Sex may permeate our popular culture, but conversations about it are still associated with stigma and shame in Indian households. As a result, most individuals dealing with sexual health issues or trying to find information about sex often resort to unverified online sources or follow the unscientific advice of their friends.

To address the widespread misinformation about sex, is running this weekly sex column, titled ‘Let’s Talk Sex’, every Friday. We hope to initiate conversations about sex through this column and address sexual health issues with scientific insight and nuance.

The column is being written by Sexologist Prof (Dr) Saransh Jain. In today’s column, Dr Jain has taken up the eternal question that every man wants an answer to: What do women what in bed?

The rules of patriarchy apply to everything, even your sex life. If you are a woman who has always put the pleasure and needs of her partner before her own satisfaction, then you know what I mean. In India, female desires are seldom validated, not just in workspaces or society but also in bedrooms.

However, what men don’t realise is that when women can equally enjoy sex and get maximum pleasure out of it, they are more willing to return the favour. Therefore, if you want a rocking sex life, your first step would be to find out what your woman wants.

Validating Woman’s Desire: One thing that never leads to good sex is being selfish. Therefore, as much as your pleasure is important, so is hers. Have an open and honest conversation about what she wants. Ask her what she likes in bed, what kind of fantasies she has, and also what puts her off.

Are there things or actions or positions that put her in the mood or get her excited? Sex without intimacy can never lead to pleasure, so make time, and make an effort to know your partner intimately.

More importantly, be a gentleman in bed too. Just because you have orgasmed doesn’t need to mean that it has to end; a crucial part of acknowledging female desire is to give her sexual satisfaction. Fortunately for men, there are various kinds of sexual orgasms for females, and women can sometimes even have different types of orgasms together.

Focus on All Kinds of Orgasms: Often, men associate their machismo with clitoral orgasm and think of themselves as not competent enough if they cannot provide such orgasms to their partners. Women, however, do not have such hang-ups. There are more than thirty erogenous zones in a female body and more than 11 kinds of orgasms to be had. So, do not focus solely on clitoral orgasm, even if you are great at giving it to your partner. Instead, try out all the other kinds of stuff, too – from blended orgasm to the elusive vaginal orgasm – and you can thank me later.

Let Her Be In-charge: Yes, it is as easy as it sounds. Just lie back and let your partner take charge. It is very empowering for many women and can make her feel incredibly sexy to be in control during intercourse, so let her work her magic.

There are several positions that work well for women who want to be in-charge, like Cowgirl, Reverse Cowgirl, or Cowgirl with a twist, as well as reverse missionary, sideways Saddle etc. Let her take her pick, and you enjoy the ride.

Allow Her to Be Lazy Sometimes: We seldom acknowledge that sex can be work too and after a full day of office, taking care of kids and doing house chores, she might be too exhausted to do that work. So, why not let her relax and unwind without making her give up on her sex life?

You can definitely do that by doing some heavy lifting yourself (in some cases quite literally). There are several sex positions that allow the woman to enjoy without working much and still orgasm. Try the spoon position, or downward dog or Faceoff or the good old traditional missionary, and it will not only give her pleasure but also de-stress her from all the fatigue of the day.

The Sex Lull: There can be several reasons for which your perfectly good sex life has become virtually non-existent. If she has not shown any interest in sex for a while, instead of showing frustration or lashing out, try to figure out the reasons behind it. Sometimes, emotional dissatisfaction can lead to a lack of sex drive; at other times, it can be a medical issue, like hormonal imbalance or childbirth.

Whatever the reason may be, it is important to discuss it with your partner and find a way out of this lull together.

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