Ladies, be honest: when your sex life becomes a little humdrum, out comes the mental catalogue of all the ways your partner isn’t quite measuring up. Guys tend to get a bad rap when it comes to understanding women’s bodies and what turns us on, making them easy targets in the blame game when sexual satisfaction starts to wane. And sure, they make their fair share of bedroom errors. But as the saying goes, it takes two to tango. As it turns out, top sex and relationship experts say that women make plenty of sex mistakes of their own. Here’s what they have to say about the six most common mistakes women make in the bedroom and what you can do to get the satisfaction you so rightly deserve.
By Meryl Davids Landau
When you were in your 20s and 30s, you probably ignored random aches or other minor physical annoyances, and they usually went away. But now those symptoms can come back — often with a different cause, and calling for more serious attention.
Sex Mistake #1: Not Initiating Sex With Your Partner
Many of us worry about ladylike behavior. We don’t want to appear pushy or come on too strong for fear of being labeled aggressive. According to Les Parrot, professor of psychology at Seattle Pacific University and author of a new book called Crazy Good Sex, failing to initiate sex is one of the biggest mistakes women make.
“Most guys feel like they are always the initiator and that sets up disequilibrium on the passion scale in the relationship,” he says. Generally, men want to be pursued by their partners just as much as women do.
Holding onto outdated ideas about sex roles also inhibits satisfaction with our sexual relationships, says "Dr. Ruth," aka Ruth Westheimer, PhD, a psychosexual therapist, professor at New York University, and lecturer at Yale and Princeton universities. “They used to think that women are less interested in sexual activity and I don’t want to say that anymore. I think there are women who are as interested in sex [as men].”
Show your interest by taking the first step from time to time. Your partner will likely appreciate it, and you may find a new level of satisfaction in taking responsibility for your sexual experience, something Westheimer feels strongly women must do.
Sex Mistake #2: Worrying About What You Look Like
Thinking about how you look during sex stops you from enjoying yourself and ruins your chances of achieving an orgasm.
“Don’t think about the fat on your belly or the makeup on your face,” advises Westheimer. “Concentrate on the pleasure of the act. You must give yourself permission to have an orgasm.”
“Men want their wives to abandon themselves in sex play, and that’s not likely if she is anxious about her physical concerns,” Parrott says.
Helen Fisher, PhD, a cultural anthropologist at Rutgers University and author of a new book called Why Him, Why Her, says men don’t notice half the things women obsess about anyway.