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Why you can’t always get what you want — sexually

Posted on Monday, June 27, 2011 in Happiness, Honesty, Kat, Relationships, Sex/sexuality

I waited until after noon on Saturday to text Sara; Friday was her third date with the OkCupid cutie she was sweet on, and so the first night she figured they’d be sleeping together.

“??!!??” I texted.

She called immediately.


“Well, he’s got a great bod.”


“And he’s, uh, endowed.”

“Nice. And?”

“He likes to go down.”

“Hallelujah and amen! And?

“And, he’s long lasting, like really long.”

“Well, that sounds like a perfect storm!”

“Yeah, it’s just that …”


“I’m not into marathon sex anymore. Not at midlife. Because, you know.

(Yeah, I do know. Midlife. Women. Lubrication. Things happen. Or not.)

“So, did you say something to him?”

“You can’t talk to guys about sex. It freaks them out.”

And isn’t that the sad truth?

Not that you can talk too easily to women, either.

OK — the first date probably isn’t the time to get into it, especially since it may be sexual blip. Maybe he isn’t a marathoner after the first “conquest.” No matter; beside the fact that there’s almost always some sort of back story to sex — guilt, shame, abuse, fear, body-image isues, whatever — why is saying, “Please do this” or “That’s too hard” or “Try it there” so difficult? We often feel weird asking for what we’d like sexually, or get upset or disappointed by hearing what our partner wants — we’re not measuring up!!! — and so a lot of good sex time is being wasted because we’re not expressing our needs, gently, of course.

If you asked people whether they’d want to know exactly want their partner would like sexually, how they could please them, who among us would say they’re not interested in knowing? We all are interested. And yet, we often don’t tell or ask.

It’s important, too since most men — about 85 percent — say their partner’s had an orgasm while only 64 percent of gals say they had the Big O during their last romp. Hmmm ….

Now, if you’re clear about what you want and tell your partner, and your partner consistently doesn’t oblige, then you have another conversation. And believe me, that one is a lot harder!

  • How good are you at expressing your sexual needs?
  • How good are you at hearing your partner expressing his/her sexual needs?

Fotolia © Laurent Hamels

Bring on the comments

  1. Janet says:

    Love this post, Kat. Great topic, because for all the ooh-la-la (sp? It’s early on the West Coast and I’ve only had one coffee) of sexuality out there that we’re all supposed to be comfortable with, I think there’s still sexual disconnect that happens a lot. Shyness? Discomfort because of past abuse/ trauma, and other issues you hit spot on? All of the above. Pamela Madsen wrote a great post last week on women faking it- more fodder for discussion. It intrigues me that in our hyper-sexualized culture, we’re still so uncommunicative. Working on it….

  2. A dude says:

    Isn’t it funny that it’s easier to do something like sex rather than talk about it? But you gotta try, because while you can’t always get what you want, if you try sometimes, you might find, you get what you need, eh?

    Sara’s situation seems simplier than many because I doubt a guy’s gonna get offended being told he is too long-lasting. A little Astroglide and turnabout on her part should solve the problem. The opposite problem takes more creative fixes . . .

  3. Kat Wilder says:

    #Ask, and you'll get the #sex you #desire:

  4. The Observer says:

    I sucked at expressing my sexual needs because for the most part I was happy, she was orgasmic and I felt connected. But then it turned into decades of married “bliss” that wasn’t. Some cancer, some menopause, some vagina dryness, some flat out loss of libido (her) and we just stopped trying. She was “content” not having any sexual connection and our problem went unspoken–pushed down into the dark silent place where men shove their disappointments and shame. But I didn’t want to disconnect from my marriage and our household (you know, divorce). The dye was cast, the gauntlet thrown down:Either we got sexual again or I’d make other arrangements. She listened. We’re now in therapy with an awesome SF sex coach/therapist and we’re learning to reconnect physically and have learned more about our relational dynamics. And miracle of miracles, her veejayjay CAN handle some slick visitor, after all. All because I finally had “the talk” with her around my monk-like existence and my suppressed desire and erotic unfulfilment. This was ALL about the communication. I totally owned my failure in this sexual divide. My mis-communications, and just giving up trying. So, no, in my past I was NOT good at expressing my sexual needs. Sara will face having to own up to what she wants and doesn’t want from her boytoy. She found a Ferrari and is more interested in a Beamer or a Prius, perhaps. Already I see a disconnect. Would she like a referral to our sexologist? You know how to reach me. Cheers. Good subject, just touching the tip o’this iceberg, so to speak.

  5. Kat Wilder says:

    @ Janet — thanks for that link; I will check it out. Yeah, really — why are we still so tweaked about expressing our needs? Why do we feel someone will think it’s judgment instead of honesty? Working on it is good, though …

    Dude — Where would we be without Astroglide? 😉 Yeah, I imagine in the spectrum of “what can go wrong,” marathoning ain’t that bad!

    TO — You know, you are so doing everything right and I applaud you. It would be easy to walk away and find a new someone but working it out and communicating — ,i>hello!? isn’t that the key? — is helping you two reconnect. Cause you’d just have to be doing that with the new someone down the road a bit anyway, right?

  6. Edgar says:

    You could just get the Kama Sutra 365 and spend some time with your lover flipping through it, and then pick out the ones you want to try. Lots of variations on a few basic themes, but with some yummy twists. You could even just point and say – yes, PLEASE!

    But nothing works quite so well as a little guidance and discussion – maybe even a query or two. But then you have the problem of – what do you call the various parts? See this other great article from the shameless woman site:

    Wee-wee?!? I kind of like “the little woman in the boat” as a term for one of my favorite female parts. Oh yes, and “yoni,” too, of course.

  7. Chopper Papa
    Twitter: chopperpapa

    Talking about it after the first time is probably a bit selfish. If she decides to pull the plug on the relationship because of it then there again a bit selfish. I think after a few trips it is appropriate to have that discussion.

  8. NL says:

    Miss Kat,

    Hope this is not too late,, I am open to my man as far as telling him what pleasures me. I like it when you do this, I like it when you do that…
    However, I think ED is more serious problem. This is where I am at right now. He is a good man. I dont want to stop seeing him because he has ED.
    But how do I tell a man sweetly and lovingly,, darling, I think you have ED without hurting him and making him defensive

  9. NL says:

    Ahh, darn small sensitive screen Droid…


    I thought of different options,,
    –Just dump him cuz he has ED,,, (i think is too shallow)
    –Tell him he has ED and run the risk of well, defensive or accepting,, unpredictable reaction…

    I like him. But this ED issue is way too frustrating…

    Thanks Miss Kat and to your readers who can give their 2 cents about this predicament.


  10. The Observer says:

    NL: If by “ED” you mean Erectile Disfunction, I’d recommend an additional site for posting this specific aspect of your intimate relations. http://www.GoodInBed.dom. Google it.

    As to your man with ED. Without going on and on, two immediate things: has he been diagnosed with ED? Are you finding his abilities are impaired and YOU think he has ED? In both cases I’d lovingly ask that he get medically evaluated. Sometimes pecker probs can also indicate some heart/vascular issues. You might save his life. He should have blood tests as well to evaluate T-levels, along with the usual heart indicators, prostate health, etc.

    Then, after med eval, possibly he could benefit from Viagra, Cialis, Levitra. If he needs to loose some weight, lifts some weights, and actively step up his physical exercise to raise his testosterone and get the blood flowing==>that might do it in itself. I assure you that ED results in greater stress (another boner killer) for a man. A catch-22 of non-performance/stress/further non-performance/additional stress. Repeat. Stress affects all systems especially reproductive. Your loving understanding and acceptance, without being judgmental, and insistence of his taking responsibility for his condition needs to be a priority. If you don’t feel comfortable about this, talk to a sex therapist. The GIB site has Doctors and Therapists moderating and they have lots of experience in these matters. What you’re reporting is NOT unusual and can have very satisfactory resolution with proper advice. Does this make sense? Ciao, T.O.

  11. The Observer says:

    NL. that’s “dot com”. 🙂 Dot Dom is entirely another matter, eh, Kat?

  12. Kat Wilder says:

    Edgar — Really? Pussy works best for me. Sounds nasty and sweet at the same time …

    Chopper Papa – probably so.

    NL — Well, TO beat me to the punch. I’m guessing he’s already aware that he’s not performing up to snuff, which creates its own stress. What else is going on in his life?

    If he matters to you, I encourage you to gently know how much you love having sex with him, and how much you will support him in whatever way he needs/wants. And then do that. When you hang with someone through the rough spots, it comes back in big ways (sometimes hard ways! 😉 )

  13. Marin Anon says:

    Great…another column on how to fool men.


  14. Edgar says:

    I like that word, as well – connotes warmth, furriness, a certain vocal response to skilled petting, but also that sense of mystery, unpredictability, and passion that felines exemplify.

  15. NL says:

    Thank-you Miss Kat and TO 🙂