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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » "What do guys/girls like?"

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Author Topic: "What do guys/girls like?"
Molias
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I've seen variations on this question from several users across our direct services lately, so I wanted to start a conversation about it here, as it turns out that pretty much all of these related questions have the same answer.

Anytime you're wondering how to best please a particular sexual partner, what they would enjoy the most, or how to help them enjoy sex more, the answer will always be: you have to ask them. We have a lot of folks turning to us for the answer, when the fact is that we are, sadly, not psychics.

If asking these questions directly sounds unsexy or too intimidating, I'd encourage you to give yourself a push and do it anyway; this sort of communication is vital to building and maintaining a healthy relationship. We do have a great article on communication that might be of help here: Be a Blabbermouth! The Whats, Whys and Hows of Talking About Sex With a Partner

If, having read that, you still just can't bring yourself to ask those questions of a partner (or bring up and share your own answers as well), then you & your partner may not be ready to be sexual with each other at all right now.

Sometimes we're asked what women or men like in general; when the questions are "how can I please a man sexually" or "how can I get a girl to date me," those are just as impossible for us to give a definitive answer to. When you're talking about entire populations, not individual people, the best we can do is make generalizations that are unlikely to be helpful.

There might be an average formula of "girls like to be kissed in this way, with your hands in positions x and y," but that doesn't mean any girls you run into will be particularly thrilled with it. And it doesn't feel great to realize that a romantic or sexual partner is interacting with you according to a formula they heard about somewhere. Despite what some pick-up artists on the internet may tell you, there's no sure-fire conversational pattern that will win you dates.

The key here is to remember that everyone in a given population is a person, and no matter what else you do, you'll have people respond to you more positively if you treat them as such.
To get back to my first point, the way to know if a specific person likes or doesn't like something is to ask. Assuming all people in any large group have the same shared interests, desires, or anatomy will do you a pretty big disservice in the long run.

It's fine to think about past experience as a starting point: "my last two boyfriends really liked when I kissed them like this, so I'll kiss my date that way when get to the smoochy part of the evening" is a pretty reasonable train of thought. But if the hypothetical partner here says "oh hey, can I show you how I love to be kissed?" it's important to take that as face value vs. assuming you know better than he does due to the other people who liked kissing your way.

Here are some articles that address questions along this vein that we are often asked:
Left Foot, Red, Right Hand, Green: The Deal on Sex Positions
The Rules of Ooohs and Ahhhs (Hint: There Aren't Any)

[ 06-16-2014, 05:52 PM: Message edited by: Molias ]

Posts: 1352 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
acb
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Hey Molias! I was just wondering what kind of discussion you were after on this topic more specifically - is it about personal sexual preferences or cultural dialogues about what people are 'supposed to' like in bed or what? It's just that I was wondering if it would be a good idea for people to list what they find attractive in a more general relationship with/ interest in a partner sense rather than a physically sexually interacting with someone sense to show the diversity present there but I don't want to hijack the topic if you had something else in mind!
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Molias
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Hi acb, I'm happy with this going in any direction at all! I really just wanted to make a note about this in general, as I've had a lot of questions come up recently. It can be helpful to reframe one's approach to dating, relationships, and sex if one is caught up in the idea that there's a gendered script to any of it.

For sure, there are some cultural ideas about how this "should" go, and I understand that it can be easy to pick up the idea that it's less acceptable for women to initiate relationships or sex, or that men love oral sex above all other types of sex, etc. But when I hear those generalizations I want to get out my big flag to wave that says "don't assume any of this!!!"
A lot of these message come from sources I find pretty suspect; many magazines, advice columns, tv shows, etc. present ideas about dating that I find simplistic at best and downright offensive at worst.

Any thoughts you have are definitely welcome. [Smile]

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acb
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Well, a lot of the time when I've been unable to find a partner I'm happy with, especially when I still lived in a rural area where there wasn't much diversity, I found it really hard to believe that there were women who initiated relationships or men who didn't think sex was the be all and end all of relationships and even though people would keep saying 'Don't worry, there are loads of people out there who find opinionated women with sporadically shaved legs attractive!' all I could think was 'WHERE ARE THEY?'

Maybe it'd be cool for people to state their gender and then say what they find attractive in a partner so there's some of that diversity on record for people who're having trouble having faith in the idea that there's more out there than the typical dating script we're given.

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