Great sex for women is pretty simple, said Columbus sex therapist Cynthia Lief Ruberg, a licensed clinical counselor.
“Men make friends with their penises; women don’t do that with their bodies. And that affects their sexual response.”
A woman is taught early on to be at war with her body, which is not the same message men receive. And, no matter her age, a woman is far more critical of herself than her partner is of her, according to Ruberg.
“Women sabotage themselves,” she said. “What turns men on is a partner who’s interesting and is interested in sex. If a woman likes sex and she’s interested in sex with him, it doesn’t matter if she’s a size four or not.”
Ruberg has treated women who are very comfortable with their bodies, no matter what they look like, and those women have great sex—but they’re in the minority. Typically, she said, women are disconnected from their bodies and embarrassed during sex.
“I hear a lot of women say they don’t want to be on top because the guy will see something bad. But, women orgasm better when they’re on top,” Ruberg said. “If a woman is embarrassed by her body, she’ll become a spectator during sex and end up watching her body instead of being in the moment, which robs her of the sensation she needs.”
There are many ways for a woman to get comfortable during sex.
“First, women have to make friends with their body,” Ruberg said. “I tell women to nickname their bodies so they are more loving towards them.”
A woman should also figure out what makes her feel good in bed—all by herself. Then she can effectively communicate what she likes to her partner. Ruberg said diet and exercise seem to help with that.
“Exercise is really helpful. It gets people more in tune with their body,” she said. “Eat clean, exercise, turn yourself on. If a woman is going to orgasm it’s because she knows how to do it and how to make it happen.
“Men don’t know. They only know their own bodies. If a man thinks he knows, he doesn’t, unless he’s been taught,” Ruberg continued. “Women have to teach guys what they like and then they will be much happier. She has to take control.”
Being educated about the things that affect your health and sex life as you age is also an important component to better sex, according to Ruberg, who said the two biggest factors are birth control pills and anti-depressants.
“That’s a double whammy if you take both. Both interfere with sex drive and response, and a lot of women don’t realize that. Hormones trump everything. Get off hormones and get an IUD that is not hormonal. You might be surprised that you actually have a sex drive.”
And most women will have a healthy sex drive all the way through their late-40s and early-50s, barring the stress of marriage and children.
“The most common thing I see is couples who have fulltime jobs and little kids. And then sex for the woman becomes another thing she has to do,” Ruberg said. “If a woman feels that way, it’s going to affect her marriage, and the couple becomes disconnected. Then we see sexual avoidance. The longer they stay in avoidance behavior the harder it is to get back.”
Perimenopause and menopause also affect sex drive, she said, due to a huge drop in estrogen.
“That affects the way women feel about themselves. It affects skin, vaginal dryness and sex drive. Nothing is what it used to be,” she continued. “The hardest time is perimenopause, which can last from five to 10 years as hormones go up and down. Once that’s over with, women can usually still respond sexually, but in general they need help.”
“Overall, if a woman is attracted to her partner and she feels good about her relationship, she will have a good sexual response,” Ruberg said. “A woman just needs to be comfortable with herself and in touch with her body.”
Assume the Position
Who they’re best for and how to get comfortable doing them. Let’s face it, any of these positions are good for anyone—if you like sex, you’ve probably tried them all. But there are some positions that are just naturally better for certain bodies.
Ride ‘em cowgirl—face forward, reverse or on a chair
Helpful for: Couples with substantial height differences, tall girls, shorter penises.
Orgasm meter: 10! The best position for achieving orgasm is when you’re on top. The lady controls the speed, depth of the penis and hip movement.
What to do: The guy sits; you ride. On a chair, use your feet against the ground to leverage your body weight up and down. If your legs are bent under and you’re having trouble connecting your bits to his, do it on a soft surface that lets your legs—and your pelvis—sink lower. On a hard surface, put a pillow under his butt to lift his pelvis.
Body-image concerns: All the bouncing!
Body-image tips: A great corset or lingerie can ease your mind about anything jiggling that shouldn’t. But honestly, he probably likes to watch a little bouncing. This is a great opportunity to focus on letting go and watching how your bounciness turns him on.
Who let the dogs out? Hopefully you did.
Helpful for: Couples with substantial height differences, when either or both partners are heavier or when you’re looking for deep penetration.
Orgasm meter: 9 – Doggie-style allows the woman or the man to easily stimulate all the erogenous zones while thrusting.
What to do: We don’t really have to tell you, do we? Just be careful—if a man is well-endowed, this position could go from “Yay!” to “Call 9-1-1!” real quick. A guy with large assets should show some restraint in how deep he goes, waiting for his partner to let him know the limits.
Body-image concerns: Gravity pushes everything on your front downward. So when he goes to feel you up, he may grab something you don’t want him to.
Body-image tips: Again, a corset or lingerie can ease your mind about anything hanging that shouldn’t. But if you have a headboard, we recommend grabbing it and arching your back a bit, which will elongate your front and smooth things out a bit. Plus, opening your chest and getting a little stretch can add to your orgasm.
Spoon me, baby
Helpful for: Couples with substantial height differences, when either or both partners are heavier or when you’re looking to reduce penetration, particularly for a longer penis.
Orgasm meter: 8 – Because the woman’s erogenous zones aren’t as accessible, you may need to do a little extra stimulation to get there.
What to do: Your partner spoons you from behind. In this position, penetration is reduced, which helps when your man is well-endowed. Free hands can roam where they please.
Body-image concerns: Not many! A lot of your perceived flaws are under wraps in this position.
Body-image tips: Stop thinking about your body and just enjoy his free hand.
Missionary—it’s not dull, you guys
Helpful for: Anyone.
Orgasm meter: ? – Depends on what you do with it! A couple of variations for a great orgasm: if your guy lies with his pelvis right against yours and grinds instead of thrusts OR he stands on his knees and you have access to pleasing yourself.
What to do: There are many variations to missionary, from your legs being on his shoulders for greater penetration or him pushing his pelvis flat against yours. The key to missionary is experimentation!
Body-image concerns: Your right boob goes one way and your left boob goes the other.
Body-image tips: Putting your hands over your head typically brings the girls back home, and the added stretch may help bring a better orgasm. You can also grab your girls and go to town—or better yet, let him do that! That’s what he’s there for. Once you stop worrying about what they look like, you can let him do his job—making you feel good.