Sex should be fun and, every once in a while, you’ll get yourself into ridiculous situations. Maybe your neighbors start yelling at you two through the wall, you get your pants caught around your ankles and fall over, or you accidentally shoot some whip cream in her eye. Please don’t try to “pull it off.” Just laugh about it. Not only is a sense of humor incredibly sexy, but by not taking yourself too seriously, you’ll put her at ease, Fleming says. And, hey, even if something goes awry, she’ll have a great time.
2. Have Her Take the Lead
Encouraging her to climb on top from time to time has huge benefits for both of you. First, it ensures she gets what she likes, Castellanos says. There, she can control the angle, depth, and speed, and as many women tend to take it slow on top, it could mean you last longer without getting pushed too quickly over the edge, she says. Plus, for many men, seeing a woman in charge (especially if she’s on top of you and her breasts and butt are bouncing all over the place) can be a huge turn-on. Win-win.
3. Learn the CAT
“The clitoris is the powerhouse of the female orgasm,” Kerner says. In fact, one review published in The Case of the Female Orgasm suggests that 75 percent of women need some clitoral stimulation to hit their high notes. But that doesn’t mean she can’t have an orgasm during vaginal intercourse. Fleming recommends the coital alignment technique (aka CAT position). It’s like missionary, but you're riding high so your chest is near her shoulders and to the side, which helps the base of your penis rub against her clit, she says. In one Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy study of women who were unable to orgasm from missionary sex, those who learned the CAT reported a 56 percent increase in their orgasm frequency.
4. Switch Up the Scenery
“Our brains get accustomed to our surroundings very easily,” Castellanos says. And, after having sex in the same place umpteen million times (if you’re lucky), this could actually reduce both of your pleasure. Hence why you have such great sex while the two of you are on vacation. Try having sex in another room, or even outside. “Doing so can also add an erotic element of taboo to sex, which boosts some people’s arousal,” she says.
5. Help Her Turn Off
If she’s going to appreciate you for the amazing lover you are, her brain—or, at least the parts associated with stress and anxiety—has to powder down. The best way to keep her from thinking through her to-do list while you’re humping and pumping away is to create an environment where she can relax, says sex and relationships therapist Ian Kerner Ph.D., author of She Comes First. That doesn’t just mean lighting candles, but helping her with any work or around-the-house projects that are stressing her out, he says. Bonus: It will make her feel cared for, which will further raise her potential for arousal, says psychiatrist and sex therapist Madeleine Castellanos, M.D., author of Wanting to Want.
6. Hit All Her Buttons
Next, you’re going to have to do more than say, “want to have sex?” While it would work the other way around, that’s because men experience “spontaneous desire,” Kerner says. Basically, it just takes a light breeze for them to be standing at attention. Women, however, experience “responsive desire” and need you to hit multiple turn-me-on buttons at once if they are going to get aroused, he says. What works for every woman is different, but focusing on her five senses can help you cover the bases. For instance, try cooking her dinner, putting on romantic music, giving her a sensual massage, and lighting smell-good candles.
7. Stop Switching Positions So Often
“Contrary to what pornos would suggest, women don’t want sex to feel like acrobatics,” says sex therapist Megan Fleming, Ph.D., clinical instructor of psychology at Weill Cornell Medical College. “Constantly going from one position to another breaks the flow.” Plus, it gives her too much opportunity to engage in “spectatoring,” worrying about what she looks like while she’s trying to figure out how to contort her body into whatever it is that you’re describing. It’s OK to hit a few positions during the course of a good 30-minute bout, but keep yourself present and let her know you enjoy the position you’re in.
8. Play with Pressure and Speed
If you aren’t trying every position in your sex-position calendar, how do you keep things interesting? By altering both pressure and speed regularly, Fleming says. That will ensure nothing becomes too mechanical or jackhammer-y. However, remember that when she’s approaching an orgasm, keeping your pressure and speed consistent will help her cross the finish line, she says.
9. Don’t Focus on the End Game
“When you are too focused on sexual performance, there is emphasis on results rather than on pleasure,” Castellanos says. “Your partner can sense this energy, which can translate into heightened anxiety for her or feeling a disconnection from you. If instead, you are focusing on the pleasure you are experiencing, your own arousal will help build up her arousal, making her experience with you more enjoyable.”
10. Lube Up
If she feels like any less than a Slip 'N Slide, there’s no shame in reaching for the bottle of lube. Women who use lube report significantly more pleasure than those who don’t, according to research published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. About a third of young women say they experience vaginal dryness, per study researchers. Castellanos recommends using a quality silicone lubricant like Wet Platinum or Replens Silky Smooth. “Both of these are slippery enough to handle the continued friction, so that you don’t have to interrupt the pace to reapply. But they are thin enough that they don’t detract from any down-there sensations.”
11. Roam Around
“Men are quick to go for the gold,” Fleming says. Meanwhile, women need a good bit of foreplay before penetration or even clitoral stimulation actually feels good. “Even if she is one of the minority of women who get aroused quickly, you need to tease her arousal and build it up,” she says. Explore the nape of her neck, her ears, her thighs, and try to discover new erogenous zones (toes?) before you head to her breasts and, ultimately, her nether region. “Her arousal should be so high that she’s almost pulling you inside of her,” she says. And even after you are inside of her, your hands and lips should keep exploring her body.
12. Listen to Her Body
And, no, not just the “oohs and ahhs.” Sorry to break it to you, but those aren’t always the most accurate prediction of how she really feels. Instead, listen to her breathing and feel how her body responds to your touch, Fleming recommends. Her muscles—feel how they are tightening up or relaxing—will always let you know what she’s feeling. FYI, her muscles should generally be relaxed. That is, until she’s climaxing and shaking like crazy.
13. Make It About Her
“The biggest mistake that men make during sex is that they make it about the act of sex rather than about her,” Castillanos says. “A woman doesn’t want to hear about what a good lover you are. She wants to feel like you adore each and every part of her and that you want to show her that adoration.” Tell her how good she feels and how much you love her body. Another option: Kiss her. It’s amazing how much more intimate sex gets when you simply lock lips.
14. Don’t Be Afraid of Toys
Toys—whether they are handcuffs and blindfolds or foot-long vibrators—have nothing to do with whether or not you are “enough.” They are simply ways of exploring your sexuality together and bringing some novelty into the bedroom, both of which can increase dopamine activity in the brain to heighten arousal and pleasure, says Kerner, who recommends playing with new toys at the beginning of the night. Later on, you’ll want to segue into this next tip.
15. Drive It Home with Tried-and-True Moves
At a certain point, you should transition into the moves that you know will lead to her orgasm. “If a woman is focused on trying something new, she’s going to be in her head and her brain is not going to shut off,” Kerner says. And, according to research from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, only women’s cerebellums (which control movement) are active during orgasm. So any positions you pull out near the end should be like riding a bike.