The research, says Parrott, supports the idea that both men and women find sexual intimacy in the context of a committed relationship to be more satisfying.
“Numerous research studies make it very clear that the people who have the best quality and most frequent sex are married couples. That says a lot about the inadequacies of ‘casual sex,” Parrot says.
In a study being conducted by Fisher and her colleagues of university students engaging in one-night stands, the numbers show that men are just as serious about sex and relationships as women. In fact, more than 50% of women and 52% of men who went into a one-night stand, according to Fisher, reported that they did so hoping to create a longer relationship. One-third of them actually did so. What’s the lesson?
“Never assume that a man is not romantic,” Fisher says. “Two huge mistakes in this culture are that women are not sexual and that men are not as romantic as women.”
4. Understand That Men Don’t Always Want Sex
Sure, most teenage boys are ready and willing just about any time you ask, but not true for men. The pressures of everyday life — family, work, bills — can zap a man’s libido. This comes as a big surprise to many women, and often his lack of interest in sex is something women take personally.
“It comes as such a shock to women that they just don’t believe it,” Fisher says about the reaction many women have when their partner says they aren’t in the mood for sex. “They know themselves that they are not always interested in sex but they still love the man. But when they discover he doesn’t want to have sex, they think, ‘he doesn’t love me.’ Not true. He just doesn’t feel up to having sex right now.”
5. Tell Him What You Want
Talking very directly about sex, what you like and don’t like can make many people, but particularly women, feel uncomfortable, even with a long-time partner, says Parrott. But it’s the only way to achieve a satisfying sexual relationship.
“A woman must take responsibility for her sexual encounter,” says Westheimer. “No man can bring a woman to orgasm if she doesn’t take responsibility for her sexual experience. Even the best lover can’t know what she needs without her letting him know.”
The good news, according to Fisher, is that men very much want to please women.
“If you can tell them in a way that doesn’t kill their ego, they will appreciate it,” says Fisher. Men do listen, particularly if you’re quite clear about it.”
6. Don’t Feel You “Have To” Try New Things, But Don’t Get Upset If He Asks, Either
After a couple has been together for a while, it’s natural to want to spice things up with a little variety. Just because your man wants to try something new doesn’t mean he’s unhappy with you or your sex life.
Still, it’s important that you tune into your comfort zone says Parrott.
“Nobody should ever feel obligated to do something they don’t want to do in the personal and intimate area of sexuality,” Parrott says. “If your man asks you about trying something that’s outside of your moral or comfort zone, make it clear that it’s off limits for you and explain why. Of course, do this in a loving way as best you can. Also, try to suggest other options that you would be comfortable with.