Can we whet our appetite for sex?

As I mentioned earlier in this blog, last month my husband and I took a hiatus and went on our second honeymoon. We spent four days at a really posh resort, and one thing that interested me was the food.

This was probably the poshest place I’ve ever been, and every mealtime they brought out this tiniest upon tiniest little nibbles to “whet your appetite”. It was always something very tasty and very interesting, but it was only about a bite big.

The appetizers weren’t big, either. You definitely could not get full on the appetizers. They really just were to whet your appetite as well by giving you different tastes. And everything was very artistically presented.

I could see how people could get a little bit teed off at this, though. Sure, it’s good food, but it’s hardly anything! And I’m hungry! So I’m getting ripped off.

But it occurred to me that this resort was trying to make an experience out of eating. They weren’t just trying to fill you up; they were trying to tease you for what was coming next. And because there was a lag of about twenty minutes between courses, by the time the next course came, you were ready for it!

I think we should treat sex the same way.

The problem is that we see it too much like food, especially from the male perspective. They’re “hungry” so they need to “eat”, and the best thing to do is to jump in, satisfy that craving, and then you’re done.

If that’s our attitude, though, we’re diminishing the possibilities that sex brings, but we’re also preventing many women from feeling sexy. The truth is that women, on the whole, just don’t get “hungry” for sex the way men do. Our bodies aren’t going to yearn for it. We’re not necessarily going to feel uncomfortable if we haven’t had sex for a week, or a month, or longer. We may be a bit moody, but our bodies on the whole aren’t going to send us “hunger” signs. So if we think of the act of sex as just necessary to staunch hunger pains, then we start to believe it’s not for us.

We’re not the only ones losing out, either. According to the latest research, men’s sex drives are starting to go down, too. I think a lot of that is due to pornography and relationship issues, but regardless of the cause, it is true that for many men, they don’t always feel that hunger, either.

So then why have sex? If no one has a hunger that needs to be satisfied, what’s the big deal? Or what if only one person has that hunger? What if he’s hungry but you’re not? Then sex becomes “just for him”, and you feel a little bit used, or a little bit put out.

Maybe we need to stop thinking of sex as a hunger and think of it as an experience, like that posh resort.

We need to whet our appetites. A recent Psychology Today study found that the majority of women don’t actually feel “in the mood” before they make love. It only comes once they start. So if we’re waiting to feel hungry, we may not make love very often. But if we jump in, we’ll start to feel like it.

So how do we whet our appetites?

Let’s let ourselves think about it during the day. Call your husband and tell him you’re thinking about it! Leave notes for each other. Touch each other. Kiss each other, even if the kids are in the room and that’s all you can do. Hold hands. Whisper to each other. Have code words you can use when other people are around to tell him what you’re thinking about.

And here’s something else to consider: when we think of sex as an appetite, then we’re not satisfied until we’re filled. We’re not satisfied until the appetite is then gone. But what if that’s not really the point? Maybe sometimes we should spend a day or two arousing the appetite without satisfying it. Draw out the experience, in other words. Make it fun. Make it memorable. Learn to tease him a little bit (and perhaps more importantly, teach him how to tease you).

I’m not talking about anything kinky. I just mean that we need a different attitude. Sex is so amazing for drawing us together spiritually, emotionally, and physically. We concentrate too much on the physical and we miss the fun that it can be when it becomes an experience.

So here’s my challenge for you. Today, concentrate not on having sex, but on whetting the appetite. And that includes his appetite! If he’s already “always in the mood”, that’s okay. Playfully show him how to draw it out by having those really tiny appetizers that don’t satisfy any hunger, but do make you ready for more. And then see what happens!

Let’s bring more play into the bedroom, and less goal-oriented “let’s just get it on”, if you know what I mean. I think that would make it more fun for all of us, and especially us women who aren’t perpetually “in the mood”!

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