A few weeks ago, I posted a piece called “Not Tonight Dear, I Have a Headache,” listing some of the things men do that can torpedo a woman’s desire to get nekkid and hit the sheets with their partners. A short time later, I received a message from a gentleman, saying “Great list, but I must be a total tool because I do most of those things. Now I know what not to do. But what do I do?”
Oh, this is going to be fun.
Dear Tool Guy,
Glad you asked! But before we get into practical tips, you need to understand that men and women are different. Especially when it comes to sex. You guys are mostly visual, and all you need is a naked, willing body and a smile, and it’s yippee time (fyi, we occasionally get jealous about that). We like a little foreplay, emotional as well as physical. We want to feel loved, appreciated, noticed, and desirable, even when we’re not naked. If you can do that, we’ll rock your world on a regular basis.
With that in mind, try these:
1. Be more affectionate before sex is anticipated. Ignoring us all day long until bedtime, then giving us “the wink,” tends to make us feel like a life-size blowup doll. A friend of mine says her husband claims it “help him sleep better.” “Swell,” she sighs, “I’m a human Ambien.”
2. Do something to brighten her day other than offering her your awesome body. Wash her car. Do the laundry. Take the kids to the park while she gets a massage or lunches with a girlfriend. Trust me. Next time you have an afternoon quickie, it will have been her idea.
3. Ask her about her day. Then listen. Respond with full sentences rather than monosyllabic grunts and head nods. Extra points if you turn off the TV while you’re talking.
4. Make her laugh. It’s the greatest aphrodisiac ever invented.
5. Go the extra mile. Remember dating, when you looked good, smelled great, and had breath that smelled like spearmint instead of stale beer? Yeah, that.
6. Touch, but don’t grope. Grabbing our boobs as we’re walking past you with a load of dirty laundry is one of the fastest ways to ensure you don’t get laid that night. Groping is not foreplay. It’s annoying. Touching, however, with a long hug or a slow kiss, can melt her heart and weaken her knees. And if you really want to seal the deal, take that load of laundry from her hands and get it done while she has a bubble bath. Gratitude sex can be even better than makeup sex.
7. Don’t confuse us with porn stars. Women prefer “sexy sex.” We want a little seduction, not a B-rated porno production from late-night pay-per-view. Remember, porn is written largely for men, by men, so all you’re seeing is what turns you guys on, not us. If you’re not sure what gets our motors revving, ask. We might even show you something new.
8. Pay attention. It’s in the details, Tool Guy. Is she almost out of her favorite wine? Is there a Post-It note on the fridge, reminding her to pick up the drycleaning? Are you running low on the coffee she always buys for you? If you’re out and about, pick up the wine. Get the drycleaning. Buy your own coffee. She’ll notice that you noticed. We like that. A lot.
9. Surprise her by doing something from her “marital chore list.” No one wants to cook seven damn dinners every week, all year long, or do all the laundry, every day, for everyone living under the roof. Every now and then, let her sip wine while you cook. (And ordering pizza is not the same thing.) And if you clean up afterwards, paradise will await you, just down the hall.
10. Treat her the way you did when you were dating. Carry the groceries in. Put the toilet seat down. Hold the door open for her instead of charging in ahead of her and letting it smack her in the face (Stand in the doorway at Safeway. You’ll see this one a lot). Be the gentleman your mama taught you to be.
11. Give her genuine compliments, without immediately tying it to sex. “You look beautiful tonight,” and then stop, is perfect. “You look hot tonight. Wanna do it?” is like throwing a grenade into the bedroom. You just blew up her mood.
12. Touch her even when you’re not suggesting sex. That’s the #1 complaint I hear from women. “He only touches me when he wants sex.” After a certain point, she starts to feel like one of Pavlov’s dogs, where every time you touch her, she’s supposed to keel over onto her back. She will quickly find a way to avoid your touches altogether.
13. When she is ready, try to slow down, Cowboy. Don’t rush to the “good part.” We think the journey is as good as the destination. Give her time to catch up with you, and I promise, she’ll put the yippy back in your skippy.
You’re welcome, Tool Guy. And just remember: Happy wife, happy life!