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The Sexual Resolution

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A couple of months ago, I received a frantic call from my friend Kate.* Her boyfriend had just done something heinous, and it didn’t involve cheating or replying incorrectly when she asked if she looked fat in a pair of jeans. He had just tried a new move in bed and it was, well, less than successful. When she asked him what he was doing, he proudly told her that the horrid act of manual stimulation was called “the three-pronged pleaser,” and he’d heard about it from one of his friends. “All I’ll say is that it involved the very uncomfortable and awkward placement of three of his fingers,” Kate said. “It was awful and completely turned me off.”

Generally speaking, women are totally supportive of any efforts men make to freshen up their skills in the bedroom, no matter how expert they may already be. After all, even Tiger Woods needs to work on his swing every now and then. However, before you start putting someone else’s tips to use, it’s vital to consider the source. Why take advice from a sweaty frat brother when you can get it from real women instead? True, asking anyone who’s not your girlfriend how she likes to be brought to a screaming orgasm might be considered sex-ual harassment (prudes!); that’s why I’ve done it for you. Through interviews with more than a dozen women who’ve been on the receiving end of some of the best—and worst—tricks in the history of sex, I’ve compiled a list of seven essential moves. Work them into your repertoire now and 2009 will be the Year of the Lay.

1. Lend a Hand
You may have heard that women have tons ofweird, hidden erogenous zones, like the backs of their knees or their armpits. But before you start sucking on her nostril, take note: There’s one obvious area you’re missing. “Hands are loaded with pressure points that lead to other areas of a woman’s body,” says author and sex educator Jamye Waxman. “And because we’re always using them in one way or another, it’s very erotic to treat them as sexual objects instead.” Missy, a 24-year-old bartender, can attest to this from experience: “I once had a guy, in the middle of making out, start licking between my fingers, like he was eating out my hand. The feeling was incredible and totally unexpected. After that I was more than ready to see if he could do the same below the belt.”

You don’t necessarily need to perform oral on her palm to pull it off. In fact, hand-play is something you can easily do in public to rev her up for later. The next time you’re at dinner or a movie, start massaging her palm with light pressure, and gently twist and pull on her fingers. Then when you get into the privacy of your own home—or a nearby coatroom—you can give the rest of her a rubdown, too.

2. Be a Cheerleader
Men always say nothing makes a girl better in bed than enthusiasm. Our recommendation to you is no different. “I’ve been with so many guys who are reserved during sex,” says Lucy, 32. “Maybe they think that’s more masculine, but it makes sex boring. I want somebody who’s excited to be there!” Every woman I spoke to agreed: You can be filthy rich, well-hung, and able to find a G-spot in a haystack, but none of that matters (well, not much, anyway) if you’re not eager and passionate in the sack. When you’re gung-ho, it makes everything more fun—and cancels out any hang-ups we might have. “It’s hard for me to relax during oral sex,” says Trisha, a 28-year-old editor. “But all that changed when I started dating a guy who loved going down on me. He’d get me worked up by saying how much he wanted his face between my thighs. Then he’d tell me how good I tasted. He’d drive the point home by taking his sweet time, and I was sure he loved every second.”

3. Get Sloppy
Yes, women love to smell nice and obsessively use hand sanitizer. But that doesn’t mean we want our sex lives to be neat and sterile. “There’s nothing hotter than when my boyfriend and I are drenched in sweat when we’re screwing,” says Lindsay, a 24-year-old waitress. An even better way to get down and dirty? Take your act into the kitchen. Jill, a 28-year-old receptionist, had always fantasized about doing it on a kitchen table—one that had been set for dinner. “I told my boyfriend how hot I thought it would be to be so caught up in the moment that you just sweep everything onto the floor and fuck right there,” she says. “So one night he cooked for me, set the table with plastic plates and cups, and, halfway through, did just that. I didn’t even mind that there were mashed potatoes stuck to my wall.”
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4. Don’t Spare the Rod

It may be hard to believe that anyone could love your package as much as you do, but…well, women come pretty damn close. And we want you to use it to its full potential—not just thrust away like a jackhammer. “I love it when a guy uses his dick to stimulate my clit, similar to a vibrator. Like when he kind of rubs me with it or taps it there really lightly and quickly,” says 29-year-old Lisa, a court reporter.

The truth is, we don’t just want to feel you inside us; we want to see what you’ve got, too. Says 23-year-old grad student Tara: “Sometimes when my ex and I were doing it missionary, he’d lift himself up a bit so I could watch him enter me in slow motion. It was like watching our own porno.” Contrary to popular belief, we don’t really want to gaze into your eyes the whole time we’re screwing. Give us a chance to ogle your manhood instead.

5. Have a Talk
Unless you’re doing it in a library, silent sex is rarely a good thing. When you’re vocal, it’s not just a turn-on; it’s aural confirmation that we’re doing things right. “I still remember the best blow job I ever gave,” says Jenny, a 30-year-old photographer. “I knew it must’ve been awesome because the guy started moaning and whispering my name while I was doing it. Hearing that got me so excited I didn’t want to stop. I was actually kind of sad when he came.”

Being vocal, of course, can range from heavy breathing to filthy talk. Finding out where your girl falls on the spectrum may require a little trial and error. “When I first started dating my boyfriend, he emitted lots of grunts and groans to test the waters,” says Hannah, a 27-year-old attorney. “Once he saw I was comfortable with that, he got more risqué. The more graphic he was, the better. We realized very quickly that ‘Do you like my tongue in your pussy?’ was way more of a turn-on than ‘Do you like this?’”

6. Don’t Move
Just because you have a large mental Rolodex of sex positions you’ve read about or tried out in the past, it doesn’t mean you have to do them all in one session. And for God’s sake, don’t switch from one to the next if we are really enjoying ourselves. “I dated this guy who’d always change positions right as I was getting into it,” says Janine, 31, a lab technician. “It drove me nuts. It was like he was trying to work every ridiculous porn move he’d ever seen into sex because he thought that would impress me. But if I’m 10 seconds from coming and you suddenly rearrange our bodies, I’m just gonna be annoyed.” It’s fine to switch things up a bit, but pay attention to her reactions. “If she’s close to orgasm, her breathing quickens, her body stiffens, her clit swells, and her face gets flushed,” says Waxman. If you see any of those signs—or if she’s shouting, “Fuck, yes! Don’t stop!”—stick with what you’re doing.

7. Ask for Help
The female orgasm is a finicky beast, and we realize you have only so many hands, mouths, and other appendages at your disposal to coax it out of hibernation. That’s why we love a man who isn’t afraid to call for backup—in the form of sex toys, that is. The trick to getting comfortable with them is to start small. “A guy I dated used a condom that came with one of those vibrating rings he could wrap around his cock,” says Leah, a 29-year-old project manager. “It kept him involved in the action and provided just the extra stimulation I needed to have an amazing orgasm. I came in two minutes.”

If you’re curious, but turned off by the vibe your girlfriend has—one of those massive spinning numbers with attachments and flopping parts—invest in one you can both use. “My ex bought me a cute little vibrator that wasn’t phallic at all. It looked like a palm-size kidney bean, curvy and made to fit perfectly over my pussy,” says Melissa, a 26-year-old model. “I loved it! If I didn’t come from penetration, he’d use it on me right after. It never failed.” Follow that lead, and you never will, either.