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No More Clueless Sex

Relationship expert Barbara Keesling, Ph. D. shares how to handle common blunders in the bedroom (or elsewhere) with finesse

Bedroom mishaps happen-it’s how you handle them that can make all the difference in the quality of your relationship and your sexual pleasure. If you’re baffled by what to do in those awkward moments, keep reading. Barbara Keesling, Ph.D., author of The Good Girl’s Guide to Bad Sex, explains how to slow your sweetie down, what to do to get him excited, and when to just give up-but only for the night.

Essence.com: So let’s get right to it. If the man is not physically excited and the woman is ready for sex, what can she do?

Barbara Keesling: If he’s tired because he worked all day, then he really needs sleep or he’s not going to be any good. If he’s had too much to eat or to drink, then I suggest you slow things down a little. Try to relax him by offering a back massage. If he still can’t get an erection, then it’s time to just back off. 

Essence.com: So a woman shouldn’t take it personally right? I mean it’s not me, it’s him. 

B.K.: A lot of women do take it personally and we shouldn’t. It’s no one’s fault, things happen. He could have built up this sexual encounter in his mind and now he needs to get a little more comfortable with you. Maybe you’re in bed too fast. It could be so many things.

Essence.com: What should a lady do if her honey finishes too soon?

B.K.: Say something positive like, ‘I must have gotten you really excited, huh?’ or ‘well, baby, I guess you were glad to see me?’ You don’t want him to feel like there is something wrong with him. This could happen for so many reasons. It could just be that maybe he hasn’t had sex in awhile. Maybe the first time with a new person, he’s always a little nervous. Give him some time for Round 2 and I’d offer him a drink to slow down his reflexes before you start again. 

Essence.com: I know it depends on the man and lots of other factors, but is there an approximate length of time for when he’ll be ready for Round Two?

B.K.: It depends on his age. You take a guy who is like 20 and there may not be any time between Round One and Round Two or Round Three. But a guy in his 30s or 40s, unless he has a very serious problem, he’ll probably be ready to go in a half hour. 

Essence.com: What should a woman do if he’s taking too long and she’s tired? 

B.K.: If you’ve lost interest and you’re getting sore, you have to call it to a halt. If he’s had too much to drink, then you’re just going to get rubbed raw. Suggest to him that he stimulate himself. A lot of guys that have trouble reaching orgasm with intercourse can easily do so with self-stimulation. 

Essence.com: What’s a girl to do if she’s not lubricated enough?

B.K.: That’s easy to remedy. Just keep your favorite water-based lubricant handy. You never want to get too dry. It’s painful and you can get an abrasion, then you have to wait two to three days to have sex. 

Essence.com: Tell me what a couple should do if the condom breaks?

B.K.: That’s more than a mishap! That’s in the level of disaster. If it breaks before he’s had an ejaculation, probably not a problem. If you’re using a condom for protection from pregnancy, you should always have spermicide with it. If it breaks after he ejaculates, you have just had unprotected sex. I would make an emergency trip to my OB/GYN the following morning. And whatever you do, don’t douche. That just pushes everything farther into you. 

Essence.com: Okay, here’s one that inquiring minds definitely want to know. What can a woman do to have more orgasms? 

B.K.: A lot of women want to have an orgasm when they’re having intercourse. But when they start having sex, they are trying to catch up to their partner. What tends to happen is, say a couple gets together, the man performs oral sex, the woman reciprocates. So what happens is that on a scale from one to ten–ten being the highest state of arousal– when they start having intercourse, he’s up at like an 8 and she’s at a 2. And so she has to catch up. So in order to give yourself the best chance of having an orgasm, you may have to switch the order around before you have intercourse. Your availability to have orgasms during sex depends more on what happened right before intercourse than it does on what’s actually happening during.

Have these tips or others helped you in the bedroom? Share your thoughts below.

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