Men’s Health asked us to contribute some ideas to a piece they did recently on boosting women’s sexual self-esteem. Since the majority of the advice we slave over for this kind of thing often ends up on the cutting room floor, we like to offer it up here for you in all it’s unabridged glory. So straight guys (and maybe a few clueless lesbians out there), enjoy!
- It’s all about positive reinforcement. Pay her compliments…about her beauty, her body, a certain sexual technique of hers you love. The key is to not sound crass (“nice tits”) but rather awed (“God, you’re so beautiful”). And give them in the moment, as well as after the fact, even outside the bedroom when there’s no chance or expectation of sex. You want to avoid using compliments as a mere ploy to get in her pants right then and there — she’ll see right through that, and then all future compliments will lose their positive reinforcement power.When speaking about sex specifically, keep it simple: “Last night was so amazing” or “I can’t believe how amazing our sex life is” or “Did you know how good in bed you are?” Don’t worry about seeming blunt or pervy — she’ll be way more concerned about whether your exes were better in bed than she is, so the more clear you can be about the fact that she’s the best, the better.
- Never, ever criticize her body size. Odds are she’s a million times harder on herself in her mind than you could ever be, so it’ll only make things worse: she’ll be more self-conscious and less inclined to get naked with you. The only thing you can do is make staying active a couples activity: go for long walks on the beach, ride bikes, take yoga or dance or martial arts classes together, etc. And don’t even think about criticizing body parts she can’t do anything about, at least not safely, like the shape and size of her boobs.
- If she’s a new mom: The best thing you can do is to make sure she knows you still see her as a sexy, beautiful partner (not just the mother of your children now) while simultaneously not pressuring her to have sex. Childbirth and infant rearing can wreak havoc on a woman — physically, mentally, hormonally. Accept that the amount of sex you two have is going to drop dramatically, at least for a while, and you’ll both be happier. And do make sure you set aside quality alone time away from the kids — and we’re not just talking about behind closed bedroom doors: get yourself a reliable, trusted sitter who can stay with the kid(s) while you two spend a night in a nice hotel.
- To combat nether region paranoia, again, keep it simple. Just tell her “You taste amazing/I love the way you taste” or “I love going down on you” or “I could spend all day down here.” No need to get any more specific or long-winded than that — it’s all she needs to hear to feel good about her vulva and to know that you love it as is.
- How to raise trust. Speak often and openly about stuff in the future. Obviously how *far* into the future depends on how serious the relationship — if it’s early days, it could be as simple as talking about a movie that opens up next month that he really wants to see with her… later on it could be about planning a vacation or meeting his parents or whatever… just throwing out little reminders that he doesn’t have any intention of going anywhere. Also, one of the biggest trust builders for a woman is you simply not being a dick: Don’t cheat, don’t lie, and don’t play dirty during fights (i.e. bringing up her insecurities to cut her down and gain the upper hand).