I am starting to get really frustrated with my girlfriend when it comes to sex. She doesn’t have a lot of experience (I’m the second person she’s ever slept with), and that’s OK. But when I’m going down on her or touching her pussy with my fingers, something will go wrong all of a sudden, or she’ll even move away and say, “Ouch.” I ask her to tell me what happened or what I can do but she won’t say. She’ll just say, “Never mind,” or, “Just forget it,” when I tell her to tell me what to do. Then, the mood is gone and we end up not having sex or sometimes in a fight about it. She won’t talk to me. I’ve told her over and over that she has to tell me what works and what doesn’t, but she won’t do it! When we’re actually having sex, everything is fine as far as I know, but foreplay is practically non-existent anymore because she won’t tell me what works and what doesn’t. What should I do? I thought women wanted a guy who cares about what they want sexually, but I’m getting nowhere.
Dear Needing Direction,
Aw, it’s not your fault. Believe me, you have the right idea about taking time to unravel the mysteries of the vulva (pussy, pootie, fi-fi, whatever). Women DO prize men who want to know all our sweet spots and best strokes. But there’s always a catch with us, isn’t there? Oh yeah, nothing can ever be easy, I know. See, we want you to know, really we do, we just don’t want to have to tell you. Now, some women are happy to give you a rundown of how to play with their genitals well in advance, with charts and graphs and a laser pointer, and accompanying take-home brochure. And that’s great. But, tragically, most women in our culture grow up not talking about what kinds of touch feel good, how they themselves masturbate or exactly where their erotically charged areas are. Further, there’s a surreptitious shame which creeps in during puberty and adolescence, making it too embarrassing to actually tell a lover to go slower or move to the left when his/her head is buried between her legs. It takes time for a woman to learn to talk about it. Sad, isn’t it?
This is where you can swoop down and be the hero. Tell her, sometime when all your clothes are on, that you want to learn about her body, to give her pleasure. Tell her sex isn’t as good for you unless you know you’re pleasing her, SO, what you’re gonna do next time is start exploring together, and she doesn’t have to do or say anything that makes her uncomfortable. Next, when you find yourself preparing to start her manually, you’ll gently take her hand, silently or saying something like “show me,” and place it over yours. Gently encourage her hand to move yours, and pay attention to place, pace and pressure. This way, you learn, she gets off AND she feels safer and will be encouraged to discuss her desires more openly. Also, listen to the noises she makes, especially during oral sex. Moans, quicker breaths, little squeaky sounds that a human shouldn’t be able to produce, all are signs that you’ve got it. When you hear them, fight the urge to increase your speed or intensity. Chances are, you should keep doing EXACTLY what you’re doing. And remember, if you ever feel completely lost down there, always err on the side of softness, and take your time. Enjoy!