Why New Sex Is The Best Sex
By Dr. Sari Locker
Playboy May 1997 (Cover story)
Whether it's awkward and rushed or sleepy and languid, lovemaking at the beginning of a relationship can pride exciting moments and vivid memories. As two people grow more accustomed to each other's bodies and more practiced in pleasing each other, they establish an intimacy that will inform all future sex acts. Call it the primal bond.
Most of what you hear about new sex are the problems—the imperatives of safe sex, the communication difficulties, and how it takes a while to get it right. But even bad sex has its rewards—working out the kinks will pay dividends in the future.
You can experience the most awesome aspects of new sex once you learn how to feel uninhibited with a new partner and how to overcome performance problems.
As a sex educator, I have interviewed thousands of people. When the subject turns to mindblowing sex, a common source is lust at first sight. Women like to feel swept away by the passion of such meetings. A friend of mine says the fastest she fell for a man was the time she met a guy on the subway. They struck up a flirtatious conversation, then decided to get off at he same stop. After having coffee together, they went for a long walk and spent the rest of the day together. That night they went to his place and had sex. "I was totally ravenous and aggressive, " she told me. "I put my mouth all over his body. I think if I had known him better I wouldn't have been so uninhibited." I believe they had a great encounter because they were wrapped up in the risk and uncertainty of acting on impulse, which brings me to my first topic.
Impulse Shopping Around
It's not uncommon for people to feel aroused when they're convinced they have found destiny with a stranger. A woman once told me about going to a party and hitting it off with a guy she had just met. They started making out in a not-so-secluded corner. On the ride home, she discovered that he was much younger than she and that he was the son of a vice president at her workplace. While she says that she had no idea of his lineage when they were making out, she later realized that there was a familiarity about his face that did make her feel comfortable with him.
There may not be such a thing as destiny, but it's still hot to feel an instant attraction for a stranger. As long as you feel that undeniable heat, you don't have to worry about where it's coming from. Bonding with someone slightly mysterious is the stuff of fantasies. A single woman I interviewed told me that on Friday nights she often masturbates to sleep with the fantasy of having sex with a stranger. On those nights, she says, she is assured of a good time. Because she had always enjoyed the fantasy, she decided to act on it. So she went to a bar, picked up a guy and had sex with him. She was disappointed the sex was awkward and uncomfortable. However, knowing that she could pick up someone only made her fantasy stronger. She still masturbates to it on Friday nights.
Men also report that anonymous sex can be a bummer. Many are concerned with the repercussions: "She says she is cool with casual sex," men say, "but how can I trust that she won't pursue me?" Men worry that the women will want a relationship. In fact, it may not be AIDS that scares people most about sex with strangers—it's psychotic stalkers. Maybe I watch too many made-for-TV movies, but I think more people are afraid of getting robbed or even killed during a one-night stand than getting an STD or getting pregnant.
You have no doubt heard a million times that communication is an important aspect of a new relationship, but it isn't everything. No matter how much you talk, you'll know if you're physically compatible only by having sex. If you're not, you have two options: (1) choose to break up or (2) work on your sex life. So why not find out early? People get comfortable with sex; psychological closeness follows physical closeness. Sex is a creative way to get to know someone.
Now, I'm not telling you not to talk when you're ready. But often, people try to settle relationship issues before they put the work into having good sex. They get waylaid by whether to commit to each other, the length of past relationships, how much free time they have, whether or not they want to meet each other's friends.
You can maintain the excitement of a new relationship by allowing your partner to learn about you from experience, not from rhetoric. About a year ago, I went to dinner with a man I had met on an airplane. We were discussing our backgrounds, when out of nowhere he started talking about sex. Before the appetizer had arrived, he had given me his entire sexual history, complete with the names of the four women he'd slept with and details such as "She had to be on top to come." Baffled, I confronted him by saying, "I never asked." He said, "I thought you'd like me more because I haven't slept with that many women." What a turnoff. Sure, it was nice that he hadn't been with 500 women, but it was ridiculous for him to tell me about his sexual past without me so much as asking about his previous girlfriend. Forget sex—we never went on a second date.
We all tend to talk about how broken-hearted we were at one time. Belabor the point, and you won't come across as being sensitive, you'll come across as a jerk. Don't talk about your exes; she could get jealous and obsess about them. Some of the things I've heard men tell women such as "I've never been in love" or "I need a lot of women, so I can't commit" are insanely put and badly timed. Instead, express yourself physically: Stroke her arm as she talks to you. Pull her close. Smile.
A turning point in new relationships usually occurs when a couple first discusses condom use. You do not need to discuss details of past partners. People lie so always use a condom. In my book, Mindblowing Sex in the Real World, I point to some interesting statistics. A study of college students found that more than 50 percent of those infected with an STD reported they had unprotected sex while they knew they were infected, and nearly a quarter of them lied to their partners about it. Whether or not you can transmit or receive a disease is not necessarily about the past. It's about you and your new lover in the present. Will you use condoms effectively? Will either of you cheat? These questions are for today and the future.
Never say, "I don't want to use a condom because I want to feel you." It makes the woman think you are trying to manipulate her into risky sex. Rather, say, "I want to and will use a condom, but I'll be imagining that it's skin on skin."
Don't Bum Rush The Show
Rushing through the main event is a mistake many people make during first times together. Think of it this way: Most guys like to fantasize about different women—mostly women they haven't been with. Well, a first time is what you've been dreaming about. Doesn't that make it worth doing for a while? After all—and this is for all the guys who say wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am—you shouldn't try to sleep with someone just to add her to your mental scrapbook. You can always masturbate, but how many times do you get to sleep with a new woman?
The first time you have sex, let the desire linger. Get her hot, wet and ready before you penetrate her. Tease her. Massage her thighs. Rub her ass. Lick and nibble her labia. Stroke her vulva. Put the head of your penis at the entrance to her vagina, exert a tiny bit of pressure so she thinks you're going in, then move away and start kissing her neck, her chest and all the way down her body again. Make her want you more than she could possibly imagine. Make her beg to have you inside her. Women who have experienced this have all told me the same thing: "My whole body was shaking. I wanted him so badly."
Make the first moment of penetration memorable: Say her name or give her a long, slow kiss at the same time. Women have said to me, "I will never forget the first time with him. He held my face in his hands and looked into my eyes as he entered me. He slid in slowly. I gasped. Then he kissed me once he was all the way in. He made me remember that moment. With so many other guys, I was just lying there, staring at the ceiling."
Use The Force, Luke
Realistically, there are times when new sex is incredibly awkward. Try to redirect the nervousness into intensity. Remember that if there weren't a chance of failure, it wouldn't be so exciting. Awkward is as awkward does—try to act like you know what you're doing. If you panic and begin to think, I can't cope with this vast wasteland of pubic hair, remember that you'll have to wait until 2001 if I didn't ask for it. And while some guys are better than others, it almost never feels bad. So do it.
If the best sex you ever had was when you fucked an old girlfriend from behind while watching Sportscenter, I would suggest that you not do that with your new lover. To set an appropriate mood, just remember to please all five senses. Don't smell like a stale cigar, taste like beer, watch ESPN, listen to gangsta rap or let her feel crusty sheets. Though she doesn't want you to be a nancy-boy, some soothing turn-ons you could try are a stick of incense, or mood lighting, or champagne. Here's one of the best ideas I've heard for helping a new lover get to know your body: Blindfold her and tie her hands behind her back. Put a drop of honey on your body and tell her to find it with her tongue. Doesn't that sound sweet? Be sure to reciprocate.
Once you are past the dinner-and- movie-date stage, one of the best and most popular ways to spend an evening is watching a video. There's nothing better than going to a video store together. Your instinct with a new girlfriend may be to rent a chick flick, such as Il Postino or Sense and Sensibility. But get a sexy one, too. Think Body Heat, Exotica or Last Tango in Paris. Avoid Blockbuster, because there's no X-rated section for her to drift into. You would be surprised at how many women suggest renting a porno tape.
I once knew a guy who always told his dates that the TV in his living room wasn't working, so they'd have to watch the one in the bedroom. If you have only one TV, move it into the bedroom. You could say, "I've never seen that film 91/2 Weeks. And look, there's all this food in my fridge!"
Sex Toy Story
Because the erotic charge is strong in the early weeks, you can eventually break out the food, handcuffs or tantric sex moves. Part of new sex is bonding and establishing a rhythm, so don't jump the gun. The best time to start using sex toys is when you're starting to feel comfortable but not yet stuck in a routine. One woman told me that she once walked into her new boyfriend's room to find him sitting on his bed holding handcuffs and smiling. She thought, Ooh, creepy. What's he thinking, that I've never seen handcuffs before? Why isn't he saying anything? Don't suddenly reach under the bed and cuff her. She will wonder where you got them and who you used them on last (women can be bitchy that way). The key is to work in an intermediate step. Talk about it during sex but save the actual cuffing for the next time. Try tying her with cloth before you get to metal. One woman might like hearing that you want to tie her up so she can lie back and enjoy it; another may think that's too passive. If she's a bit tougher, you could tell her that she can tie you up afterwards—make it sound rough-and-tumble.
Be careful bringing up the topic of threesomes. Women know this is a favorite male fantasy, but in the beginning, she'll want to focus on you, not her cute girlfriend. Also, maintain your privacy about your past when it comes to turn-ons and fantasies. Since you are stripping away the mystery as you talk, you need to do things to keep sex light and adventurous.
Pay attention to the signals she sends. If she says, "I love it when you kiss my neck," then do it. Many men say, "I'm not going to do that. I want to prove that I can be creative and that I can make a woman feel good without being told how." Come on, give her credit for saying what she wants.
While good sex is about giving pleasure, to some extent it's also about being selfish. A sexually experienced woman will know her favorite positions for achieving orgasms. She'll either tell you or show you by, say, getting up on all fours. Lots of guys tell me, "I know how to make a woman come." It's not the man's responsibility to give a woman an orgasm. It should be something she can do for herself. That's the selfish part of sex. If she likes, she should show you what you can do to help, or you can ask, her to masturbate during intercourse. Enjoy it. Good sex is when you are not worrying about who's coming when.
Don't ask, "Was it good for you?" Never fish for compliments about how good you are.
The boldness associated with a new romance also allows us to seek out wild and slightly crazy places to have sex. Let your lust flow. Play footsie under the table at the restaurant while meeting her parents. When she visits you at work, see if she'll sneak a blow job under your desk. At a party, have a quickie in the bathroom. If you're in high school or college, this is probably one of the only private places you have. But if you've been out of school for a while, try it again. Make out in the back of a movie theater and get a hand job while you're at it (this is probably inevitable, anyway, so savor it). These are some of the valuable, exciting memories you'll rack up before you establish a routine of doing it in bed every time. One of the odder stories I've heard is from a woman who was spending the day in a public park with her new boyfriend. They had a footrace and she fell and bruised her behind (she was wearing a skirt). Her boyfriend picked her up and carried her to a fairly isolated park bench. "Somehow," she explains, "he went from drying my tears and cleaning the wound to kissing my face and fingering me. I came so hard I got splinters in my butt. We had to play doctor all over again when we got home."
Something else to please her: Always have time to make love once more. When you spend the night (most likely she wants you to), take an extra 15 minutes to have sex before you leave in the morning. What makes new sex great? Urgency. It's when you want her, need her and she wants to devour you. In those moments, all the sex pressure the clumsiness, the erection problems, the nerves falls away and lust takes over. When you are both dressed and ready to go to a party, make yourselves late: Strip, mess yourselves up and have sex before you leave. Also, pay attention when she offers to go down on you. Blow jobs are a point of pride for many women, and they want to satisfy you with their performance. Let her do what she wants.
Love Versus Romance
In the early going you may start to feel that you are in love. It's widely believed that when "I love you" is said in bed, it doesn't count (unless you've already been saying it, which means you better say it in bed, and often). Women, of course, love to hear "I love you," but if you haven't said it before, try not to say it for the first time in bed. A friend told me that with his previous girlfriend he liked to rest his head on her chest and listen to her heartbeat. He made the mistake of telling this to his new girlfriend, and now every time he goes to lick or suck her nipples, she presses his head to her chest.
Finally, whether or not you ever say "I love you," you can still try to do some romantic things that will make new sex special for her. No matter how liberated today's women are, many still love old- fashioned romance. I used to say on my television show that I love to get flowers. But male guests would tell me that they never give flowers because they think it's too much of a cliche. Granted, romance has evolved over the past few years. It used to be romantic to write a love note; now it's romantic to send e-mail. So I'm told that my old favorite, flowers, is a cliche. "Anyone can get flowers," one guy told me, "so why would a woman think that's special?" Listen most guys don't give anything, so if you buy flowers you are a step ahead. The rest of the answer: Women love them.
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