By Laura Berman
It happens at my speaking engagements, of course, but also at cocktail parties and PTA meetings, even in department stores: People who've learned that I'm a sex therapist have tons of questions for me. Some just want to hear more about what I do, but most are concerned with very specific issues — things they've been wondering about but haven't felt comfortable asking (until they run into me shopping for shoes!). I'm happy to answer, if time and the setting permit. Not only does...
Mistake No. 1: You wait until you’re “in the mood.”
If you put off sex until your brain and body are primed for it, you probably won’t get frisky very often. That’s because many women don’t feel desire until they’re already into the act itself.
“Research shows that foreplay, and even just touching, prompts your body to send a message to your brain that activates sexual interest,” says Scott Haltzman, MD. He’s an associate clinical professor of medicine at Florida State University.
Even if you don’t feel like you’re ready down there, that doesn’t mean you aren’t turned on. “Even younger women may find that they’re not as lubricated as they’d like,” says Madeleine Castellanos, MD. If this is a problem for you, try using lube during foreplay, she says. Castellanos is a psychiatrist who specializes in sexual dysfunction.
Mistake No. 2: You put your partner’s pleasure first.
Sex is the time to be selfish. Putting all your energy into pleasing your partner doesn’t make you a better lover. It makes you a less fulfilled one, and that can be a downer for both of you.
“Biologically, women are hardwired to put others’ needs first,” Castellanos says. “But that instinct can put a damper on your sex life.”
The solution: Slow things down. “Women take longer than men to climax, and often even to get aroused. That’s OK,” she says. “Don’t feel guilty. Your pleasure is a turn-on to your partner.”
It’s equally important to be honest with yourself -- and your partner -- about what works for you. Don’t like a particular position? Speak up. Too tired to get it on at 10 p.m.? Schedule an a.m. sex session instead.