Five Sex Tips For Men About Women

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About Laurie J. Watson, MA, LMFT, LPC

Certified sex therapist and licensed couple’s counselor, Laurie Watson blogs for Psychology Today in Married and Still Doing It. Her book Wanting Sex Again – How to Rediscover your Desire and Heal a Sexless Marriage, December, 2012, Berkley Trade (Penquin) can be preordered on Amazon. Using practical tips and psychological strategies, Laurie shares glimpses into other people’s bedroom issues from real cases to demonstrate how women can grow their eroticism and conquer low libido and how men need to insist on sex, be great seducers, learn orgasmic touch techniques and meet her needs for deep connection to turn her on. Follow Laurie on Facebook at LaurieWatson.SexTherapy or Twitter on @AskLaurieWatson.


  1. wellokaythen says:

    I’m surprised a little at #4, bringing up new sex experimentation when she’s already aroused and halfway there. That sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. I thought it was best to lay the groundwork beforehand and not spring these things on someone who’s not expecting them. I’m pretty vanilla, so I don’t have much experience either way, but I’ve always had the impression that surprises in bed can be a really bad idea. It depends on how outlandish the suggestion is, I suppose?

    This sounds a lot like the “men from mars and women from venus” kind of advice. Not bad in general, but there are enough exceptions to fill entire books on the subject.

    • Re: #4… I think you’re right about the breadth of the revelation..there’s a difference between a suggestion and say, a revelation of a secret fetish… But my experience as a sex therapist with thousands of couples says that this works better…
      Thanks for your read and participation!

  2. AnonymousDog says:

    Probably not bad advice, but reading it in cold blood at the end of the workday, it seems too much like a honey do list.

    • Dog – I think arousing a woman is a lot of work… keeping her interested is a lot of work… The reciprocity is it’s a lot of work for women to develop an erotic core and keep desre.. they don’t have the same hormones… Equal tasks in my mind. Her’s is more mental work… his is more physical work..
      Thanks for reading!


  3. 2. Personalize the ask.
    This is one I’ve been working on and one way I’ve found effective is to tease it out of her. I’m a pretty sarcastic guy so instead of a direct ask make remarks like, “If I didn’t know any better…” or “You seem like you’re interested in something….” and so on. Essentially testing the waters and seeing if she wants to do get down or not.

    • If it’s working, sounds good…Billions of dollars are spent every year on romance novels where the heroine directly looks in her eyes and says he wants her… guess who’s spending the money?

      • I think the problem is that along with that billions of dollars spent there are plenty of women who are not buying those books and are of the mind that such a way of asking is “unmanly”. No point in arguing which is more prevalent because fact of the matter is a given guys has a chance of coming across either.

  4. Why are you asking for sex? You’re married, the default expectation should be sex. Frequently. At least 5x per week. I agree this isn’t how it works for the most part, but it really should.

    And romance gets you nowhere. To most women this stinks of a covert contract. They can smell a million miles off when some elaborate charade is being prepared to “get them in the mood”, and are quite rightly repulsed. If you’re going to be romantic, do so because it’s a good thing for a relationship. But it won’t really help you get laid. Most men put far too much effort in here when it’s pointless. That’s where seduction comes in. And no, the rules of seduction do not change when you get married. Don’t look her in the eyes and tell her she’s beautiful. TEASE HER.

    As for her orgasm, it’s her responsibility. Stop worrying about it. Sex using 20 different touch techniques, stumbling as you try to figure out which one works tonight, sounds about as sexy as cleaning the public toilets in Aberdeen. Just take her royally to Pound Town and spank her ass joyfully.

    • Dolores Haze says:

      …a big no, on that last count. Cervix-pounding penetration is not going to lead to orgasm. Sorry. Unless you have a Dom/sub relationship with your partner or know specifically that she wants rough sex the way you describe, don’t ever assume that the power dynamic you fantasize is one that will work for her, UNLESS you’ve talked about it first.

      When I’m not orgasm-oriented (as in, I want a specific set of activities that will lead to my getting off), I can indeed get into a very carnal headspace. But if a partner hauls off and starts slam-f-cking me or spanking me without my express consent, I’ll deck him in the jaw. And FYI, consent can be manifested in sexy ways. “Please f-ck me hard” is a good example. But I worry that being this vocal is the exception rather than the rule. I am a world-class screamer and dirty talker, and I’m really hard on and judgemental of women who aren’t, either because they’re too shy or find it distasteful. I get really tired of men’s whining and resentment over their sexless marriages because the anecdotes are all the same, but at the same time I get extremely impatient with women who won’t, or can’t, loosen up. The tools I use seem so simple and self-evident, but I’m learning that they are not.

    • Sounds like it’s YOUR default expectation to have sex 5x a week. I would imagine there are many males with similar expectations. The problem with expectations is they are often different.

      Agreed that if there’s a one-to-one expectation about romance.. ie I brought you flowers so you need to go to bed with me… it will probably be seen as a manipulation. Women want romance as a free and clear gift and certainly men would want sex as a joyful free and clear gift… not an I O U.

      Orgasms feed women’s desire. Not to be concerned about it or know how to get there doesn’t seem like mutuality. But should women also take responsibility for knowing how to get there, asking for what gets them there and directing the show to get there… Yes! Just to reiterate only 15-20% of all women reach orgasm through sexual intercourse…

    • CmE – if a woman feels that the romance is only being used as a ploy to ultimately get what you want, sex, then it it isn’t going to work. It’s kind of like a man getting oral sex from a woman that isn’t really into it. It’s not fun. It’s not fun if you get the impression that your boyfriend is only romancing you because he wants the end result of orgasm for himself.

      I think you should tell her she is beautiful AND tease her. … Take her “royally to Pound Town”…… give me a break. Any grown man that thinks all he needs to do is take his woman “royally to Pound Town” is probably a man that is going to get even less sex than he really wants.

      • Yes, we discern if we are being placated or if a person’s effort are genuine pretty rapidly. With one caveat: sometimes we get what we’ve been asking for and then are suspicious that the motive is not from the heart. When we are on the brink of real change, I think we have to accept that our partner giving us what we’ve indicated we want… is love.

        Thanks for reading Erin!

      • Erin

        Atleast you indirectly acknowledge that you women have the upper hand in the sexual dynamics

  5. “You go to work, travel, get busy, and she remembers you still love her. “He does think of me when he’s away from me.” You get points when you’re not even there. Romance proves forethought.”
    Does anyone else see a problem in NEEDING proof of your love with objects? Is her memory so terrible that she can’t remember your love?

    “Testosterone also governs her rate of arousal.”
    Time to give women testosterone injections?:P

    If women’s libido’s are this extreme to turn on, at what point does it become much more her responsibility to keep her libido up? It sounds like men need to exert far more effort than is given back to them for sex, that he needs to do more than she does to keep the sex going. How is that fair on him?

    This advice sounds like men needing to shoulder most of the responsibility for women’s libido and women’s sexual enjoyment, is that really helpful? Are women taking decent responsibility for their sex drive? Should women be doing stuff to get them aroused before he is even around?

    If it takes this much effort every time then no wonder there are so many sexless marriages with men often being the ones who’s much higher sex drive is being rejected. Shouldn’t it really be a 50:50 mix of responsibility, both men and women need to work at keeping both men n women’s libidos going?

    • The old joke… on a 40 year anniversary, the woman complains that her husband never really says I love you. “I told you I loved you on our wedding day,” he says, “I figure if I changed my mind, I’d tell you.”

      Love needs constant feeding. Each person needs regular reassurance of the love they way they like it. If a woman got distracted by work or the children, ask yourself how you would like to be reassured that you are still her top priority? Probably not a hot dinner. But since women respond sexually better when there are big influxes of connection, it’s wise to provide tokens that reinforce her sense of constancy from you.

      I wholeheartedly believe women need to take responsibility for their sex drive.. in fact I wrote a book about it! Wanting Sex Again – due out 12/4/12

      Sex takes an enormous amount of effort in heterosexual relationships.. more like 100/100 percent responsibilty! That sex takes work often leaves both spouses crestfallen because they thought it would be easy. That word again.. expectations… While the media makes it look like everyone else is having easy hot sex.. that is simply not true. Everyone has sexual problems at some point.. for most there are several points.

      • I hope the book helps people out. Glad to hear female responsibility, articles on this topic can often put the entire weight on the man’s lap with responsibility and women are basically to just lie back n receive all the extra work. It’s refreshing to see a different attitude.

  6. wellokaythen says:

    Brush your teeth.
    Shower regularly.
    Do your household chores.
    Whatever you do, don’t call her by someone else’s name. Big mistake….

    • Not exactly sure what your point is.. but I think you are saying…. “be a good boy and mama will give you a treat.” I think often men do feel that a woman holds all the cards in the sexual relationship and feel angry and resentful about it. Please read the counterpoint blog on this site as to what I feel women should do. I am hoping to give men a sense of what they CAN within their own control that will help. But certainly a sense of spontaneity and wanting are needed to avoid a quid pro quo agreement which our heart rejects.

  7. Am I the only 40 yr. old woman with a sex-drive through the roof? Low testosterone? I think not! I WISH my partner wanted it 5 times a week, jeez!

  8. Yuck, this reads like little more than what I’d find in Cosmo.

  9. I totally agree with point 1 and point 2 made. Especially point 2. I am totally not cool with point 4. I have had ex-boyfriends do that with me and it came off as really manipulative to mention fantasies or ask things of me during a time and point when I was highly vulnerable and not totally thinking clearly lost in the moment we were experiencing together. I didn’t like that at all. It infact turned me off a little and lessened my own pleasure. I think a better time to talk about those things, at least for me, is after sex with the soft glow of it all when you two are just laying in bed and it seems like the entire world is far away. It’s can be good pillow talk

    • Oh and by the way, I love the picture that complimented this piece. Instead of making some sultry young babe with pushed out lips, hips or breasts to play up the salciousness, the couple in the image is just a normal looking couple looking playful and intimate.

    • Right – and you speak up for yourself too! Obviously there are differences and everyone is unique and every woman has the right to say “no” to anything at any point!

      Crediting the Good Men Project for the photo!

      • Laurie, it’s been a long road for me to learn to speak up for myself regarind what I need concerning my relationships with men. Sometimes I still have a hard time with it but I am much better than I was when I was younger. I suspect a lot of young women have a simliar problem since women are programed to be people pleasers.

        I hope you write more stuff for GMP!

  10. As I said about the “Five sex tips for women about men” article: A good write-down, thank you!

    (Bet you didn’t see that one coming, huh ;-) )

    In my experience, for this to work, the person in your life does need to have some kind of libido or “drive” by her/himself. You can not create lust that just isn’t there. And I think that if you really want to have sex, you at least try to make it a priority…
    I’m a 40+ man, and Iäve had a few short and long-term relationships in my life. And I think I’ve been pretty good to fulfill your 5 points above (maybe not the full 20 touches of #5, but I’ve always been patient and caring to fulfill my partner’s needs and achieve orgasms…)
    And there haven’t even been the outside pressure/diversion of having kids.
    Yet it seems that just after a couple of months it starts to decline because she “just doesn’t think about it”.

    • Love the conversation!!

      I agree that a woman has to work quite hard to have adequate libido for a relationship. I don’t think it’s about her being attracted or not to her partner… it’s that women are not funded with biological drive and thus must have mental drive by fantasizing, imagining, planning, for sex! I think many women are revved up by the chase and fall off the wagon on the keep.

      • I think context and anticipation and key for a lot of women…. I have a healthy sex drive, but I still wish my boyfriend would put more effort into “seducing” me sometimes. We have sex on kind of a schedule — which as an aside, is something I like, because it creates anticipation that allows me to fantasize during the day and get excited about the prospect of sex — but then we’ll be sitting on the couch after dinner on the appointed evening and he’ll say, “want to have sex now?” and I always feel a tiny bit of a let down. I wish he would just start kissing me or tell me he wants to tear my clothes off or something! I’ve suggested this to him, but he really doesn’t get it, bless his heart. For him, the idea of going to the bedroom and having sex right now! is incredibly arousing in and of itself, he doesn’t need anything else. I think this is what women often mean by “romance” but the word “romance” is often misleading. We want to be tantalized and seduced and told how sexy and desirable we are. It adds the emotional element to sex that we crave so much.

        • I appreciate your comment because it sheds some light on a common problem. I like that you have communicated this to your partner. Women should be more clear about things like this regarding sexual arousal. I can get from 0-10 in a matter of seconds and it can take only a simple glance or word dropped in the right context to plant the seed of sex in my mind. I have trouble conveying that desire to my partner because I don’t know what works for her to get her going. I’ve asked, believe me, I’ve asked, but I get nothing. Now she can tell me with exquisite detail how to properly fold clothes, paint a ceiling or point out how I have loaded the dishwasher incorrectly. But should I get the same feedback in sex? Not remotely. I have to assume I’m doing it right, but I know I’m probably not most of the time.

          • “You look so incredibly hot right now” is always a good one! Works for me every time. What can I say, I’m vain. :-)

            We women are terrible about saying what we want sexually. SO many hang ups. It took me a long time to become sexually confident, and I could still do a better job of it.

        • I’m all for “romance”.
          But there’s just so many homemade candle-light dinners, backrubs, moonlight walks and hot baths you can offer. Unless she stops being constantly preoccupied talking about her job, rearranging the furniture, and the situation with her family, eventually you’ll run out of steam.
          Or maybe I just have poor imagination, I don’t know. ;-)

        • That was so well verbalized Sarah and I feel the same exact way you do about “romanced” and “seduced” a little.

        • Oh yeah! This is a great distinction! Thanks

  11. This made so many faulty generalizations about women that I’m kind of astounded it’s reprinted here. This is some “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”- level pop-psych schmutz.

    How about we stop trying to figure out what “women” want, and put more effort into finding out what our partner wants?

    Also, some of these suggestions rubbed up against bad consent in a way I’m not comfortable with, particularly number four and this bit: “They take about 20 minutes of very general caressing to change from willing to have sex to wanting to have sex.”

    Maybe this is just my hangup, but I have a very hard time approaching sex with someone who doesn’t want it/ me. “Willing” is… not really good enough.

    • Dear Bear,

      Certainly there are individual differences.. Lots of men don’t want sex either. Not sure what you mean by “bad consent.” You are not the only one who feels it’s not enough to be willing vs. “wanting.” Many women too wish they could experience the push of their bodies for sex.. the craving.

  12. Since women dont desire mens bodies and looks like vice cersa, it puts the burden on men to give women a good reason to have sex. The burden is on men to persuade, seduce, romance, arouse women. It as almost become a science if you consider the amount of material that has been written on this subject.

    Women are desirable to men, just the way they are…Womens bodies, looks, genitalia are instinctively and naturally appealing to men.

    This is the reason why this website was created.
    This is the root of the problem, the conundrum.

    • Jamal – Men are “naturally” turned on by women’s bodies because they have SOOOO much testosterone in their bodies. It’s an unfair advantage chemically. Women would love to feel what you feel. If you take away a man’s testosterone (like with prostate cancer treatment) he acts just like a woman… very little natural turn-on. Women experience “desire” once they are having sex. So yes, getting them to the starting gate is part of the male burden. I think in a committed relationship – a woman should work on having desire by using her mind and imagination and a man needs to spend a long time in foreplay. Both are similarly difficult tasks.

      • Feminists wouldnt be pleased with your views about testosterone.

        • Yes, lol, I could have put that better.

        • I’m a non-op trans woman, with a straight man, my testosterone is zero (due to a not-too-bad Androcur dose daily – cancer patients might actually get more, but I think my dosage isn’t far off), and yet I get aroused reactively simply from mild foreplay (which I sometimes initiate).

          And that’s true even if I never experienced orgasm ever. I have some degree of overstimulation (nerves too sensitive?) and/or am simply anorgasmic, I’ve accepted it.

          I won’t desire sex for its own sake as in coming from work, or at work, etc situation. At best I could have a dream provoking an erotic stimulation and putting me in super-stimulated mode. Yet I could go without sex until I die. I also don’t masturbate. I don’t feel any ill effect from it.

          I don’t need romance, grand gestures “proving me his love”, or to have 15 minutes foreplay just to get me in the mood.

          Why? Because I know he loves me, grand gestures are silly. Eating out or eating special (like fondue) should be something for us both, not something for me simply because I’m female. And believe it or not, he probably likes feeling desired just as much as I do. And I believe most men feel that way: they want women to want sex with them, to desire them. They don’t want sex to be a chore, a trade-off or something they’d rather not do but will anyway not to rock the boat of a relationship. And a few minutes of foreplay are enough to get me in the mood, then I reciprocate and I might end up more in the mood than him.

          Men are considered undesirable, and invisible, at least for most men. Celebrities are considered desirable for …their celebrity status, sometimes their top-5% tier looks. The average man? Probably never received compliments except from his own mother about his looks. And probably less about his desirability as a mate, from all sources ever.

          It’s a bit unfair that she wants to feel desired, and he doesn’t. “And its testosterone that makes it so!” ah the cop out. No its not. It’s been mostly socialized that way, however biological in origin, to see the male form as very-meh and the female form as wow.

          The Greeks thought differently, so its not entirely biological.

  13. @Laurie…

    “Women like to feel deeply connected before they turn on sexually. The setting, the build-up, the relationship all work together to make the moment work for her. These things do matter to her.”

    Then how do you explain highly educated call girls? How do you explain hook ups, booty calls, even FWB arrangements? Or the woman who is very horny two days before her cycle and calls me for two hours of my time?

    I think you are painting with a broad brush here. Clearly, women’s sexuality is quite varied. Maybe these things you suggest are more so for married couples.

    I have discovered after enduring 15+ years of a pretty much sexless marriage (now divorced), that I prefer to be a lover and not a husband. I much prefer the FWB arrangement as I know the woman and need to actually like her be be sexually relaxed.

    Just saying.

    • @Jules

      First, I would say that call girls are about commerce not sexual desire. Can they turn on faster and without these issues of connection? Well, there is a different motive certainly. Actresses often appear very effective in turning emotions on. But I would say her desire is for money not sex.

      I certainly think women are capable of lust. They can want it when they want it. Sometime booty calls are about attraction and horny. Sometimes booty calls for women are about the need for attention too. Or the need to alleviate loneliness. Sex is a medium. Nothing particularly wrong with that other than my question of – does it get her/him what she/he wants? There’s a good article written by a young woman on Huff Po called 15 Types of Sex You Have in your 20′s. Note how many kinds are actually good sex. I think from my clinical experience that women don’t often have great sex in hookups and it’s often because the partner doesn’t know their body well enough and sometimes it’s because their motive is to find connection vs to have orgasm.

      Yes, this was originally published for married folks.

      I think the FWB has it’s charm for many. It’s a looser arrangement than marriage – similar but looser. Without the pledge of fidelity or the co-mingling of finances. I think for many though they also want to be that other person’s “unique”.

      Good luck to you.

  14. RangeRover says:

    Laurie, your contention that all women are capable of orgasam is not factual. The same studies that found that 80% of women dont orgasam from PIV sex, also report that 10% never orgasam at all. I would cite Elizabeth Lloyd’s book about the evolution of female orgasam where she studied 19 surveys. They were all consistent with this figure. It could be that some of these women changed after the survey, but I think this idea that all women are capable of orgasam is simply not true. I don’t want to be a downer telling this to women who have difficulty in this area, but we should acknowledge what’s factual.

    • RangerRover, Do you have that study? I think there is a difference between never orgasming and “can’t orgasm.” Is the study claiming that 10% of all women CANNOT orgasm? Some anatomical dysfunction? In my clinical experience – I’ve seen hundreds if not a thousand women having trouble with anorgasmia – some primary and some secondary. There were only 2 stubborn cases that were really difficult. (cases not women) One had to do with very low testosterone and the other with deep seated anxiety about “letting go”. The latter left before she was able to reach orgasm. The former achieved orgasm that on occasion was powerful though without regularlity. The others were sucessful. I do not see this 10% figure clinically.

  15. Wait a second over on the other page- looking for sex with your spouse when she’s not in the mood is rape…..

    And here a little manipulation/seduction is ok…
    I’m so confused…
    I’m going to hit YouTube and watch Turn Wright Videos- that will make me a better man…

  16. Thanks Arabb Geek!

  17. Agreed! Thanks for the read. I had another commenter tell me he developed a playlist of sex songs… when a certain song played, he knew they had been fooling around in a general way for appx 20 minutes. I thought that was a brilliant way of “timing” things…


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