A lot has changed in the bedroom in 37 years, and not just the shag rug. The Joy of Sex was a seminal instructor when it came out in 1972, but it lacked insight into how both partners could please each other. Modernize your approach with these tips.
Outdated: If She Likes It, Keep Doing It
Updated: Never Stop Experimenting
Her body’s sensitivity changes as her arousal level rises. “Experiment and retrace your steps, so that instead of becoming fixated on one point, you visit a series of sensitive points regularly,” says relationship expert Susan Quilliam, who revised the book. Set up simple codes she can use: “up” or “down” for where to move your hand, for example. Or ask her, “How’s this feel, one to 10?” then vary the pressure.
Outdated: Fantasy is for the Lonely
Updated: She Needs the Distraction
During sex, men focus on the oncoming climax (or baseball stats). Women’s minds wander, often into fantasy. To reach orgasm, she needs to clear her head and turn off her brain’s fear center. “Fantasy is a way for her to disconnect her mind, and it becomes an important part of deactivating her fear center,” says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of She Comes First. Encourage her release by constructing an erotic fantasy before things heat up. Then, Quilliam says, you can whisper provocative sentences to each other in turn, building a story she can get lost in.
Outdated: Control the Pace
Updated: Let Her Take Over
In almost every culture’s history, the man takes the lead in sex. But that’s a patriarchal hang-up, says Quilliam. Let her control the pace and intensity (either initially or totally, depending on the mood), so that you both know what’s best for her. The more fun she has, the better for you. Encourage her to be on top: It allows her to take advantage of a full range of positions—facing you, facing away, even sitting cross-legged on you. “There’s a lot of value in just being a still object of resistance,” Kerner says.
Outdated: Erotic Spots are Predictable
Updated: Different Touches Bring Different Results
Her clitoris, vagina, and urethra are interconnected, and researchers believe that stimulating any one of them may contribute to overall arousal. Quilliam suggests branching out and teasing what some call the U-spot—an area between her clitoris and vagina, located near the entrance to her urethra. Use soft, circular motions with your finger. “Urethral nerves are very sensitive, so stimulation here creates a particular kind of arousal—a soft, melting form of climax,” Quilliam says. Make sure your hands are clean, though—the area is infection-prone.
Outdated: Speed Thrills
Updated: Slow Down
Pulling back when she’s near climax and then resuming can enhance her orgasm. “Suspense raises the psychological arousal level,” Quilliam says. Ask her to tell you when she’s near the top, and then pull back for a few minutes to kiss and concentrate on other parts of her body. Repeat several times—build up, back off—until you take her over the edge. Don’t fear ruining a moment. It takes 5 to 10 minutes for arousal to really subside, so even if she thinks she’s “lost it,” you’re probably equipped to bring her back.