Great expectations in the bedroom
Submitted by: Marc Gittelman
Submitted on: February 27, 2007
Q: Most times my husband and I are on totally different wavelengths when it comes to sex. My girlfriends report the same disconnect. Is this part of the saying that men and women are from different planets?
A: Men and women grow up differently with regards to sexuality. Health, mind, and emotions are all contributing factors. But each person also brings to the bedroom basic expectations.
A study presented in 2006 surveyed nearly 400 men and women aged 18-71. Respondents rated certain factors on a scale of 1 to 10. The men’s and women’s results were significantly different. The men rated “experiencing pleasure,” during sex as their top response, recording 8.9 out of a possible 10. Their next highest response focused on fulfilling their partner’s sexual needs, and this ranked 8.2. Achieving orgasm and maintaining a good erection rated next highest. Ranking very low for men was satisfaction after sex (5.9 out of 10) and having a romantic relationship (only 3.9 out of 10).
In contrast, the women ranked the interaction with their partners as being the most important contribution to their sexual satisfaction. The top two responses for women: satisfying foreplay (8.7 out of 10) and experiencing a romantic relationship (8.5 out of 10). The physical attributes of sex ranked lower, including achieving orgasm, satisfaction after sex and having intercourse for a desired length of time.
The take home message: It’s critical for you to understand your partner’s needs and that he understands yours. Even though initiating a discussion may take a lot of courage, it will ultimately lead to a better understanding of your partner and will likely lead to mutually better sexual satisfaction.