The importance of a give-and-take relationship, spelling out your fantasies and more.
11/03/2015 09:00 am ET
Nov 04, 2015
O, The Oprah Magazine
"There's nothing wrong with sometimes being intimate just to please your partner, or vice versa. In successful long-term relationships, people accommodate each other. You might sit through an action film when you'd rather see a drama. Your partner may want steak but join you for sushi. We do this for each other out of love -- the joy of making someone you care for happy. Why should sex be any different?" -- Marta Meana, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Can You Expand on That?
"When a woman client says, 'I don't want to have sex, I want to make love,' I say, 'What exactly are you asking for? Eye contact? Foreplay? Being told "I love you"?' So often when couples talk to each other, they're not using behavioral terms—they're saying things like 'I want more excitement.' But each person has a very idiosyncratic understanding of what those words mean, so you have to spell out to your partner what you need and want." -- Michele Weiner-Davis, marriage therapist in Boulder, Colorado and author of The Sex-Starved Marriage
May the Force Be With You
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"Sexual energy is a life-force, and even if you're not in a relationship, it's important to harness that creative energy by bringing yourself sexual pleasure. In that state of being, you have a warmth and a vitality that are more likely to attract a partner; if you're looking for one. People who are connected to that life-force exude a radiance that others can feel." -- Kim Anami, Bali-based holistic sex and relationship coach
If You Need to Be Ready in Five
"This is drawn from an ancient Taoist technique: Rest your awareness gently on your clitoris. Breathe slowly. Imagine you're breathing through your vagina. Suddenly, that area will become alive -- you'll feel a spark and a stirring that will grow until you feel strongly aroused." -- Brandy Engler, L.A. sex therapist and author of The Women on My Couch
It's Your Party
"Women should take control of their own satisfaction. Some resist the idea because society tells us that the right partner will know just what to do, or that love always leads to good sex. But those ideas discount the power of a woman's sexuality because they put pleasure in someone else's hands. Be selfish! Prioritize your own erotic needs." -- Madeleine Castellanos, MD, New York City sex therapist and author of Wanting to Want