All About The Penis, Men & Male Sexuality
What do men want from relationships?Index/Home Page
Well, what do men want - from sex and relationships, whether those relationships are long-term, committed, faithful or unfaithful? It's a question that we men have asked about women for generations, but it's not so common for us to reflect on what we want. Let's put the balance right.
Jokingly, I'd say that we want a big penis, lots of sex with very horny, aroused women, partners who don't nag, whine, complain, expect foreplay and who let us have ownership of the remote control. Now, although that may - or may not - seem funny, there's a grain or two of truth in there.
More seriously, a Men's Health survey revealed some fundamental wishes, needs and desires that consistently separate men and women. Here they are. Remember that these are generalizations:
Men want to be visually stimulated
When a guy sees a woman he likes, he can desire her and get aroused much more quickly than she does - indeed, he can get erect just by looking at her body. Generally, she needs to be touched to get aroused: either emotionally touched, through closeness and loving, or through physical touch. And as you are probably well aware, he likes to look at her body, at images of women, and sexual images generally.
Sex is a physical thing for men (we just want sex for sex's sake)
Sex can just be sex, without love or commitment, for men much more easily than it can be for women - which explains the differences in the number of partners that men and women report. And men are horny - very horny, in fact, driven by testosterone to seek out sex and to try to obtain the release of ejaculation fairly frequently. While there are some women who may be more horny than some men, the average sexual desire, drive and frequency for the two sexes is very different.
As the authors of the survey observed, sexual incompatibility is one of the most obvious reasons for us not to buy into the currently popular idea that we (men and women, that is) are all basically alike except for a few minor plumbing differences. It seems to me that's an idea which serves only women, who can use it to blame men for being who and what they are.
Yet we still want to fall in love
Research has shown many times that men are much quicker to fall in love than women, and that they are much slower to end a failing relationship. It's a paradox that we are so sexy and yet we fall in love just as much as women. One of the reasons for this may be something to do with the fact that sex is definitely a different experience when you are doing it with someone you love - a deeper, rounder, even a more fulfilling experience.
I'd identify from personal experience with one guy who observed that it's almost like having two separate acts: screwing and making love. The first, the simple act of lovemaking, of thrusting your penis in a vagina until you come, is about sexual release; the second is an intimate act involving heart, body and soul. And men do have a need to be intimate, a need which is often only expressed with their female partners. This adds some substance to the old suggestion that men need to have sex to feel loving, while women need to be loved to desire sex.
Men want to please women - but only up to a point
Women seem to complain that men don't understand them, but men often respond by saying that women just don't tell men what they want. There's almost an expectation that men should be mind-readers, knowing what women want without it ever being asked for. Quiet how that dynamic between the sexes develops, I have no idea, but it frustrates the hell out of men, that's for sure.
What this means in practice is that better communication is needed: and since men seem to love women who are verbal in bed, and who offer feedback during sex to show what is good and what isn't so good, a woman's ability to make sexual demands and explain what's happening for her can only be a good thing.
But the concept of communication enhances all aspects of a relationship, not just sex - the only way to have a good relationship is to communicate. During sex, women shouldn't allow men to do what they want at the expense of their own wishes and desires - especially if they later complain of being unsatisfied! Women need to speak up so men can help them get what they want out of the relationship in general and sex in particular (for example, what's going to make her reach orgasm). This will be more fulfilling for both partners.
However, how much do men want to please women really? I ask this because if you ask most men who come quickly to learn skills to develop ejaculatory control, they would probably pay only lip service to the idea of controlling rapid ejaculation - old habits die hard here, and the power of the desire to ejaculate is so great that it's hard for men to resist the urge.
Men want women to take charge during sex from time to time
It's a burden, always being in charge and feeling you have to initiate sex. And there's no reason for it, except perhaps social custom and women's fear of being seen as sexual aggressors (or their lack of sexual confidence).
Men want women to improve their sexual & romance skills
Men like some of the things women want so much, too: being chased, pursued, made to feel special and romanced, being treated like the most cherished thing in your partner's life. And when it comes to sexual skills, men definitely want women to be more adept: some women, it seems, have no idea how to handle a penis; women don't reciprocate in the oral sex department; and women don't understand how fragile the male ego is.
Men don't want women to know their sex secrets.
Yes, believe it or not, ladies, there are some things we men would rather you didn't know about us. Here are some of them. Warning: not all of these apply to all men, all the time!
Men with premature ejaculation don't really care. Well, some of them don't - it's perfectly possible to cure PE, and I guess if a man was really bothered about it, he would do something to stop it. But when you get that headlong rush towards orgasm....well....it just seems like it's too urgent to hold back. And so it goes on....and on...and on... What to do about it? Point your guy towards our guide on excelelnt premature ejaculation treatments - click here to find out more - , and suggest he reads it. That'll give him something to think about.
Men like to be in control, sexually. Helping a man to think that he's top dog during sex can increase his sense of satisfaction.
Men suffer from penis envy. (They all want a bigger penis.) Admire his organ, but don't do it so improbably that he knows you're exaggerating. If he really does have a small penis, it's probably better to say, "Well, it's the perfect size for me," rather than "Wow, how big it is!"
Men hate you criticizing their performance. Oh, how true, how very true! I know when I started making love to my partner, she had a habit of getting really critical when I did something wrong or something she didn't like, especially when she was on her way to orgasm. It was very hard to understand her frustration and not respond with anger - I mean, here I was, giving her my everything, being a competent male pleasuring her, and she was rejecting my sexual skills!
The way to maintain harmony is to communicate appropriately: "That's great, but I love it when you do such-and-such-a-thing like that.....and I want you to do more of it...." rather than "For God's sake, why can't you just do it like I told you!" Remember he may genuinely think that when you start moaning, you want him to move his fingers or tongue faster and harder. You need to tell him how it works differently for you.
Men want their partners to reach orgasm. Whether you like it or not, there is a lot of male self-esteem tied up in the female orgasm, and it can take a lot of gentle reassurance and persuasion before a man relinquishes the notion that he's responsible for your sexual pleasure . Actually, of course, some women need to relinquish the idea that their man's responsible for their sexual pleasure as well, and begin to start taking responsibility for their own orgasms. However, he certainly needs your help to get the technique right, since you are the expert on your own body!
Men like pornography. It's a sad fact, but it's true, and what's more, porn isn't going to go away. The surprising thing, however, is that women can be turned on by porn if they allow themselves to be! There are several companies which produce porn that is designed with women in mind - by which I mean porn that does not depict the abuse and degradation of women, but treats them as equals in the act of sex. Some examples of films which men and women may like to watch together: Night Trips, House of Dreams, and Hidden Obsessions directed by Andrew Blake (try his other films as well); any made by Candida Royalle's company Femme Productions; The Licorice Quartet (directed by Harry Paris); and Boiling Point, Cat House, and The Girl with the Heart Shaped Tattoo, directed by Toni English.
Men have many hidden sexual secrets. You'd have to get inside the mind of a man to understand why he may be keeping some sexual things from you, and unfortunately that isn't possible, so let me try and explain. Basically, it's about shame.
Men are brought up in a world where they're surrounded by sexual imagery and encouraged to assume that they have to "perform" to be a man. But when they reach puberty, they're often shamed and ridiculed for their developing sexuality: who, for example, doesn't smile - either inwardly or outwardly - at an adolescent who develops an erection in a sexually inappropriate place? Masturbation becomes secretive and furtive, and sex becomes the subject of hasty fumblings with willing girls (who probably know less than the boy) in dark places, rather than something to be celebrated and appreciated.
And because no-one is around to teach men how to control their penises or operate their penises properly with dignity and self-respect, they become prone to misusing their penis in their attempts to find out how it works. So, for example, they may pay for sex: and, in fact, about four men in ten have indeed paid for sex at some point in their lives. Some men are even introduced to paid-for sex by an older man in their life. The great majority of men will certainly have used porn, and they may have fucked around as well - and they may not be willing to share any of this with you.
If you want to know about his sexual history and start digging down, you need to be prepared for defensiveness, trouble and arguments. Ask yourself, do you really need to know his sexual history? He's only going to tell you his shameful secrets if he really trusts you not to shame or judge him, though the irony is that he'd probably heal emotionally through sharing this information with you.
Men are fantasizing all the time. Whatever they are doing, men are fantasizing about something - but for all I know, so are women! It's probably a fair bet, though, that men are doing it more than women. We know from studies by psychologists that both men and women check out the obvious places - faces, genitals, bottoms, chests - when they first meet members of the opposite sex, but men often use this as the basis to develop further fantasy. And it's probably very rare indeed for a man not have enjoyed a fantasy of being with another woman when he's made love at some point in his life. We don't, however, have any data on just how common that is....but we can guess.
Men are often very shamed or embarrassed about their fantasies, and may be reluctant to reveal them for fear of being ridiculed. They can be very complex or unusual, and it may not be possible to bring them into your sex life for real...but if you can, why not indulge him, and get some props to act out his fantasy? Such sex play works both ways, especially if you have a fantasy you'd like to explore with him.
Men are not constantly looking for sex. Though this may surprise you, men are not always "up for it" and ready to have sex at a moment's notice. Just like women, they sometimes don't feel in the mood, or they're too tired, or they just don't fancy it. In such situation, if you want sex, you can perhaps pleasure yourself and then ask him for a cuddle rather than trying to persuade him to have intercourse - though I guess how you feel about that idea may depend on his attitude when he wants sex and you aren't in the mood! You may also want to encourage him to be honest about how he feels when you ask him for sex, since the pressures on men to be "ever-ready" in today's society are such that they may feel compelled to indulge a woman who asks for sex rather than just saying "not tonight, dear".
Men masturbate - even when they're in a relationship. But don't worry, it's not a reflection on your attractiveness. Almost all men masturbate, even if they're in a relationship. And it's something that seems to puzzle women: why, they ask, would he want to do that when he's got me? The answer seems to be that there's a part of the male mind which sees masturbation as a private opportunity to either act out fantasies in imagination, or simply to have a quick orgasm without having to worry about anyone else. "Hand relief", as the sex workers would call it, is probably a good description - relief from the sexual urge, rather like the scratching of an itch. But I don't want to devalue masturbation, because it can also be a profoundly satisfying experience, and if prolonged, can lead to intense orgasms just as pleasurable as those achieved with a sexual partner. And since Tantric massage with a happy ending can be an extremely satisfying, even spiritual experience, this style of sexual pleasuring really should be honored.
Men vary in their attitudes to masturbation. Some prefer it to every other kind of sexual activity. (I think this suggests some difficulty in forming relationships, or some deep issue with women which prevents a man seeking sexual expression in a relationship.) Most men would be embarrassed if they were caught doing it by their partner - certainly my girlfriend seems to slightly resent being left out of the fun if I masturbate in the morning after she has got out of bed. And while we use the expression "you wanker" as a term of abuse or derision, it seems to me that there's also a recognition implicit in it that while all men masturbate, it's better to have a partner with whom to enjoy intercourse.
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