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But I still want more!

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Amanda asks:

How do I turn my boyfriend on again after we already had sex one time? I am a pretty good looking young girl and I like to have sex more than once a day if its on the weekend, and not planned sex either. Like if I feel like my boyfriend looks really good I want to show that. But after we have sex it only lasts for like 5-6 minutes and then he's done, and I am just getting started. But he says he's tired and can't possibly do it again and it's like a big deal for him. He's only 21, so I'm just wondering maybe he has a problem? He eats A LOT OF CRAP like sweets and stuff: maybe that has something to do with it. I tried to get him to see a doctor but I think that only pissed him off. A healthy sex life is EXTREMELY important to me. What do I do?

Heather Corinna replies:

If a healthy sex life is very important to you, I'd suggest you start by being sure you're approaching sex with a partner in a way that is realistic.

One essential aspect of healthy sexuality for ourselves and our partners is having our ideas about sexuality based in reality, and being sure our expectations are sound. If we expect ourselves or our partners to be superhuman, or for their bodies to do things they just can't or won't, then sex stops being about us and them altogether. Sexuality and sexual behavior is highly unique and varies a lot between people, so it's so important that whatever sex life we have with others is one which honors and celebrates our uniqueness, rather than which tries to force conformity to someone else's standards or to fantasy.

A man lasting around five minutes or so with intercourse doesn't suggest anything at all is wrong with him. In fact, on average according to Albert Kinsey's studies and other broad studies on male sexuality, on average most men will reach orgasm and ejaculate within around just two minutes of entering the vagina: your partner is lasting for longer than average. You can be as hot as you want to be, but what you look like can't change human physiology: for the most part, most men who engage in vaginal intercourse, most of the time, will reach orgasm within a few minutes and before their female partners will. That's simply a common reality you need to accept when you choose to have male sexual partners, the same way men who choose female sexual partners need to accept the equally common reality that most women will take a bit longer than they do to reach orgasm, and most women will not reach orgasm through vaginal intercourse alone.

Understand, too, that men have something which is called a "refractory period," something different in their sexual response cycle than most women experience. Some women (or some women sometimes), after having an orgasm, can go right into more sex and have their genitals respond in the same way they did mere moments before. Men, however, when it comes to penises and erections, usually need some time in between acts of sex which require an erection. That time period varies, both from man to man and day to day, but for some, it can be mere minutes, while for others, it can be hours. And even for men who don't need a long time-out in between, men won't always want more sex for themselves after intercourse, or find that more intercourse feels good even if they are capable of having it physically.

I can see why you trying to send him to the doctor troubled him: I don't see anything here to suggest there is something wrong with his body or health. The issue you are having is about what you want and need, not about a concern for his health. Now, maybe you just were not very filled in on what's realistic with sex, so you made that error. So it goes: misunderstandings happen. But now that you do know better, I'd suggest you do a little mea culpa and let him know that you made a mistake and didn't mean to pressure, insult him or hurt his feelings. I'd also make clear that from here on out, you intend to approach this differently.

You say you want to demonstrate to your boyfriend that you find him attractive through sex. That's obviously totally fine, but that sentiment seems to be a bit bungled with the other things you're saying. In other words, if he doesn't want sex as often as you do, or is physically incapable of doing what you want, pressuring him isn't going to make him feel good about himself, and even if it makes him feel more attractive, that's not likely to make him feel better about being sexually pressured or nagged. I hear you saying that you want more sexual activity here. You get to want more sex, but take ownership of that: that's not about him, it's about you or about your sex life together. If you want to further demonstrate that you think he's attractive when he's not interested in more sex, you can express that with words or other ways of communicating just as well as you can with sex.

However, you can absolutely voice it at any given time when he feels finished, but you don't. Someone invested in being a good partner to you should be as invested in your pleasure as their own, so if this is a matter of the sex you're having not taking your pleasure into as much account as his, by all means, that's something that's not only fair to want to remedy, but something which should be remedied if you two want a sexual relationship based in equality.

You simply give him a few minutes to chill (many of us will need that after an orgasm), then ask if you can continue with sex so that you, too, can get to a point where you feel satisfied. Mind, that does not have to mean intercourse: if his penis isn't up for more, and/or he, as a person, doesn't want more, that does not have to be a big deal. He's got hands, fingers, a mouth, as do you, and you two also have the options of aids like vibrators, as well. You two, if he's not up for more intercourse, can engage in manual sex, oral sex, mutual masturbation, frottage, or any number of other sexual activities.

It might be worthwhile, when you have sex together, to put intercourse off for a while longer than you have been, taking plenty of time with other sexual activities before you even get to intercourse: you can also have sex together without any intercourse at all. You two might also find that if he tends to be really wiped after an orgasm to the point that he has a tough time engaging in ANY kind of sex afterwards (and that's not that atypical: even for people in great health, a whopper of an orgasm can leave you feeling pretty wiped out and brain dead), that it might be better to work the various types of sex you have in a way so that you reach orgasm first, then he can have a go. Plenty of couples take turns that way. Some couples -- sometimes, or as a habit -- even take turns in terms of whole sessions: in other words, one time you two have sex it's primarily about one of you getting off, and then the next time, it's about the other. In other words, there are a lot of different ways to work this out, you just have to talk about this openly and honestly -- and without suggesting either of you is somehow deficient -- and then try a few different approaches to discover what works best for the two of you.

And if you have the idea that there are all these heterosexual couples out and about in the world who are having whiz-bang amazing sex lives just through vaginal intercourse alone, please understand that that is not the sexual reality most couples express. Over all, couples having satisfying sex lives tend to keep the sexual activities they do pretty mixed up, rather than only doing one or two things.

Lastly, be sure you are also leaving room for the fact that everyone's libidos vary: not everyone wants to have sex more than once in a session or more than once a day: some people don't want sex more than once a week or even once a month or two.

Often, in sexual partnerships, you're not going to wind up with a situation where both partners always miraculously want exactly as much sex as the other, or always want to have sex at exactly the same times. Rather, we will usually have some level of difference and just need to find a happy medium. To assure that no one is having sex when they do not want to -- talk about an unhealthy sex life! -- it's best to default to the person who wants sex less often. For example, if in a given couple, Sue really wants sex three times a week, but Joe only wants it once, you're going to want to defer to Joe's preferences. If Sue feels like she just wants more than that, she's got her own two hands or her sex toys, and if what she really wants more of is just general physical affection, Joe is likely to be down with more hugs and snuggles and kisses if he's not so keen on having more genital sex. Again, there are a world of ways of demonstrating our feelings for an about someone else: sex is just one of them, and no one way is better than another.

I'm sure that with a little more information, an adjusted perspective and some compassionate conversation, you two will be able to work this out and find some patterns that work out just right for both of you.

Here are some additional links for you to consider with all of this:

written 29 Oct 2008 . updated 20 Jan 2009

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