| Top 10 sexual pleasures
Josey Vogels dishes on what every woman should know
1. Get body-confident
It’s hard to feel hot when you’re sucking in your tummy. And how can you see the look of desire on his face with the lights off? Remember, a less-than-perfect body carried with self-confidence is way hotter than a flawless body carried self-consciously. Stop criticizing your body and focus on what you love about it. It’s got you this far in life – it deserves a little appreciation. Get naked with yourself. Strut around your house or apartment when you’re alone (probably best to draw the blinds), telling yourself what a hot cookie you are. Invest in some great lingerie that flatters your body type. Ditch the overhead lighting and buy a boatload of candles and/or some body-flattering red light bulbs.
2. Please yourself
The best way to figure out what works for you is to practice – alone. Masturbation not only puts you in touch with your body (both literally and figuratively) but it also eases tension, relieves menstrual cramps, releases mood-enhancing hormones and is a much more fun way to procrastinate than cleaning your apartment. Whether it’s a quickie or an entire-afternoon affair, complete with candles, satin sheets and you whispering sweet nothings to yourself, we can all use more self-love in our lives. And once you get nice and familiar with what turns you on while you’re alone, nothing says you can’t offer him a little hands-on demonstration. Two sexual pleasures in one!
3. Speak up
Your girlfriends might be able to read your mind, but you can forget about waiting around for him to catch on. Yes, the good girl in you says that asking directly for what you want is a bit rude, but in reality, most guys appreciate some direct guidance –especially when they realize you don’t work exactly like the last woman he was with. Be considerate, though. There’s no need to bark orders. A simple “I loooved that thing you were doing earlier, can I have more of that, with a little twist of this, please?” would work. Flattery or words of encouragement are good, too. Just make sure you’re honest. You don’t want to end up in a situation where you kindly compliment someone for his gentle approach when it bores you to tears. Do that and you’ll be stuck with it.
4. Own your orgasm
A lot of us think that a man somehow has a responsibility to “give” us an orgasm during sex. Some guys actually feel they’ve failed if they can’t deliver. But a sexually empowered woman knows she is ultimately responsible for her own orgasm. Sure, it might be nice for your man to assist, but if you don’t make it to orgasm through his efforts, don’t be afraid to delicately (remember, egos are at stake here) take matters into your own hands, so to speak. Which, of course, doesn’t mean he can’t help.
5. Play with toys
Of course, if you get too good at pleasing yourself, carpal tunnel might become an issue –which is why every modern, efficient woman can occasionally benefit from some technical assistance. The sex-toy market has changed a lot since its early trench-coat days. Most major cities now have well-lit women-friendly shops (some even serve tea!) with informed and open-minded staff members who make it easy to ask even the most delicate questions. And whether you want to bust the bank and shell out $325 for a 24-karat-gold water-resistant vibrator by a designer who’s worked with Herman Miller or $20 for a vibrating silver egg (a good starter toy to find out if you even like the sensation of a vibrator), there’s something for every budget and sexual preference. If toys don’t interest you, do yourself (and your partner) a favour and shell out $10 for a tube of water-based lube – by far, the best bang for your buck.
6. Learn to receive
Even with all the progress we’ve made as women, so many of us still spend way too much energy pleasing others, often at the expense of our own needs – especially in the bedroom. Just when things are clipping along nicely, all that attention suddenly makes us self-conscious. We start worrying that we’re taking too long, that our face is too scrunched up, that we look (or sound) like a bad porn star, so we switch the focus from us to him. Kick back and really enjoy the ride, guilt-free. Because, honestly, there’s nothing a guy likes better than to see his work appreciated. And you can always reward his efforts in kind later.
7. Take initiative
This is by far the number one complaint from men: women don’t initiate enough. Sure, we’re confident enough to ask a guy out or make the first move, but we’re still getting comfy with our inner sexual aggressor. What if he rejects us? That one can be especially tough on women in a culture where we’re led to believe that men want it any time, anywhere. If he doesn’t respond positively, it must be us, right? Wrong. Most guys love a woman with sexual confidence, one who takes charge occasionally. And it’s hardly fair of us to sit around complaining that we’re not getting the kind of sex we want when we’re not willing to take the lead. Show him who’s boss once in a while. And dress the part if you need some help getting into character.
8. Feed your fantasies
As children, we’re encouraged to play in a world of make-believe. It’s our way of making sense of the world around us and to experience things we may never get to in real life. As adults, we are often ashamed or embarrassed by our fantasy worlds, especially the sexual ones. Often, our fantasies scare us or make us nervous because they aren’t politically correct or go against our nature. As a result, we quell them and, in doing so, we quell our sexual imagination and sense of sexual playfulness. Feeding our fantasies with erotica and even pornography can be healthy, freeing and exciting. Most adult women have grown up thinking porn is degrading to women and all about indulging unrealistic male fantasies that have nothing to do with us. But the best thing about fantasy is that it ultimately lives in your head, so you control the script, plus you get to decide whether or not to share.
9. Have sex “like a man”
In our society, women are given tons of permission to be sexy but rarely ever to be sexual. We’re still more comfortable with the profile of the sexually inhibited, I-really-only-enjoy-sex-in-the-context-of-love woman. Women who enjoy too much sex outside of this context are “sexually promiscuous” and are automatically presumed to be lacking in self-respect. In fact, it’s often those women who are very confident, sure of themselves and have high social skills who are capable of engaging in sexual activity outside of a relationship and feeling perfectly OK about it. This is because they are able to enjoy sex for its sheer pleasure, without all the emotional baggage. So if you sense you’ve got that kind of assured woman inside just waiting to bust out, try letting her do just that.
10. Get healthy
On the fun scale, it may not be up there with sexual fantasies or masturbation, but it’s still easier than sweating it out on the Stair-Master. Nothing says you care about yourself and your partner like a clean bill of sexual health. Get tested for STIs, including HIV. Get a Pap smear. Remember that a healthy diet and regular exercise (yes, sex counts!) contribute to a healthy vitality, positive body image and strong sex drive. And put these two aphrodisiacs on the menu: oysters (loaded with zinc, which, according to some research, is great for sexual vitality) and dark-chocolate-covered strawberries (the chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which elevates happy-making serotonin and dopamine levels in the brain, and the strawberries are just plain sexy).