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He refuses to believe that I need foreplay!

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Anonymous asks:

My boyfriend doesn't understand that females need foreplay first before we have sex. He just thinks it's okay to "put it in and off we go". I've tried to explain to him that females need foreplay, but he doesn't believe me. He thinks just because he is "hard" I should be too. I'm trying to find some articles based on facts that females DO need stimulation before having sex, but to no avail. Can someone point me in the right direction please?

Heather Corinna replies:

Know what?

Even if NO other woman besides you in all of human history (which you and I know isn't anything remotely close to the truth) needed or wanted other sexual activities before intercourse, the fact that YOU do should be all a partner needs to know.

With someone who is being a good partner, when it comes down to a bonafide partnership? It is all they will ever need to know, and you will only have to say it once. The good news is that most people who truly care for you and who have the kind of maturity and mutual respect intimate relationships require will be that way.

You should not have to statistically prove wants or needs to a partner to have them met, or need to back them up with evidence that others have the same wants and needs. That's just ridiculous.

A partner asking someone to do that is being a jerk, particularly since he could do that research himself (and easily find what you're saying widely represented) if he wanted extra information while still honoring your needs in the meantime. If he's not believing this, it's because he either just doesn't want to, or because he's hoping that you'll just let your own wants and needs go out of frustration so he can get what he wants for himself. Yuck.

When we choose to have a partner for any kind of sex, if we want sex to be healthy and really about something we're doing together, we need to be taking both our sets of wants and needs into account. In order to do that, we need to listen to your partners and put value in what they are communicating to us, even if what they express stands counter to our previous sexual experiences, to our ideas about sex or to what are known to be common experiences among others of the same sex, gender, or any other group to which our partner belongs. Obviously, all of this needs to go both ways: we need to be doing this for partners, and they for us.

Do some women NOT want or need other sexual activities before intercourse -- always or sometimes -- and even find intercourse to be their foreplay for other activities? Yes, but that tends to be the exception rather than the rule.

If vaginal intercourse is all your boyfriend is interested in, and only in exactly the way he wants it, in time, he may just find a female partner who shares that same singular desire...but it's not very likely, nor is that relationship likely to be with a person with a decent measure of esteem. Even for women who find that feels good for them without other activities or before other activities, they will often have other needs as well (and need more of their body and selves engaged in sex beyond their vaginas for sex to be interesting, let alone pleasurable) and ant the intercourse they're having to only occur when they are also aroused and interested, not just when a male partner is. Just because two people are similar in what they like sexually still doesn't mean they will miraculously both always be aroused at the same time or at the same pace.

The majority of women, like you, do want and need other sexual activity before any kind of vaginal entry for that vaginal sex to be both comfortable and pleasurable or instead of intercourse altogether. The majority of women will not and do not orgasm from intercourse alone, and some women (and some men) don't even like intercourse at all or have any interest in intercourse or vaginal entry. That -- as well as the fact that not all women are heterosexual -- is one reason why even the term "foreplay" is problematic: it tends to define "real" sex only as intercourse, which is patently flawed since a) lots of kinds of sex are sex, not just intercourse, b) lots of people's sex lives don't include intercourse and/or c) defining intercourse as sex and everything else as foreplay is primarily based in defining sex based on what a majority of men want and enjoy, rather than on what all people, collectively, wants and enjoy. If you want to hear someone else besides me riffing on this, I like the way that Cory Silverberg has discussed that here.

As well, for plenty of men, intercourse alone doesn't do the trick either, nor do men always feel ready to just go into intercourse all the time. We can also say that in order for women to be comfortable with any kind of sex with a partner, they generally need to be with partners who are invested in their pleasure and comfort, and don't nag or argue with them to have a sexuality or sexual desires which fall in perfect step with what their partners want for themselves.

I'm going to be particularly blunt: if your boyfriend won't listen to what you need, refuses to believe you, and also refuses to accept what is very common among women sexually because he wants what he wants when he wants it and can't be sussed to take your needs into account....you need to dump this guy as a sexual partner. In fact, I'm surprised you're here asking for this proof at all: I would have shown the guy the door already.

If it's gotten to the point where you're online gathering statistics to present a burden of proof when what you need alone should be all he needs, at this point the dynamic in your sexual relationship is probably pretty ooky and doesn't feel at all good for you emotionally. In order to feel good emotionally in intimate settings -- as well as to find sexual satisfaction -- most of us need to feel listened to and acknowledged.

You will not need to do what you are doing right now with a partner with more emotional maturity, with a partner who is truly invested in your pleasure and with sharing your sexuality together, and with someone according you more respect. I promise. So, rather than seeking out files to create a dossier to prove your needs are valid, I'd strongly suggest you instead put your time and energy in a better place, with a better partner (or, with being on your own until a better one comes along) who KNOWS your needs are valid just because you say they are and experience those needs. In a nutshell, your boyfriend is being a turd, and not remotely demonstrating that he wants sex to be about both of you. He wants it to be all about him, which is what masturbation is for, not sex with someone else.

Now, if you need to have more information on what's common for women for yourself, or want to toss a pile of documentation at this guy as you say toodle-oo, I'd suggest getting your hands on Shere's Hite's The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality. You can read Shere Hite recently bringing this up again online if you like at On The Issues here. You can also refer to Our Bodies, Ourselves, by the Boston Women's Health Collective, Orgasms for Two or Sex for One by Betty Dodson, The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex by Anne Semans and Cathy Winks, The Clitoral Truth by Rebecca Chalker, For Women Only: A Revolutionary Guide to Reclaiming Your Sex Life by Jennifer Berman, Laura Berman, and Elisabeth Bumiller, She Comes First by Ian Kerner or... well, ANY sound reference on women's sexuality written in the last 30 years. At this point, you're going to have a hard time finding a book where this isn't made clear even in sexuality books geared to heterosexual men.

But as far as the boyfriend goes? If he won't take your word on what you need -- you're the expert on you after all, and he's not sleeping with all other women, he's sleeping with you -- it's time to send him packing, in my book. In time, he will likely discover that most women he's going to date are going to stand counter to his ideas and singular wants just like you do, but there's just no need for you to waste your time and suffer until he gets that clue or figures out that many women are not going to debate with him about what they need.

So, howsabout you let him (hopefully) eventually get a clue while you find yourself a bonafide partner who already gets it?

Here are a few more links to round this all out:

written 07 Sep 2008 . updated 19 Jan 2009

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