What do women want in bed? It’s an important question to ask, because it shows you want to increase your partner’s pleasure. It also acknowledges the fact that, for some, articulating desire doesn’t always come naturally. True, some women will let you know exactly what they like in bed, but others have a harder time expressing their needs, which can make the general of idea of women wanting sex or the whole let-me-d0-that-thing-you-love thing a bit more difficult. Generally speaking, this makes sense, considering what social scripts say about gender roles in the bedroom. Men have traditionally taken the lead when it comes to accessible sexual narratives (oh, hi, porn). But that doesn’t change the fact that women have strong desires about what they want in sex — and they don’t always align with their partners’. In the absence of mind-reading, there are some universal things men can do to help please women in the bedroom. From improving communication, finding the right pace, and considering sex toys, there are many areas in which you can do better. Here are five things women want in bed, according to sex experts.
1. Talk About What They Like and Plan Ahead
A simple lack of communication in the bedroom can balloon into astronomical problems. While sex is a largely physical experience, there is an important verbal component that’s often overlooked. Actually sitting down and talking to your partner about what they like, what they dislike, and what they might be curious about can be a transformative experience. Of course, we know it’s not always easy to get that ball rolling, so maybe talk it out over a glass of wine. Maybe you could turn on a show that you know has some steamy sex scenes. It’s not important how you chose to go about it, what’s important is that it demonstrates effort, intention, and a desire to please. That’s what you need to keep sex healthy and exciting. “It’s important to make sex a priority,” Dr. Chris Donaghue, sex therapist and author of the book Rebel Love previously told Fatherly. “It’s important to articulate what you want to be working on.”
2. Forget About Your Penis (for a Bit)
One of the most pleasurable things to do to a woman in bed might be to forget about your penis — for a bit. Studies have shown that generosity has a positive effect on marriage. Small gestures can go a long way in the context of a long-term relationship, and this certainly applies to the bedroom as well. Simply put, some selflessness in the bedroom can be a major turn-on. Besides, research suggests that women are much more likely to orgasm when sex involves a variety of activities besides vaginal intercourse. Pay attention to what she wants and put effort into pleasing her. Digital stimulation (with trim fingernails, only), oral sex, and other kinds of sexual play are much more likely to deliver her an orgasm than straight sex.
3. Embrace Variety
Monotony is a terrible thing to associate with sex. In fact, it’s often what people say drove them, in part, into affairs. “People in long-term marriages, or long-term partnerships, can sometimes become a little less curious about their partner. They can stop being adventurous, or stop growing in their erotic lives,” Dr. Tammy Nelson, sex therapist and author of the book When You’re the One Who Cheats previously told Fatherly. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to avoid falling into that trap. Role-play is a pretty popular bedroom stunt. Talking dirty is another one. And it doesn’t even have to get that involved. Mixing up the positions, even the places you have sex can help reignite diminishing bedroom flames. Remain cognizant of that fact, and take active steps to avoid falling into too much of a “routine.”
4. Find the Right Pace and Rhythm
Experts estimate that it takes women around 20 minutes to become fully aroused. Men, meanwhile, can typically hit that mark in a fraction of the time. Of course, these estimates should be applied in general, as not everyone is going to abide by that specific timeline. But the point is, different individuals will gravitate toward different ways of initiating sex. The hard-and-fast approach might work for someone who is easily aroused, but it’s not going to work for everyone. Remember, that vaginal tissue is delicate, and can respond negatively to the aggressive touch when not fully lubricated. We get it. It’s hard to remain chill when dealing with a full-blown erection. But it’s important not to get too excited too fast, especially when getting handsy with your partner. Keep the conversation going throughout the sexual encounter. Keep tabs on what your woman likes, and ask before moving on to the next step.
5. Don’t Forget About Sex Toys
A study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that using a vibrator can lead to multiple orgasms in almost half of all female users. The researchers also found that a majority of orgasms triggered by vibrator stimulation were more intense than those brought about the old-fashioned way. That’s a pretty solid sell on the vibrator jam, especially when you compare these findings to some other statistics floating around.
According to the book The Case of the Female Orgasm, penned by American philosopher of biology Elisabeth Lloyd, just 25 percent of women orgasm consistently during vaginal intercourse. Given what we know about mechanized stimulation, it seems as though throwing a vibrator into the mix during sex might help even the playing field. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen as often as it should. Women tend to worry about how partners will react to accessories in the bedroom. So take initiative, and bring a sex toy into the experience. It will take the pressure off her and prove that you’ve dodged the toxic pit of male insecurity. Win-win.