1. To not feel pressured to have an orgasm.
Men and women’s bodies are different but we often treat men as if they are the default for both genders. For men, having an orgasm is the climax of sex. Women can have an orgasm at the beginning of sex and keep going — this is fact alone should clue us into the different role an orgasm can play. Many women find it difficult to orgasm from sex, but we also know that men get a sense of pride from making us come. This is one reason so many women fake it (though, another is that the sound of our orgasm can cause the real thing to occur).
The best sex gets us out of our heads and into our bodies. Remove the worry from a woman’s brain that she won’t make you happy if she doesn’t orgasm and she’ll be free to be in the moment and purely enjoy herself.
That said, whether or not an orgasm happens, we should feel like we aren’t just interchangeable receptacles for a man’s lust. I like to think that sex for a man is a plated dinner while sex for a woman is a buffet. For men, there’s the Main Event (penis in vagina sex) that they want, but for women there are so many more options and we want to sample a few small plates. If you want to make a woman feel good, don’t focus on the orgasm, focus on pleasure. Oral, kissing, touching, talking — these are the things that make us feel like you are here for us, too.
3. Foreplay that starts long before you get to the bedroom.
If you want truly mind-blowing sex, you need to start before you get in bed. Never lose the part of your relationship where you are physically affectionate when it isn’t leading to sex — hold hands when you’re walking, kiss and hug hello and goodbye, rub each other’s shoulders when you’re watching TV. Send her a text at the beginning of the day telling her she looked sexy when she left that morning. Tell her you can’t wait to see her. Desire is often a self-fulfilling prophecy, when you tell someone they are desired, they feel desirable, which puts them in the mood of desiring.
Before, during, after.
Ask what she likes, tell her what you like. This can happen explicitly, by asking “do you like this?” and saying “that feels awesome” or through paying attention to what makes her breathe a little quicker. This also seems to come as a surprise to men, but just as the sound of a woman moaning turns you on, women like to hear men are excited too. Don’t be silent the whole time.
6. A partner they trust enough to embarrass themselves in front of.
Sex isn’t the most comfortable thing in the world to do with someone you don’t trust. You’re naked in front of them, and fear of them judging your body can harsh the buzz of otherwise good sex. If you want a woman to enjoy sex, and especially if you want a woman to try new sex things with you (especially potentially messy or embarrassing things), you need to make sure she knows your affection for her isn’t going to waver if you see her at an unflattering angle or something awkward happens. A partner you trust and feel desired by is the best aphrodisiac.
7. Cuddling + pillow talk
If I could get men to understand one thing about sex it would be that sex is not just the penis in vagina part and everything else is “extra”. Foreplay and cuddling are part of the whole. What if you paid for an expensive hotel room and had an amazing, relaxing experience, but they woke you up at midnight to kick you out of bed? Would you go back? How things end color our experiences in a disproportionate way. We’ve just been vulnerable and intimate with you, we need a few minutes of connection to cement the experience in place before we move on with our day (or night).