As much as I have learned about people from studying human sexuality for the past decade and working with clients 1 on 1 on their sex lives… I still feel like I’m just scratching the surface.
I have an insatiable curiosity when it comes to people. And I am especially curious about what they do in bed.
As a recent example of this curiosity, I recently sent out an email to my female followers and asked them a simple question…
“What bothers you most about what men do/your partner does in bed?”
Each of the seven points below had to meet the same two criteria…
– It had to have been mentioned a minimum of twenty times in very specific/consistent terms.
– It had to make me either laugh or be unexpected/educational.
So without further ado, after pulling data from over 500 individual responses, here are the seven most common things that women say bothers them in bed.
1. “When he buries his face in my neck”
“When he buries his face in my neck I feel like I could just be anyone. I feel like I’m pretty emotionally stable and I don’t mind him fantasizing in his head occasionally… but if he consistently doesn’t look me in the eye then it starts to get to me.”
One of the most consistent themes in all of the feedback that I received was that women disliked a lack of eye contact.
The eyes are the gateway to the soul, and it’s that much harder to connect with your partner if you aren’t making frequent eye contact during sex.
Remember, you’re having sex with someone, not doing sex to someone.
2. “Too quiet”
“I know I shouldn’t care as much as I do, but my current guy makes absolutely ZERO sound when we have sex. My past lovers were a lot more vocal, so when he’s too quiet it kind of makes me feel self-conscious… like I’m not doing well enough and he’s bored. He tells me afterwards that he enjoys himself and he orgasms, but I find it really hard to believe because he’s so quiet.”
“When guys are too damn quiet! They don’t need to be yelling and swinging from the chandeliers… or even making as much noise as I am, but a little grunt or the occasional moan that lets me know that they want to be there would be appreciated.”
Many women mentioned the fact that they felt uncomfortable or self-conscious when they were the ones making all of the noise.
When you make noise during sex you’re often able to let go and connect on an even deeper level. So if your vocal chords aren’t getting involved in your sex life, maybe it’s time you started tip-toeing in that direction.
“Maybe this speaks to my insecurities or whatever but I really don’t want to hear too much about my boyfriends’ past partners when it comes to their sex lives. If you have a clean bill of health and now you’re mine, that’s all I really want to know.”
“I don’t like when guys brag a lot about their past sexual exploits. It sometimes feels like they’re doing it to show off… like to seem all macho that they’ve bedded so many women. It’s an instant turn-off for me.”
Mentioning your sexual history with past partners can be a very healthy and explorative conversation to have, but check in with her first to make sure she wants to be a part of that conversation.
My own personal bias of experience had always led me to believe that women were much more open to hearing about their partners sexual pasts compared to most guys wanting to know about their partners, so the volume of feedback that I got on this point was quite reassuring for me.
As always, this is something to be felt out on a case by case basis. Just don’t be too vocal about your sexual past unless your partner explicitly asks to hear about it.
4. “Doing the Kama Sutra dance”
“I dated this one guy who would flip me around into all sorts of crazy positions. I like a bit of variety but we would be averaging like 15 positions per sex session… it was quite exhausting frankly.”
“I used to date a guy my friends and I had nicknamed “Kama Sutra” because he was so eager to show off his sexual position prowess. His efforts of trying to impress me had the opposite effect of what I can only imagine he was aiming for.”
Many women told me about how doing the Kama Sutra dance was a turn off for them. Sex with guys who flipped them around incessantly made their heads spin (and not in a good way).
The sexual performance felt mechanical… scripted… like a performance instead of an experience that they were sharing.
There were also several mentions (tied to this thread) of how the men who were overly eager to show off a multitude of positions also have more difficulty with maintaining eye contact, and would rarely have their hands on them.
“His hands were so busy trying to hold my leg up, or he would be putting his hands on the bed to (I’m assuming…) lift himself up an extra inch for some technique I didn’t feel the benefit of… it was just awful. It was so disconnected. It felt like I was having sex with Maxim advice as opposed to a human being.”
5. “Thinking that sex is over because he ejaculated”
“I won’t say that this is a guy thing… but I’ve had a LOT of experience with this next one. I feel like I meet a lot of guys that assume that sex is over because they’ve already gotten off. It’s like, hello, your hands still work… your mouth still works. Couldn’t you at least check in with me? I can ask for it but I’d rather he just already be aware of me and how I’m feeling.”
While guys may get a rush of sleepy chemicals after they ejaculate, it doesn’t mean that their hands and mouth are instantly rendered useless. And if you (temporarily assuming this is a male reader) really get that exhausted after you achieve orgasm then make sure your partner has had ample orgasms before you climax.
A lot of guys see sex as linear (kissing leads to foreplay, foreplay to penetration, man ejaculates, game over). Try reframing it as cyclical. You can mix and match all different kinds of sexual play interchangeably. It doesn’t have to be A, B, C. It can be A, D, B, R, D, H, C, A, X, etc.
There is no one way when it comes to sex. So try and mixing up the order of your sexual acts and play the game of “who can make the other one climax LAST.”
“I find routine can be extremely sexy. I’ve been seeing my guy for four years now and I really love the fact that we do have a sexual routine, for the most part. But a complete lack of variety bothers me. I like to take things outside of the bedroom every now and then… even once a month! I’m not greedy, I just like to have fun!”
Predictability in sexual play does have it’s own appeal, and there can be something very sexy about knowing each other so well when it comes to your sex life. But many women mentioned that if there were no spontaneity/variety in their sex life, it was a recipe for disaster for their sex drives.
If she can predict your every move, escalation, or sexual progression down to the second, you might need to switch it up a bit.
Every person has a fundamental need for certainty AND uncertainty. Give her both by throwing a little bit of variety into the mix occasionally.
7. “Not being able to handle the full spectrum of my sexuality”
“I once had a really deeply releasing orgasm with a relatively new partner (been dating for less than a month) and I started crying afterwards. It stirred up some unknown emotion in me and the tears just started flowing. He started freaking out and couldn’t handle it. It honestly made me lose all trust in him.”
“It bothers me when a guy can’t handle the full spectrum of me and my sexuality. I am a pretty sexually open minded person and I get that I can intimidate certain guys… but if I mention something on a date and his eyes go wide and he kind of freezes (even something small like mentioning that I occasionally use toys) then my mind instantly hits the “NEXT!” button. It’s automatic.”
In our jobs and career paths, we are only given as much responsibility as we have proven that we can handle. The same thing happens with women’s sexuality.
If we are quick to retreat when faced with certain aspects of our partner’s sexuality, then they will quickly learn that they need to hold back or censor themselves with you. Hint: that isn’t a good thing.
Whether she scratches your back, moans gutturally, or sobs tears of emotional release after a particularly intense orgasm, she wants you to be able to handle whatever she throws your way.
If you show that you can’t handle her and every aspect of her sexuality, she will either lose trust in you and lose interest in your relationship, or will partially close off to you and your entire relationship will suffer.
She wants to know that you will be able to handle it “if ____ …”.
She wants to be able to fill in the blank with as many things as possible.
“If I start crying… he’ll be okay with it.”
“If I’m on my period… he’ll be okay with it.”
“If I suggest that we should explore some of my sexual fantasies… he’ll be okay with it.”
Please note that I’m not suggesting you do things that you are actually uncomfortable with or engage in any sexual behaviors that cross your personal boundaries, but a general sense of being able to hold the necessary space for your partner is a very attractive trait.
If you can handle whatever she throws at you, and you even go further in encouraging her sexual self, you will both benefit. Your sex life will expand, your emotional intimacy will deepen, and she will feel safe with you.
I hope that this quick overview was as educational for you as it was for me. I loved reading the feedback from the women who follow my website, so much so that I will likely be writing a follow up post on a similar topic. There was just so much gold to sort through!