So you likely assume that for females, “ideal” translates to “giant penis”—and then immediately feel a little twinge of insecurity.
“I think women do give penis size weight,” says Dr Brandy Engler, a Los Angeles-based sex therapist and author of The Men on My Couch. But that doesn’t mean “9 inches” is the first thing she looks for on your sexual resume.
“If there are certain factors in place - if a guy has other good skills - penis size can almost be a non-issue, especially if he is average size,” Engler says.
Forget about your measurements, and focus on your skills as a lover and partner.
Master these nine moves in and out of the bedroom, and she’ll think you’re the best she’s ever had.
1. TO BE SURPRISED.
As cliché as flowers and chocolate may seem, every woman secretly wants her guy to surprise her with the occasional thoughtful gesture.
And it’s not because she’s dying for a fresh bouquet for her coffee table - it’s what your effort conveys to her that matters.
“We need to feel an emotional connection with a man in order to want to have sex with him,” says DeAnna Lorraine, a dating and relationship coach in Los Angeles. “The more safe and secure we feel in the relationship, the friskier we’re going to be in the bedroom. The intensity of the sex will rise.”
Pull it off: Take control of your social calendar for a night or weekend.
“Often in relationships, women do all the planning,” says Engler. “Guys are missing out on an opportunity - planning is a very masculine quality that women almost instinctively respond to.”
So book a Friday-night getaway or make a reservation at that restaurant she’s been dying to try - then shoot her a text simply telling her to be dressed and ready at 7 p.m.
“Even if you live together, drive over in your car and pick her up,” says Lorraine. “Have the whole night planned.”
2. AN ENTHUSIASTIC STUDENT.
When she goes down on you, your only thought is “Score!” But for her, receiving pleasure can be a little stressful. An eager partner—someone who wants to learn exactly what gets her off - can help alleviate that anxiety.
“Most women have their orgasms clitorally, not vaginally,” says Engler. “So a guy who knows how and where to touch her - and who shows enthusiasm for doing that—is important.”
Pull it off: Explore her body, mapping every inch of it.
“The nerve endings that go down into the vagina spread out, and the placement on every woman’s body is different,” says Engler.
In other words, your ex’s excitable nerves may have been close to the surface, while your new girlfriend’s sensitive spots may be a little more buried.
That means you can’t just stick to the script that worked for past partners; you should aim to figure out exactly what makes her body respond - and show that it excites you to excite her.
Moan as you pleasure her, or grab her hand while going down on her, suggests Lorraine. “If you show enthusiasm, it makes us want to reciprocate,” she says.
3. TO BE SHOWN OFF.
It’s one thing to shower her with attention in the bedroom. It’s another to do so in front of your friends.
When you publicly praise her, “she feels beautiful and special - and that’s happening in a social context,” says Engler. “Boosting her self-esteem is a bigger, more powerful feeling than just being filled up by a big penis.”
And this public display of commitment will translate into serious sexual energy later in the evening, Lorraine says.
Pull it off: Invite her to meet your friends, or take her as your date to a work function. While you’re out, says Engler, whisper this in her ear: “I’m so excited you’re out with me tonight. You’re so beautiful - I can’t wait to show you off to everyone.”
Then grab her hand, and introduce her to the group. “This will definitely turn a woman on,” says Engler.
And snap a selfie of the two of you. Her assumption: If you want to remember the moment, you want to remember her.
4. CUDDLE TIME.
In a British survey of 2,000 women, “spontaneous cuddling” emerged as the number one way to boost a woman’s spirits - even more so than a spa day or chocolate.
“We want to know that outside of sex you still love us,” says Lorraine. “When you cuddle us outside the bedroom, we feel genuinely loved and cared for.”
And, according to Engler, that sense of security can play a critical role in sexual attraction. “It’s one of the reasons we go for older men or men with money,” she says. “Safety is actually very sexy for us.”
Pull it off: Don’t reserve snuggling for the 15 minutes after sex. Incorporate cuddling and closeness into your everyday interactions: Pull her close to you while you’re watching TV, hug her from behind while she’s doing the dishes, or grab her hand while you’re driving, says Lorraine.
One word of caution: Don’t let spooning replace forking. “Couples fall into this trap where they love the affectionate part of the relationship, but not so much the sexual part,” says Engler.
Her advice: “Hug her, but add something sexual to it, like whispering something naughty in her ear.” That way, the two become so closely enmeshed that one doesn’t usurp the other.
5. SMOOCH SESSIONS.
Sure, you started smooching in the sixth grade - but this is one elementary skill you shouldn’t forget.
“Kissing gives us the sense that passion is happening,” says Engler. “Without it, women can think, ‘Oh, this is mechanical. He’s just not that into me - he just needs to get off.’”
Read: Locking lips, in and out of the bedroom, shows that you want her way more than just whipping out the big guy does.
Pull it off: Try a move that Engler calls “the takeaway”: At a random, non-sexual time, approach your girlfriend, give her a soft, sensual kiss - not too much pressure or tongue - then just walk away.
“That way, your desire is not so overbearing and non-stop that you make her feel anxious or uncomfortable,” she says. “You’ve just planted something in her.” That something is called desire.
6. TO FEEL LUSTFUL.
Your girlfriend knows you want to have sex. What she really wants: for you to make her crave it just as much.
“Women are almost always aware that men want it more than they do,” says Engler. “That can be a bit of a turn-off. It gives the woman no room to want you.”
But if you figure out how to tap into her arousal - rather than just clueing her into yours - her desire to hit the sack will be insatiable. In fact, a Journal of Sexual Medicine study found that asking for or anticipating sex is key to female desire.
Pull it off: Don’t try the same tactics - say, touching her breasts or kissing her neck - every time you’re interested in sex. Instead, tailor your approach to her mood.
For example, if she’s irritable after work, give her a back or foot massage before even thinking about making a move.
“Start by relaxing her,” says Engler. “If she’s responding, you can move to kissing her, then start to touch her slowly.”
By contrast, if she’s clearly primed for action, take control - thrust her body against a wall, or tell her to take off her shirt or pull up her skirt.
7. YOUR ATTENTION.
If your partner doesn’t feel heard, your connection will be weak - in and out of the sack.
“Every time you multitask while you’re talking, you put chips into her confidence. Over time, that can make her feel disconnected,” says Lorraine. “Show her that she’s important, and that your conversations are important.”
Pull it off: Demonstrate you’re listening by talking. Repeat what she just told you in your own words - you don’t want to sound like a parrot - and ask a follow-up question.
“Show enthusiasm for things in her life - her goals, her dreams, her projects at work, interesting clients she has,” Lorraine says. “Ask her, ‘How did that thing with your boss go?’ Or follow up with her if she shares her goals, because to women, sharing is connecting.”
8. HOT COMPLIMENTS.
Multiply any insecurity you have about your penis size by 10 - that’s probably how nervous your partner feels about baring all in front of you.
“Women want to please men by showing them a beautiful body and watching them get turned on by it,” says Engler. That level of vulnerability means a lot is riding on how you react to her taking it off.
“When you tell her that she’s sexy, there’s an immediate spike in her libido,” says Lorraine. “And when we get aroused, we barely look at the physical - we can hallucinate that you have a bigger penis if we’re really turned on emotionally and verbally.”
Pull it off: Skip the general statements - “You have amazing boobs” or “Your body is beautiful” - and show her you appreciate the features that make her unique.
“Pick out the things you really like about her in particular, like the curve of her waist to her hip,” says Engler. Compliment her during super-exposing sex positions, like reverse cowgirl or doggystyle.
9. EYE CONTACT.
Don’t worry about awkwardness. Locking eyes is about awareness—acknowledging that you’re not in bed alone.
“A lot of men are disconnected during sex,” says Lorraine. “Making eye contact shows you’re present.”
And that can enhance her sense of connection, helping her feel more at ease between the sheets.
Pull it off: You don’t have to stare into her soul the entire time you're thrusting. Just pick a few key times to lock eyes—for example, right before you’re about to climax, or while she’s giving you oral sex, suggests Lorraine.
Those are particularly vulnerable times; she’ll appreciate the extra connection.
This article was originally published on MensHealth.com