Women either love to gab about it or consider it a strictly private matter. Sometimes we don't do it as often as we'd like -- or maybe we're expected to do it too much. But for those of us who do it, there's almost always room for improvement. So, in the words of Salt-N-Pepa, let's talk about sex, baby!
When ESSENCE.com asked the question, "Sexually speaking, what more would you ask from your partner?" 40 percent of visitors answered "more foreplay." Nearly 30 percent were down for "more adventure." One in five visitors said "nothing--it's all good" and only nine percent wanted the fellas to "slow it down."
Feelin' the Foreplay
It's no surprise that so many sisters desire more foreplay; since many men take that to mean they should spend five minutes instead of the usual three revving up our engines. Though Tina*, 27, a consultant in Washington, D.C., regularly gets flowers from her husband, inside the bedroom "he forgets that there are other parts of my body besides the vagina and breasts." She adds jokingly, "The breasts are usually an afterthought -- after I put the thought in his head!"
But for many sisters foreplay actually begins when we're fully clothed.
"Foreplay is not about what he does to your body," says Lou Paget, the author of Orgasms: How to Get Them, Give Them and Keep Them Coming. "It's about how he is with you when he is touching your body. It starts at 8 in the morning, not 8 at night. If he does not seduce her mind, he's not going to be able to seduce her body."
Erin, a grants administrator in New York City, agrees. The 25-year-old has been living with her boyfriend for two years, engaged for the last six months. "There's nothing sexier than seeing a man helping little Jr. with his homework or seasoning the chicken just right!" she says.
As for the physical aspects of foreplay, since a woman's body doesn't come with an instruction manual, most men need a little direction. But how do you guide him to your pleasure spot without sounding like a sexual traffic cop? "Full sentences will be perceived as criticism in the bedroom," Paget says. "Use one word: More. Softer."
Adventure in lovemaking can mean unusual positions or out-of-the-ordinary locations. For Tina, who has had sex in many deliciously risky places such as an empty conference room while attending a formal banquet, the adrenaline rush comes not from the risk itself, but from the glint in her husband's eyes. "Knowing that I can have such a strong physical effect on someone whom I greatly love and lust after is my biggest turn on," she says.
In some cases, adventure simply means change. Nicole, 25, of Miami, says her boyfriend of three years used to get quite freaky -- in movie theaters, on balconies and in parking lots -- but the novelty seems to have worn off. "He does anything I ask but always on command," she explains. "I just want him to be spontaneous and adventurous on his own without any help from me."
Communication's the Key
If you're trying to get your man into trying something new, never talk about what you've done with other men, Paget says. (It's a bad visual for your current squeeze). Instead, she advises, whisper something to him as he walks out the door in the morning. "He'll be thinking about it all day," she notes.
If you're one of the lucky ones who fall into the category of women who said life in the bedroom is "all good," it may be because women who've come of age in the last 20 or so years tend to be more comfortable than our mothers were asking for what we need between the sheets. Whether you're content or wanting your man to "slow it down," continued sexual satisfaction depends on that all-important relationship stimulant: Communication.
*Names have been changed.