Brace yourself Effie!

This is literally one of my favorite lines from Mrs. Doubtfire. This is the sentence Mrs. Doubtfire uses to describe her late husband Winston’s idea of foreplay. Nonetheless, she persists that if that was her husband’s approach, she was going to make herself satisfied with it ” to the grave.” Now I get that this is a hypothetical and that Mrs. Doubtfire was really Robin Williams in disguise trying to get the details on his ex-wife’s love life. However, what Mrs. Doubtfire said rings true for a lot of sexual relationships.

There are a lot of women out there not really having as fulfilling a sex life as they could be. They are accepting whatever standard their partner is dictating and just going along with it without complaint, potentially orgasmless and without satisfaction. Why ladies? You don’t have to put yourself through this. You too can have good sex.

I guess the first thing to do is to attempt to understand what good sex means to a woman. Believe it or not, there are a lot of different view points. There are lots of articles and cold scientific papers written about the components of sexual arousal in woman. I find most of these pretty dry for my taste so I decided to take a patient poll instead of real women at my office. Here is what they had to say.

A lot of them said that love and good sex were intertwined. If they were in love with the person or at least had some kind of emotional investment, they were much more likely to think that the sex was satisfying. That seems to be pretty typical of the female psyche. As women, we have a tough time accomplishing anything without any kind of emotional commitment. Even the immortal Samantha Jones in Sex and the City Season 4 had to finally admit that the sex she was having with Richard got more intense when she realized that she loved him.

Most of them said that they did not just spontaneously think of sex at a random time like men do. They needed to be coaxed or experience some kind of foreplay to get interested in the first place, much less experience good sex. They were concerned that that was abnormal. No ladies. It is not. The vast majority of women experience what is called facilitated arousal. We need to be coaxed and petted and kissed to get in the mood to increase our chances of a happy ending. This is NORMAL! We need FOREPLAY! As exciting as it looks in the movies for a woman to be randomly swept up, protesting and then thrust into a sexual act which ends in a tremendous orgasm, this is not reality for most women. Most men could be randomly sitting somewhere and suddenly become erect and be ready to go.

A lot of patients said that the sex was better if the relationship was healthy without trust issues or fighting. They felt like they could relax more and be open to more experiences if they weren’t wondering if the relationship was ok or if their partner was cheating or if they were mad at their partner. I find, on the other hand, that most men could be furious with their partner one minute and be in bed with them the next like nothing ever happened. I think this may be where the somewhat misguided term makeup sex comes from. I am not saying that I have never done it. But I have to be honest, if I am really ticked off at my husband, his penis is the last thing that I am thinking of. Just sayin.

A lot of patients said that they had to be attracted to the person for the sex to be good, or to be able to have sex at all. The crude stereotypical saying that men will “sleep with anything” definitely did not apply to this group. The interesting thing is that they did not just mean physically. They were also referring to mental attraction and emotional attraction. They needed to have some kind of connection with the potential partner to make things work.

Last but not least, there was a group of patients that said that sex was good only if they had an orgasm. Period. Believe it or not, this was the smallest group of patients. Hmm.

So, I guess the bottom line( or lines) is that good sex is in the eye of the beholder. You don’t have to just accept unsatisfying sex. A healthy relationship is key. Men and women are different in this regard and that is ok. Trust is essential. Foreplay is actually very important to most women and not just a waste of time. Well, that’s all for now. Have a fantastic day!

Dr. Katz