While women may naturally be the more benevolent gender, when it comes to claiming bedroom bliss, there's good reason to get greedy. A new study conducted by Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia found that the more you focus on your own pleasure during sex, the more satisfied you and your partner will be. That's right, even he wants you to be selfish in the sack. "We were pretty surprised because we set out to provide evidence of the opposite," says study coauthor Cory L. Pedersen, Ph.D. And other sex experts agree that men get off on seeing their partners reveling in ecstasy.
It largely comes down to enthusiasm. A woman who has sex because she craves it is going to be really into the experience, says Pedersen. And that enthusiasm appeals to men for two reasons: First, when you take responsibility for your carnal contentment, he doesn't have to worry that you're not enjoying yourselfÃ¢â‚¬”he can see that you are! And second, the sight of an aroused woman produces more of the sex hormone testosterone in men.
Still unsure how to claim your fair share? Start with these spine-tingling tips.
"From an evolutionary standpoint, the brain's main priorities are survival and sex. So when you're having sex, your brain's pleasure center gets the green light to orgasm when worry (or danger) isn't present. That's why it's important for women to be relaxed if they want to climax," says Gert Holstege, Ph.D., a professor of neuroscience at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
In one study recently published in the European Journal of Neuroscience, two groups of women had their brains scanned while they watched porn. And wouldn't you know it, the group that was more sexually charged showed lower levels of activity in the left brain, the part in charge of nagging to-do lists (clearly these women weren't thinking about picking up their dry cleaning).
To relax your mind enough to focus on your pleasure, ask your guy to give you a massage (rubdowns release the feel-good hormone oxytocin, which helps you zone out) or try this mindfulness technique from Louanne Cole Weston, Ph.D., a board-certified sex therapist in Fair Oaks, California: Imagine a ticker tape running in your brain that broadcasts only sexy thoughts. Every time something stressful or mundane enters your mind, address it briefly by saying to yourself, I'll deal with that later, and then allow yourself to flip to the next naughty image on your mental reel. Eventually, you will train yourself to drown out external noise and focus on the bliss your body is receiving.
Every guy has one go-to move in his arsenal that worked wonders on a past partner, so he keeps whipping it out for each new bedmate, hoping to repeat those ego-boosting results. The problem, of course, is that every woman's body responds differently to stimulation. For that reason, you need to tell him what makes your toes curl. "Don't worry that you're being bossy by telling him exactly what you like," says Belisa Vranich, Psy.D., author of He's Got Potential: A Field Guide to Shy Guys, Bad Boys, Intellectuals, Cheaters, and Everything in Between. "Guys don't mind a little direction in bed. They know you want an orgasm, and they want to give it to you. Plus, it's so much less work for them." So take his hand, place it on the body part you want to be stroked, and simply say, "Touch me here."
Steal the Spotlight
This one might make you cringe, but hear us out: Gazing at yourself in the mirror while you're having sex can increase the heat significantly. In a recent study conducted at the University of Texas at Austin, even women who didn't like their tummies, thighs, or boobs were turned on when they masturbated in front of a mirror. Experts figure that seeing your own naked, aroused body triggers a primal sexual instinct in women. Give it a shot when you're with your guy by propping up a full-length mirror next to the bed so you can both get an eyeful of the action.
Give Yourself a Hand
During intercourse, you probably let you hands wander all over your guy's body. But you might want to try keeping them to yourself, especially during positions such as doggy-style or reverse cowgirl. "These positions typically stimulate your G-spot and front vaginal walls, so stroking your clitorisÃ¢â‚¬”which is neglected in these posesÃ¢â‚¬”will double your pleasure," says Ian Kerner, Ph.D., author of She Comes First. Or just lie back and touch yourself. Watching you masturbate will make him feel like a voyeur (a big turn-on for guys) and also give him pointers on how you like to be caressed. Everybody wins.
Don't Interrupt Oral
A woman will often stop a guy while he's pleasuring her orally because she assumes he's getting tired or bored. Not such a hot idea. "Some women report that when they are headed toward orgasm from oral sex and then stop to have intercourse, they can't seem to get the momentum back and the orgasm ends up slipping away for good," says Weston.
Whenever you feel a surge of guilt about how long he's been down there, just remember this: Guys get off on giving you oral. In fact, a recent study published in the International Journal of Sexual Health says that men love the look and taste of their partner's genitals. "It's such a false stereotype that guys don't like to give oral sex," says Kerner. "Granted, the oral-averse man does exist, but most say it's an exciting way to bring a woman to climax." So next time, ride that wave all the way to shore.