Art of Making Love #1: Quantity vs Quality

I’ve been thinking lately about how much men like sex. I mean, they seem to really, really like it, enough to make it a hobby or something, and it’s a shame because a lot of them aren’t that great at it. Most of them, however, don’t know that. Not only do they not know it, they don’t want to know it.

Years ago a male friend said to me – ‘I’m really good at sex.’ I asked, ‘How do you know?’ He just looked at me blankly. I added, ‘Let me guess – you really enjoy it.’ He laughed. At least he got the joke.

I know I’m generalising (which is a sin) but I’ve been around the block enough times to know a gear stick from an exhaust pipe. Of all the lovers I’ve had in my life maybe 1% (that’s not big numbers, let’s be clear) stand out as better than average lovers. Granted, this phenomena may be due to poor choices on my part, however when you play different records but hear the same tune, there’s got to be a reason, so here’s my theory.

Men expect a lot less of their sex lives than women do.

In fact I’ve come to the conclusion that a primary driver for men entering into long term relationships is their assumption commitment entitles them to regular sex. For many men the equation is about quantity – assured ongoing supply of their favourite thing all wrapped up in a rental contract, wedding ring or shared pet.

I've never liked the term ‘have sex'. It's an inherently selfish way of looking at copulation. To ‘have’ sex is to receive it from someone, to take your pleasure. There’s no exchange in it, nothing giving about it.

Many girlfriends in long term relationships have told me their male partners whine a lot about the lack of action in the bedroom. It seems once a commitment is made men believe the shop should be permanently open, no matter how hard she’s working, how sick the kids are, how little he’s done to pull his weight domestically or how disinterested he is in her and her day. When he puts the hard word on her under those circumstances, naturally she gets the shits. She’s tired, feels put upon by her boss, parents, sister, kids you name it. The last thing she needs is her life partner slapping another urgent request in her in tray.

And the boys are baffled. Sex makes them feel better, so they figure it will make her feel better. All she needs is a good bonk and all will be roses again. They can’t comprehend that, for her, the idea of GIVING them sex is tantamount to sucking the marrow from her bones. Why?

Because women can’t isolate sex from the rest of their lives. To understand female libido you must imagine a complicated mathematical formula where daily routine, emotions, menstrual cycles, general well being and the quality of their sex life are all part of the equation. On top of that, women routinely see female bodies used as sexual tools in a myriad of ways in media and society. We are brought up to be hyper aware of our bodies and what they say about us, so sex means something entirely different to us than it does to men.

Men just haven’t experienced the heightened level of public scrutiny of their bodies or sexuality as women, so for them sex is a more private and easily isolated physical experience. Many men can see sex as something they do rather than something they feel. Consequently men don’t really understand what women need or want sexually. They take their cues from the prevailing culture and assume all they need to do is push her to orgasm and she'll be satisfied. Sorry to burst your bubble guys, but not all orgasms are equal and one orgasm (if it’s real) does not sexual satisfaction make. If women are not fully satisfied, they can’t be bothered with sex as often – it’s just not worth it.

So here’s the rub lads - she is more likely to want sex more often if the sex is worth having.

If men learned how to really pleasure a woman, and believe me it’s no great secret, all it takes is a bit of research and a subtle mind shift, they’d actually get all the sex they want. Well, maybe not all, but most.

If you’re a man and you want to keep the pleasure fountain pumping in your relationship learn how to make love, not just have sex. Stop thinking about sex as something you’re entitled to and start thinking about it as something you’re giving. Most women spend their whole lives giving, so in the sack it’s your turn. Don’t whinge and complain and punish your partner if she refuses you. If you want her to allow you access to her body then treat it with respect and tenderness. Act like a man and protect her from the storms of the outside world, make your body a haven she can trust and find refuge in. Find out what it is she needs and if she doesn’t know, go on the journey of discovery with her, and together you might just find mutual (and regular) bliss.

If that sounds like too much work then there's only one thing to say, Lads. You've got a hand, use it!


Hi Kate,
Thanks for this post. I needed it this week. I married a man I thought would improve in the love making department...he hasn't. I know what superb sex is. Ours isn't. And isn't improving.

Thanks for tackling this topic, and letting me know it isn't only me experiencing this. This topic is one I'd love to discuss but can't for fear of hurting my partner.

I'll be anonymous, if you don't mind.

KateBelle.X's picture

Hi Anon,

I think you speak for many many women. The fire of early years changes and its easy for couples to sink into routine sex (it's happened to me too!) It's a tricky topic to broach in a long term relationship, one the guys avoid because they are already spent trying to keep up manly appearances to the world at large - they don't want to hear they're not making it in the bedroom. If it's confronted early in a relationship, when both partners are trying to impress each other, it's easier to deal with. Otherwise the subject sinks into the 'don't mention it or I'll get upset' box. It's easy for the discussion to end up in a tit for tat, especially if he is a bit insecure.

Sadly, all it takes is a shift in attitude, an opening of the mind and a willingness to explore. And it takes two. It's difficult stepping outsdie the comfort zone, but if you can manage it one partner might be able to lead the other into a new experience of sex.

I can recommend Cyndi Darnell's workshops. Get him along to one. Sometimes men will take advice from someone else before they'll take it from their partner.

Thanks for sharing your experience.



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