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6 Sex Mistakes Women Make

By Paula Spencer Scott
WebMD Feature

Wish your sex life were different, better, hotter? It's easy to blame your partner for not flying you to the moon. But maybe you're grounding yourself. These six common mistakes may keep you from the sexual pleasure you deserve. But you can fix them.

Mistake: Waiting for Him to Get Things Going

It can become a habit: He starts, you respond (or not). Or maybe you're frozen by the stereotype that "guys make the first move." Or you dread being turned down.

"I hear from a lot of men who say, 'I hate being the one who has to decide when and if we have sex,'" says New York sex therapist Ian Kerner.

The fix: Resolve to take the lead. If you're shy, start by flirting or planning a dinner out. "Even if you won't have sex for a while, you'll set yourself up to have a sexy moment," Kerner says.

Don't be angry or hurt if he's too tired or stressed. "Women often take rejection to heart," Kerner says. "Guys tend to just figure they'll make an overture and have a 1 in 3 chance of being rejected."

Mistake: Ignoring That Guys Are Visual Creatures

There's a good reason why your guy is probably more likely to give you a gift like sexy lingerie than a handbag. He likes how you look in it -- a lot.

"Women tell me, 'But I find him hot in his old boxers!'" Kerner says. "They don’t understand why he doesn't like her thermal chicken-print pajamas." The reason: Men respond most to visual stimulation, while women tend to use touch, sounds, smell, words, and emotions to get aroused, research shows.

The fix: Ditch the long johns – at least some nights. You don't have to wear lace or dominatrix gear, if that's not your style. But you'll do you both a favor if you pick bedclothes that show off your body and make you feel sexy.

Mistake: Having Unreal Ideas About How Your Body Works

Don't believe that "real" women have vaginal orgasms. Or -- thanks to porn and a Sex and the City episode -- that female ejaculation, or "squirting," is the norm. 

"Women are convinced it will enhance their experience," says Madeleine M. Castellanos, MD, a sex therapist and assistant professor of psychiatry at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "But only 5% to 6% of women naturally squirt, and you can damage pelvic floor muscles by trying."

The fix: Relax. Trying to climax a certain way only puts you on edge.

"Most women need clitoral stimulation for orgasm," Castellanos says. Because the clitoris is rich with nerves, grinding against your partner, oral sex, or hand stimulation can do the job. A nice stretch of foreplay helps most women climax, Kerner notes.  

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