Sexologist Isiah McKimmie on how long foreplay should be

A woman has confessed about a sex mistake her husband makes every time they have sex – and it’s an all too common problem.

Welcome to Relationship Rehab, news.com.au’s weekly column solving all your romantic problems, no holds barred.

This week, our resident sexologist Isiah McKimmie hears from a reader who wants to know how to tell her husband that she wants more foreplay without offending him.

QUESTION: How can I get my husband to do more foreplay? That’s the part I enjoy most and honestly, I’d be happy if that’s all we did, but my husband always goes straight for the ‘main event’ so to speak. How can I tell him I want more foreplay without offending him?

ANSWER: If there was one thing I wish all men knew about women and sex, it would be this, that women often want far more foreplay and less penetration sex. I’m so glad you feel this question in.

I routinely have men reach out to me for support with erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation. They want treatment from me to ensure they can ‘achieve’ penetration and have longer penetration. Many have never asked their female partners what they want. Many partners tell me they don’t want longer penetration – they want more of everything else.

Lack of foreplay increases pain and decreases pleasure

Not spending enough time in foreplay increases the chance that a woman will feel pain during sex and decreases her pleasure. Spending longer (at least 20 minutes) in foreplay is one of the first steps sex therapists recommend for women struggling to reach orgasm.

At least 20 minutes of foreplay is recommended

It actually takes about 20 minutes for a women’s body to fully prepare for intercourse. In this time, women’s bodies go through complex changes to prepare for sex including producing more lubrication and ‘tenting’ of the vaginal canal. With busy lives and a full mental load to juggle, foreplay also allows women time to relax, essential to feeling increased pleasure.

I recognize that this is a lot longer than some couples spend in foreplay! For some people this will sound like a long time, others will wish I’d said 45 minutes.

The ‘Golden Trio’ in foreplay increases a woman’s chance of orgasm

A ‘Golden Trio’ of moves have been discovered that, when included in foreplay that lasts for at least 20 minutes, increase a woman’s chance of orgasm even further. This trio includes deep kissing, touching each other’s genitalia and oral sex.

How to ask for what you want in bed

All of this is really just to say that what you want is completely reasonable. Women can end up doubting if asking for what they want is okay, because it isn’t doesn’t align with what their partner desires. I want all women to know that it’s okay to ask for what you want.

Also keep in mind that many men I speak to in therapy tell me that they want more direction from their partner.

Here are some things you can say in the bedroom (and out) to tell your partner what you want.

Try a lighter approach first

I want you to tease me more first.

Let’s take our time, I’m really enjoying myself.

If he doesn’t respond, try a firmer approach

I’m not ready yet (when he attempts penetration). I’d really like you to… (tell him exactly what you’d like instead).

If these attempts don’t get what you’d like, you may need to have a more direct conversation when you’re not caught up in the moment in bed.

I always recommend a three-step approach when having a conversation about what you’d like sexually:

Tell your partner what you already enjoy

Request what you’d like to try

Ask if they’re open to it

Here’s what it might sound like:

I really enjoy having sex with you. I especially love… (be specific about something you like). What I think would make it even better for me is for us to take our time more, especially in foreplay. I’d love it we could (be specific about something you’d like). Would you be open to trying that?

Open sexual communication is one of the most important factors of a great sex life. Because it isn’t something that many of us were taught so it can feel awkward at first. But, don’t worry, it gets easier with practice.

Isiah McKimmie is a couples therapist, sexologist, sex therapist and lecturer. To book a session with her, visit her website or follow her on Instagram for more advice on relationships, sex and intimacy.

Read related topics:Isiah McKimmieSex Advice

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