Tag Archives: attitudes to sex

The Sex-Focused Man

ambition-sexy-couple-09012012This discussion may seem like a moot point since it may be argued that all men are focused on sex. Without making the term “sex-focused” seem like some errant disease, it is important to note that sexual difference between men and women continues to plague relationships.

While this article is not meant to suggest that women are disinterested in sex, research does suggest that we tend to have a far more holistic view of our intimate relationships. As natural nurturers, we want to take care of, protect, and improve our relationships and of course this includes the sex. For us, sex is important but it is an aspect of the relationship; not the sum total by which it is defined.

Our men, on the other hand, often want to improve the frequency and quality of sex, while paying scant attention to other aspects of the relationship. This can be quite a problem when there are relationship issues like a lack of verbal communication or the need to apologise. Men can sometimes attempt, in these instances, to use sex as a substitute for discussion. Because, as women we are wired differently, we often will have none of this. No matter how good our man is in the sack, nothing beats actually saying “I love you” or “I’m sorry”.

Since women and men seem so much at cross-purposes on the issue of sex, how then do we navigate our relationships? How can we each be fulfilled in marriage when we’re coming from entirely different points of reference? Very often we reach a stalemate because we expect our partner to love as we do and experience our relationship as we do. This is not exactly fair since our hormonal wiring is different. Barring incidents where sex is used to manipulate, control or humiliate, as women, we perhaps need to come to terms with our partner’s relationship pulse; namely sex. Men by the same token must accept that their women are interested in a whole lot more than the latest sexual position, technique or the number of times they have sex in a week.

Adapting and demonstrating a willingness to walk the relationship through our partner’s shoes is perhaps the first step towards finding a resolution. This literally means understanding that sex is a male priority while love and relational health is a woman’s. While a husband may choose to relate or demonstrate love through sex, he must ask himself, does my wife feel loved or validated in each instance? Yes, being sexually desired and pleased is a vital part of an intimate relationship and as women we do value this but the tendency to use sex as a substitute for dialogue or as a short cut for deep relationship change can also be counterproductive. By the same token, as women, we must question how loved or appreciated our man can feel if we’re deliberately withholding sex or have adopted a casual attitude towards its place in our relationship.

This relationship challenge is also compounded by the fact that while men do focus on sex as critical, many are uncomfortable talking about its importance to them. Because this is seldom discussed, the result of inadequate sex from a man’s perspective is often bitterness, resentment, sulking and emotional withdrawal. Men are energized by sex in a way that we as women will perhaps never understand. As a result, its absence in the relationship can leave them feeling depleted, unloved, and less than manly. It is important that this critical need is communicated in marriage. While failure to do so exposes the relationship to being undermined, inadequate sex should never be readily used as an excuse for infidelity.

By the same token, inadequate emotional stimulation in a relationship and a disregard for the importance of communication, also contributes to a woman’s pervasive unhappiness. Women are energized by words and demonstrative love and would also appreciate their man’s “sacrifice” in this area. Most women don’t want to be simply viewed as an object for their man’s sexual release; we want to be appreciated as the multi-faceted creatures that we really are. When a woman is emotionally satisfied, the issue of sexual regularity and quality really becomes a non-issue.

Ultimately, men should not allow their focus on sex to cause them to emotionally disengage from their wives nor should women disconnect sexually because their emotional needs are unmet. The solution to the core difference in priority between men and women, rests in both individual’s willingness to meet the needs of the other and by so doing, demonstrate the essence of true love; selflessness.

When Our Sex is Bad

How to tell him he's lousy in bed?
How to tell him he’s lousy in bed?

We all know that deep love and intimacy seal the deal when it comes to longevity and commitment in a relationship. We also know that relationships suffer from a number of negative issues including poor communication, inattention, infidelity, abuse, boredom and this list can go on. What happens, however, when the sex is really bad? Many individuals may not mind complaining about a cheating, abusive or disloyal spouse but how many of us want to complain about bad sex? On a good day, many of us adults who do have sex behave as if we don’t and even for those of us who do, admitting that we’re having problems in this area is akin to acknowledging some type of adult failure; or so we think.

I was made very aware of this sexual disconnect among adults only too recently. While promoting my book “How To Have Mind Blowing Sex Without Losing Your Brain” it was amusing to note the embarrassed stares, self-conscious giggles or incredulous glances away from the book’s title by a number of adults passing by. This of course included married couples. It was obvious that in spite of our society’s seeming openness about sex, many adults are still uncomfortable confronting their own sexuality. If some of us remain so deeply embarrassed by sex, how then do we navigate the turbulent waters of a sexual relationship where the sex is bad with a capital B? Do some of us even know what bad sex is? Are we even remotely in touch with our own sexual needs and desires? Are we informed by good sexuality education or are we still operating at the level of sexual myths and conjecture?

If we’re to specifically improve the quality of our sexual relationship and if we’re to enhance the overall quality of our relationship with our spouse, then honest communication about the state of our sex is imperative. One of the complexities of relationships is that although we can have a very loving partner who meets our needs in several ways, that individual can still be pretty lousy in the sack. When It comes down to it, however, when we’re in love and our heart is in the right place, great sex is not something we want to experience with someone else; we want to experience it with the one we have committed to. How then can we move our sex from bad to good?

1. Clarify what we want: knowing what we’re looking for in our sexual relationship is the first step on the journey towards ridding ourselves of bad sex. This means being in-tuned with our own bodies, including our sexual needs and preferences. If we’re holding residual shame and embarrassment about how our body looks, if we’ve never looked at our genitals and remain clueless about our own pleasure centres, then chances are, we’re in no position to articulate our desires. Being in-tuned sexually therefore involves acknowledging and accepting our sexuality. This can strengthen our sexual confidence and reduce the sense of trepidation which can keep us silent in the face of dissatisfaction.

2. Communicate clearly but sensitively: Acknowledging our own needs can embolden us to share what is necessary with our partner. Communication in this area should not be designed to humiliate, thereby fostering a sense of inadequacy. We want our guy to know that satisfying us is within his reach and that together, we can learn to enrich our sexual experience for the benefit of us both. If for example, the male partner is plagued with premature ejaculation, working together to overcome this challenge can enhance the quality of sex for both individuals. Communication should also seek to affirm the positive aspects of the relationship first, before zeroing in on the inadequacies. We should never seek to convey a sense of hopelessness.

3. Release Inhibitions: Sometimes our sex is bad because we’re too uptight; we haven’t learnt the fine art of surrendering to the moment. Our inhibitions and skewed expectations can keep us locked into a zone of performance-anxiety which makes our intimate time with our partner both stilted and burdensome. Understanding that our sexual success is not one-sided but demands our own participation and cooperation can be a significant step in the right direction. This can release the burden of responsibility we as women can sometimes place on our spouse to “give” us an orgasm and encourages us to “own” our sexual pleasure. A more participatory approach can add some much needed zest to our love life, opening it up to exciting experimentation, which in turn has the potential to improve its overall quality.


How To Have Mind-Blowing Sex Without Losing Your Brain! It’s Finally Here!


Whether you love sex, hate sex, have a healthy dose of curiosity about sex, have never had sex or wonder what all the hype is about, this book is for you. It represents a no-holds barred commentary on not only the act of sex, but also explores the much wider issue of human sexuality and the factors which shape it. This book maintains that great sex involves a lot more than love-making technique and the quality of an orgasm.

Peppered with loads of examples of what can and does go wrong in our sexual relationships, How To Have Mind-Blowing Sex Without Losing Your Brain provides an insightful journey into the area of human sexuality which will encourage readers to perhaps refine and redefine their understanding of sex.

This book will delight and surprise with its freshness, humour and candor, as it explores what is needed for a great sex-life. Laced with some self-assessments, it provides a practical road-map for assisting individuals and couples in maximizing their sexual potential. Hopefully, by the end of it, sex as you know it, will begin to take on a whole new meaning.

 “Her candidness may shock you at times, but her revelations about “sex that makes your toes curl” may be what you’ve always needed to understand.”

Dr. Trevor R Shepherd

How To Have Mind-Blowing Sex Without Losing Your Brain! is available NOW in e book format for kindles, i pads or any e reader from Amazon’s kindle store. Just follow the link by clicking on the title. Paper backs will be available soon from Amazon.



The Secrets: Should We Tell All?

There is nothing like meeting a sexy guy for the first time and wanting to impress. For you unattached girls out there who are longing for someone to really call your own, meeting new guys can, however, get really technical; or so I have been told. It’s been said that the ratio of women to men is somewhat alarming; In other words, there seems to be a marked shortage of guys to match all the girls out there looking to settle down with one. For the woman who feels desperate, this often means that she thinks she needs to employ a few “relationship contortions” in order to nail the guy of her interest. In other words, she feels a need to plot, scheme and manipulate in order to “win” the competition for the most eligible bachelor. This often means packaging herself as the woman of every guy’s dreams, while beating all other girls into extinction.

As women, many of us have mastered the fine art of creating a great first impression. It just comes with the territory of being female and is something which we do almost instinctively. We definitely know how to dress to impress. At another level, the array of “enhancements” available for today’s woman means that when a guy meets a gal for the first time, he really must assess whether what he is seeing is what he will be hopefully getting (that is, if the relationship gets that far).

These “enhancements” run the gamut from false hair, to false nails, to false lashes, to coloured lens (changed eye colour), to false breasts and even padded hips. Yes, these are all fashion practices that many of us women have grown accustomed to using at some level, from time to time. As a lover of fashion and beauty trends myself, I do identify with that feminine need to creatively reinvent ourselves on occasion.Where it can get tricky, however, is when we allow our true selves to be masked into oblivion and this then spills over into our love lives.

Today’s practice of hiding or masking who we really are, may actually speak to deeper issues which can impact on our intimate relationship. The woman, who fears exposing what she perceives to be her physical flaws, may also be harbouring a deeper fear of being exposed in other areas of her life. This then leads us to the question of secrets. When a woman is bent on impressing and perhaps keeping a man for the long haul, should she spill it all? Should she expose all of her shortcomings, weaknesses and past relationship issues as her new relationship progresses or should some information remain off limits? Just as she seeks to hide her body’s imperfections, should she continue this trend by also concealing the things from her past (or present) which she thinks might make her appear less attractive to her new love interest, or should she expose all of her emotional and sexual stuff in a bid to “keep it real” in the relationship?

Women at different stages of their emotional development will no doubt answer these questions differently. A woman’s sense of self, inner confidence and her ability to balance strength with vulnerability, will to some degree, determine how she chooses to handle self-exposure when a new man comes along. This is also likely to be affected by things like her age and relationship experience.

The woman who is really on the look-out for a long term relationship with the possibility of marriage is likely to value openness and honesty. This is likely to be so because more often than not, this is what she also expects from her partner. With an acknowledged shortage of men, however, a woman may fear losing a romantic prospect if certain elements of her past are laid bare. While I am one who steadfastly promotes intimacy in relationships, I do not believe that it can be forced by indiscriminate exposure of everything, just for the sake of it.

Yes, we live in an age of reality shows where we have grown accustomed to being exposed to everyone’s business. The concept of privacy as we know it, will soon become a thing of the past. Even prime time television has jumped on the bandwagon with not only the portrayal of intimate sex scenes but even treks to the bathroom have now become standard television fare. So to some extent, we are accustomed to “baring it all”. This public trend of exposure, however, does not necessarily transfer to our romantic relationships where the stakes are high for disapproval and rejection.

What then are some of the major secrets a woman would perhaps seek to hide in her relationship? I’ve thought deeply about this and have arranged what I think would be some critical issues in order of their assumed importance:

  • The number of men she has slept with
  • Her participation in any sexual activities that would be considered risqué, for example, group sex or a ménage a trios
  • Her involvement in a lesbian affair
  • Her hatred of sex
  • Her love of sex
  • Her experience of sexual abuse
  • An experience of rape
  • Enormous, enormous debt
  • A deep connection to her ex
  • Past infidelity
  • An addiction to shopping
  • An addiction to illegal drugs
  • An addiction to prescription medication
  • Chronic depression
  • Her very large salary

This list is not exhaustive by any means but I think you get the idea. These issues admittedly are diverse and cannot all be lumped together. An issue of a sexual nature will tend to be treated with far more seriousness than an issue of over-spending.  A woman often knows from experience, that a man can be intimidated if she earns significantly more money than he does. If she appears to love sex too much, or had many partners, she may fear that he thinks her a slut. If her debt is really high, he may think she’s really on the look-out for a “Sugar Daddy” or that she lacks personal discipline and the list goes on. In spite of the diversity among these issues, each has the potential to break or harm a relationship if left unresolved.

The woman who has endured painful experiences from her childhood or from past relationships, may choose not to share if these issues are still painful to her. If she has experienced emotional healing, has extended forgiveness to those who hurt her or has decided to change some shame-based element of her lifestyle, then sharing her life-story may just be a matter of course. At the same time, if she feels close enough to her guy, she may seek comfort in sharing matters which for her still remain unresolved. Talking about her sense of shame over some past behaviour or delving into a past hurt, may actually be therapeutic and can serve to deepen the bond between her and her guy.

At another level, the woman in her twenties, who is still basically “finding herself”, may respond differently to the idea of total self-exposure, than the woman in her forties who possesses a lot more self-confidence and has experienced a bit of life. The younger woman is likely to panic and to be a lot more secretive in a bid to hold on to new relationship. Conversely, the older woman’s attitude might very well be one of, “been there, done that, take me as I am or go look elsewhere”.

This woman knows exactly what she wants in a man and is not so much sold on the idea of impressing others, as she is on the idea of self-acceptance and personal growth. In other words she may have learnt from her past mistakes and may simply want to re-write her life-script on her own terms. She may also feel no regret for some of her past actions and this is where the aligning of a couples’ value system becomes critical to the life of that relationship. If for example, one partner has cheated in the past, but is not remorseful, then this may hold implications for how much he/she values fidelity. If you plan to be a faithful spouse, then having a spouse with an identical belief system will be paramount.

Issues like substance abuse, addictions or chronic depression can also impact on the quality of the relationship. While none of us are perfect, the more emotionally healthy we are, the better the prospects for a long and healthy relationship. When significant elements are kept hidden, the danger is that they can rear their ugly heads at an inopportune time and can cause friction and emotional estrangement. If, for example, a divorcee has not severed emotional ties with her ex, this baggage can haunt her current relationship and she can easily project her anger towards her current partner or husband. Knowledge and understanding on her partner’s end can only be applied if he is made aware of her issue in the first place.

Am I suggesting then that a tell-all session is always vital to a good relationship? Not necessarily. I believe that a woman must assess the true status of her relationship and the maturity of her partner before she decides to divulge all. Even then, exposing her past is not an end in itself, nor should it be forced. It should also never occur in the early, uncertain phase of a relationship when commitment has not yet been voiced. In fact, premature exposure can actually destroy the prospects of a relationship even getting off the ground.

Don’t scare the guy away before he even has a chance to say hello. Be wise, weigh the situation and ensure that your end of the table is not the only one from which a detailed life-story is forthcoming; intimacy is after all, a two-way street.  There are no guarantees that it will all pan out as you like but true love is often worth the risk.

When the Woman in His Head Isn’t the Woman in His Bed

When a guy that I know posed this idea some time back to a group of us (woman in head differing from woman in bed) , I thought it particularly uncanny. As a man and a husband, he actually admitted that this was a specific problem for several men. It broached a little discussion about one of the anomalies of relationships. Very often we develop an ideal about the person we want to spend the rest of our lives with and very often our real-life partner never even begins to make the grade. We girls often have this fairy-tale expectations of the tall, dashing Prince who will sweep us off our feet, support our independence, hand over the money (never mind we earn our own) be a tiger in the bedroom, meet all of our emotional needs, be a great kisser, listener, gourmet Chef and several other things all rolled into one.

By the same token, a guy wants the girl who is low maintenance but sexy to the nines, educated, confident, nurturing (as in great Mother material) , uninhibited in bed but wholesome enough to meet his Mother, not needy or clingy or a nag and don’t forget with loads of fragrant hair ( many of the females I know actually will not significantly shorten their hair because of this perception that guys love long hair, hmmm). That being said, the truth is that this conflict between reality and the ideal, is a problem for both sexes.

We often have an idealistic expectation of our future partner which may have its genesis somewhere in our childhood. Maybe if we had a good relationship with our Mom or Dad, we expect our partner to be just like them. The opposite is also true; a horrible Father will make many a girl long for a guy who is the exact opposite. It could very well also be linked to “first-love-syndrome”: a condition where we compare every relationship to our first. But this article will not focus on us girls this time around. What happens when our guy has a woman fixed in his head who bears little resemblance to who we really are? Can a guy be cured of this problem and can a relationship survive? More importantly what happens when the woman in head versus woman in bed problem hits home in the bedroom?

If I had to ask all the men I know if they were really sexually happy or fulfilled with their current relationships I don’t know how many of them would be honest. Even if they were candid enough to admit being unhappy I am not sure that they would connect this unhappiness to their own unrealistic expectations.  The truth is that continuing to live with an “ideal” in the head, can lead to all sorts of complications in the figurative and literal bed of  a relationship.When this idea of the ideal partner is extended to the sex life then it begins to take on a whole new dynamic.

Let’s face it girls, where guys are concerned, sex is right up there with breathing and oxygen. Somehow their testosterone has not only convinced them that they can’t live without sex but they usually believe that they need lots of it and in great variety! What happens then to a guy’s sexual psyche when he makes a decision to keep all of his sexual eggs in one basket as it were. I’ll tell you what. He develops a long list of expectations which he believes must be fulfilled in order that he might be truly sexually happy. After all, as far as he is concerned, since he’s giving up his philandering ways (or at least purporting to) he might as well benefit in the process. While his personality or the nature of his relationship  may preclude him sharing some of these expectations with his partner, they are likely to remain deeply embedded in his heart because he sees them as an essential part of his sexual entitlement.

Some of the primary expectations of males include:

  • an on-par sex drive or at least a willingness to provide sex on demand
  • sexual confidence and freedom from inhibition
  • a willingness to initiate sex and try new things
  • an ability to forgive and forget his sexual indiscretions (as in his cheating if he does)
  • a willingness to “praise the penis” or in other words, assure him of his sexual prowess
  • a sexy body capable of basic gymnastic contortions
  • fearlessness when it comes to talking sexy

These are not exhaustive by any means and may vary depending on the personality, religious persuasion, experience or socialization of the male. At any rate, I think we can safely say that many men have a wonderful sex ideal somewhat like this in their heads. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to please one’s partner sexually, a relationship is about growth and development in all areas, including the bedroom. It can also become a little sticky when one member of the couple -mainly the male- is setting all the rules.

It is however not only important for a couple to grow together sexually but there must be a delicate balance between compromising to please and being allowed to be one’s self. No man should force us to swing from the chandeliers in some Tarzan suit if we’re afraid of heights, simply because he likes jungle themes. At the same time as women, we can learn to preserve an element of surprise in the relationship by initiating something out of the ordinary. Preserving our sense of sexual mystery even when we have been married for several years is also an important part of keeping the relationship fresh. That means not always doing what is expected in the way it is expected. It also means switching things up a bit, flipping the sexual script (for example abandoning the missionary position for a month), planning a sexy surprise and learning how to be totally unpredictable. This can keep a man so much on his toes that he doesn’t have the time to pine over his sexual ideal. In fact we can become the new ideal and every previous lover or present fantasy, can pale in comparison.

To be fair in this discussion however the responsibility for the balance of which I speak, should not lie solely with us women. Men must be made aware that unlike the days of yore, sex no longer revolves around them. This satellite mentality is outdated and harmful to relationships. It highlights how sexually selfish men can be in expecting to have their every whim and fancy catered to at all times, regardless. As I’ve said in a previous article, fantasizing can be lethal to a relationship. By the same token, an unrealistic sexual ideal by which a man measures his partner can also spell death to his woman’s sexual confidence; especially after she’s gained a few pounds from the baby or comes home chronically tired from work. A harsh and critical response to his partner which screams rejection, can really seal the deal in deepening the levels of sexual dissatisfaction in the relationship. In plain language, a woman can’t get her sexy on if she believes she is no longer sexy.

Men must learn simply to appreciate the woman they’ve got. Taking on specific domestic chores -not as a favour- but deliberately assuming responsibility for them so their wives can be more energized for sex, can go a long way in balancing the equation. Affirming and validating their partners through genuine compliments, the provision of emotional support through listening, spending quality time together and the strengthening of intimacy through open dialogue, can significantly contribute to a woman’s sense of well being. Once those essential relationship needs are met, any woman would willingly unleash her sexual tiger to make both her man and herself, deliriously happy.