Author Emily Nagoski says that for years women have suffered because they’ve been treated as though they have the same sexual desire as men.
She has compiled and studied research from all over the world into women’s sex issues, including recent research into the ‘pink pill’, or female Viagra. And the reason it hasn’t been as easy to make a sex pill for women is that there isn’t the same one-size-fits-all solution as there is with men.
She says: “The frustrating reality is we’ve been lied to – not deliberately, it’s no one’s fault, but still. We were told the wrong story.
“For a long, long time in Western science and medicine, women’s sexuality was viewed as the same as men’s but just not quite as good.”
But thanks to her research, she vowed: “No matter where you are in your sexual journey, whether you have an awesome sex life and want to expand the awesomeness, or if you’re struggling and want to find solutions, you will learn something that will improve your sex life.”
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Here’s her tips for women to create a better sex life:
Get to know your body: Check yourself out. No two women are the same.
Work out what type of person you are : Only 15 per cent of women always want sex out of the blue and 30 per cent only begin to want sex when something sexy is happening like kissing, being touched or watching something erotic. The rest have a combination of the two. Which are you?
Get healthy : The better you feel about yourself the more ready you are to enjoy great sex.
Reduce stress: Anxiety reduces sex enjoyment in up to 90 per cent of both women and men.
Discover your erotic cues: If it’s watching porn, other people having sex or talking dirty, find out what pushes your buttons.
Accept yourself for who you are: Only 30 per cent of women reach climax through sex. The other 70 per cent might reach that point through lots of other ways. That’s normal.
Learn the difference between what your body’s doing and how you’re feeling : Just because you look turned on doesn’t mean you are.
Make sure the moment matches your mood: Context is everything. If your partner tickles you when you’re turned on it’s fun. When he does it when you’re angry it’s just irritating.
Get the formula right: For most people the best context for sex is low stress plus being highly affectionate plus being explicitly erotic.
Make it meaningful: Sex bringing you closer to your partner “advances the plot”, as opposed to gratuitous sex.
Ignore books and movies like Fifty Shades of Grey: Kinky Christian Grey might think meek Anastasia is enjoying herself but because he doesn’t ask her Emily says: “I wanted to spank him, and not in the sexy way.”
Reject the idea of a “sex drive”: There’s no such thing so don’t feel bad if up to now you thought you had a “low” or “high” drive. Instead it’s about what entices you, so stay curious.
Change the way you think: We all grew up hearing contradictory messages about sex. That’s normal. The more aware you are of those contradictory messages the more choice you have.
Let go of self-criticism: When you stop beating yourself up you begin to heal and then grow like never before.
Love yourself no matter your size: Your health is not predicted by your weight. You can be healthy – and beautiful – regardless of size. When you enjoy living in your body today your sex life gets better.
Don’t be afraid to say how you feel: With men there’s a 50 per cent overlap between feeling mentally turned on and physically stimulated. But with women there’s only a 10 per cent overlap. If you are truly aroused, tell your partner, don’t make him guess.
Mix it up: To increase sexual desire in a relationship increase novelty, pleasure, ambiguity and intensity. Increase your heart rate!
Let yourself go: Your brain has “brakes” that respond to “potential threats”—anything from STDs and unwanted pregnancy to relationship issues or social reputation. Learn to trust your partner, release the brakes and abandon control.
Pay attention: Taking a few minutes each day to let your mind wander, is an effective way of decoupling the brakes that hinders a good experience and accentuating the accelerators to a better sex life.
Believe in yourself: The most important thing you can do is to welcome your sexuality as it is —even if it’s not what you wanted or expected.
The top 5 tips for men
Make her feel desired – work on your “game” and approach her in a way that makes her feel special.
Accept her as she is – women want an attractive partner who respects them.
Be highly affectionate – don’t just focus on the erogenous zones, appreciate her whole body.
Talk to her – don’t just assume she’s turned on, ask her if she’s enjoying it.
Be explicitly erotic – women fantasize about losing control, but gain her trust and remember: context is everything.