WebMD offers experts' sex tips for men who have sex with women.
By Martin F. Downs
Hey guys, think you know everything there is to know about having sex with women? That erotic encyclopedia you carry around in your head may contain a lot of basic errors and omissions about women's sexuality -- errors that can lead to sex mistakes.
That's because -- after learning the facts of life -- most of us are left to figure out sex for ourselves. Guys tend to take a lot of cues from adult movies, and we all know how true-to-life those are. Experience may help, but many women can be shy when talking about what they like.
To help us with some sex tips, WebMD asked two acclaimed sex educators, Tristan Taormino and Lou Paget, to tell us what they think are the most common sex mistakes men make with women.
Taormino is a prolific author, lecturer, and video producer. Her latest project is the Expert Guide educational video series from Vivid Ed.
Paget is author of The Great Lover Playbook and other sex manuals, and she gives seminars nationwide.
Sex Mistake No.1: You Know What She Wants
Men often make assumptions about what a woman wants based upon what they've done with other women. But women aren't all the same.
"You develop a repertoire as you mature sexually, but you should never assume that what worked for the last person is going to work for this person," Taormino says.
That applies not only to sexual predilections, but also to relationships, she says. "There are women who can have no-strings-attached sex, and women who can get attached very easily, and then everyone in between."
Sex Mistake No. 2: You Have All She Needs
Some women can't have an orgasm with less than 3,000 rpm. No human tongue or fingers can generate that kind of vibration. But men typically think something is wrong if a woman needs a vibrator.
"If the only way that a woman can achieve orgasm is with a vibrator, she's not broken," Taormino says.
Think of a vibrator as your assistant, not your substitute. Many couples use vibrators together. "While you're doing one thing, or two things, the vibrator can be doing something else," Taormino says.
Sex Mistake No. 3: Sex Feels the Same for Men and Women
Paget says there tends to be a "huge disconnect" between men and women in the ways that sex feels good.
"When a man has intercourse with a woman, and his penis goes into her body, that sensation is so off the charts for most men, they cannot imagine that it isn't feeling the same way for her," Paget says. "It couldn't be further from the truth."
The inside of the vagina is probably less sensitive than the outer parts for most women. Also, deep thrusting may not feel so nice on the receiving end. If the penis is too long, "it feels like you're getting punched in the stomach," Paget says. "It makes you feel nauseous."
Sex Mistake No. 4: You Know Your Way Around a Woman's Anatomy
Most guys know generally what a clitoris is and where to find it. That's not to say that they really understand it.
More than 30 years ago, at the start of the "sexual revolution," a best-selling book called the Joy of Sex got Americans hip to the orgasmic importance of the clitoris. But the belief that women must be able to orgasm from vaginal penetration stubbornly persists.
"I still get letters from people who say things like, my wife can't [orgasm] from intercourse unless she has clitoral stimulation -- please help," Taormino says. "I want to write back and say, 'OK, what's the problem?'"
"For the majority of women, it's not going to happen that way," Paget says.
Men also lack information about how to touch it and how sensitive it is, Taormino says.
A touch that's bliss for one woman may feel like nothing special, or may even be painful for someone else. Some prefer indirect stimulation.
How can you find out how she likes to be touched? Try asking her.
Sex Mistake No. 5: Wet = Turned On
Guys sometimes get hung up if a woman doesn't get slippery enough for easy penetration. Don't worry about it.
"I think there's a myth that if you're turned on, you're wet," Taormino says. Not necessarily.
Some women tend to get wetter than others, and how much natural lubrication a woman has can change from day to day. It varies by the phase of her menstrual cycle, and it's subject to influences like stress and medications.
Sex Mistake No. 6: Silence Is Golden
A lot of guys think they should be silent during sex, but unless you speak up, your partner has to guess what's doing it for you and what isn't.
If you're respectful about it, a woman who wants to please you will probably appreciate some directions.
"I'm not saying push her head in your lap," Taormino says. "I think that, 'this is how I like it,' is a very useful conversation to have."