For ages, the sexual desire of women has been overlooked by society. But, similar to men, sex is just as important to women. In this article, we are going to learn all about female intimacy and sex, including crucial tips to know about female intimacy and sex, importance of sex for women, differences between the male and female perception of sex and lastly intimacy issues in women. Let’s begin. 

WARNING: This is exclusively a heterosexual article. If you identify as other than heterosexual, or outside of the male/female binary, no need to read further. Although informative, it is written for Google. Thank you.

  1. Foreplay is primary- When it comes to sexual stimulation, men and women are like poles apart. Male bodies take minimal time to get aroused and even visual stimulation or just thinking about sex is enough to get them ready for sex. Women, on the contrary, are built differently. Foreplay is vital for women because they take longer to get aroused. Foreplay works as a physical and emotional stimulator that helps women create the build-up which would (sometimes) lead to climax at the end of the sexual act. 

Women need to be kissed, hugged and caressed as part of the foreplay. It not only conveys the feeling of being loved but also gets the vagina lubricated for a comfortable sexual encounter. 

A successful session of foreplay ensures that your partner is ready- physically and mentally. When she feels loved, her confidence boosts up and her inhibitions disappear. During foreplay, blood gushes to the vaginal area, including the clitoris and cervix. The clitoris becomes erect and juices start flowing, preparing for a comfortable penetration. 

  1. Use words of affirmation- Little words of affirmation go a long way with sex. Actions speak louder than words. But that’s not necessarily true when it comes to sex. There is a certain level of vulnerability when you are naked in front of your sexual partner, for both men and women. But women are always more conscious about their appearance and performance, mainly due to the societal standards set for women to look or act a certain way. This unnecessary pressure can often lead to tension and stress during sex and make the process unenjoyable for both partners.  

It is where words of affirmation come into play. Just a simple “you’re so beautiful” or “you’re so sexy” can help get her confidence through the roof. 

  1. Gentle and slow sex– Once in a while, we all fantasize about having rough sex with our partners. It is quick, dirty and sensual, all at the same time. But most women would agree that they prefer to have gentle and slow sex with their partners. Preference plays a huge part as the deciding factor here. But another reason why women prefer a mellow version of sex is because of slow female arousal speed. As we discussed above, women don’t get aroused instantaneously. It takes a lot of foreplay and time to reach peak arousal in females. Contrary to the scenarios portrayed in porn or movies, where women achieve orgasms in minutes, in real life, women need a lot of time to reach climax (that too if they are lucky). 
  2. Communication is key- One of the main reasons for an unsatisfied sexual partner is the lack of communication. Sexual preferences are subjective. You may like something, but at the same time, your partner may not. Women highly appreciate it when their partners care about their comfort and/or seek permission before commencing certain sexual acts.

Don’t restrict communication through words only. Your body language, gestures, and eye contact also add to effective communication. Gentle moaning and rhythmic body movements communicate better than any words could ever. It tells your partner that you are enjoying their company and the sex. 

  1. Clitoral stimulation- When it comes to female intimacy and sex, the clitoris is the most important body part. But at the same time, it is also the most neglected one. Women cannot reach climax with just penetration (Well, the majority of them can’t). Most women need a combination of penetration and some sort of clitoral stimulation to reach an orgasm. When compared to penetration, a woman has a higher chance to orgasm with just clitoral stimulation. 

Then why do men focus so much on penetration? It happens because of two reasons- lack of knowledge and learning from the wrong source of information. For men, it is normal to achieve sexual satisfaction with penetration, and without proper knowledge, they assume it is the same for women. The reality, however, is different. 

Another reason for the lack of awareness is the source of information, which, more often than not, is porn. Pornographic content is created for entertainment purposes, not for educational purposes. Taking cues from a porn video will not always work in an actual sexual interaction. 

Penetration, coupled with clitoral stimulation, is a sure shot way to make a woman reach climax. Gentle stroking with fingers or even a vibrator can do the trick. 

Intimacy and sex

Importance of Intimacy and sex for females

  • It makes them feel loved- A majority of women associate sex and intimacy with romance. Many women won’t even consider getting intimate with a man if they have absolutely no feelings for him. For women, romance and sex go hand in hand. Sex is a great way to express love and feel loved. It makes women feel close to their partners, both physically and emotionally. 
  • Means to experience pleasure– Although romance takes away a big chunk when talking about female intimacy and sex; it is not solely dependent on it. A large number of women happily indulge in sex just for sheer pleasure. Sex is a mode of expressing love and affection, but it is also a need. Sometimes it is just about enjoyment for women. 
  • Creates security in a relationship- In a monogamous relationship, having regular sex with your partner generates a sense of security in your relationship. A hormone named oxytocin is secreted during sex which deepens bonding and emotional intimacy. Couples who have sex regularly are more likely to stay together for longer. Sex has a direct impact on lowering the divorce rate among married couples. 
  • Acts as a stress buster- Sex is an amazing stress-buster. The magic lies in the feel-good hormones released during sex. Oxytocin or “the love hormone” promotes bonding and trust in relationships, while endorphins are released by the body as a natural response to stress or pain. Endorphin levels in your body shoot up when having sex. This is why sex is the ultimate medicine for stress. 
  • To conceive a child- This is probably one of the most important reasons for women to have sex. When a woman desires to bear a child, under normal circumstances, she would have sex with her partner to get pregnant. 

How men and women are different when it comes to intimacy and sex?

For a better understanding of female intimacy and sex, it is crucial to understand gender differences in sexuality between men and women. Based on available scientific research, psychologists have identified four main differences. 

  • Men have a higher sexual desire- Well this one is not as surprising. When compared to women, men are likely to think about sex more often. Sexual drive in men is stronger and stays like that for the majority of their life span. The preferred frequency of sex also differs between the two sexes. In a heterosexual setting, a woman is more likely to turn down sex. A higher sexual desire in men is also the reason why men start masturbating at a younger age and indulge in the practice more often.
  • Committed relationships matter more to women- In the context of sexual desire, women are more likely to associate it with romance, love and commitment. On the other hand, men are drawn toward sexual intercourse and physical pleasure. Research has also established that men are more liberal towards practices such as pre-marital and extramarital sex. While females fantasize about familiar partners in an affectionate setting, their male counterparts fantasize about strangers or multiple partners with a prime focus on sexual acts.  
  • Men are more aggressive- Both men and women can get very aggressive when provoked. But compared to women, men are more likely to cause serious physical and psychological harm. There could be several underlying reasons for this aggressive behavior, such as toxic masculinity, societal pressure to be “man enough,” childhood trauma, mental disorder, male chauvinism, etc. 
  • Female sexuality is easily malleable- Social, cultural and situational factors can easily be used to shape and alter women’s sexual beliefs. For instance, a committed woman having regular sex with her partner may abstain from all sorts of sexual activities post her breakup for a long time. Or, a change in religious beliefs may alter her sexual attitude entirely. It has also been noted that women are more likely to change their sexual orientation when compared to men. It means that a heterosexual may identify as a lesbian or as bi-sexual at a later stage in life.

Intimacy Issues in Women

Sexual dysfunction is common in both men and women. Studies have proved, around 70% women experience intimacy issues at some point in their life. Some of these issues can be resolved with professional counseling, whereas some dysfunctions may require medical treatment such as hormone treatment or even surgery. 

Female intimacy and sex issues often result into physical and emotional stress in affected women. These women suffer from poor body image, reduced sexual desire (libido), low self-esteem, painful sexual intercourse, etc. 

In most cases, lack of sexual desire is not permanent, and is often associated with a stressful patch of life or pregnancy. But, in some cases, the sexual drought may last for a very long time and can majorly affect the relationship with their partners. This could be the result of an underlying social or psychological factor. 

Let’s discuss some of the common causes of intimacy issues in women.

Physical Issues
Physical changes, illnesses and medications can often mess up your sex drive. 

  • Diseases- Nonsexual diseases such as diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, etc., can affect your sex drive immensely.
  • Sexual problems– Painful sex or lack of orgasms during sex can demotivate you from having sex regularly. 
  • Unhealthy lifestyle– Too much alcohol consumption is associated with a low sex drive. Similarly, women who smoke regularly are more like to experience low sex drive due to the lack of blood flow.
  • Medications- Certain medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors or antidepressants may dull your sexual desire. 
  • Fatigue- Daily life responsibilities can often take a toll on your body. General fatigue or tiredness can majorly affect your sex drive.
  • Surgery- A surgery related to your genital area or breasts may cause body image issues making it difficult to indulge in any sexual activities. 

Hormonal Issues
Fluctuation in hormones can create disturbance in your sexual desires.

  • Pregnancy or breastfeeding- During pregnancy and after having the baby, the female body goes through so many changes. With the hormones going haywire, constant fatigue, sleep deprivation and body image issues, it is no surprise to lack interest in sex. In fact, in this situation, sex will be the last thing on your mind. 
  • Menopause- During menopause, the female body experiences a significant drop in estrogen levels. This can hamper your sex drive causing dryness in the vagina, which may lead to painful sex.

Psychological Issues
Psychological issues such as mental health issues, stress, low self-esteem, poor body image, physical and sexual abuse, and negative sexual experiences may affect your sex drive adversely.

We all perceive sex and intimacy differently. If you are confused, there is always help available. Reach out to a professional or visit rediscoveringmybody.com for your sexual education.