ChemistryChemistry is the elusive quality that separates a romantic relationship from a platonic one. It's the special attraction, the magical essence that makes us want to have sex with a particular person, to blend and be one with that person. Because chemistry is such a powerful force, however, it has to be handled carefully.Buck naked and scared silly?!?
If sex can be the glue that keeps even a bad relationship alive, it can also, ironically, be the death of a good relationship, if the timing isn't right. For years movies and novels have given us variations of the "instant-fireworks" scenario, wherein two virtual strangers fall into bed together, have perfect sex, fall in love, and live happily ever after. There's no denying this makes a good story, but, having heard hundreds of stories from real
couples, I can give you a much more likely scenario:
Imagine that you're with someone who's really pretty wonderful. There are no red flags popping up in your head, no signs that this person has critical flaws, no indication that sex with this individual would be a ghastly mistake. Quite the contrary--you've been out together a couple of times, things are going well between you, and the chemistry has hit full force. Everything seems quite natural. Maybe this truly is the perfect person for you.
So here you are, in bed together for the first time.
And suddenly you realize you are buck naked, staring straight into the eyes of somebody who is, for all practical purposes, a stranger.
There you are, absolutely exposed to someone you really don't know at all, on the verge of participating in the most intimate act two human beings can possibly do together. So how do you feel? Romantic? Overwhelmed with passion?
No, more than likely you're scared silly--
or, at the very least, you're feeling more than a little awkward or self-conscious. The bigger these negative feelings get, the less fun you're going to have.
If you're a woman, the effect can be an inability to achieve orgasm. It's difficult enough to be nude in front of somebody you scarcely know, but having a climax means truly giving up control. You can't do that if you're overwhelmed by feelings of doubt or fear or just plain awkwardness. You can't abandon yourself to passion if you don't feel safe with your partner. One result is that he may end up feeling inadequate. This is a less than ideal element to inject into a new relationship.
If you're a man, you may experience performance anxiety and difficulty in getting an erection, even though you're very attracted to the woman you're with. If you're too embarrassed to discuss it with her, to explain that you're merely nervous, the problem is compounded. She may feel you don't think she's attractive--and you know how sensitive women are about this matter.
In any case, what you are left with is a memory of an experience that is, at best, embarrassing, and at worst, can destroy your chances of building a good relationship. If the experience was frustrating, you're not going to want to take a chance on a repeat performance (or lack thereof). If it was embarrassing, you won't want to be confronted with someone who is a reminder of your discomfort.
And if you left your partner with either of you feeling even a little unsure about the experience, a whole new dynamic comes into play. Even if the sex was fantastic, it is normal to be more sensitized in that time right after you part company. ("Was I good? Did he/she really enjoy being with me? Did I make too much/too little noise?") The questions are endless, but they all are merely different ways of asking, "Am I safe with this person?"
If you're not sure, you probably won't even call the person back, because you're afraid of what the answer might be.
The bottom line is that by having sex when you're not really ready, you can not only destroy the opportunity to build a wonderful relationship, but end up cheating yourself (and your partner) out of some really remarkable sex.
So, men or women, if you find that you have a tendency to become attracted to somebody on a physical level first, rein in those hormones and ask yourself where you are on the other two levels of attraction.
THE FIVE BIGGEST SEXUAL TURN-OFFS FOR MEN:
1. A sexually unresponsive woman.
A man hates having sex with a woman who doesn't act as if she is enjoying having sex with him. The days when women were expected
not to enjoy sex, when Queen Victoria advised her daughter to "just lie back and think of England," are long gone. Men are no longer happy with a woman who merely submits. Having sex with an unresponsive partner is like dancing alone; it's just not very satisfying, and it makes a man feel foolish. A man wants an active partner who enjoys having sex with him, and who lets him know that he's giving her pleasure.
2. A woman who never initiates sex.
If a woman never initiates sex, the man doesn't feel wanted or desirable and, if he doesn't feel wanted or desirable, he probably isn't going to stick around. However, there is a big difference between initiating
sex and demanding
it. In fact if you're a woman you probably understand this distinction very well: think of the difference between a man who lets you know he wants
you and a man who lets you know that he expects
you to have sex with him. (Does the old word duty
ring an ugly bell?)
3. A woman who doesn't take care of herself physically.
Very simply, men are more visually driven creatures than women, and a woman's physical attractiveness is more important to them than a man's attractiveness is to most women. Generally speaking, a woman looks more for internal qualities, such as the attributes in a man that make her feel safe and secure. Does this mean you must look like a centerfold to attract a man? Of course not, but you should take care of yourself. You should try to be attractive in a pleasing, natural way by making the most of your physical attributes. This means using common sense about personal hygiene, and using cosmetics and clothing styles that accent your individual beauty instead of changing it. Eat right, exercise, and generally take good care of your body. Even a good haircut can work wonders for your attractiveness and self-image. You don't need to be obsessive about your looks (see the next item); just be conscious. Be the most attractive you can be.
4. A woman who is too concerned with her appearance.
While men are turned on by a woman who is naturally pretty, they're very turned off by a woman who believes that physical beauty is all she has to offer. If a woman is obsessed with her appearance to the extent that she won't make love and abandon herself to orgasm because she's afraid it will smear her makeup, it shows she lacks the confidence that she has anything to offer but her looks. A confident woman simply doesn't dwell on her looks. She doesn't think about what she looks like during orgasm. A woman is going to be attractive to her man if her hair is messed up and her makeup is gone, so long as she is enjoying what she's doing with him. And, as we discussed in chapter three, most men don't like a lot of makeup, anyway. They don't mind
makeup, but they don't want it to look as if they could touch your face and see their fingerprints.
5. A woman who doesn't enjoy giving a man oral sex.
Oral sex is very important to men. A woman who doesn't enjoy oral sex, who doesn't treat the man's penis as if it's special, is rejecting a very significant part of him as a person. I cannot overstate the significance of oral sex to a man.
Now, let's "clear the palate," if you will, and look at their five biggest turn-ons.
THE FIVE BIGGEST SEXUAL TURN-ONS FOR MEN:
1. A woman who really likes sex.
Every man wants a responsive woman who enjoys making love with him.
2. A woman who initiates lovemaking from time to time.
A man wants to know that his woman desires him as much as he desires her.
3. A woman who praises her man and makes him feel that he's the best lover in the world.
A man wants to be with a woman who makes him feel that he's the paragon of sexual pleasure. She praises him, thanks him for her pleasure, and tells him how great he is. However, a woman should resist the temptation to pay false compliments, because the man will see right through it. She should, instead, focus on the wonderful ways he gives her pleasure, and let him know how terrific he makes her feel.
4. A woman who shares what turns her on in a positive, noncritical way.
Because men are very sensitive, a positive message always works better than a negative one--and in the bedroom this is particularly true. Instead of saying, "Don't do this," say, "I like it even better when you do this,
" and gently guide him into doing what you like. You don't want to be a traffic cop or a choreographer in bed; you do want to be an enthusiastic, loving partner.
5. A woman for whom sex is just as much a priority as it is for her man.
A man wants a woman who shares his desire for sex and lets him know that she is very attracted to him. Such a woman is a full partner to the man, and he thrives in that partnership.
Okay, men, now it's your turn to discover what women don't and do like in the bedroom.
THE FIVE BIGGEST SEXUAL TURN-OFFS FOR WOMEN:
1. A man who isn't educated sexually.
He doesn't even know what, much less where, the clitoris is. Worse than that, he isn't interested in learning. See item number 2.
2. A man who isn't interested in learning how to more fully please a woman.
Your partner will pick up on your lack of interest, and it will be a big turn-off for her. Every woman is different, and in sex, as in anything else, you never stop learning. No matter how much you know, there's always more to learn.
3. Boring sex.
No variety: same time, same place, same position.
4. A man who is only interested in pleasing himself.
If you want truly satisfying sex, learn what pleases your woman.
5. A man who doesn't listen or ask questions.
See item number 2.
Now here's what women like.
THE FIVE BIGGEST SEXUAL TURN-ONS FOR WOMEN:
1. A man who is sexually educated about a woman's body.
For instance, he does know what and where the clitoris is. He understands the subtle nuances of how (and where) to touch and caress her to fully arouse her desire.
2. A man who's pleasure-oriented, rather than goal-oriented.
He isn't trying to hurry up and "do the deed," but rather is reveling in the sensual pleasure that comes from being with his woman. In other words, he has a "slow hand."
3. A man who makes her feel beautiful, in and out of the bedroom.
He adores his woman all the time, and lets her feel his adoration.
4. A man who cares whether or not his partner is really satisfied.
As in number 2 above, a woman wants a man who is completely involved in the process of giving and receiving pleasure, and is eager to know how he can increase the pleasure his partner feels. He is not so driven by his need to perform that he doesn't notice if his woman is responding. A sensitive man also realizes that no two women are alike, and that one woman's definition of satisfaction can change from day to day, depending upon her mood and the situation. While satisfaction for one woman may mean multiple, screaming orgasms, for another (or for the same woman, at another time) it may mean the sweetness of afterglow when she knows she has brought him
pleasure. He asks what pleases her right now, and tries to give it to her.
5. A man who makes her feel that she is a priority to him.
She doesn't need to be the only
factor in his life, but she does need to be a very important
A woman must feel it's safe to be honest about her needs. For the man's part, he should be as inventive, creative, and spontaneous as he wants her to be. While it's true that intercourse is wonderful, and can be just as pleasurable for a woman as for a man, it's also true that God gave men ten fingers, ten toes, lips, a tongue, and a job to earn enough money to buy a shower massage. You figure it out!From the Hardcover edition.
Excerpted from Cracking the Love Code by Janet O'Neal. . Excerpted by permission of Harmony, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.