“The behavior of a human being in sexual matters is often a prototype for the whole of his other modes of reaction in life.” Sigmund Freud

There are many good reasons to slow sex down but without question, the most meaningful is that we can bridge the orgasm gap through extending lovemaking time. The orgasm gap is the misunderstood and often overlooked time span that most women require to turn on their arousal mechanism in comparison to their male partner.  It’s easy for sex to become  just one more thing that we rush through- immersed, as we are in a culture where we are always on the go, double-booked and multitasking.  And it is no surprise that so many people report that their sexual activity lasts for an average of 7 minutes, with a shocking 50% of men reporting that their sex encounters last for a mere TWO MINUTES.

It’s no wonder that sexual dissatisfaction runs rampant, given how little time and attention we offer to our erotic potential. Millions of couples, like the ones portrayed in the first episode of EASY, desperately are trying to reignite a spark between them, while simultaneously treating our arousal mechanism like it is a microwave oven.  The tragic thing is that even for the men who can manage to climax in this brief window of time, it carries a heavy cost. Instead of cultivating a focus on feeling more pleasure, this race to the finish only serves to drive performance anxiety and cuts women off from any pleasure at all. Read more about my take on Easy here.

For many women who are unfamiliar with their own pleasure anatomy and perceive themselves as sexualized objects instead of knowing how to access their own sexuality, the microwave fast sex approach leaves them not only cold, but often nursing sexual pain in its aftermath.  While sexual arousal begins within the mind, it actually physiologically transforms and prepares the vagina for penetration. Without an activated arousal response, women experience both consistently painful penetration and the belief that her partner’s pleasure is sufficient to call the sex good.

Not expecting to be pleasured is something women learn over years. I recently sat next to a 65 year old woman on a plane who described to me how she had never been with a man who cared about her pleasure until now, two marriages later. She also shared that perhaps one time in her 30s she had an orgasm by herself, but had no real idea how to explore or celebrate her own orgasmic potential (I gave her a few tips). Although it would be comforting to dismiss her experience as generational, Peggy Orenstein’s recent expose in her novel Girls & Sex, tells us otherwise. Most young millennial women still don’t expect to be pleasured themselves, causing a repetition of their mothers and grandmothers resigned sexual truth: “Well it was good for him… so that’s enough for me.”

Often, attending to the orgasm gap makes sex better for everyone. By taking the focus off of male climax and treating arousal like the slow cooker it actually is, we discover that truly memorable passion as a result of time and attention. I remember one young teenage boy texting me at the beginning of his sexual life and asking me, “Does fingering even do anything?”   Mostly his question clarifies and continues to remind me the many ways that both sexes often don’t understand the powerful range of visceral sensations that touch can generate.

So here are five tips to simmer your erotic life to a passionate boil:

  1. Grow the erotic space- Slowing down sex means that we start to pay attention to our flirtatious, erotic longings when we enter the intimate space. Foreplay is sex too.  And learning to master the many gymnastic capacities of pleasure hidden in our fingertips is crazy sexy.
  1. Discover new erogenous areas- Any body part slippery is way more erotic than that same spot dry. Use a high quality oil or lubricant and take note of how it feels to rub the temples, the nape of the neck, the inner thighs, and the sacrum. Sexual pleasure spots exist all over the body and each one heightens genital response.
  1. Learn to savor with flavor- One of my favorite sex treats is soaking berries or other sliced fruit in a small shot of plum brandy. The combination of sweetness and fire is an excellent metaphor for actually tasting your partner while you kiss.
  1. Expand your olfactory capacity- Our sense of smell is the leader for heightened sexual pleasure. Where we register scent in the brain is also where we process our sexual response (along with our emotions and memory). Discover the power of aphrodisiac essential oil scents to bring arousal to a whole new level.
  1. Slow down intercourse- Try using different types of penetration strokes, creating patterns that both partners can count and follow. Begin with multiple shallow penetration strokes and then add one deep. Space the deep ones as far apart as you can for as long as you can; it will surprise you and also bring you closer together during intercourse.