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5 Mistakes Men Make in Bed

It's not how good he is, it's what he doesn't do in bed.

LaylaBird/iStock; used with permission
Source: LaylaBird/iStock; used with permission

Most men come to sex therapy to learn better techniques. But while it is important to know what she likes specifically, his sexual skill isn’t usually what’s causing the problem. If he’s making a mistake, it’s more likely to be one (or more) of the following:

1. Thinking that her lower desire means he’s unattractive. When a man sees a beautiful woman cross his path, he feels something. His attraction stirs sensations in his genitals. The mere sight of his partner can cause a partial erection.

But when a woman sees an attractive man, whether her partner or another, it is very rare for her to feel instantaneous warmth or lubrication in her genitals. Rather, she mentally notes that he is good-looking. Even with the enthusiastic exclamation “He’s hot!” her genitals don’t signal her that it’s time to have sex. Male desire is rooted in his body; her desire springs from her memory, imagination, and fantasy. Good seduction helps her anticipate the moment and build a sexual fantasy.

2. Frustration with her slower ability to be aroused. The difference between men and women’s arousal paths is the difference between a gas grill and a charcoal grill. Women would love to instantly turn on, but in most circumstances, their physiology just won’t allow a quick warm-up. And if she is aware of your frustration or disappointment, her self-consciousness will make her even slower to arouse. The remedy: Take your time, enjoy the slow burn, and savor the tantalization.

3. Believing that good sex is about his performance. Men can ruin intimacy with their partner by worrying about their erections and how long they last. If a man struggles with erections, he may need to retreat into a bubble of concentration in order to climax; this mental focus may make him seem remote, isolated, and unattached. To reassure her and stay connected, whisper words about her—how desirable she is and how much you want her. If an erection is slow or wanes, welcome it as an interval to arouse her body. If premature ejaculation is the issue, tell her that you can’t control the fast climax because she is so sexy. And remember, oral sex can be an excellent substitute for intercourse.

4. Moving too quickly to genital touch. Once men understand how long it takes to arouse a woman, they want to get the process started. Since they like their genitals stimulated directly, they assume their partner would appreciate the same frankness. But without allowing her to prepare psychologically, the grab in the kitchen feels invasive, the reach under the covers to initiate is surprising, and the early stimulation doesn’t excite. Instead, spend some time kissing and massaging the whole body.

5. Stimulating her vagina instead of her clitoris. What she feels in her vagina is not what he feels on his penis. Sensation in the penis is based on touch, whereas in the vagina, the feeling is created by stretch and pressure. For women, it’s the clitoris that parallels penile sensation (except her anatomy is more delicate and sensitive). The clitoris, not the vagina, is the center of her sexual universe.

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