That’s one of the most common questions I get as a sex and relationship coach.
I recommend approaching the question by looking at the underlying issues.
Is she anxious, agitated, insecure, and “testing” you regularly? She could need more SAFETY in the relationship.
Or is she bored, taking on the role of the “low-desire partner,” and telling you she’s just not interested in sex? She might want more RISK in the relationship.
You job is to decide which of these options is most likely the case, and experiment with giving her some experiences in that particular arena.
I want to describe more fully what I mean by the words risk and safety. I also want to give you a menu of potential launching points for your own creative interpretation of how to best deliver risk or safety to your woman.
For Safety’s Sake
Women are security-seeking creatures. They’ve been programmed for millennia to seek protection from a man. A few decades of feminism isn’t going to reverse that (although the woman’s movement has made significant contributions to our culture).
When a woman feels really safe, she’s relaxed and confident. And she’ll stop doing a lot of those things — you know, those “tests” — that annoy you. Instead, she’ll let her love-light shine, and will likely become more sexually open to you. (By the way, she’s doing those tests, usually unconsciously, to try and find out if she’s safe with you!)
So guys: In order for the woman you’re with to fully bloom, she’ll look to you to provide safety in her life. I’m not talking about physical safety as much as I am emotional safety.
Whether you’ve known a woman a few weeks or a few decades, here are ways to increase her sense of safety in the relationship. (By the way, initiating some of these suggestions to increase her safety might seem really risky for you!)
1. Encourage her to talk when she shuts down emotionally. Then listen and draw her out. Remember that just the process of talking it out will help her feel more connected to you. If she’s in a mode where she blames you, do your best to not take it personally. And do not try to “solve” her problem!
2. Give her more of what you already know she likes. Do you know her favorite way to experience love? For instance, she may love it when you say things to her that let her know that she’s important to you. Or maybe she appreciates gifts. Or physical affection. Once you know her preferences, give generously to her through those “love channels.”
And if you don’t know what she likes, ask her! Make sure you ask how she wants to connect with you erotically as part of this conversation. Would she like you to approach her more gently, or more aggressively? To touch her more slowly, or with lighter pressure? Be sexual with her in a different way? If you’re bold enough to ask these questions, you’re probably also have a strong enough ego to hear some of her truthful, challenging replies.
3. Take a hard, no-bullshit look at how you’re showing up — with yourself, for her, and in the world at large. Are you proud of yourself? Are you living a life of integrity? What can you do to contribute more to the world? Are there behaviors or habits you’re willing to let go of because they no longer serve you?
4. If you’re with a great woman, consider committing more deeply to the relationship. Do your best to move through your own fear of commitment. If you’re dating other women, and the time is right, tell her you want to see only her. (If you’re polyamorous, tell her you want her to be your primary partner.) If she’s been your wife for a while, consider initiating a vow-renewal ceremony with her. You can find a way to commit more fully regardless of the current form of your relationship.
5. Become a better driver. It might sound silly and insignificant to you, but I’ve spoken to enough women who don’t like the way their man drives that I wanted to add it to this list. Remember: When you’re driving her, you’ve got her life in your hands. Don’t take unnecessary risks behind the wheel. Accelerate, drive and brake smoothly. Use turn signals. Be courteous to other drivers. Road rage does not make her feel safe!
The other side of the safety coin is risk. When a woman is denied a certain level of adventure, thrill, or stimulation, her sexuality will start to shut down. She’ll get bored and start to lose interest in you. You’ll start to experience relationship “flatline.”
Here’s something I want you to consider: The most popular fantasy for women involves them being “taken” against their will. So, in their minds, at least, women crave excitement and risk.
Once a woman’s basic need for safety is met, here’s a menu of options you can choose from to spice things up.
1. Try something new and different, sexy or daring. Rearrange your bedroom and put a mirror next to the bed. Take her out dancing. Make out in public. Visit a sex shop together.
2. Sign up for a sensuality class, a couples massage workshop, or a Tantra weekend. In these kinds of workshops, the two of you will learn skills from experts that you can bring into your love life back home. It might be edgy for one or both of you, but the payoff in the bedroom can be a big one.
3. Start experimenting, if you haven’t already, with dominance/submission and role play. Handcuff her to the headboard. Practice commanding her to do things, rather than asking her. Experiment with both roles, the “top” and the “bottom.” Stock up on costumes for “hooker,” “cop,” “schoolgirl,” “bad boy,” and so on.
4. Directly express your desire for her. Stop “hinting” that you’d like to have sex and tell her what you want. “You look so beautiful right now with that smile of yours. I’m feeling very attracted to you. I want to make love with you later tonight.” Be willing to hear whatever answer she gives you with equanimity and without collapsing.
5. Do a risky or frightening activity together. It could be as simple as watching a scary movie together. But even better is getting together to participate in a venture that has a high perceived risk but is actually quite safe. Riding a rollercoaster, bungee jumping, skydiving, and other similar adventures let you share an adrenaline rush. You bond with each other by “surviving” the risky exploit, and then affirm life with passionate lovemaking later that day.
Wrapping It Up
Asking “Is my current relationship situation calling for more risk or for more safety?” is a smart idea whether your relationship is sailing smooth or on the rocks. Any relationship at any time can benefit from this inquiry. In high-functioning relationships, the answer might change from week to week, day to day, or hour to hour.
Your attunement to that “just right” risk/safety balance will enable your woman to trust you more, to love you more, and to open herself sexually to you.
Enjoy the journey!