The importance of selfish sex

In my practice I find that a lot of women say they’re not interested in having sex any more. They assume its because they’ve lost their mojo – but when I dig a little deeper it often turns out that its not sex they’ve lost interest in, just bad sex.

Women frequently allow themselves to tolerate bad sex without complaining openly about it to their partners. Sometimes men can be more focused on their own pleasure, not giving enough attention to their female partner. Or conversely, guys can get obsessed with “giving her an orgasm” – an act which I would argue is impossible anyway (after all, ladies it’s your orgasm, how can anyone give it to you if it’s yours in the first place?) This type of guy can get hung up on giving you orgasms because it makes him feel good, propping up his ego, whilst your pleasure is almost secondary, even if it appears to be the focus of his attention.

So how can you stop having bad sex? The answer is simple. Good sex requires good communication. Sex is a weird social situation where the normal rules of social engagement seem not to apply. If you’re on the tube and someone treads on your foot, you’ll probably say “Don’t do that please”. In sex, it can seem out of place to say, “Would you mind not doing that, I don’t like it”. This is usually because we don’t want to offend the other person – but in avoiding being honest, we make problems for ourselves. It’s as though in the closeness that sexual interaction engages we lose our normal boundaries of what we’d allow and what we wouldn’t for fear of upsetting the other.

I’ve found that the best way to overcome this is gentle but ruthless honesty. Honest sex can be challenging but if you and your partner can stay with it, it is intensely rewarding. If you can really communicate what you’re feeling, desiring and thinking on each moment, it can be immensely healing and the gateway to a lot more enjoyable sex.

Instead of putting up with a premature move or something which doesn’t feel pleasurable for you, imagine saying that you’d prefer him not to do that right now. Be gentle but clear. You might try saying something like “its nice when you do that, but I’m not ready for it just yet” or “that feels good, but what’s even better is….” Try to find ways to encourage but be honest at the same time.

It can be enjoyable taking turns in being selfish, with the other’s agreement. Take some time in love-making to do just what you want, rather than focus on what your partner wants. If you’re not loving sex, then the chances are that you’re not getting out of it what you want and you may be spending too much time making sure your partner has a good time or suppressing your own pleasure. And that’s a sure fire recipe for bad and boring sex.

Are you having the wrong kind of sex?

If you have tendency to feign a headache tonight, you might ask yourself why. For some women it can be because life experiences have put them off sex – either they’ve learnt that “good girls don’t….” and they feel uncomfortable with their sexuality or they may have been unfortunate enough to have suffered some kind of sexual trauma. But for most women, I believe that the reason they lose interest in sex is not because of trauma or abuse, but something much simpler.

I believe that most women simply aren’t having the kind of sex they want to have. Perhaps your partner is more interested in their own orgasm than yours, perhaps they want penetration faster than you do or are less interested in foreplay or cuddling. If you have different needs and desires and don’t get them met in sex it can be disheartening and disappointing. The chances are that before long you lose interest in having the wrong type of sex because you know you’re not going to get the kind you want.

Communication is Key

The way to move through this is for women to ask for what they want. If you’re not having the kind of sex you’re enjoying, then you need to ask for it. Let’s face it; most men want to have sex. And most men are prepared to do what it takes to get what they want. Just think about this for a moment. This puts women in a powerful place, but most women don’t consider it in this way. Many men have worked out a way to get what they want with the minimum effort. After all, as guys, we’re not entirely stupid creatures – and women let them get away with that.

Often this involves a tried and tested method; a touch here, a stroke there and he’s in. Many men are focused on penetration and their own orgasm. Once that’s “achieved” they can feel like “job done!” Leaving the woman frustrated and disappointed.

I believe that when women begin to stand up and demand more from their men, we as men, will have little choice but to step up. Think of it this way; if all the women in the community suddenly decided that they would only date pirates, the next day there would be a lot of men wearing eyes patches and wandering about with parrots on their shoulders!

Who Says Men Want Sex More?

Many people define sex as the act of penetration. For me this is a very limiting description. So perhaps men want one type of sex more than some women (although I acknowledge that often women can have a higher sex drive than men). However, if we consider sex more broadly – and include cuddling, foreplay and so on, the demand for this broader definition of sex is often higher amongst women.

So ladies, stop allowing yourselves to put up with the wrong kind of sex and start asking for what you want. You might find your headaches disappear.

Don’t ignore the small stuff

One of the most common questions I get asked is “how do you sustain a long-term relationship?” Today, I’d like to share with you one of my top tips for sustaining love and intimacy. It is something so subtle that it is easily missed. However, if we pay attention to these small cues, it can revolutionise how we feel connected with our partner.

Studies show that often when one person in a relationship wants to get the other’s attention, they make a small gesture or comment. This is a “bid for attention” from the other. It may be a comment or it may be a subtle movement which is easily missed. These gestures are often disguised as something else, so we need to pay attention for them. For example, one partner may put out their hand at the breakfast table. Ostensibly it may appear that she or he is reaching for their cup of tea but the hand goes slightly aside the cup, reaching subtly towards the other person. If the other partner doesn’t pick up this subtle cue for connection the first person in unlikely to repeat it.

Once a bid for attention is made and missed, the person making the bid may likely feel ignored, unimportant or even rejected. Each of these small gestures or acts is an invitation to come into closer contact with your partner. Once the movement is made and missed, the opportunity has passed in that moment. We will need to wait until another opportunity presents itself.

The same is true with “throw-away” comments. The person may comment on something they see or have experienced. Once spoken, if the other ignores the cue, the first person will tend to withdraw a little from contact with the other. It may seem subtle and hard to spot at first, but this attention to the small things is a key in continually creating a bond with our partner. If repeated attempts at gaining the other’s attention fail, the person will gradually withdraw and over time, make less bids for attention. Studies have shown that partners who respond positively to these bids for attention are more likely to describe their relationship as loving and fulfilling. Those who fail to do so, are more likely to witness their relationship fail over time.

You can think of it this way – each of us wants to be seen. Perhaps because of childhood insecurities or beliefs it may be hard for us to openly invite in this sense of connection and love. To ask for what we want risks rejection, or even ridicule. So, instead of asking outright, we make these subtle bids for attention. If the bid is seen and responded to, we increasingly feel loved and connected to our partner. If it is ignored, we are likely to revert to old beliefs possibly around lacking self-worth, or feeling foolish for wanting that connection. So, however, subtle the bid is, I encourage you to pay attention to it. Otherwise, the consequences may be negative for your relationship in the long-term.