~ April, 2021 ~ After sleeping with both sexes, this 25-year-old woman now wants to date only men – but there’s one glaring problem in the bedroom.
Welcome to Relationship Rehab, news.com.au’s weekly column solving all your romantic problems, no holds barred. This week, our resident sexologist Isiah McKimmie tackles a woman who wants to be with a man but enjoys sex with women more, a person who feels like their needs are being ignored and what to do when the person you are dating wants to be friends with benefits.
Help! I want to date men, but enjoy sex with women more
QUESTION: I’m a 25-year-old woman who’s dated both men and women in the past but I’ve realised I want to be exclusively with men now. The problem is, the satisfaction I get from having sex with a man isn’t the same as a woman. While I feel I want to be with a man … part of me finds sleeping with women more satisfying. I feel like women get what other women want more and are more into foreplay than penetrative sex, which is what works best for me. How do I guide future partners so I’m getting the satisfaction I need?
ANSWER: Great question.
While my mind immediately wonders if you can continue to be sexually involved with both genders, I want to focus on your question of guiding a partner on what you need.
This is something that many people struggle with, especially women.
Sexual communication can feel challenging. We’re not taught how to ask for what we want sexually, how to set boundaries or even that it’s OK to give direction. We can often worry that we’ll hurt a partner’s feelings by giving feedback or feel embarrassed by expressing our desires. Some people even have an idea that with the right person you shouldn’t need to communicate what you like.
Please know that it’s both normal and important to talk about sex with a partner.
Research has consistently shown that one of the most important factors for great sex is being able to talk about it.
If you’re worried about hurting someone’s feelings by giving them feedback, first know that most men say they want more direction when it comes to sex so they can really pleasure their partner and if someone’s feelings are hurt, it’s on them.
You deserve to have your sexual needs met.
It’s great that you already know what you enjoy sexually. Many women don’t and therefore can benefit from exploring on their own or with a partner to discover what they really like.
There are different kinds of sexual communication – all of which are important. We need to be able to discuss sex before/outside of sex, during sex and after sex.
Talking about sex outside of the bedroom includes creating a culture of open communication around sex. It might mean asking each other what you like, whether there are any boundaries or if there’s anything you’d like to explore.
Some questions to ask are:
• I’ve noticed I need a lot of foreplay to really enjoy sex. I particularly love oral sex. How do you feel about foreplay? What are some things you enjoy?
• Do you ever struggle to reach orgasm – and what might you need from me to help you enjoy yourself?
• Do you have any sexual boundaries that you feel are important to let me know about?
• What helps you feel in the mood for sex?
Communicating during sex includes telling someone what you need or want in the moment.
Some ways to do this are:
• That feels great and what would really turn me on right now is …
• I need more warming up before we move to penetration. Can you use your hands on me for a little longer first?
• That feels great – just a little softer/slower right there would feel even better.
Communicating after sex is a great time to tell someone what you really enjoyed about what you did.
You might say:
• I really loved the way you were willing to take your time with me tonight.
• I loved that thing you did when you went down on me tonight.
• That was fun. We should definitely try that position again sometime.
Being able to talk about sex openly and honestly together helps you understand each other’s needs and desires and enables you to work together to create an enjoyable sex life for both of you. Keep in mind that good sexual communication takes some practice. Your pleasure is worth it. I hope you get what you need.
I voice my needs and my partner ignores me
QUESTION: I read on one of your Instagram posts that it’s important to voice your needs in a relationship. But what happens when your partner just ignores those needs over and over again? I don’t want to feel like I’m nagging.
ANSWER: Voicing your needs in a relationship is important. As is attempting to meet your partner’s needs.
How we voice our needs to a partner is important. Research has shown that while women can feel like we’re voicing our needs, we’re often doing it in ways that are critical. When we do this, our partner shuts down and doesn’t respond well.
Speaking using ‘I statements’, sharing your emotion and clearly stating your needs can help get the message across. I shared more on how to do this here.
If your partner still doesn’t seem interested in meeting your needs, it may be time to reconsider your relationship or to seek professional support. We can’t meet all of our partner’s needs all of the time, but in a healthy relationship, we care for and attempt to meet our partner’s needs where we can.
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I want a relationship, he doesn’t. What to do?
QUESTION: I’ve been seeing a guy for a few weeks and really thought he wanted a relationship. At least that’s what he said at the beginning. He now says he just wants to be friends with benefits. I’m not sure this is something I can do, but I’m afraid if I say that, I’ll lose him. What should I do?
ANSWER: I’m sorry you’ve had this experience. I’m sure you now feel like you’re attached to him and that you might have wasted your time.
I know this might be a hard thing to do right now, but you need to believe him. It doesn’t sound like he’s ready for the kind of relationship you want. The reality is, he might never be or he might never be ready with you.
Confidently assert what you need by saying something like: ‘I’m looking for something serious. If you’re not, that’s totally OK. But I’m not going to settle for something I don’t want. If you change your mind, you can come back and we can talk.’
You might lose him, but you don’t have him right now anyway.
If you have a question for Isiah, email email@example.com