After a recent outpouring of opinions for Dr. Erina Lee’s blog on whether men or women should pay for first dates, it got me thinking: how does equality affect sex? In the reader’s comments, many people brought up the exchange women make for things like meals, commitment, gifts, more dates, etc., insinuating a critical exchange between men and women and how it affects life in the bedroom. Here I look further into this area which helps spell out the Dos and Don’ts of finding equality (and harmony) in bed.
1) DO live in a place that suits your needs
• New research from Roy Baumeister of Florida State University in Tallahassee contends that a country’s importance of gender equality directly corresponds with satisfaction and frequency of sex. He has an interesting take on Social Exchange Theory in which he believes that female sexuality is used as a resource for women, as they tend to desire sex less frequently than men. Countries with higher gender equality had more sex partners per capita, more casual sex, greater tolerance for premarital sex, and a younger age for first sexual encounter. When a woman lives in a country where women are highly disadvantaged, they tend to restrain sex, as it is their strongest resource. Therefore, men need to work harder for it by providing other resources that women are unable to provide themselves. His very unromantic point is, in either scenario, men and women alike have an (mostly) unspoken exchange as a part of their interaction.
2) DON’T compare your satisfaction with your partner’s (or your friend’s)
• Through 50 interviews with women ages 25-67, Maya Lavie-Ajaui found that many women tend to compare themselves to men in terms of the degree of sexual satisfaction. They felt that having fewer orgasms than men meant that there must be a problem with them. Lavie-Ajuai says, “By imposing a male ‘normality’ on women, it places responsibility on women to overcome the differences, and to perform sexually as if they were men.” Because men are viewed as being more physical, and women are viewed as more emotional, we tend to find men to be simple and women to be complicated. This comparison, as well as viewing a woman’s needs as problematic and complex are combined to reinforce what Lavie-Ajaui terms “the orgasmic imperative” in which having an orgasm becomes the ultimate goal of having sex, otherwise feeling deep disappointment (more on this in #4).
3) DO speak up
• I started browsing the community forums in eHarmony’s Advice site. This is a place where people can go to ask other people for advice on issues they may be encountering, or to express their opinion on a topic. I noticed that in many of the topics within the “Let’s Talk About Sex” group, people were asking about how they should handle certain situations with their partners. For instance, in a previous thread, one user asked about how soon he should reveal he has a foot fetish. Instead of telling him to keep it to himself, almost all respondents told him to have a frank discussion with his partner – if they weren’t into it, it’s better to know now than invest time only to find out that your fetish is a deal breaker for your partner. The same goes to women. We should be talking openly with our partners about what we want in the boudoir; how else will they know what to do?
Continue reading to find 4 more Dos and Don’ts as well as an ancient sexual technique that all women should know about…