What I Know About Your (Hetero) Man’s Sexuality

How do I know about male sexuality? I’ve been a sex therapist and marriage counselor for 34 years. From listening to thousands of people talk about their most intimate experiences and desires, here’s what I’ve learned about most men:

* He wants to please you.

He actually cares whether you enjoy sex with him. And his own experience is affected by yours. So if there are things that would make sex more enjoyable for you, tell him. That includes not just positions, but things like hygiene, timing, and language.

Perhaps he initiates by saying “Hey baby, let’s play hide the salami” when you’re tired and he hasn’t shaved in a week. If you like that, fine; if that’s a turn-off, he really needs—and wants—to know. Tell him—and if necessary, tell him why you’re telling him.

* Touching is a big part of sex for him.

Some people have a pretty narrow sense of what “sex” is. But most men enjoy touching and being touched as an integral part of sex. Assuming you like it, caressing you is both sensual and erotic for him, and it’s a great way to get your two bodies in synch.

So if you like to touch or be touched, do plenty of it, and don’t worry that he’s getting impatient.

If you don’t enjoy it, of course, you won’t want much of it, and so you’ll either prevent it or pull away as soon as you can. Your guy will probably find this confusing or disappointing, and you’ll undoubtedly find the whole interaction awkward. So if there’s a way you like to be touched, tell him. Be really specific. If he says he doesn’t like being told what to do, ask him if he wants the information or not. If he doesn’t, you have a much bigger problem than touching.

* Sex is about more than intercourse for him.

The behavior and bragging of teenage males (and the stupid movies they like!) has led to a common misunderstanding about adult men—that they’ll stick their penises into anyone or any place, and hardly notice the details.

Fortunately, that generally isn’t true for grownups.

Most adult men like to feel emotionally connected during sex, even if they find it hard to talk about. Most men like to kiss or hug (or both) during sex; if your guy doesn’t, there’s probably a good reason, so you might want to ask about it. And most men like for sex to involve their hands, your hands, and often their mouth and your mouth. So don’t rush to intercourse, and don’t let him, either.

If he does head toward intercourse faster than you’d like, ask what the two of you can do to make the stuff before (or even instead of) intercourse more entertaining.

* He may like to be bitten

Human eroticism includes the instinct to bite. Any woman who’s ever nursed a child remembers that.

If you don’t like being bitten, ever, you shouldn’t have to endure it. If it comes up, say “no thanks” in a friendly yet firm way, and that should be the end of it. But if you’re intrigued, or you know what you like (especially when you’re really excited), don’t be afraid to mention it. Or, at the appropriate moment, to press your shoulder, arm, breast, or other body part against you partner’s teeth. He’ll get the message pretty quickly. If he doesn’t, he’s almost certainly not interested.

* He’d love to answer your questions.

What does your guy like in bed? I’m glad you’re curious, and I encourage you to speak to the world’s expert on that—him. If you lead with the truth—“I’d like to know what you like so we can both enjoy sex more”—chances are he’ll tell you. And if he’s too shy to tell you, invite him to show you. He can, for example, put your hand on his penis or nipple, put his hand on top of yours, and move both hands the way he likes.

If he says he doesn’t know what he likes, that’s the perfect chance to suggest you explore his body together. Start with a hand or foot caress, look at and talk to each other, and move on to other body parts from there.

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