Good sex and sexual satisfaction is an important part of maintaining a happy relationship. Unfortunately, it’s also something that many straight couples struggle with. In fact, a study published in Archives of Sexual Behavior found that heterosexual women had the fewest orgasms. The study, conducted by The Kinsey Institute, Indiana University and Chapman University found that while 98% of heterosexual men achieved orgasm during sex, only 65% of heterosexual women did. Meanwhile, 89% of gay men, 86% of gay women and 88% of bi men. Bi women came in second to last at 66%.
For many women, this was a “no duh” moment. After all, as scientists have confirmed before: one of the primary reasons why women aren’t into casual sex is that, well, straight dudes kind of suck in bed. And the sad truth is: it doesn’t take that much to be a legend in bed… if you just pay a little attention.
Here is a little of what women wish guys knew about sex.
Want To Be Better In Bed? Ditch The Porn
First rule of being an amazing lover: forget the porn.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying porn in and of itself; in fact, odds are good that your girlfriends and wives would dig watching some with you. But the fact of the matter is: porn makes you lousy in bed. It’s not that porn has magical powers that suck away your libido – no matter what /r/nofap says – it’s that porn sex is fucking awful and you’re learning all the wrong things from it.
Aspiring to fuck like a porn star is like trying to learn how to fight by watching Ip Man and Iron Monkey. The people involved may look like bad-asses, but it has no relationship to reality. Porn sex is the least-fun sex anyone is having, including the people you see having it. Everything about the sex you see people having in porn is about what looks good on camera, rather than how it feels.
Take the various positions you see in porn, for example. Reverse cowgirl looks great on camera: not only do you get the full frontal and penetration shots, but the cameraman doesn’t have to teabag the other actor in the process. In the real world, however, it’s lousy. Not only is your cock not hitting the spots it needs to – and more on that in a second – but it’s uncomfortable and you’re more prone to the bone sliding out than you are actually getting someone off. That invites the magic phrase “penile fracture” into the picture.
Just as importantly though: it gives you the wrong ideas about what sex is supposed to be. Porn sex is all about the progression to penetration as quickly as possible. The foreplay – what little there is of it – is all about the cock and getting it in, rather than actual mutual pleasure or arousal. It’s 99% about blowjobs with the occasional minimal nod towards cunnilingus. And once the dick’s in, it’s all about the fleshy jackhammer until the actress has a screaming orgasm that has next to no basis to reality.
(And this completely leaves out the way porn portrays anal sex, leading to a lot of incredibly painful experiences…)
The fact of the matter is: fucking like a porn star means having sex that’s unpleasant to everyone involved. If you want the kind of sex that makes you feel the way porn looks, you need to change how you approach things.
Which, incidentally, takes us to the next part.
Good Sex Takes Longer Than You Think (But Not The Way You Think)
Part of what makes good sex is the duration. In fact, studies found that women who orgasm more frequently tend to have sex for longer durations. It’s not a man’s staying power that gets her there, however; in fact, that hour-long, bed-rocking, wall-banging, neighbor annoying fucking you see in porn tends to be the opposite of good sex. Constant hardcore bangin’ actually starts to chafe and hurt after too long. It’s easy to get away with in porn, where editing can make penetration seem like it lasts forever and allow for the reapplication of Astroglide. In practice, that Gordon-Sumner-Approved-Le-Mans style fucking leaves her vagina feeling like it just drove full-tilt boogie across the Mojave.
Good sex isn’t about vaginal hang-time – in fact, the perfect time from penetration to ejaculation tends to be between 7 and 13 minutes. It’s about the length of sex overall.
One of the issues that leads to men being lousy in the sack is the way guys treat female arousal and the difference between male and female arousal patterns. While everyone’s different – some dudes can take forever, while some women are easier to get off than a pair of shoes – in general men tend to reach orgasm far faster than women. This is in no small part because many women have a “responsive” arousal pattern. That is, instead of desire preceding action – “I’m horny, therefore I’m going to I’m going to start kissing and touching you” – sensual and sexual contact is what causes the desire.
So not only are men more likely to get hit with the “boner out of nowhere” version of horniness, they’re also much quicker to peak… often to the frustration of their partners. So while men and women take approximately the same amount of time to reach peak arousal and orgasm, men tend to start the process before women do. It’s akin to coming to a race with a massive head-start; guys are half-way to crossing the finish line before women have even gotten to the starting blocks.
Since men come to sex already horny, they’re more likely to rush towards penetration while their partners are still getting warmed up. As a result: guys get off and leave their partners waiting to get some quality time with the showerhead.
So how do you overcome this? Glad you asked, convenient rhetorical device…
The key here is foreplay. Women don’t want foreplay because they’re hoping for a Red Shoe Diaries experience with soft-focus lenses and random candles, it’s because foreplay helps get them to the place where guys start off. Being someone who learns to love foreplay means being somebody that women will love having in bed. But good foreplay isn’t just “alright, there’s the boobs, there’s the nipples, go“. A great lover recognizes that a woman has far more erogenous zones than her nipples and takes advantage of them.
The right kiss (or nibble) at the junction of neck and shoulder can drive women crazy. Finger tips at the crook of the elbow or down the sides of her hips can make her shudder in the best ways. Even running your fingers over her scalp can be part of what gets her motor humming. Taking time to explore, kiss and arouse instead of rushing to the “main event” will have her seeing fireworks far more than grabbing her hips and saying “get ready for it.”
But while we’re talking about foreplay…
Quit Thinking With Your Penis and Start Thinking With Your Hands (and Lips and Tongue)
Let’s get back to the dick-oriented nature of porn. One of the biggest mistakes people get from porn is the idea that cock is all you need when it comes to sex. If you’ve got the right equipment – especially one that’s big enough to need a secondary circulatory system – then all you have to do is drive things home and watch your girl moan her way to ecstasy and bragging about you to her friends later.
In reality… she’s laying there contemplating the ceiling and hoping you don’t pass out before at least trying to get her off.
The reality is that while pretty much all men can orgasm through penetration, very few women can. In fact, less than 35% of women can orgasm through vaginal sex alone, while 44% of women can’t orgasm from vaginal sex, period. Penis size, shape, curvature, decorative ribbing… none of that matters. Vaginal penetration is one of the worst ways to try to get women off.
On the other hand, 80% of hetero and bi women and 91% of lesbians almost always orgasmed through a combination of oral sex, manual stimulation and deep kissing, even when vaginal sex was never in the picture.
At the same time however, more oral and hands means using them the right way. Many men mistake pressure and speed for “skill”. Attacking a woman’s clit with your tongue like you’re trying to pull off a hyper-combo in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 with your mouth isn’t going to do the trick. Similarly, fingerbanging and the come-hither isn’t the power move you think it is when you do it at Barry Allen speed.
Oral sex and hands are vital, but it’s really easy to end up being far more intense than women enjoy. Some women do require vigorous stimulation directly on the clitoris. Others prefer lighter, indirect contact and greater intensity just starts to hurt. It’s also important to recognize there’s more to her vagina than just the clitoral head and the g-spot. The clitoris is bigger than most people realize, with wings reaching down into the sides of the pubic mound. Rubbing the palm of your hand against the vulva can be more intensely pleasurable than just trying to trace the alphabet with your tongue. Having her sit on your thigh and grind against it while you make out can help give an intense pressure over her whole genital region and get her more excited than just a finger or two inside of her.
(And incidentally: trim and clean your damn nails. Nothing ruins sex like unexpected jabs and UTIs.)
While you’re at it though…
Change Things Up
There’s more to good sex – or bad sex, for that matter – than just technique. One of the worst things you can do is make sex boring. Good sex quickly becomes mediocre sex if you’re doing the same things over and over again.
Think back to the honeymoon period when you first get together with your sweetie. The sex is often mind blowing – not because you’ve mastered the Transylvanian Twist and the Inverted Vulcan but because of the novelty. The human brain craves novelty and excitement. We process new stimuli completely differently than something we’ve already experienced. Part of what makes those first few months with a new partner so intense and amazing is that your brain is flooding your system with dopamine. Because everything about them is new and different, even basic sex has a passion and fervor that you don’t find in most long-term relationships.
Unfortunately, our brains are also good at getting used to just about anything, including bed-rocking sex. What was mind-blowingly intense at first can become “meh” inducing over a surprisingly short time. Boredom can set in pretty quickly, especially when sex is the same thing every time. Even a man who can lick his eyebrows loses his appeal when going down is the exact same routine.
Boredom is the antithesis of good sex. It’s the killer of attraction, the muffler of orgasms. If you want to keep your stroke game strong, then you need variety. New positions are a good start; changing positions also changes sensations and the topography of your bodies. Sex from behind lets the penis reach different part of the vagina than the missionary position. Sex toys can be another valuable way of keeping the novelty factor high; a vibrator on her clitoris (or your shaft, for that matter) can lead to intense new orgasms. So too can introducing other forms of sexual contact; prostate play, role-playing, or various flavors of kink can turn good sex into great sex.
Of course the point isn’t that good sex is a neverending escalation of newness – it’s that falling into a rut of the same ol’ same ol’ will kill even the most ardent affair.
But the most important part of good sex?
Use Your Words
As I’ve said before, the key to being an amazing lover isn’t about what’s between your legs, it’s what’s between your ears – specifically your brain and your mouth. Great lovers aren’t just about what happens in the bedroom, they’re about the holistic relationship. One of the contributing factors to frequent female orgasms? Treating sex as more than just bodies. Talk is a big part of keeping sexual arousal high. Flirting outside of sexual situations, praising your partner for the things they do in bed, teasing and tantalizing one another keep the arousal levels up and the feeling of gratification high.
So does communicating clearly about one’s desires and needs in bed. Women who felt empowered to advocate for their own needs – and feeling that their partners would respond to those needs – had more orgasms than those who didn’t. Studies have found that the practice of being good, giving and game increased sexual satisfaction in one’s partner.
But the single greatest key to good sex? Being willing to just ask questions. Women, after all, are not a monolith. The same oral technique that gave one woman screaming orgasms may set another’s skin to crawling. The things that repulse one partner may well be exactly what your next one needs to get off. While porn makes good sex look instinctual, it’s actually born from communication. Asking your partner – whether a single-night hook-up or a long-term lover – what they want and what they need will be part of what leads to great sex… and make you the sort of lover they’ll always remember.
This article originally appeared on Dr. Nerd Love
Photo credit: Getty Images