People always ask, what is great sex? What does great sex for men and women look like? We have studied the numerous sex survey results including those from AskMen, Cosmopolitan, ABC News, and iVillage over the past decade and, although there are some differences in men's and women's sexual desires (see below), there are some consistent themes when people talk about great sex for men and women:
- An emotional bond between partners reduces anxiety, increases the desire to provide their partner pleasure and improves overall sexual gratification.
- Communication is important for learning about one another's sexual desires and turn-offs.
- Experimentation keeps sex exciting. New positions, role playing, toys, and beyond helps couples enhance their sex lives.
- Great sex for men and women is usually accompanied by great orgasms for both partners.
The one factor of great sex discussion where the surveys reveal definitive information is with orgasms.
Orgasms - A Key to Great Sex
Comparing survey data from ABC News about sexual enjoyment and orgasms, men and women who say that they "always have orgasms" also answer that they "enjoy sex a great deal" 87% of the time while those that say that they "have orgasm less often" answer that they "enjoy sex a great deal" only 46% of the time. Although controversial, reaching orgasm during sex is a key component to sexual pleasure for both men and women but this orgasm gap is often a source of sexual dissatisfaction among couples. Of the most commonly discussed factors for an "exciting" sex life, the only one that was physical in nature was "frequency of orgasms".
How Men Define Great Sex
Men generally need three conditions for great sex. The first is his partner's sexual energy towards him. A man thrives on his partner showing a great passion to be satisfied sexually. Nothing turns on a man more than a partner whose sexual appetite for him is really strong.
The second is pleasing his partner. A man feels great satisfaction knowing that he is providing sexual gratification to his partner. The opposite is also true. Men also suffer from "performance anxiety" and embarrassment by not satisfying his partner.
The third is an intense orgasm that releases his sexual energy. As a general rule, the more time a man spends with various forms of sexual stimulation prior to orgasm, the more intense that orgasm will be. For a man, great sex includes a passionate partner who he completely satisfies and ends in an explosive orgasm.
How Women Define Great Sex
Most women also include an orgasm (or two or three) in their definitions of great sex but it's more about the entire experience. It starts with romance while the clothes are still on and continues on past male orgasm - substitute sleeping with cuddling!
A common complaint from women about men is that they're in a hurry to get to the end result. Women need time to warm up both physically and emotionally in order to really enjoy sex. It's not uncommon for many women to take 40 minutes to reach orgasm and they can feel self-conscious about it and not enjoy the process, even faking an orgasm so her partner will feel gratified. In an iVillage survey of what women want from their men in bed, 22% want more oral sex, 32% want "hear more loving things", 35% said more foreplay and 28% said that they wanted their men to last longer. Great sex for women starts slowly, proceeds slowly, and continues after orgasm.