The former Erotic Review magazine editor answers your sex questions…
QUESTION: My boyfriend is a perfect ‘new man’, raised by a feminist mother. He’s a really attentive lover, who always devotes hours to foreplay and my orgasm. I know I’m going to sound really maddening, but the trouble is that he’s just too caring and sharing. Sometimes I just fancy a good, old-fashioned quickie or a bit of caveman-style sex, where it’s not all about his grade-A sex technique. What should I do?
ANSWER: No wonder men can’t answer the question: ‘What do women really want?’
Just as we’ve convinced them that the correct response is ‘hours of sex, then you turn into a box of chocolates,’ every female I know starts moaning about the lack of ‘real men’.
I blame Russell Crowe in Gladiator (and pretty much every other film he’s starred in, come to that) and Philip Glenister’s refreshingly Neanderthal performance as DCI Gene Hunt in Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes.
A whole generation of women have started longing for a bit of old-fashioned emotionally inarticulate muscle.
So, yes, you are being maddening and it’s a good thing that the veil of anonymity stands between you and the baying mob.
There are millions of women who would give their eye teeth to have a partner who really cares about their sexual pleasure and is adept at bringing them to orgasm. And we certainly don’t want men to believe that sexual prowess resides in reverting to the loathsome old motto: ‘Treat ’em mean, keep ’em keen.’
Nevertheless, I do have sympathy for your cause.
Sex is not a one-note activity and even the most satisfactory forms of love-making can pall a little if there’s no variation.
Although it seems ungrateful to confess it, there can be something rather wearisome and guilt-inducing about a man labouring away to make a woman climax when she’s simply not in the mood for a lengthy sex session.
Most of my female friends confess to there being days when they prefer quick, vigorous, thrusting sex and don’t necessarily care if it doesn’t end in orgasm.
Often that preference coincides with a particular stage of a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Just as ovulation is known to heighten the female libido, many women find this fiercer brand of sex suits them when they’re pre-menstrual, as it fits in with their fiery mood.
It is equally true that it’s sometimes satisfying to simply give sexual pleasure, rather than receive it or be religiously reciprocal. In certain moods, women can feel that they gain sufficient erotic satisfaction from seeing the intense erotic excitement they conjure in their beloved.
Of course, part of the problem you describe stems from the fact that sex in the modern Western world has become so goal-orientated.
There can be a misplaced sense that someone has failed as a lover if their partner hasn’t had their orgasm. While reaching a climax is undoubtedly an important part of lovemaking, it’s not always essential for either men or women.
There are times when the body simply doesn’t need to orgasm or refuses to – and times when delayed gratification seems sweeter than the instant variety.
As they say: ‘It’s better to travel than arrive.’ It sounds as if your boyfriend is so proud of his ability to push a woman’s buttons that he’s become a wee bit insistent that you gratefully submit to his tender ministrations. You need to demonstrate that there is another way and that women can respond to dynamism as well as delicacy in the bedroom.
What you don’t want to do is criticise the way he makes love, as you may leave him so wounded and confused that he’ll no longer have the confidence to initiate sex.
The easiest way to cajole your boyfriend into the pleasures of a quickie is to engineer a situation that demands a swifter and more animalistic form of sex.
Making love outdoors often affords that kind of opportunity, since the high chance of passersby disturbing your romp means that anything other than a quick tumble tends to be out of the question.
Another thought might be when you’re seductively dressed for an evening out and there’s 15 minutes before the taxi arrives. Basically, you need to find situations that encourage the swift lifting of a skirt and an enthusiastic seizing of the moment. You need to show him that sex is satisfactory at all kinds of tempos and that sometimes his pleasure is your pleasure.
You say your boyfriend has been influenced by his feminist mother. It sounds as if he’s been taught to subjugate his passions to some gender-politics-authorised norm of human behaviour.
But few things can be deemed normal in the wide sphere of behaviour that constitutes human passion. Clearly, you need to give him the confidence to see that sex can occasionally be a little more fierce and visceral on both sides without it compromising anyone’s ethics.
It’s all about permission and making the other person feel safe. My guess is that since your boyfriend’s mission is to make you happy, he’ll quickly pick up the message that changing gear can be thrilling.