This article explores the sexual and psychological dynamics in a heterosexual relationship. However, in same-sex and other non-heterosexual relationships, these dynamics can still apply. One partner can also ‘role play’ a different gender.
It’s all in the timing
It frustrates me that, when it comes to intimate pleasure, society often regards men as generally being interested in just one thing — fucking. The frustration I hear most from my female clients is the lack of time taken and imagination by men in foreplay before sexual intercourse.
No doubt, most men do love penetrative sex, whether it be with a female or another male. From a biological and anthropological perspective, regular intercourse is what men are programmed to seek. For hundreds of thousands of years as hunter-gatherers, the homo sapiens’ primary function was to survive and reproduce to ensure survival. The processes to achieve this are deeply embedded in humans even today. However, this ancient reproductive strategy now often comes into conflict with current lifestyle, culture, morality, and belief systems, and today's expectation of sexual monogamy conflicts with the million years of evolved biology.
Until DNA testing, a male could not, with absolute certainty, know he had fathered offspring, so nature has embodied the male with an unconscious sense of sexual urgency, causing him to seek out receptive females and to take every available opportunity to impregnate. Consequently, men get turned on easily, have sex fast, then fall asleep, recover, and are ready to do it again, sometimes within the hour!
Wow, slow down, fella!
Compare this to the female’s natural arousal cycle, which is slower and involves both physiological and psychological processes. For her, sex is not a one-hit-wonder, but much more of a strategic and, of course, pleasurable endeavour. Nature requires that the female seeks out multiple sexual partners to ensure matching biology and, at the same time, maximise long-term support and protection. So, the more males she has sex with, the better chance of choosing the right biological match and a healthy child. And, since none of the males knows if they are the actual biological father, they all have a vested interest in taking care of her and the offspring. In a hunter-gatherer society, this created a remarkably cohesive and interconnected primal community where all the males protected the females and children on the possibility that one of the infants carried their genes.
Foreplay matters — a lot!
However, since we now live in a predominantly sexually and emotionally monogamous society, this primal time frame does not work anymore, and the result is many females now find themselves reliant on one male's agenda, sexual skills, and attributes. No wonder 75% of my female clients express their frustration with the lack of foreplay they receive before sex. If their male partner has not invested in expanding his sexual arousal time frame to match that of the female, this will often lead to disappointment at best and, at worst, lack arousal and an elusive orgasm for the female. Poor sexual education, limited sexual experience, or merely sexual selfishness are often reasons why many men are criticised for their lack of creativity and confidence when giving foreplay.
A cocktail of connection
There is so much more to sexuality than just reproductive urges. When men and women are touched and aroused, their bodies produce a cocktail of hormones and neurotransmitters: oxytocin, testosterone, vasopressin, dopamine, and the less-known kisspeptin. This cocktail of chemistry is designed to arouse and stimulate both the mind and body. How this is achieved in men is often initially through visual stimulation and touch, particularly erotic touch. It may come as a surprise, but many men enjoy intimate physical contact as much as penetrative sex itself if the truth is told. And many men can’t perform sexually as confidently as they want to if they do not feel a close connection with their partner (be it female, male, or any other gender).
So, why, then, do so many men not invest time in learning how to give better foreplay? Because, ironically, men are afraid of disapproval and will only do what comes easy — penetrative sex. Paradoxically, allow a man to expand and develop his sexual repertoire and eureka! He will discover a whole world of sensual pleasure that he was never aware of.
The universal pleasure of intimate touch
That well-known adage “women have a higher threshold of pain than men” is partially correct. The physiological challenges on the female body during childbirth and the consequent hormonal mechanisms make this necessary. Conversely, it may be that men have a lower threshold of feeling pleasure than women. The triggers to become aroused are, in the male, faster than in the female.
I have noticed through having given thousands of sensual massages to men and women that, in the arousal stakes, male bodies generally react and arouse faster to touch than female bodies. When giving a sensual massage to a man, I find that after about 5-10 minutes into the massage, I start to see and often hear evidence of arousal. When his back gets stroked or I scratch my nails on his buttocks or inner thighs or massage his scalp, oxytocin is released, resulting in a spontaneous response causing him to give pleasurable sounds and movement, and very quickly an erection develops. Additionally, gently stroking his testicles will also give him a fantastic high, as this most sensitive and precious part of the male body appears to be directly wired to the brain that, when touched, causes an even more powerful rush of hormones, giving him an amazing feeling of trust and connection.
As the massage unfolds and these hormones and neurotransmitters flood the body, his response to the touch becomes even more evident, and so does his need for connection. His hand reaching out to touch is not a predatory sexual approach, but more a need to connect and feel approval. Ask him to describe this feeling and often, adjectives such as intimate, safe, naturing, and trusting will be expressed.
When a man feels this acceptance and approval, he naturally becomes even more aroused. From a reproductive perspective, if a male is not accepted by a female sexually, then he does not get the chance to reproduce, and his genes are not passed on. To be touched or to have his touch accepted is, in essence, the first step to securing his genetic line. So, guys, explain to your wife, girlfriend, partner, masseur, escort, etc., that you like to be stroked, tickled, touched, massaged. Explain to them why touching them in return is important to you — and I do not mean using a predatory grab or grope, but a tender, meaningful touch to help you feel accepted.
How bad is bad?
When running live group sensual massage workshops, I ask the male and female participants this question: “if you had a choice to receive either bad clitoral masturbation from your male partner or no clitoral masturbation, which would you choose?” Almost all women reply, “no masturbation; if it can’t be done well, then don’t do it at all.”
The same question put to men gives a very different response: “hmm, how bad is bad?” Meaning, any touch is a good touch. These two replies highlight the fundamental differences between the male and female sexual dynamic. Women seek to be desired. Do it well and make an effort, or don’t do it at all. Whereas, for men, it’s approval they seek. Whether it’s the size of his car, bank balance, penis, personality, or intimate, trusting touch — approval will turn him on.
95% of men agree with this statement
“The most important aspect of receiving a sensual massage from another man or woman is knowing that they are enjoying giving the massage to me.” In other words, her pleasure turns him on.
From prim to primal — releasing female sexual energies
When I give sensual massage to a female, the response to my touch is much slower and sedate. The female who immediately displays a reaction is the exception. Usually, it is about 30 minutes into the massage before I begin to see the effects of my touch. Even at this point, the responses are gradual. Maybe some movement and sounds, but it is not until the full erotic stimulation takes place that I see what I call “The Flip” when the demure deb explodes into the erotic animal.
Again, this is evidence of oxytocin’s effect, but on the female body, it acts differently. It stimulates arousal but, at the same time, heightens her awareness — an “I like what you are doing, but let me check you out first” feeling. When this passes, and if my touch is accepted and she feels safe and trusting, her 21st-century decorum soon deserts her, caution rolls away, and her primal energies explode.
Get inside their head and free their body
Don’t let it ever be said that women are less sexual than men. In my experience, how men and women enjoy sexual arousal is fundamentally different. To become an expert sexual partner with someone of the opposite gender, try to think yourself into their mind.
Women should never hold back; don’t be nervous about asking him for guidance, what he likes, how he wants it. The more inquisitive and spontaneous a female is, the more excited the man will become. The more she takes her pleasure, the more pleasurable it will be for him. But never give something because you feel you have to; he will notice this reticence, and it will turn him off. Only give what you enjoy giving, and show him it gives you pleasure — even to the point of orgasm.
When giving to a woman, a man should undoubtedly respect and maintain any limits and boundaries she may have, but never ask for guidance. Avoid constantly checking she is OK, as this can come off as a lack of desire, or even weakness. She wants you to explore and adventure her body, to take her on a journey of erotic surprise. Make her feel desired and wanted, but always able to say stop.
Why learn to give a sensual massage?
I have now taught over 500 men and women to give sensual massage to their partners. Straight, bisexual, gay, lesbian, and more — many have come to me asking to learn the skills to slow down the lovemaking to expand and explore more pleasure for both their partner and themselves. Sensual massage is the perfect vehicle to use as the basis for giving an erotic journey before penetrative sex takes place, whether it’s between partners or used as a method to expand a sexual relationship by bringing in a third party or another couple. Giving one another sensual erotic touch can be immensely satisfying to the point that penetration is not essential. In other words, fun can be had whilst maintaining some sacrosanct areas to the individual or couple until they are ready to go that far.
Erotic flavours and textures
Think of the massage as the table on which the Smorgasbord buffet is placed, and the dishes on the table are the techniques and erotic sensations that can be explored. As if exploring an erotic buffet, one can pick and choose what to include and indulge in according to the sexual appetite and hunger of the moment, and the roast meats don't have to be eaten every time!