The minds of men are a mystery, particularly when it comes to sex. Clinical sexologist Martha Lee of Eros Coaching has picked the brains of many men in her line of work. She now reveals what they want from you during sex but are too afraid to say.
1 He isn’t always horny
A common misconception perpetuated by popular culture is that men are horny all the time. Martha points out that even men who think of sex constantly may not always feel like having sex. Usually, when they are physically or mentally tired, they tend to pass on sex. “A man’s sex drive can be affected by stress, anxiety, burnout, depression or lack of sleep,” she says.
Significant life events, such as a new job, arrival of a baby or death in the family, can also affect his sexual appetite. Men don’t open up about their worries as readily as women. If your man isn’t initiating sex or seems standoffish in the bedroom, this may signal that there’s something going on in his life that is weighing on his heart.
Initiate a conversation about it as a first step towards regaining your intimacy with him, says Martha.
2 He doesn’t necessarily know what he’s doing
“Society expects the man to know what he’s doing, to step up and to take charge.” This, Martha says, is an unrealistic expectation we have. First, nobody starts out as an expert in sex. Anyone who’s not had lots of sexual experience will need time to figure out what works and what doesn’t, and if you never tell him what you like and dislike, he might never know even after years of marriage.
Secondly, you are an individual with unique sexual needs and desires. So even if he has had prior sexual experience or has um… learned a lot from the Internet, it doesn’t necessarily mean he knows exactly what you like in the bedroom.
Your man needs time to discover just what makes you happy. Be sure to give him plenty of feedback and enjoy the process.
3 Your orgasm is worth the time
When he says he doesn’t mind how long it is taking, he really does mean it. Martha says women report difficulty climaxing when they are stressed about it or try too hard to reach orgasm. Don’t feel pressured or upset if you think you’re taking too long – your man wants you to feel good as much as you do.
“You need to be relaxed and let go of the expectation in order to have an orgasm,” says Martha. “Give yourself the permission to receive pleasure. Don’t rush it; instead, ask for more of what you do like. He’s more than willing to give it to you.”
4 He wants you to help yourself
One thing your man secretly likes is for you to make his job a little easier. Men like it when their partners pleasure themselves during sex. When you touch yourself, you’re able to do what works for you and reach orgasm sooner.
“He won’t have to worry so much about needing to please you and this puts him at greater ease so he can enjoy himself more too,” says Martha.
5 He blames himself more than you blame him
If you and your man are struggling with a sexual issue such as premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction or painful sex, go easy on him.
“Men can be very critical of, even cruel to, themselves,” explains Martha. “When things don’t go according to plan in the bedroom, your man might not verbalise it but he is likely to have internalised it.”
If he decides to take all the blame, he might become withdrawn and shut down emotionally. Talk about it with him gently and seek professional help if necessary. Remember that his pride is likely to have taken a hit and you should handle the situation as delicately as possible.
6 He is listening to the tone of your voice
It’s just the two of you alone in the dark. Up close, your man relies a lot on auditory cues to work out how you’re feeling and responding to him.
“When we are naked, we feel especially vulnerable. This is the time when he is most sensitive to not only what you say, but also the way you say it,” says Martha.
Pay attention to your tone of voice and choice of words. Acknowledge and compliment your partner. Be careful about sounding unhappy, which can lead him to feel inadequate, or believe that he is not good enough or not trying hard enough.
7 He does want to talk about sex
“Most of us aren’t comfortable with talking about sex publicly, given our conservative Asian culture,” says Martha. “And this discomfort extends into our private lives as well.”
But even though your man might not be very used to talking about sex, he actually does want to talk about it. He wants to let you know what he wants and find out what you need from him.
“The same rules and skills we apply in daily communication also apply when communicating about sex. If you want a healthy relationship with someone, you have to communicate with them honestly. Similarly, if you want a healthy and positive sexual relationship, you have to be ready to talk about sex before, during and after.”