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Women, What You Need To Know About Men & Sex

Updated: Feb 14

Men are….


Before reading on, take a pause and set a timer for 2 minutes and allow yourself to flow freely with words and pictures of what your idea of men, masculinity and male sexuality is. Let it flow and once the timer goes off, come back and finish reading…


When I give this exercise to female clients the most common themes are, men are…

Unemotional

Afraid of commitment

Closed

Sex oriented

Lazy

Selfish

Narcissists


Ouch! There are plenty of women who feel very much let down by men. That feel there is very much a ‘them vs us’. Sayings such as men are from Mars and women are from Venus aren’t helpful either. What this is teaching us is that we are different.


I’m here to tell you, we aren’t. Well, on a biological and hormonal level we are. But what I mean is what we want from life, how we want to feel, etc, once we begin to dig deep and really get to the heart of what matters, we all want the same things, and we all fear the same things too.


The difference? We are conditioned very differently.


Women are conditioned to not speak up about what they want or don’t want - otherwise we are ‘too much’. So we go around hinting and making passive aggressive comments.


Men are also conditioned not to speak up, so they just avoid any any serious talk whatsoever and shy away from it and seem avoidant.


Of course, I want to acknowledge I’m generalising here, but socially speaking there is a box, a socially constructed one that puts us in specific gender roles of what we can and can’t do.


Very fortunately due to the feminist movement there is a continuous increase in understanding how the patriarchal system we live in affects women negatively.


However, there is less awareness of how patriarchy affects men.


So with that, I’m going to bust some myths that women (and some men!) might have around men, masculinity and male sexuality so that we can get to what we are ALL looking for - deeper emotional and physical intimacy.


Erections

‘His loss of erection means he doesn’t fancy me, I’m undesirable, etc’… how you respond to a loss of erection is really going to impact if this situation is a one-off or if it begins to become an issue for him and possibly both of you. If a man is in a new relationship, casual sexual encounter and really fancies you, he’s likely going to put pressure on himself to ‘perform’. He wants to impress you. He, like a lot of men, has attached his masculinity to the hardness of his penis. Meaning that the harder it is, the more of a man he is. If he really likes you and is in his head about trying to impress you, he is likely NOT in the present moment and is going to lose his erection.


Hardness can wane during sexual encounters - it requires a constant blood flow to the penis to keep it erect so there may be moments when he’s a little softer and he can then get harder again. Men in their 50s are not going to be as hard as a 19 year old - bodies change. So again, if you respond negatively to a natural waning, it has the potential to create more problems further down the line and begin to create a pattern.


What you can do differently - learn to appreciate a soft cock, if you love his penis when it’s flaccid, he won’t be afraid of it being flaccid. When he loses his erection, I know you may instinctively think ‘it’s me’, I invite you instead to not act shocked, worried frightened, etc. take a breath and ask him what pleasure he would like to experience elsewhere. I have more tips around how to support a man with erectile disappointment in my article Erectile Dysfunction - A Blessing In Disguise.


Premature Ejaculation

The average man from penetration will ejaculate in 4 minutes. This is quite soon compared to women who can take 20-40 minutes to reach orgasm. Men who are ejaculating ‘too soon’, so almost immediately after penetration can often be because they aren’t relaxed and may be feeling stressed. Again, likely they are worried, are in their head, worried about impressing and performing.


What you can do differently - pay attention to how you react to this as negative reactions can lead to it happening more frequently. If this is a common pattern in your relationship seek support, and also have a conversation that your pleasure is prioritised before penetration so that you get to have fun too before it’s sex stops. The more orgasms women have, the more they want sex, so it will help keep up your desire!


Delayed Ejaculation

Delayed ejaculation is when a man is able to last a long time or struggles to ejaculate. My experience of men with this is that they are often not able to ‘let go’. This can come from not feeling able to express themselves emotionally. It can be due to a new partner and not feeling safe enough with them yet to surrender - for some men ejaculation can feel extremely vulnerable. Some men have had at some point a woman make a comment about the smell, taste, texture, timing of their ejaculate some men can have stories around it and have an element of feeling self-conscious. For some men just a general conditioning about not being able to express themselves emotionally can impact their ability to ejaculate.


What you can do differently - give your partner the space to share his emotions and express himself, make sure he feels safe. More on how to be a space holder for men on the topic of ‘safety’ below.


Sexual skills deficit

I hear many complaints from women about their partner not ‘doing it for them’, not ‘prioritising their pleasure’, ‘it’s all about him and never me’. I get this, as this can happen because there is such a misconception that women can orgasm from penetration alone (this is only 20% of women for whom this is true). Women continue to fake orgasms which is basically teaching men that what they are doing is right. Also porn miseducates men and I share some tips for men how NOT to touch a vulva here. Many men when it comes to guidance around sex develop a low self-esteem, feel not good enough, low worthiness, and take the guidance personally.


What you can do differently - share what you DO like rather than what you don’t. Share what you would like to try and how. Positive affirmations and expressing pleasure when they do something you like. Instead of saying ‘your tongue is pressing hard and it’s uncomfortable’, say, ‘I’d like to see what it would feel like for you to run your tongue over my clitoris in a gentle way’. I always suggest conversations about sex always take place OUTSIDE the bedroom when there is the opportunity to really understand each other and not affect feelings during the bedroom.


Body Image

Many men worry about their bodies and if they are desirable to the opposite sex. They can also get caught in a rut of putting on weight, putting themselves down, eating and making unhealthy food and drink choices due to low self-worth and self-esteem leading them to make more unhealthy choices. Men who attend the gym and have a six pack aren’t necessarily confident in their bodies. I have supported men who go to the gym and become obsessed with their looks BECAUSE they don’t feel attractive and have low self-esteem.


What you can do differently - share with your man what you like about his body, not just the shape but also what he can do with it eg, ‘I love how strong you are and how you can lift me’.


Genital Confidence

If a man quickly gets out of bed after sex, doesn’t like his penis being visible, tends to walk around with his underwear on rather than letting it all hang out, this could very well be due to his discomfort around his genitals and how they look. A lot of men have the idea that penis size is essential to being a good lover. Although there may be some of you women out there who are size queens and love to have a large penis, many of you will agree that as long as he knows what to do with his fingers and tongue you are happy. With this being said some men experience discomfort around their flaccid penis. Some men are ‘showers’ - so the size when flaccid is more or less the same when erect. Some men are ‘growers’ - get bigger when erect. For men who are growers, they’re more likely to worry about you seeing their flaccid penis.


What you can do differently - give them compliments on their penis, both when flaccid and erect!


Feeling Desired

Many of the women who come to me for support in their sex lives say that they want their partners to desire them more. They want to feel desired. That they want their partner to DO something that makes them feel sexy and wanted. Granted that if your partner is being unkind and not saying nice things that behaviour isn’t appropriate, however often feeling desirable can be an inside job. There is also an element of wanting to know that your partner wants you too - and this is often what we are referring to when it comes to ‘desire’. My question is how often are you making your partner feel wanted? Men want to be wanted to. They want to know that you fancy them, that you lust after them, that you can’t wait to rip their clothes off. It’s just something that often gets overlooked as in modern culture and in films we generally see the men as chasing.


What you can do differently - tap into your inner-seductress. What can you say or do to let your partner know that you fancy him? How can you move and speak in a way that lets your partner know that you want him?


Men Need to Feel Safe

Many women get the impression from men that they are quite cold, unemotional, stand-offish and closed. Generally this form of behaviour is learnt. What that means is that either growing up as child and with the conditioning of what a man ‘should be’ he has learnt to shut down instead of opening up. It also doesn’t take much to shut a man down. One bad past relationship can affect a man’s ability to open up. If he shared himself vulnerably in the past and it wasn’t well received then  he has learnt that it isn’t safe to share how he feels. Constant criticisms, put downs and passive aggressive comments teach a man not to take action and not to share.


What you can do differently - To create safety learn to listen without judgement. Can you try to understand their perspective? Ask questions to really get to understand what they are feeling and why. Further tips in my article ‘How To Listen’.


Men & Commitment

There’s this idea that men don’t want commitment. As a coach who works with men (as well as women), I can tell you that this isn’t true. There are plenty of men who desire to get married and have children. You see friends and family doing it. So you know it’s possible. It won’t be a bed of roses all the time as relationships take commitment. There are men very much willing to do that. However, when you have done little to no work on your own attachment style and also getting clear on what you want, you will find yourself connecting with men who clearly state that they don’t want commitment and some part of you is hoping that you can change that. If they say they don’t want the same things as you, move on. As soon as possible. You don’t need to convince anyone to be with you. Don’t think you can change them or that they will change for you, they likely won’t so find someone who you know without a doubt chooses you.


What you can do differently - explore your attachment style. Learn where you are blocking the ‘good men’ who WANT to date you and treat you like a queen. Do your inner work, explore your trauma, explore your unconscious patterns so you can choose to date differently. I talk about my journey at The Sex Lectures - Men Are Not The Enemy. Do some deep work around your relationship to your father and if you are carrying The Father Wound - more about that here.


Men Just Want Sex

There are men who are out there just to have sexual encounters. There are also women out there who are just looking for sexual encounters too. So this can be true. It can also be something that is also misunderstood by women in committed relationships with men. It can be a little more complicated as it can definitely seem that in a relationship men just want sex but we need to understand something about the patriarchy and social conditioning. From a young age boys and young men are very much taught that it isn’t ‘manly’ to be emotionally and physically intimate. So just to hug, just to kiss, just to be present with another body. Most men aren’t having heart to hearts with their men friends. They aren’t hugging each other and showing up vulnerably. Women frequently complain to me that they would like their partner to just kiss them and it not move onto sex, or that sex isn’t just implied after physical touch. However, men have been taught differently it can take time to unravel and for them to do differently.


What you can do differently - you may be choosing men who just want sex and are emotionally unavailable and not wanting commitment, if this is the case take a look at the tips above in ‘Men & Commitment’. If you’re in a long term relationship and you feel all physical touch is being assumed to lead to sex by your partner then express this in a really loving way. Tips on how to do this can be gained from my article 'Why You Need To Complain'.


Men Don’t Care

Men have again been conditioned not to share or open up how they feel or communicate well. If I’m honest, we women haven’t either - I think this is why a lot of relationships struggle due to communication issues. I find that with men (and women) there are three common ways that people respond to difficult and stressful situations and also criticism. The first one is become angry and resentful of the relationship you have with friends, family, children and begins to disconnect further. As a means of defence they go on the attack, putting you down, acting from their inner-child in anyway to be seen. To be noticed. And with that behaviour comes shame. Because they know it isn’t the right way to react. But somehow they can’t help it. They’re upset. So they continue and push each you away even further. The second is they try even harder to be a part of your lives. ‘Mr Nice Guy’, as they understand what you are going through and your difficulties and they try so hard to be recognised for all the effort that they make. But it never seems to be enough and they are alway self-abandoning and lose any notion of boundaries. They feel a little like a slave in the relationship. They will do literally anything to avoid confrontation. The third is they completely withdraw. They work late or at weekends, maybe do new sports or activities outside the home, they are looking for anyway possible not to be present and face and deal with the problems at home. When they are home they aren't really involved. If you have children they leave you to take the children out to places to see and do things. At home they possibly find an 'important' or 'urgent' job that needs doing. All of this is to keep them from being in physical and emotional company with you. They choose to fill the void of loneliness with busyness elsewhere.


What you can do differently - communicate more effectively and learn to listen. What’s really happening for them underneath the surface? What is their pain? Their fears? I share tips further in 'How To Listen' and also 'Why You Need To Complain'.


Communication - Be Clear & Wait

Many women feel frustrated that their partner isn’t good at communicating, whether that’s them sharing what they want in a kind and loving way or whether that’s their partner listening to their desires and wants. When it comes to communication with men if you are wanting them to open up it’s important to understand that they have been taught, from social conditioning, that they just need to ‘get on with it’, ‘do it yourself’ and not to express themselves. There are often women who say that they have tried telling their partner what they want but they still don’t do it. I also see so many women frustrated by their partners and speaking to them in a way that is so disrespectful and in a way that they would never speak to their friends like this.


What you can do differently - when women are in conversation with each other they generally flow from one person to the next sharing feelings and emotions. When I ask a man in a coaching session ‘how did that make you feel?’ They very rarely answer with an emotion, but more a continuation of the story. So suggesting some words of emotions can help him to get there - ‘did you feel angry? Scared? Frustrated?’ Also we tend to speak immediately with another questions before even getting a response. Not giving them time to reply to our first question! So asking a question and counting to 30 is a really good way to create space for them to open up. When you ask for what you want, how are you doing it? Is it via a put-down? Are you asking directly or hinting and hoping they get it? Be kind, be clear, be loving.


Men & Laziness

There’s this idea that men who get married or are in a cohabiting relationship become lazy and expect their partner to do everything. Although there can be an element of people fitting into ‘gender roles’ as we are all conditioned to do so, most men are actually keen to feel useful and part of the family. What can often happen is that when they are frequently criticised for not doing the thing correctly, for forgetting, etc, they are being taught not to try because what’s the point? They will get told they’re doing it wrong anyway.


What you can do differently - have an open conversation about the mental and physical load of running a house and discuss together how you are going to split the tasks. Ask if they would like to be shown how to do something or if they’re happy figuring it out - respect what they say. If they do it wrong, they will likely know - they don’t need you to remind them. I have more tips on this in ‘I Want My Partner To Take More Initiative Around The House’. If you don’t want to be his mother, don’t mother him.


Men have a high sex drive

There is the idea that men are often ready for action at all times. That they can switch on at the drop of a hat and always on the prowl looking for their next sexual encounter. This is damaging not just to women, but to men as well. If a man isn’t initiating or a woman makes a move and the man isn’t up for it, the woman can take it to mean there’s a personal rejection. That it means something about her, her desirability or their connection. As many men have also bought into this, many men can feel that they are broken or that something is wrong with them. The truth is that men are impacted by life and everything going on around them as much as women are. Their sex drive will change depending on who they are with, how safe they feel to show up as authentically as possible and how relaxed they are by the general stresses and strains of the day. The thing that we find is that many men when younger ignore how they actually feel and push through to ‘be a man’ and show up for sex even when they don’t want it.


What you can do differently - if your partner is not initiating sex or not responding to your attempts, try not to take it to mean anything personally about you. If there is a pattern, having a conversation to check in with how they are feeling generally. Problems they might be experiencing in the relationship itself can sometimes affect their sex drive such as how they are being treated by their partner, are they holding onto resentment or unsaid emotions. Gentle conversations with openness to listening is important here to rebuild connection.


Men are confident lovers

There is a pervasive idea amongst many women that men feel confident in their sexual prowess. That they always want to take control in the bedroom and take the lead. There is a lot of pressure for men to be ‘dominant’ in the bedroom, to initiate, to make their partner feel desirable. This in fact can actually leave some men feeling unsure of what to do, when and of course the fear of rejection as the ‘expectation’ is on them to initiate.


What you can do differently - good sex starts with good communication. Exploring what you like, don’t like, fantasies, desires, type of touch… as well as this communication being an opportunity to build up the sexual tension and energy it also takes the pressure off men to ‘just know’ what a woman wants, when and how. Which means they are more likely to hit the spots you want in the way you want.


Them vs Us. Why should I change? He should first….

Oomph! This was such a lesson for me in 2020. It also showed up for me again in 2023. So I’m going to be honest, a relationship is a dynamic, you can be the person that creates change in your relationship by doing your own inner-work and changing how YOU show up in relationship. How you show up in a relationship will affect how the other person shows up. If you aren’t showing up for your partner in a supportive or loving way, you will likely find that they won’t either. Not convinced? Take a read of my 2023 journey here with my partner titled ‘I Find Relationships Difficult’.


If you have anymore stories or are attached to stereotypes around men and how they show up? I’d love to hear them and break the myths!


Carla Crivaro is a trauma-informed and certified Sex, Love & Relationship Coach, she works with men and women internationally to reach their goals in delicious sex, profound love and authentic relationships. Carla helps men and women understand themselves and each other, sexually and relationally, in and out of the bedroom. You can reach her at hello@carlacrivaro.com.


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