Wednesday, February 2, 2011

95% of this game is 100% mental.

For all the supposed crassness of their gender, in my experience men are often incredibly giving in bed. "My experience" is always skewed, but most men I've been with view the stimulation of their own bodies as a side attraction, as something of an "eh, getting my cock rubbed is fun and all, but I can do that anytime." Most of the guys I've been with, good and bad, have been all about my physical stimulation.

The catch is, they may not be giving something you want to take. A guy saying "hey baby, let me finger you, let me go down on you, let me make your fantasies come true" is just as skeevy if he's not taking no for an answer, even if he's not being physically selfish.

Maybe this is why, when you go into a sex toy store, there'll be like eighty varieties of dildo and vibrator and three or four really sketchy-looking male stroker thingies.

Maybe it has to do with the perception that female sexual experience varies tremendously in quality, while male sexual experience is an on/ohbaby/off sort of deal.

Maybe it's a male gaze thing, where thinking too much about male physical experience and response would be, in some utterly unfathomable yet horribly plausible way, gay.

Either way, it puts me in sexual situations where the toughest performance expected of me is "have lots of orgasms!" and, gosh, I can't pretend to be too broke up about that. I hope this isn't one of those situations where I was supposed to be going "no, no, after me" all along, but I think it isn't. (Particularly with dominant men, who don't exactly have trouble telling me what they want.) I think I really do live in a world where a lot of guys' sexual desire manifests as wanting to give me pleasure.



  1. This highlights the importance of figuring out what physically pleases you. I too find that most men want to make you feel good - but they can't know -exactly- what to do unless you tell or show them somehow. You've gotta give them genuine reactions and feedback for them to go on. None of the "fake orgasm" garbage, either.

    It seems like common sense, but.. well.. I think many women are used to having subpar sex because they're conditioned to just nod and go "yeah, awesome" to anything the guy thinks is right, to blindly fluff his ego. We're kind of conditioned to not be too difficult or stubborn because of flawed "or else he won't want you" logic (because a man not wanting you is the worst thing in the world). And the few jerks that have little patience for a strong or vocal woman reinforce that idea with their loud, immature opinions scattered across the internet, media and population. Sigh.

  2. (That being said, I really wish more of these 'giving' sort of guys would accept it and just indulge themselves if I know an orgasm is not happening. Don't take it personally boys. Please. It's really not that huge of a deal.)

  3. I pretty much have had the opposite experience when it comes to guys. I've never had a relationship, fuck buddy, or otherwise that didn't need to be explicitly asked to give pleasure. My current boyfriend, once I let him know that as a woman who doesn't orgasm from PIV, I NEED oral, was happy to oblige and doesn't need reminders (and enjoys it!).

    But I do have a good male friend who tells me from time to time how frustrated he is that whenever he goes down on his girlfriend, she insists on reciprocating. He says he can't convince her that he really wants it to be more about her, because giving head is his favorite sexual pastime. I've tried to tell him she probably ALSO likes giving head. He's stubborn though, and would probably spend days down there if he could.

  4. I feel like kind of the poster child for a lot of what Holly's saying; although I do listen and don't want to give something a woman doesn't want to have (what's the point?).

    I guess it's a pride thing for the guys that don't listen; they think their skill just works and if she'd only try she'd love it, not acknowledging how much people vary.

    I've always loved cunnilingus, and I write little panegyrics about it on my blog, but I realized that I was taking the giving aspect a bit too far when I tried desensitizing condoms with my ex. I couldn't feel a damn thing. Like, I could pinch the skin between my fingernails and not feel it at all. And I thought it was the best thing in the world because now I could go however long she wanted! Later I thought maybe I should be feeling this too, she's not the only one in the room. (She didn't tell me what she thought of all this.)

  5. I have a feeling that for a lot of men, woman's orgazm is a symbol of *their* success as a man and a lover. They are sort of goal-oriented. For me, it's problematic for many reasons. First of all, I have some fairly unusual enrogenous zones and reactions, and it takes a lot of time for me to reach first orgazm with a new lover, so I usually prefer to have sex without orgazm (it's still pleasurable), to get used to each other, to learn my partner... When the man is goal-orienter, he often takes it as a personal insult. He cannot make me come = he is a bad lover = he's less of a man.

  6. That's been my experience too, and I'm always mystified when I read women writing in to Dan Savage about men who are selfish in bed or won't give head. I wish I could introduce them to my men...

    Of course it helps that all the men I've been with are over 24. I don't know if it takes teenage guys a while to figure out how fun pleasing a woman is. I've also never had a guy fixate on my having or not having an orgasm, which is good because I don't always.

  7. I don't know if it takes teenage guys a while to figure out how fun pleasing a woman is.

    Some guys (teenage or otherwise) are just selfish, but I think a lot of the younger guys want to please women but are too afraid to ask how.

    When I was in my late teens/early 20s, I went through a bit of a promiscuous period (with guys who were also late teens/early 20s). There would almost always be a point where my partner would be caressing me and his hand would inch closer and closer to my crotch and I'd be thinking "yessss yesssssss come on..." ...and then the hand would pause right at my crotch for a second and move on. My impression at the time was that these guys were assholes who didn't want to give me orgasms.

    Over the past five years (between dumping my husband and meeting my bf) I've slept almost exclusively with 19-25 year old guys. I'm much more outspoken about my needs now, and more willing to insist on my own pleasure, so when the guys' caresses paused at my crotch I jumped in with a quick lesson on how to give me a handjob. And they always, always went on to cheerfully give me several orgasms.

    So I think the problem is that younger dudes don't want to ask for directions because they want to look like they know what they're doing. If they're with a girl who's shy about asking for stuff, this will be a problem.

    btw I also feel that some guys think of my pleasure as a badge of manly-man honour. Also some guys truly do want me to have pleasure, but insist that it has to take the form of orgasms whether I want them or not. Sometimes my bf and I are having sex and he tells me he wants me to come twice before he does, and although I appreciate what he's trying to do, it just comes off as pressure.

  8. I'm kind of selfish in bed in that I really don't like for someone else to try to get me off manually or with oral. (I do, however, love GIVING oral.) I love sex and foreplay is amazing, but I just don't really care for oral. My favorite is to have my boyfriend put his fingers inside me while I masturbate. It's just what works for me, and it took me forever to figure that out, but I'm glad that I did.

    @ thebrunettesblog: I hear you! I dated several guys around my age a couple of years ago (guys around 21 or under) and boy were they bad. Dealing with them contributed to my aversion to relationships and conversely, sex, for quite awhile. Once I started seeing older guys over age 26, they changed my mind. I think they finally figure out at that age that sex is more than just about getting off, because you can get (yourself) off any old time, and a partner isn't just a warm hole and thirty seconds.

  9. @perversecowgirl - "Sometimes my bf and I are having sex and he tells me he wants me to come twice before he does, and although I appreciate what he's trying to do, it just comes off as pressure."

    Same here! I generally have no trouble orgasming, but if he asks or tells me to come, it is suddenly much less likely.


  10. The guy I'm currently fucking has yet to come while we fuck. When I've expressed my concern about it, his reaction has been "but I can come any time, making you come is special." I'm... not sure how to respond to that. I mean, I don't want to be all spoiled and complaining about a guy who wants only to give me orgasms, but I also want to see him come.

  11. Maybe point out that you don't get to see him come all the time, and it's special to you? I think it would be a really good thing to let him know that a woman is interested in his orgasms, not only the other way around. It's not something we hear a whole lot.

  12. I'm going to make some (maybe provocative) generalisations here, but whatever, I'm anonymous.

    Men can have sex without an emotional connection more easily. A woman asks a man for sex, she's likely to get it without much work. A man asks a woman for sex, this is unlikely to happen without building some kind of connection. If he wants sex, he has to work harder at it. If she wants sex before the end of the day, she'll get it.

    But then, in bed, men (at least, experienced and mature men) are going to focus on a woman's pleasure. I personally don't get any enjoyment out of sex if she isn't enjoying it as well. I tend to make sure my girlfriend has at least three orgasms in a session. Usually after that she can't handle any more.

    So, men work harder at seducing women, so that they can work hard to give her pleasure? And a women with a high sexual function can take more pleasure from sex than any man ever can.

    Tell me, why is our society all about men pursuing and wooing women, and not the other way around? It's like, if I were an employer, I'd actively pursue my employees rather than submissively wait and interview people who are going to bullshit me so that they can do a substandard job.

  13. (for reference, I'm a guy)

    I don't really think it comes down to the "female sexual experience varies tremendously in quality, while male sexual experience is an on/ohbaby/off sort of deal." perception.*

    For me (and most guys I care to discuss sex with) it comes down to two things; It gets me off to see her come**, but more importantly, I know that once I come, the playing is going to stop - I might be able to go down on her, or finger her, for a short while, but it's going to be uninteresting at best, nauseating at worst.

    So for me, it makes a lot of sense to focus on her orgasms, she can have more of them than I can before it all stops after all***. It's sort of the logical conclusion - if my orgasm ends it, why not postpone that and focus on something that isn't going to put a stop to something pleasant?

    @perversecowgirl - occasionally it's fun to stop just a short while at that point just to watch your partner squirm.

    *I might add, it's certainly not a unusual perception, society is quite fond of that one.
    ** I don't think this one is gender specific though
    *** Or at least, in my experience, most women can have more than one orgasm without losing interest.

  14. " I also feel that some guys think of my pleasure as a badge of manly-man honour. Also some guys truly do want me to have pleasure"

    Both of these are totally true for me.

    I think of it as a badge of manly-man honour, and it gives me genuine pleasure besides.

    That's my kink, though, and your kink may totally not be my kink, and that's ok! :)

  15. Anon - Your stereotypes are pretty sketchy. Particularly the "women can get laid whenever they want."

    1. "Women" includes a whole lot--in fact a majority--of old, fat, socially awkward, or otherwise not-conventionally-hot individuals.

    2. For a woman who is conventionally hot, it might be true that she can go home with someone tonight. But very few people actually want to have sex with "someone," especially when we get back to the male version of point 1 and into just what "someone" really contains. Women don't have a magically easy time getting laid with someone who's remotely sexually attractive to them.

  16. I've heard the "women can get sex anytime they want" line before and always felt embarrassed, because I'm a woman and I'm not constantly fielding offers of nookie. But I never wanted to say so, because that seems to invite the snarky reply of "Well I'm not surprised *you* don't get any offers". So thanks to Holly and others who are willing to point that out. I think it's a stupid stereotype; it always looks like other people have it easier than you.


  17. If women can get sex whenever they want but guys have to work for it, who are these women sleeping with?

  18. i looked in the mirror when I was 13 and said:" You had better learn to count on repeat business." I learned that there is no formula. Be with the woman that you are with and do it her way.

  19. @perversecowgirl - occasionally it's fun to stop just a short while at that point just to watch your partner squirm.

    Sure...but you can see that this is not what was happening in my anecdote, right?

    I think those experiences contributed to me being a top: if I control the encounter, I get to draw things out and tease both of us...but I know I'll get what I want the second I decide I can't wait anymore.

  20. Ulc pretty much summed it up for me too.

  21. Well, I've missed the rush on this provocative post, but I'd still like to throw in an introspective set of cents:

    I'm a guy who also likes to focus heavily on my girlfriend's pleasure. It's not for manliness though, (maybe 10%). It's very much due to one thing: FANTASY.

    When a person is in control of giving the pleasure, there is very little in the way of surprise. When she pleasures me, I can fantasize, but sudden changes in motion or rhythm (even good) often shatter the vision I had set up for what's going on. It's not that communication is the issue; we can agree on a theme and scene, but is the *aspect* of that scene which arouses me which is important, and often hard to articulate.

    When I'm pleasuring her, I can fuel my fantasy with the most intense and direct imagery possible. It's living in a real-time sexual dream.

    I think guys are wired to fantasize differently from girls, just as it's becoming acceptable to consider that arousal cues between the genders operate differently.

    Guys like feeling like studs, but most have some pretty thick egos. I think the truth is that we're even more selfish than you might have guessed, but it's really in a good-natured way. I love my girlfriend and the fact that she can become an interactive window to my every naughty fantasy, and she enjoys playing the part ...even if sometimes it works better when I keep my mouth shut.

    Interestingly, she seems to really enjoy watching me act out her fantasies on myself without her direct participation as well.