Q: I can't believe I'm that much of an exception to the rule, but I want my man to be sexually aggressive with me. I'm always reading about women who think or say, "Just because you always think about sex doesn't mean I do!" But some of us females think about and want sex as much as - if not more than - most men! How do we get our men to wake up and pay attention?
Dr. Susan: You're so right. In my own research with very happily married couples, I found that some women are the more highly sexed ones in their relationships. And they work it out one way or another, just like when the reverse is the case. How, you ask? This may be an unsexy answer, but it's all about honest, open communication. Not just, "Hey, you, get over here and take me right now, and make it snappy!" That, in fact, would include a number of very wrong messages that would probably guarantee you not to get your needs met much of the time. The worst way to approach a male is to exert performance or time pressure. They're not ready all the time, just like we're not. But they're usually ready to get ready, if you seduce them gently and appreciatively.
Healthy couples figure out their own creative ways to deal with any disparity in their libido. In fact, you may start out even and then find yourselves out of sync. Hormone shifts and life circumstances affect everyone's sexual appetites. One way is to have sex whenever either of you wants it, but to agree to do it the way the less-interested partner chooses. So you might have to agree to some low-key, low-pressure, just-sitting-on-the-couch-snuggling time with your guy, and then kind of reach over and get a little more physical and see what happens. Just as women hate to be pressured, men, too, don't want to feel that you're demanding something from them that they fear they may be unable to fulfill. Let your man know it's not about sex (only!), but about loving and feeling loved, and that usually leads to exactly what you've been wanting all along.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.