman. Imagine you are the caller. Even if you do know where the “on” button is located, maybe you’re pushing it too hard or too fast. And if you can’t actually tell whether or not that computer is “on” or not? Can you see how this whole scenario is more likely to end in frustration and fights than sighs and moans? Right, well that’s what its like.
Are we having FUN yet?
Now, I’m not saying you should NEVER ask for tech support, ok? I’m just suggesting that the timing is important. If she’s already naked and breathing hard – that’s NOT a good time! A good time would be, say, in the middle of her work day. By text or email. Because then that kind of tech support is going to seem pretty fun by comparison to the daily grind. And by the time she get’s home you can be pretty sure the hardware will be ON and humming.
I’ll just touch briefly on this mainstay of male sexuality. I know a lot of men get focused on positions as a source of variety and excitement in a ltr. That’s fine, but you really should be aware that most women don’t think much about positions. Or care. So its NOT going to be exciting as a topic of discussion. Its just another difference in perspective between men and women. See, most women think positions are something that happens when you’re so keyed up that you just can’t lie still. Which means, if your woman has not yet gotten interested in positions? She’s NOT getting very turned on.
That’s actually GOOD NEWS. It means there’s much more in store than you have yet witnessed! The other good news is that you don’t HAVE to talk about it. (The obvious exception being anal. Talk! Use good thick lube. Get her to lead you.) All you have to do is work on the all-day-foreplay, watch her responses, and then simply shift her into the position(s) you have in mind. How easy is that?
Here’s a little anecdote: I once worked in an all female office,which was completely great! One day I walked out into the front office to find all the gals discussing their favorite sexual positions. They immediately reported that three of them favored doggy-style and they asked me my favorite. I had never been asked, or even thought about it. But I quickly thought and then described a position I really enjoyed. All of my co-workers turned to me at once and gasped, “You pig!” There wasn’t anything violent or offensive about it. It was just a bit too me-centric for the female mind.
My point here, and I do have a point, is three-fold.
- Lots of women like doggy style.
- Women’s main problem with sex is that they are NOT SELFISH ENOUGH to really enjoy it properly.
- There may be more fun positions than you’ve ever imagined just waiting to be released from the mind of your woman, and all you have to do is #1-5 above.
Also, see how one of the nice effects of women’s liberation is that ordinary women may be standing around the office right now talking about sex and their favorite positions? That’s a little bonus foreplay YOU don’t have to deliver! Just be sure to ask her, “How was your day?” when she gets home. And this time REALLY listen. (And DON’T call her a pig, because more selfish just means more interested.)
Sky’s the limit!
Last But Not Least
If what I’ve written from “The Fun Stuff” on is enough to get the zing back in your life, congratulations! If not, its time to look a bit closer at Men’s Liberation – i.e. YOU.
A.) IF all of the above seems like way too much work? You are in a relationship with the wrong person. Plain and simple. Maybe you’re with the wrong woman, in which case PLEASE do her a favor and let her go so she can find someone who genuinely wants to do all that “work” for her. People get into relationships, especially marriage, for a whole bunch of the WRONG reasons. So don’t tell yourself that you’re sticking with it for her, or for the kids – you are just afraid of change. Love is not how you feel, its something you do for another person. If loving your wife feels like work, she is suffering and the kids are suffering. The children’s lives will only get worse when they grow up to recreate a loveless marriage just like Mommy and Daddy. Please find the courage to do the right thing and dissolve the relationship. If there are kids involved you will always be related, so find a way to transition into a functional non-intimate relationship, without resentment or jealousy. THAT is doing the right thing for the kids.
B.) Notice I said, you are with the wrong person? And not the wrong woman? That’s because if all of the above sounds like work & not fun, you may not be completely straight. Happily, there is a lot more freedom and safety for exploring your own sexuality these days. Please take the time and courage to broaden your mind and your life. If you have been the kind of man who is “Anti-gay” or has a strong negative reaction to homosexuality? It is most likely because you have felt some sexual stirrings for other men that scare the crap out of you. Its ok. There is a wide range of normal and healthy. AND men require almost none of the ‘work’ mentioned above to keep them interested in sex. Most importantly, its NO ONE’s business but your own. Free your mind, soul, and body from the myths.
C.)If all of the above sounds good but you can’t bring yourself to act on it? You may be broken. As I mentioned before, the raising of boys in Western culture is rife with emotional, physical, and sexual violence. If you were subject to this violence at an early age, you may not even remember. It may have become part of the wallpaper, the ‘white noise’ of childhood and you may want to defend such violence as “normal” or “non-damaging”. These are lies. But if you have sustained an interest in sexuality long enough to read all this, there is still HOPE. In fact, there is every reason to believe you can be healed and go on to have an excellent sex life and truly happy relationships!
Blame & denial will not heal anyone. Working on yourself will.
If its Broken Fix It
When people go through an intense emotional blow part of the soul breaks off. If that happens during childhood or comes from parents and teachers, people who are supposed to protect us? It can result in things like ADHD, bipolar behavior, and even multiple personalities. These conditions are a lot more common than we expect. You can work on healing yourself (see Sexual Healing) and I have successfully healed many patients with these signs and others.
Jealousy is a sure mark of brokenness. Anthony Robbins (The Power of Emotions) describes jealousy as the emotional signal that we have located what we want – but we believe we cannot have it. The belief that we can’t get what we want is a crippling belief of a crippled soul. We CAN have everything our heart desires but we have to learn and we have to work on ourselves. No whole person needs to feel jealousy. In fact whole people usually move on from any relationship or person who makes them jealous.
It is only broken people who stay with relationships that trigger jealousy. A broken person may even think jealousy is a sign of love. That idea is what motivates people to try to make their partner jealous. This is a widely accepted belief, almost a norm. That only tells you how common emotional and sexual abuse is in our culture. So if you accept jealousy in relationships or even crave jealousy in others, you’re NOT alone. However it is time to get some help. You will be very glad you did.
Take a look in the mirror. Look yourself in the eye and say, “I love you. You’re beautiful.” If you can’t do it, if you can’t make eye contact or say the words sincerely, or honestly feel love for yourself, that’s simply another sign that you have been broken. But keep at it. Do this exercise every morning in the privacy of your own bathroom and you will begin to heal yourself. You can reclaim your life. You can renew your sexual self and you can begin to live and love life like never before! And no one even has to know.
Its healthy to love the man in the mirror.
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You may also like – Taking Charge of Your Sex Life Sexual Healing Man Speak – Woman Speak
Positive Self Talk