What really turns women on and how men have got it complicated

Pay it forward! Print, email or share this with your guy to let him in on what really gets you in the mood.

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Feet in a bed of a couple

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What do men need to know about women and sex? For starters, that it’s far easier to woo a lady than the average male may imagine. There’s no need to make a trip to the florist or a jeweller if you want to make her swoon. In fact, getting a woman’s pulse racing may be simply achieved by a tender gesture: a long, lingering hug or by tenderly sweeping the bangs out of her eyes while she’s watching Law & Order SVU.

Fire up the printers, ladies. And prepare to forward this link to the man in your life. Ian Kerner, sex counselor, founder of the website Good in Bed and author of such books as She Comes First and The Big Fun Sexy Sex Book, offers your significant others five tips on how to woo you in style.

Understand a woman’s brain.
Men and women experience sexual arousal and desire differently. “One of the main differences between men and women is that for men arousal and desire are sort of interchangeable. If a guy sees something sexy or really thinks for a while about something sexy it will generally lead to sexual desire — the desire to have sex,” says Kerner.

Women, however, need to take a few more steps before they reach the summit of sexy mountain, strip off their clothes, and dance like nobody’s watching. Part of that journey is psychological and is associated with a relaxed state of mind.

Kerner mentions studies that show the part of women’s brains related to anxiety and stress must deactivate, “for women to get aroused and cycle through sexual response and have an orgasm.”

Making a woman feel aroused, therefore, may start by making her feel relaxed and calm. So, if your wife is stressed about the kitchen being a mess, why not pick up a sponge, Cupid? It’s the little things, like taking the recycling out and folding the laundry that may transform the average desk jockey into a Greek god in the eyes of an overworked mate.

Hug her like she’s leaving you.
Affection never goes unappreciated. Men may be surprised to learn that the quickest way to get a woman’s feel-good hormones bubbling and boiling starts with a tender, lingering hug.

“There have been studies that have shown that hugging your partner for 30 seconds or more, especially in women, raises oxytocin levels,” explains Kerner. “Oxytocin is an important hormone in facilitating a sense of connection and trust and bonding,” he adds.

Foreplay is a 24/7 thing.
A kiss is a kiss, but keeping the spark alive is a 24/7 process, says Kerner.

“I think men need to take the concept of foreplay and both expand what’s happening inside the bedroom, but also expand what’s happening outside of the bedroom in the hours and days potentially leading up to sexual intimacy.”

In the bedroom, that may mean taking the long way around your lady’s body rather than heading for the border as soon as the lights go off.

Outside the bedroom, ‘foreplay’ can be expressed variously. It may mean being nice, being considerate, answering her texts, and calling her to let her know when you’re going to be late. It could be as simple as saying ‘I miss you’ or ‘I can’t wait to see you.’

Make her feel wanted.
For Kerner, sex and self-esteem are intimately connected. “I really think that self-esteem is at the heart of sex for men and women.”

If a woman is feeling unattractive it’s likely she’s not going to be feeling whoopee-ready.

“Men don’t need to feel sexy to have sex,” says Kerner. Women do need to feel attractive, however, and very often the responsibilities of work and home leave a woman feeling about as sexy as a pair of damp sweat pants.

This is where men come in, says Kerner. “I think guys can provide some support to making [their partners] feel sexy.” Make her an “erotic focal point” says Kerner. If your partner isn’t feeling sexy and is in a sex rut, it’s your job to turn it around. Be an “agent of change” says Kerner. “If you have a low desire partner and you have desire it’s kind of up to you to bring that partner back to an erotic connection.”

Make her feel attractive by running your fingers through her hair (regardless of how dirty it may be). Tell her that you love it when she wears that ketchup-stained cat sweatshirt to bed.

Who knows? Maybe next time, she’ll take a shower and leave the cat sweatshirt in the hamper.

One tip for the ladies: throw your partner a bone.
Kerner is a big supporter of the idea of ‘charity sex,’ or having sex with your partner even when you’d rather watch The Mentalist.

“I think the thing women should be aware of is that sex begets sex, and sex ruts begets sex ruts.”

Kerner says that when you let intimacy slide in a relationship your “body becomes de-eroticized. You forget how much you enjoy sex.”

The best way to remember how much you enjoy intimacy is to do it. Think of charity sex kind like going to spin class on Saturday morning. Sometimes you don’t feel like going but once you get there you’re glad you made the effort, right?

Did we take the words right out of your mouth? Forward this to your partner to grant them a little inside scoop!