It’s our 29 Days to Great Sex event, leading up to the release of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex (update: now available!), and I want to recap what we’ve done so far and let you in on what’s ahead this week.
We’ve looked at how to reframe how think about sex, how to reframe how we think about our bodies and about pleasure, and even how to think of our husbands differently. We’re looked at how to get in the right frame of mind during the day by flirting, and playing, and preparing for the evening.
This week we’re going to look at what to do when the evening finally arrives. Today we’ve going to look at how to get your head in the game, and then we’ll turn to foreplay, orgasm, and more!
Let me start with some basics that many men and women don’t understand about female libido, and it goes like this: if our heads are not in the game, our bodies won’t follow. If we are distracted by anything, then it’s difficult to get aroused. This is the exact opposite of men, whose bodies often react to visual stimuli even if they ARE distracted and don’t want to be thinking about sex. Most men react almost automatically; women need to decide to react.
I’ve often heard it said that men are like microwaves and women are like slow cookers, insinuating that men can heat up and be done quickly, while women take more time. But I think that analogy is false because it implies that women will, eventually, heat up. The truth is there is no guarantee. A guy can do exactly the same thing to his wife that yesterday had her in raptures, and today he can tell she’s lying there thinking, “will you just get it over with because I want to get to sleep.” While women certainly can heat up, men can’t do it completely for us. We control the switch. We’re the ones who need to decide to participate, and that’s not always easy.
Consider this scenario, that I shared with Paul Byerley, The Generous Husband, in a recent guest post:
You walk into your bedroom to find your husband giving you that “Y’wanna?” look. You smile, and undress while he looks on appreciatively. You climb into bed and start kissing. And then suddenly, out of nowhere, you push him away and say:
“Do you think Michelle should drop piano? She just isn’t enjoying it and it’s costing us $20 a week in lessons, and a whole Tuesday night. We could take that money and go to a movie as a family and spend quality time together instead!”
What just happened? Did you decide you really didn’t want to have sex? Chances are your husband was pretty ticked, because he thought the evening was going in a certain direction, and now you’ve erected a big “Detour” sign.
I used to think that when I launched into a big monologue right in the middle of foreplay that subconsciously I was trying to push my husband away. But over the years I’ve realized that the opposite is the case. I can’t really get into making love if I have a lot of unprocessed thoughts in my head, because they end up bouncing around in there, like a huge pinball game. And my body doesn’t suddenly spring into action the way my husband’s does. I have to get myself in the mood, anticipate what we’re doing, and concentrate if it’s going to feel good. Like most women, sex for me is mostly in my head.
And if there’s too much other stuff rolling around in my head, my body won’t be able to get in the game. Part of getting ready for the big event, then, is to empty my head of all the stuff that’s rattling around in there. When I can get it out, I can let other stuff in.
There’s another element to this urge to talk, too. As we’ve talked about before, men make love to feel loved, while women need to feel loved to make love. In other words, for men, making love is a way of checking in on the relationship, and making sure that everything is good. When we make love, they feel as if we accept them and want to be with them.
For women, though, we need to feel that acceptance first, and part of that is feeling as if our men understand our hearts. That’s why conversation is so key to a woman’s libido. She needs to feel as if she’s understood, but she also needs to feel as if all the details in her head that are bouncing around about her to-do list tomorrow, and her worries about the kids, are out in the open so that she isn’t distracted.
So if you want sex to be great, TALK. Talk earlier in the evening so that she feels loved, and also so that she has a chance to process all the things that are in her head. And women, if you have a lot of “logistic” type worries–like how am I going to manage my time and get everything done?–discuss these with your husband, too, because he may be able to figure out some things you can say no to, or some other strategy of dealing with everything. Get an agenda planner and actually write them all down so she can be done with them!
And guys, if you’re reading this, understand that your wife’s urge to talk is not a rejection of you or a rejection of sex; it’s her way of getting her mind in gear and emptied out of all her concerns so that she can actually concentrate and enjoy sex.
Great Sex Challenge 13: Talk to each other about developing new habits of talking earlier in the evening and checking in with each other about your day. Can you go for a walk after dinner? Can you curl up on the couch for 15 minutes? Even keep a day planner near the bed so that together you can go over her schedule and fit errands in it so that she’s not worried. It takes 21 days for a habit to become ingrained, but start this one today: find regular, scheduled time just to TALK.
This may not sound sexy, but before we can move on to how to really enjoy sex, she absolutely must be able to get her head in the game, and that means dealing with the day’s stresses. So make this a habit; it will benefit both of you!
New! This 29 Days to Great Sex series has been turned into an ebook, the 31 Days to Great Sex (only $4.99!)
It's expanded, it's written for couples (not just women), and it's easy to use! 31 Days to boost your emotional intimacy, spiritual intimacy, and physical intimacy. You'll talk, flirt, and explore! Ignite your marriage here.
29 Days to Great Sex:
Day 1: The Act of Marriage
Day 2: Starting Fresh
Day 3: Loving the Skin You’re In
Day 4: Pucker Up!
Day 5: Reawaken Desire
Day 6: Why Your Hubby Wants You!
Day 7: Moving in the Right Direction
Day 8: 14 Ways to Play as a Couple
Day 9: Prepare for Sex throughout the Day
Day 10:16 Ways to Flirt with Your Husband
Day 11: How to Find Your Hubby Attractive
Day 12: If you’re Having a Hard Time with these Challenges
Day 14: When You Don’t Want to Make Love
Day 15: What is Foreplay?
Day 16: How to Orgasm
Day 17: The Pleasure Center
Day 18: Foreplay Can Be for Him, Too!
Day 19: How to Come Alive Again
Day 20: Deciding on Boundaries
Day 21: 5 Ways to Spice Things Up
Day 22: How Often is Enough?
Day 23: Quickies Are Great!
Day 24: Initiate, Baby!
Day 25: Sex When You Have Kids
Day 26: Rebuilding Your Sex Life
Day 27: Experiencing Spiritual Intimacy when You Make Love
Day 28: Overcoming Selfishness
Day 29: A Contest & a Party!
Remember to hit the Share buttons to share on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest! (or any other buttons below :). Let’s spread the word about the series, and help other marriages thrive!
Marriage isn't supposed to be blah!
Sex is supposed to be stupendous--physically, emotionally, AND spiritually. If it's not, get The Good Girl's Guide to Great Sex--and find out what you've been missing.