When Darcelle’s husband asked her if she had any fantasies she hadn’t shared with him, she was thrilled.
Their sex life was okay, but it felt more like something to check off the to-do list than something genuinely enjoyable.
If her husband didn’t want sex anymore, Darcelle wouldn’t mind. She’d get more sleep, she wouldn’t have to worry about how she looked naked, and they’d get to cuddle more.
Darcelle promised her husband that she’d think about it.
And she did. She spent the entire week reflecting on what made her feel sexual.
She realized that what made her feel sexiest was being a woman, not a mom. Knowing her kids were just a room away every time they made love made it hard to take off that mom hat.
Before they got married, they would spend hours enjoying one another’s bodies. She used to love their date nights, when they’d dress up, go out, have a wonderful evening, and come home unable to wait to get each other into bed. She remembered feeling beautiful, relaxed, and full of anticipation for spending time with the man she loved.
The next weekend, Darcelle found a quiet moment to talk to her husband. “You know the question you asked me last week?” she said. “I’ve got some ideas.”
She explained to him what she’d realized: that being a mom turned off her sexual energy. Her fantasy was to pack the kids off to the grandparents for a sleepover, dress up in fancy clothes, and go out like they used to. She missed it.
She watched his face, hoping to see a smile of agreement.
He said nothing at first. He didn’t meet her eyes. Maybe he was thinking about it?
Darcelle saw his jaw twitch. She knew in an instant she’d said the wrong thing.
“If you wanted to go out more, you could do something about it,” he said. “I don’t have to do everything. And I’m not making the kids go to my parents just so you can get in the mood.”
He seemed furious. Furious that Darcelle appeared to be questioning his ability to be a good man and husband. He wasn’t taking her out enough? He wasn’t dressing up for her? He was off providing for his family 12 hours a day, 5 days a week. What more did she want?
And that was the end of it.
A Woman’s Sexual Fantasies
When a man asks you about your fantasies, what do you think he wants to hear?
Do a search for “women’s top 10 sexual fantasies,” and you won’t find Darcelle’s fantasy in there. You’ll find information about threesomes, role-playing, and kinks.
Men love to fantasize about women fantasizing about dirty sex. They think 50 Shades of Grey is about kinky sex, not a woman’s power over a man.
They don’t want to hear that women fantasize about getting to relax and not having to do anything. (Nothing kills a sexual buzz faster than knowing that you’ve got to do the dishes and pack lunches afterwards!)
It’s not their fault. They’re making the most basic of mistakes:
They’re assuming that women think the way they do.
Men get turned on by thinking about sex, so they assume women get turned on by thinking about sex.
Men get turned on by being touched, so they assume women get turned on by being touched.
But what REALLY turns a woman on?
The answer is simple:
Knowing that getting intimate with her partner is going to feel wonderful, clear her mind, and leave her feeling refreshed and ready to face the world again.
No one can resist fabulous, energizing, satisfying sex. Not even chocolate can make you feel that good!
But a lot of women aren’t feeling that good after a sexual encounter, even if it’s with the man they love.
Admitting that sex isn’t always good for women—and sometimes it’s NEVER all that good—is taboo.
Because it implies her partner is the reason why. He’s not good enough in bed. He doesn’t have the moves or the equipment to satisfy her.
Which is complete nonsense.
Sex takes two. Two people to communicate, two people to touch and be touched, two people to create connection.
Putting all the responsibility for the quality of a sexual encounter on the man’s shoulders just disempowers women.
In one study, just 39% of women came during sex with a partner, compared to 91% of men.
Why do you think that is?
Maybe women aren’t taught to value their own pleasure the same as men. Maybe women approach sexual encounters hoping to please a man, not receive pleasure themselves. Maybe women don’t know what turns them on and are unable to guide a partner to their hot spots. Or maybe…
The way we approach sex is the problem.
That’s one of Dr. Mintz’s guesses, and it’s a good one.
Once you have kids, there isn’t a whole lot of time for uninterrupted sexual pleasure. Married sex can become perfunctory. You get it over with fast, either because you’re tired or you know your kids will be knocking at the door.
No wonder so many women in long-term relationships find that their libido starts to decline.
On the other hand, if sex got BETTER as you got older, and each experience made you so relaxed and content you could purr, then you’d crave it even more.
So the answer to low libido isn’t a pill or a new position or sheer willpower. Putting pressure on yourself won’t help. What DOES help is following the pleasure principle. Make sex so good you can’t refuse.
When I wrote my book The Pleasure Principle, I wasn’t thinking about sex. But I should have been.
When it comes to sex in long-term relationships, too many of us make choices out of fear. We have sex because we’re worried that we’re not having enough of it. We have sex because we’re afraid that, without it, our relationship will suffer or our partner will look elsewhere. We feel obligation, duty, pressure, stress…
All of which short-circuit our libido.
Try this instead. Use the Pleasure Principle.
Stop avoiding pain and move towards what gives you pleasure.
Find out what YOU need to feel really, really good during intimacy with your partner. Make it your mission to discover the 8,000 nerve endings devoted to pleasure in your body. (This interview with Xanet Pailet might inspire you.)
Dr. Mintz also has some suggestions:
- Focus on foreplay. Let turn-on be the goal, not getting to the action. In fact, an entire sexual encounter where nothing happens but foreplay can prime your libido for a much more satisfying experience next time.
- Carve out solo time. The more you experiment with yourself, the more you’ll learn what you like and what works for you. See yourself as a solo explorer finding the best route through new lands before returning to get your trusty travel partner.
- Take your time. Take as long as you need to warm up before ANY action occurs … even if that’s 20 minutes of fully-clothed kissing and snuggling.
No wonder Darcelle fantasized about uninterrupted time with her husband. She knew it took her time to get warmed up. A nice meal, a glass of wine, and the pleasure of anticipation was exactly what she needed to get in the mood.
But what her husband heard was what culture had primed him to hear. If sex wasn’t good for her, it was his fault. The best way to turn a woman on, he’d been told, was putting the moves on her—not chatting over dinner.
Overcoming the orgasm gap and making sex good for everyone most of the time is a huge challenge. But the tide has begun to turn. At least we know women should enjoy sex these days!
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