How do men and women feel about the amount of foreplay in their marriage?

Yesterday was a super momentous day at the Gregoire household, because Keith and I (and Joanna!) finished The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex and sent it off to the publisher! Yay!

We’ve been working on it since November, and technically it wasn’t due until March 1, but I didn’t want one book due the day before another book launches. And I wanted to enjoy this week leading up to the launch of The Great Sex Rescue. So we got it in early!

And I truly love it. Keith read it again last night all in one sitting and was really emotional. He kept saying, “If someone had given me this book when I was 22, our first years of marriage would have been so different.”

Today I want to share with you two of the graphs that we used in the book that show how much we prioritize a woman’s orgasm.

Rebecca and I shared this in the research segment of the podcast on self-fulfilling prophecies and sex last week, but I thought you may like to see them.

First: Does the husband prioritize his wife’s pleasure?


Husband Prioritizes Wifes Pleasure - Is Women's Orgasm an Afterthought? A Look at What Men & Women Think

When women orgasm at least half the time, they both overwhelmingly think that he prioritizes her pleasure. And that makes total sense!

But hold on a minute here. What happens when the wife orgasms less than half the time? 

91% of men still think they prioritize their wife’s pleasure–as do 65% of women.

Now, I can see some scenarios where this may be true. They’re working on helping her reach orgasm, but she’s having trouble, and they don’t want to pressure her too much. They’re still learning. (And in that case, you really need to check out The Orgasm Course!). 

But we have to ask: How much of a priority is something if she never achieves it? I wonder how many couples think her orgasm is simply unattainable, so if he spends some time trying to stimulate her, he’s done enough? 

Again, I understand that some women have trouble reaching orgasm, and that sometimes it’s women who don’t want their husbands to do foreplay. But these are astoundingly high numbers that show that we don’t actually expect women to orgasm in many cases.

Okay, let’s ask another question: Does the husband do enough foreplay?


Husband Does Enough Foreplay - Is Women's Orgasm an Afterthought? A Look at What Men & Women Think

Again, we get a similar situation. When she orgasms, 94% of men think they do enough (which makes sense), although about 13% of women would still prefer more.

But when she doesn’t orgasm very frequently?

71% of men and 52% of women still think he does enough.

By which I have to ask: enough for what? 

If I say that I’m saving money so that I have enough to buy a new car, I don’t say I’ve got “enough” if I’ve only saved half the price of a car. 

So it makes me wonder: what are people aiming for? If they think they’ve done “enough” when she isn’t reaching orgasm, then it seems to me that orgasm is not the aim. 

I wonder if many of us think orgasm is a “bonus”, or something that is rather unattainable.

If we think that, can you see how it might create a self-fulfilling prophecy where orgasm doesn’t happen? If he puts in a little bit of work and nothing happens, then we figure that we’re broken. Maybe we just weren’t made for this. And we don’t know how to ask for a lot more foreplay. We don’t realize that men and women are made differently, and women may need twenty minutes of foreplay (or more) to reach orgasm, and that’s normal. We don’t realize that most women don’t reach orgasm through intercourse alone, and that other routes to her orgasm tend to be more reliable. 

I’m not saying that she has to orgasm every time; but the reason that she doesn’t orgasm should never be that he doesn’t do enough foreplay; it should be that she doesn’t feel she’s in the mental space tonight, and so she doesn’t want to try for it. And that should not be a regular occurrence.

I know so many women on this blog are struggling with orgasm–and so many men want to give that experience to their wives.

I don’t want to shame anyone or make them feel less than. But I do think our attitude towards women’s orgasm is part of the problem with why women don’t orgasm. 

Women are capable of multiple orgasms. If anything, we’re more orgasmic than men. What would happen if, when we got married, we went in with that expectation? What would happen if couples focused first on figuring out her orgasm piece before they tried to figure out intercourse? 

i just wonder how much of this struggle could be avoided if we started with a different attitude–and that’s what we’re hoping to do with The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex.

Today, I want people to think about this:

If she is not orgasming, you should not give him great marks for foreplay. That is something wrong. She needs to prioritize her own pleasure, and so does he. And guys? Even though a lot of women don’t seem to expect more, there’s still a significant gap between the number of men who think they do enough and the number of women who do.

So if your wife isn’t regularly reaching orgasm, ask her. Do you think I prioritize your pleasure? Do you think I do enough foreplay?

And then get The Orgasm Course, and see where it leads you!

The Orgasm Course is Here to Help You Experience Real Passion!

Figure out what's holding you back. Open the floodgates to orgasm.

Mens Orgasm Course - Is Women's Orgasm an Afterthought? A Look at What Men & Women Think

One of the things we really wanted to do in The Good Guy’s Guide to Great Sex was to change the way that men talk about sex in evangelical circles, too. To make it less focused on what men need, and more focused on intimacy and mutuality. 

I feel like all of my books right now are saying something different–that we actually are changing the evangelical conversation about sex. That makes me so excited! And our pre-orders for The Great Sex Rescue are going so well! Thank you. I’m excited to see what this week brings. 

Copy of Sex a Need or Drive - Is Women's Orgasm an Afterthought? A Look at What Men & Women Think

What do you think? Why do women say he does enough–even if they don’t reach orgasm? Why do men? Let’s talk in the comments!

4d5d2dc667e7acd64221c42a103248a4?s=96&d=mm&r=g - Is Women's Orgasm an Afterthought? A Look at What Men & Women Think

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum

Sheila has been married to Keith for 28 years, and happily married for 25! (It took a while to adjust). She’s also an award-winning author of 8 books, including The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila is passionate about changing the evangelical conversation about sex and marriage to line up with kingdom principles. ENTJ, straight 8

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