Sex — 06 October 2011
What Does and Doesn’t Work for Women in Bed

Although there are many things that do work for women in bed, people are often more vocal about what doesn’t work – especially when they want advice about how to improve their situation. Although each woman is wired differently and has a variety of physical and emotional experiences during sex, there are some negative experiences that continue to arise. Even with the best intentions, couples often do things that just don’t work and unfortunately, leave the woman feeling disappointed and dissatisfied.

As far as what DOESN’T work, many of the difficulties women encounter in the bedroom seem to be associated with a few common areas:

  • Anatomy (where the good stuff is and how to stimulate it)
  • Sexual arousal (what it takes to be ready for sex)
  • Adequate stimulation (what to do to reach orgasm)
  • Communication (being able to tell their partners what they need)

To complicate matters, men and women have different needs for sexual stimulation. In many cases, the timing is off because the couple is following the man’s pace. This DOESN’T work for the woman because he may be ready for the main event while she is just getting warmed up. In fact, he may finish before she has even started!

The good news is you can learn how to have a better sexual experience. Women can help correct what doesn’t work in bed by learning what does work and feeling empowered to communicate this information to their partner. Many people assume that sexuality is instinctual and therefore, everyone is just born knowing about sex. As a result of this thinking, difficulties in the bedroom are often dismissed as compatibility issues. It may be easier for someone to say, “We just don’t click” rather than “I don’t know what kind of stimulation I need to reach orgasm and I haven’t communicated that what we’re doing isn’t working for me.” The truth is most people are not educated about sexual health and pleasure. With the exception of a high school health class that used the threat of diseases and unwanted pregnancies to scare teenagers into NOT having sex, most people go through life with little more than an understanding of safer sex practices and some basic biology about sexual reproduction. No one discusses the anatomy of pleasure with the level of detail that was provided for the anatomy of that dissected frog.

Most men are not aware when they are doing something that doesn’t work because women don’t tell them. In fact, research has shown that anywhere from 72 – 80% of women have faked orgasms at one time or another. Ladies, stop reinforcing sexual behavior that DOESN’T work for you! The first step to having a better experience is identifying the problem and working together to find a solution. To help you, we have listed the most common behaviors that don’t work for women, followed by some helpful information for heating up the bedroom and finding out what DOES work:

1. Racing through foreplay. When men are excited, they want to move quickly to the good stuff.  Some men can become aroused and ready for intercourse from minimal stimulation. A slight touch or even the visual image of his lover taking off her clothes can give him an erection that he is ready to use right away. On the other hand, most women need about twenty minutes of stimulation before being ready for intercourse. This is because it takes some time for women to experience all of the physical aspects of sexual arousal. What DOESN’T work for women is rushing into sexual intercourse. It is important for men to know that the first physical signs of arousal are vaginal lubrication (getting wet) and increased blood flow. These often increase in intensity as a woman becomes more aroused. Other physical signs of arousal are erect nipples, increased heat rate and dilated pupils. Did you know that women actually experience an erection, too? Their clitoris becomes erect (and very sensitive!) when it is engorged with blood. Although different preferences exist, foreplay that lasts at least twenty minutes DOES work for women in bed and ensures that she is warmed up and ready before penetration occurs.

2. Changing position too quickly. Many men like variety and think that by changing positions they will experience greater pleasure while giving their partner the best sexual experience. This is true, however, what starts off as something that DOES work for women can quickly become something that DOESN’T work. Many women follow their guy’s lead and move as he moves but find that they are just starting to enjoy a new position when they are suddenly shifted out of a sweet spot into something new. This certainly DOESN’T work for women. First, kudos to the guy for having an awareness that there is more out there than missionary, doggie style and woman on top.  Books like the Kama Sutra, the ancient Indian guide to better sex, have helped to educate people about what can be done in bed. Now it’s time to learn how to put this into practice in a pleasurable way for both partners. Rather than spinning her around like a propeller, take some time to experience the pleasure of a new position. Give her some time to see if it feels good and be aware of her nonverbal communication. If she is enjoying the moment, stay there for a little while longer.

3. Ignoring her clitoris. At least 80% of women need clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm. What DOESN’T work for women is when a guy uses all the moves he saw in that last adult video where the actor pounded the actress into oblivion and she had (what looked like) five orgasms from penetration alone. What DOES work for a woman is direct stimulation of her clitoris either before or during sexual intercourse. The clitoris is located where the labia (vaginal lips) meet, below the pubic bone. This magical structure is not involved with reproduction – its purpose is purely for pleasure. The size and shape of the clitoris may vary, but all women have one. Try using a toy like a bullet or egg on the clitoris during foreplay. These toys are fun to use during oral sex too.  Another way to remember the clitoris during sex is to wear a vibrating couple’s ring (also called a cock ring). This provides vibrations directly on her clitoris during intercourse.

4. Ignoring the rest of her body. There is more to a woman’s sexual experience than her genitals. What DOESN’T work for women is only focusing attention on her nipples and between her legs. There are other erogenous zones like the back of her neck, upper arms or inside her thighs. What DOES work for women is a sensual massage. Try touching her in different areas with your hands, fingers or tongue. Use scented or flavored massage oil. This is a great way to make foreplay into a full body experience. Help her to feel comfortable and relaxed as she becomes aroused. Tell her she looks hot or that her reaction to something turns you on. Women who struggle with anxiety or a negative body image can also have difficulty reaching orgasm because of their discomfort. Celebrate her body and help her to feel comfortable and sexy. This DOES work for women in bed!

5. Not communicating. While some people enjoy silence and others are more vocal in bed, producing a symphony of screams and moans, what DOESN’T work for women is when someone assumes what she likes without simply asking. Non-verbal communication is one way of communicating and it is important to be aware of your partner’s signals. However, it is also good to be able to ask: “Does that feel good?” or “Better now?” Women tell us all the time that the best lovers are the ones who communicate with them. Communication opens up sexual possibilities and will help you learn what DOES work.

6. No lube. There is no question, what DOES work in bed for women is using lube. Yes, there are women who naturally lubricate. However, most women find that their natural lubrication can change from time to time – especially when taking medication, during and after pregnancy or during menopause. Lube makes something good feel even better. Enjoy the process of putting the lube on each other. Lube is especially important to use with women who experience pain or dryness and when you are using sex toys.

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