Discover His Desire


It is a paradox: A woman who wants her own sexual needs fulfilled in a relationship focuses instead on what is good for her man.

“If a woman feels unsatisfied in the sexual relationship, she might ask her partner: `Am I satisfying you in this way?’ And the man will respond in kind,” says Joseph Dispenza, myprimetime personal trainer and director of the Parcells Center for Personal Transformation in Santa Fe. “She could also ask: `How can I be more desirable to you?’ And he will ask her the same question, and she can go from there,” he says.

Because men in our culture are not taught to express their emotions, giving your man the opportunity to discuss his feelings in this way can be a great gift to him, and to you.

“You might even be surprised to find that he is comfortable talking about it,” says Dr. Susan Chandler, a psychologist in San Francisco. “You can ask him what he would like you to do. What feels good to him? Tell him you’d like to be able to talk about it and that your physical relationship is important to you,” she says. Then use this discussion as an opportunity to talk about your needs. “But begin gently: If you are critical and judging, it shuts everything down.”

Avoid what Chandler calls “war words” that imply criticism: never, always or too much.

“It’s better if you say things like, `I’m feeling this way’ or `It works better for me when you do this,’ as opposed to `You do this wrong’ or `You don’t do this.’ If you let him know how you’re feeling, then he can respond to it,” says Chandler.

Declare your loving intentions. Write affirmations on cards and place them near your bed to remind your partner that you are looking out for him. “Written affirmations are very powerful. I suggest that partners make up affirmations that speak to their mutual satisfaction so that it tunes both of them into the beauty and power of their union,” says Dispenza.

Affirmations that a couple writes together during nonsexual times can turn into a playful sex game. An example: I am giving you everything that you need right now.

Defuse any defensiveness your man might have about sexuality by becoming comfortable asking for what you want. Don’t be tense or hesitant when discussing sex. If you like it when a man acts a particular way, reinforce it by saying, “Remember that night when you did such and such? That felt wonderful. Could you do more of that?”

Keep it light, says Edward Dreyfus, a clinical psychologist and sex therapist in Santa Monica. “If you can mix intimacy and playfulness together, then you have great sex.”

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