Is there such a thing as bad sex? If you’re female, you’re probably rolling your eyes.
If you’re male and under 25, you probably thought that was an oxymoron. (Bad sex!? That’s like a bad day off work, or a bad win at the lottery.) The rest of us might have to think about it a bit: Is is safe? Does anyone get hurt? Are there unwanted consequences? What, exactly, is bad about it?
There are a LOT of books out there that claim to have uncovered the reason woman (in general) aren’t as enthusiastic about sex as men, but the answers all seem to be different. What’s a guy to do?
Compare what the Billion Wicked Thoughts authors (who are both male psychologists) say:
Females are wired to enjoy submissive fantasies, and males fantasize about being dominant. They go on to make the point that “gender equality inhibits arousal” and we’d all be better off if we just admitted it. (If men were more dominant, women would be more aroused.)
To what Daniel Bergner says in What Do Women Want? Adventures in the Science of Female Desire:
Pretty much exactly the opposite.
Well, here’s what I think women want in bed: Good sex.
So what is that?
(I have some ideas on what men consider “good sex,” but my expertise lies on the other side of the bed, so I’ll let the women come first — always a good idea, BTW).
So, what do women consider good sex? I can’t answer that for all women, or even most women, but I can tell you what I think (and encourage you to ask the woman you’re hoping to bed for her answer.)
To start, let’s divide sex into three general categories:
- Hot Sex – The key ingredient is uncertainty or risk.
- Warm Sex – The point is making an emotional connection.
- Cold Sex – This is all about satisfying a physical desire.
Hot Sex requires tension, and the dominant/submissive roles our two young male psychologists focus on provide that. I happen to think that it doesn’t matter which gender calls the shots (both men AND women enjoy being in control sometimes), as long as the tension is high. (And there are studies that back me up: the men who are most satisfied with their relationships, sexual and otherwise, have mates that they consider equals.)
I do think there are differences between the sexes on teasing, particularly on when teasing becomes torment, but I’m not ready to jump right in and say it’s all biological. (The first advice I’d give to a guy who wants to have more success with a woman is to learn how women liked to be teased.)
Women enjoy and desire hot sex just as much as men.
When you take away the risks (pregnancy, disease, social shaming), most researchers find that women will seek out sex with near strangers. (See Bergner’s book above.) If you doubt that hoards of women think about hooking up, take a look at the novels that sell the most copies: Romance and Erotica. Sure, lots of them have women in the submissive roles, but a lot of them don’t.
I also happen to disagree with the assertion that “feminism is the anti-viagra” or that men don’t desire powerful women: Fishing in a pond stocked with hungry trout is not quite as satisfying as catching a clever, elusive, and spirited wild salmon. (Here again, if you’re starving, all bets are off. As I’m mentioned before, people who are starving for sex tend to see the world in more black and white terms, and like the Donner Party, will do just about anything to find their next meal.)
So, why isn’t your main squeeze more interested in hot sex?
Maybe because there’s no uncertainty or risk.
Once the initial newness wears off, the two of you have to find other ways to up the tension in your relationship. There are lots of books that try to help you do just that, but be careful what you ask for: risk and uncertainty aren’t always something you want to add to a relationship, so make sure you balance it with sex that builds the relationship too.
What’s that you ask? Warm Sex… Stay tuned.