Ever wonder where we get our intimacy skills and beliefs? It concerns me that teenaged girls are learning their relationship mindset from romance novels that torment the reader with desire—usually for someone the heroine can’t have, at least not for long. And it seems that the boys are, for the most part, being taught their “love skills” from porn flicks—movies in which the woman is rarely adored and served, but rather shown from the skewed perspective of solely existing to meet a man’s needs. Rap songs basically chant the musical version of a porn flick. Let’s not even begin to discuss the body image issues that emerge from this means of education.
Whether we are imprinted with the literary, musical, or visual message, the result is the same: We are an extremely ill informed, undereducated culture when it comes to the arena of intimacy. Here are a few essentials.
Men can become aroused in two to three minutes (or quicker!)—but women can take up to ten times as long. That’s twenty to thirty minutes for a woman to become as aroused as her man. With this statistic in mind, when was the last time you saw a movie that reinforced the need for foreplay in order for a woman to physically match her mate’s readiness? Rarely or never, I would bet.
A hint for men: Think like a mechanic; You need to lubricate the parts, or the friction will damage the machinery. You’ve got to warm the motor before you run it, and you’ve got to watch the gauges to be sure everything is operating smoothly, that nothing is overheating, out of “oil,” or making abnormal sounds. In other words, if she doesn’t sound like it feels good, looks to be in more pain than pleasure, or glances at her watch rather than gazing into your eyes, consider these to be warning lights flashing! In the same way that a machine which isn’t well maintained eventually stops running, if you bypass the foreplay, your partner’s engine won’t start.
Interestingly, in studies on sexuality the top complaints for men are typically low sexual frequency (although many women share this concern). For women, the top complaint is poor sexual quality. Seems like a direct correlation between cause and effect. Improve the quality; improve the quantity!
A hint for women: Don’t be lazy (or silent) when it comes to love, foreplay, and sex. Be careful not to assume he knows what you like. You may have to show and/or tell him (with encouragement, not criticism). If you or your partner is unfulfilled and you are unwilling to participate in turning things around, don’t be surprised when he feels pushed away.
We have to take it upon ourselves to learn the art of love and intimate relationships —from an appropriate source. This can simply be each other, you and your partner exploring and communicating about what works for the two of you, or an outside source of information. Just make sure that outside source contains a message that will actually strenghten your skills and wisdom, not add to the already skewed perspective of media. But please, don’t leave your sex life to chance—chances are it won’t be sufficient.
Love Tip: Rarely does anything improve from neglect. One dose of mindfulness can go a long way!