Let’s talk gender differences–and gender differences with foreplay!
On the last Thursday of every month we like to do the podcast that’s aimed more specifically at men (though women will enjoy it, too!). And this week Keith and I tackled the problem with overblowing gender differences and downplaying personality differences or family of origin differences. And then we tackled some sex questions!
So first, listen in!
Main Segment: Are gender differences overblown?
A man wrote in with this question:
As a man I don’t want to read a book about how to love my wife…written by a man. If men could figure it out I wouldn’t need the book. All these marriage books written by men are helpful to understand myself, but are woefully inadequate when addressing my wife. I’m reading your book 9 Thoughts (because I didn’t realize it was written for wives), but I’m learning a ton anyway… except what I want to know, which is how to love my wife. What I’ve recognized is that I have been loving my wife like a guy would want to be loved, and surprisingly it’s not working, but it’s taken me 18 years to figure out what I was doing wrong. Now I need help figuring out how to do it right, and I’m stumped. I love your perspective, because it’s so similar to my wife’s, so I want you to write the book, but would take reading suggestions if you have any in the meantime.
The main point Keith and I were making is that often we think distance between us is caused by gender differences–when that’s not really the main issue. And even if it is, working towards understanding each other isn’t as out of reach as we often make it sound.
If you didn’t read it yesterday, check out Keith’s post on gender differences!
And you may also appreciate these, too:
- Can we stop it with the gender stereotypes already? (a podcast from last year!)
- MBTI and Marriage (our 5-part personality series)
- Take the Emotional Needs Inventory!
I wanted to get practical in this podcast and talk about how to feel closer to each other, and one of the best ways is the emotional needs inventory! It’s a free download, and then you can read it through with your spouse and do the exercise (it seriously doesn’t take very long), but it will give you some insight into how your spouse likes to be loved, and your spouse will understand what small things they can do that reap big dividends.
Are We Rushing Through Foreplay?
A woman asks:
We’re both Christians and pretty shy on the topic of sex, so when I first read your book “The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex”, it really helped me and our marriage a lot, thank you! I was stuck in the bad girl mind set that I had to be perfect for everything to be right! Recently my husband asked me a question that really stumped me, what is foreplay? I struggle with most of the time not getting anything out of it because it’s rushed but I try to enjoy it since it makes my husband happy.. I was wondering if you had any advice?
I think a lot of times couples rush through foreplay because they feel like intercourse needs to be the main event. And women feel guilty if we make men spend too much time on foreplay, because we feel like we’re being selfish and demanding too much, and we should get as much out of intercourse as he does. And some men feel as if women are somehow broken if they need more attention.
So I talked in the podcast about how for many women, foreplay IS the main event. They don’t orgasm through intercourse.
Can we please start saying instead, “she comes first”, and make HER the main event before intercourse? Some women don’t need that, of course, but many do.
Incidentally, I’m starting work this week on my orgasm course (finally!). I’m excited about that (sorry if that’s a poor choice of words). But it should be out in August!
What about sex during COVID?
Keith and I tackled this one together from a woman who is nervous about physical contact during COVID:
I was wondering what tips you have for couples and sex during this pandemic?
Obviously our kiddos are home all the time so there’s not a lot of alone time to connect. We have 2 boys ages 15 and 12. My husband and I have played some board games together because I know those are things that help him to connect with me. Our communication is good. It’s just really hard for me to focus on sex. My mind is in a hundred places and I’m not an essential worker dealing with stress many are.
We are also not kissing. Mostly just out of fear. I still go to the grocery for us and I would hate to bring something home to him. I take all necessary precautions going to the store mask, gloves etc as well as going as soon as stores open for less people. I don’t want our sex life to diminish but it’s just so hard for me to be into it.
Okay, so as far as I know, all the guidelines are that you do NOT have to socially distance from relatives at home unless you’ve been exposed to COVID or you have it. So there is no need to avoid kissing (and even in our Good Friday post by the wife of a NYC internist, they weren’t socially distancing).
We need to find a way to get perspective on this. It’s one thing if you’re talking about 3 weeks; but we’re way beyond that now, and likely this will last at least another year. So ask yourself:
- What’s the worst that can happen?
- What’s the chance of that worst case scenario occurring?
- What are we giving up in order to avoid that worst case scenario?
I know this is scary for many, but I think we have to realize that we aren’t in control, and we have to be willing to accept some risk in our lives. How that looks for each family we’ll all have to individually decide, but I think clinging to each other in uncertainty is worth the risk myself.
If your spouse is having a hard time with that, then try to talk it through with those three points, above.
Now today I would LOVE to talk about rushing through foreplay in the comments. What do you think? How can we avoid feeling like foreplay is “extra”? Or do you have any comments about the pandemic and sex? Let’s talk!