When it comes to sex, guys are simple, right? Wrong. The bedroom is one of the great arenas of male performance, and as such, what you see and hear is typically not the whole reality. It’s no wonder, in trying to please, men don’t necessarily reveal their full identity. Here are 7 things men would like women to know:

1. They Respond to Praise
It’s often believed that men are so consumed by their libido that they have no self-consciousness surrounding sex. But men are no different from women when it comes to compliments as catalysts for sexual confidence. This praise can be delivered before reaching the bedroom (give them the once-over and tell them how manly they look), as well as after (give them the once-over and tell them how manly they look naked!). Along those lines, men worry about the size of their guts (and other more measurable organs), their hair (or lack thereof) and other attributes. Just like women, men need to be told they are appreciated, sexy, desirable….and really good at what they are doing. Try to be extra affirming about those sensitivities.

2. They Are Not Just Their Measurable Parts
The penis gets all the press, but, like women, men have many erogenous zones. Men tend not to correct women because they’re afraid women will shut down and not touch them at all. But there are many places a woman should touch.  These include the chest, the inner thighs and face.

3. They Wish You Would Learn A Little Latin - Carpe Diem!
Men wish women would take more of a ‘carpe diem’ approach to their sex life. We all move through life at the speed of sound, with multiplying challenges and pressures. It’s easy to allow demands on our time and energy to rob us of the joy, pleasure and opportunity that sex affords us.  If that doesn’t make you want to “seize the day” (or something else), consider the health benefits: Orgasms release oxytocin, which has been called the “bonding hormone,” bringing couples closer together while it alleviates anxiety and stress, reduces blood pressure and promotes healing.

4. They Encourage Fantasies
Men want to share their fantasies but worry their wives will shame or judge them.  Similarly, men wish women would reveal their imaginings. Want to open yourselves to these possibilities? Try making a game of it. First, and most important, promise not to judge each other; then, privately write out scenarios that have tantalized each of you and place them in a box. When you are next intimate, pull one out. If you’re both comfortable, give it a shot. If not, try asking the author a key question: What about this fantasy do you like? Sometimes, it’s themes can be addressed in different, more comfortable scenarios.

5. They Like It When Women Talk
Talking during sex stimulates more than a man’s ears. What kind of talk? Dirty, praising and instructive (not constructive criticism) are great starts. As amusing as it may sound, a woman’s words can make a guy feel as potent and virile as a Roman gladiator, even if he’s a suburban banker.

6. They Need Women’s Honesty
Sex can solve the stresses of a relationship, but it’s often where the stresses show up. If he complains about a lack of sex (or that she is doing certain things only on his birthday), the couple may be overlooking serious issues that underpin such withholding. But while it may be his responsibility to ask, it is her responsibility to be honest. He needs her to enlighten him. The male ego is often tied to sex, so it’s easy for him to dismiss bedroom problems as female disinterest rather than issues he may well have a part in. Avoiding these problems, however, only perpetuates whatever is getting in her way leading to his ongoing frustration.

7. They Always Need It, But Not for the Reason Women Think
Men are accused of being sexually insatiable, but women should rethink this. Men see sex as a celebration. Sex makes men feel connected, appreciated, safe, and loved.  And often women misunderstand this.  Sexual intimacy is what differentiates friends from lovers.  It connects the couple on a deeper level, helps keep the marriage fun and exciting, and (if you're doing it right!), it creates a bond that you have with no one else on the planet.

 
So seize the day  (see number 3) and begin to look at your sex life as an opportunity full of possibilities, excitement and mutual satisfaction!

Please your man: Are you having trouble in the bedroom?  How can we help? Please comment below.

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Dr. Dana Fillmore and Amy Barnhart, co-Founders, StrongMarriageNow.com