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Is sex not always, or nearly always, really good for men while they're in a relationship?
June 21, 2007 3:51 AM   Subscribe

Is sex not always, or nearly always, really good for men while they're in a relationship? Warning: Severely naive question

I am very naive about what MEN think about sex. Primarily my boyfriend. Mainly because I was a virgin until 5 months ago. It's not that I can't ask him about this, it's just that... this particular question might make me come across like "tell me I'm better than everyone you've been with in the past", and I hate how that sounds.

My boyfriend seems to be competely blown away, repeatedly and constantly, at how amazing sex is with me. He comments on it a lot, seems amazed how it "keeps getting better", we have it a lot (ranging between 6 and 12 times a week, every week), and he is clearly, definitely, very very satisfied. Every single time.

So I'm not complaining or worried about that - what I am wondering is, is sex really not always amazing for men? He has said several times this is "the best he's ever had" (I'm unaware of how many girls he has slept with but I know it was at least 3 before me) but, naively, I always assumed that men always have a fantastic time in bed with their girlfriends. Otherwise... surely they wouldn't be with them. Is this really not the case? I always figured that if people are in a long-term relationship (like his 5-year one prior to me), they get better at sex, because they have longer to practise, get to know each other, etc. So how can our half-year relationship compare sexually to his five-year one? Has he really, like he seems to think, stumbled across something fantastic, or is it just because he's with ME currently that he feels that way about OUR sex life?

I know, I KNOW, this sounds ridiculously stupid and naive, and that's because that is what I am, regarding this subject. I just really would like to know. Sorry if it's a totally ridiculous query.

ALSO: I am aware that at some point the crazy sex-craze will die down, as it does in all relationships (or, at least, that's what I would assume. Though I certainly have no plans to start cutting back on our sex life, because I absolutely love it.) So I don't need advice about how we're still in the honeymoon period. Thanks
posted by trampesque to Human Relations (43 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
… what I am wondering is, is sex really not always amazing for men?
It really is not always amazing for men. Billy Joel: ‘There's nothing better than good sex. But bad sex? A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is better than bad sex.’ And I’m glad you’re enjoying yourselves!
posted by Aidan Kehoe at 3:58 AM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sometimes two people just click with each other when it comes to sex and that can have a huge impact on the satisfaction level reached. Just like anything really. I've got friends I can talk to for hours and hours and have a great time with and with others conversation seems to fall slightly flat on it's face.
posted by Hates_ at 4:02 AM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


To answer the basic questions: Yes, men can have sexual encounters that aren't amazing. And men can find themselves in long relationships where the sex isn't constantly (or ever!) amazing. It's entirely possible that the sex he's had with you in your comparatively short relationship is genuinely better than anything he's had before.

Sometimes things just work really well between two people, you know? Maybe by some lucky chance you two happen to respond to each other in just the right way. Hey -- maybe you're just fucking great in the sack!

As for why he stayed with someone with whom the sex wasn't constantly fantastic, there are two obvious explanations.

First, it's not uncommon in a long relationship to 'settle' for someone that's not 100% perfect in every single way. That sounds horrible, but not everyone believes that there's someone out there who's perfect for them, and would rather have the security of a long-term relationship rather than continuing the search for someone better who might not exist.

Second (and given the way he's reacting to you, perhaps more likely), maybe he genuinely hasn't had such great sex before. Maybe he literally didn't know that sex could be, or was supposed to be this good. It's entirely possible.

Finally, I'll admit that your man's story is incredibly similar to something I went through a period ago. If it would help you to ask me some probing questions, drop me an email.
posted by chrismear at 4:06 AM on June 21, 2007


Not always that great.
posted by OmieWise at 4:20 AM on June 21, 2007


No sex isn't always amazing for a man. Sure an orgasm comes quite readily to man, but if it were 'always amazing' then why take a partner? Men need (well at least i do) foreplay, arousal, affection - and, same as men, some women are better at it than others.

It is a fair compliment, you should be proud! :P

i guess the idea that men arnt discriminating in regard to sex is the way many guys behave in its pursuit.
posted by TheOtherGuy at 4:30 AM on June 21, 2007


Sex isn't always "amazing".

Take the compliment and enjoy it!
posted by SpacemanRed at 4:42 AM on June 21, 2007


Your question seems to be almost about the mechanics, and yes, sometimes partners have consistently bad sex due to one partner or the other, but when discussing great sex, don't discount the emotional aspect.

Your relationship is still somewhat new at 5 months, but I can think back to partners I was madly in love with (esp. at the start of a relationship) and sex was always amazing because I was so enamored with the other person. I don't say that to mean that in two years you'll have boring sex, but to maybe explain what your boyfriend means when he says it is amazing. It may not just be you guys are physically great together, but that he's also really emotionally into it and that definitely heightens the experience.
posted by mathowie at 4:47 AM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


I always assumed that men always have a fantastic time in bed with their girlfriends. Otherwise... surely they wouldn't be with them.

Given the choice between so-so sex and no sex, most guys will choose so-so sex.

Based on your previous question and this one, you should talk to your boyfriend more often. And get some therapy. The questions you have are completely normal and no big deal.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:02 AM on June 21, 2007


Sex is all about chemistry between two people. Love also helps a bucket load. Love can turn ordinary sex into something that exists on a level with God.

Plus, there's such thing as being a responsive lover. Some women lie back and think of England. Some women provide feedback. Some women have their own techniques, for chrissakes!

Men need sex like we need food. Some men need it more than others. But if we don't get it, things start going wrong. Some food is better than other food.

Most men initiate a relationship to get sex. It's a bit like having a meal with somebody. Yeah, having a meal out is all about companionship, and good conversation, and even wine. But it's mostly about eating. That's kinda how guys view sex and relationships. Sex is food. Relationships are having a meal. The meal isn't any less important than the food. But ultimately the food is the reason for the meal.

OK? Glad I've cleared that one up. Next question!
posted by humblepigeon at 5:06 AM on June 21, 2007 [5 favorites]


It sounds like you already know the answer (no, not all sex is SuperAmazing, even with years of "practice", but this particular sex is), but are just hoping for some validation to back you up.

Consider our answers your validation. Based on the info provided, it sounds like he's having a blast. Good on you, Ms. Lady.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:15 AM on June 21, 2007


That's kinda how guys view sex and relationships. Sex is food...But ultimately the food is the reason for the meal.

So males view sex as the reason for a relationship?

Um...okay.

Not a male here but I'd think his feelings and attraction towards you heighten whatever great sex you're having.

And no, men do not always enjoy the sex they get in a relationship. Otherwise people would not cheat. It varies. It's rarely consistent. Sex isn't always just sex. (Although other times it is)

I think it'd be a good idea to discuss this with your boyfriend though, just to see his personal view on it which could be vastly different then us here randoms on the interwebs.
posted by liquorice at 5:17 AM on June 21, 2007


I always figured that if people are in a long-term relationship (like his 5-year one prior to me), they get better at sex, because they have longer to practise, get to know each other, etc.

This is like saying that someone who works at McDonald's should be a world-class chef if they stay there long enough. I suppose it's POSSIBLE, but it requires a lot of effort and communication, and certainly isn't inevitable based on how long you've been there.

People also get bored in long-term relationships if the sex never changes. Not everyone puts a lot of effort into keeping their sex life fresh. Look around, you'll see lots of married men complaining that sex with their wives is uninteresting (and vice versa). Part of his thrill with you may be that you're something new and different. I don't think he's feeding you a line. I think sex with you is genuinely awesome.

(IANAM, but I have dated way too many of them.)
posted by desjardins at 5:19 AM on June 21, 2007


Sex is sometimes so bad that we opt to go without, rather than endure the mind games and bullshit that come with it.
posted by daveleck at 5:27 AM on June 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


Keep in mind, the sex is almost always good in the beginning of the relationship. It generally slows down and if you give it as long as his other relationships, he will probably take a more even look at it. Right now you guys are all high on hormones and new-relationship juices.
posted by schroedinger at 5:35 AM on June 21, 2007


This is a totally ok question to ask your boyfriend. He knows you are sexually inexperienced, right? So a question asking him about why he finds the current sexual situation so good won't seem odd at all. And although it would get old if you did it every day, there is nothing wrong with once in a while being a total narcissist and demanding to be told nice things, like "why is sex with me so great?"

As people have mentioned, people enter into and stay in relationships for all kinds of reasons; sex is only one piece of the total. And then sometimes the "chemistry" is really good and each time keeps getting better and so on towards sexual nirvana ... but pretty often that is not the case, and the sexual chemistry isn't so strong, but there are other things that are great in that relationship, so people stay and are happy. With time, you might find things tapering off, or you might not. I've been with my partner for some years now, and the sex gets better all the time, and we have it all the time. I know a couple who have been together for about 35 years, and they are ridiculously horny for each other; when I've stayed in their house, they make those bedsprings rock every night.

Why is sex with one person so good, and with the next so mediocre? Partly it's that afore-mentioned "chemistry," but there are a bunch of more "mechanical" aspects as well that can be learned (or faked, I suppose -- one could presumably be a great sexual partner while not really being all that into it, by simulating the actions of a person who is really into it, but that seems creepy to me). It starts with routinely saying "yes" instead of "no" when someone suggests doing sexual things (and this is where the chemistry helps, because if you are a once-a-week person, and your partner is a once-an-hour person, there is automatically a tension here). Acting like you enjoy what you are doing, constantly trying new things, and paying a lot of attention to your partner's satisfaction are, for me, part of a really good lover. (And then there are the things not to do, like keep score is a really negative way, where everything has to be balanced in some mechanistic fashion, for example.)

For me, a really amazing partner is one who demonstrates a lot of pleasure in the nitty-gritty of sex, not just in the romance of it. Sex is really messy and sometimes uncomfortable and embarrassing -- someone who finds the pleasure in those odd moments is much more fun that someone who gets angry or frustrated or embarrassed. Condoms tear, there are funny farting noises (and people fart at just the wrong moment), spooge gets on your dryclean-only little blue dress, you can catch an elbow to the nose or a knee to the ribs, and somedays he won't get it up, or you won't get wet. If you can have a really hot time, and help your boyfriend have a really hot time, when things are less than perfect, you are doing pretty well in my book.
posted by Forktine at 5:42 AM on June 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


yes, sex can be boring. but if you're "new" at sex, it's likely to be boring since you have little to compare it to.

in my experience, the more partners i had, the more i was able to tell the qualitative difference between them. but when i was completely inexperienced, it was ALL good.
posted by modernnomad at 5:42 AM on June 21, 2007


sorry, i left out the "less" before the "likely" there.

less likely to be boring.
posted by modernnomad at 5:43 AM on June 21, 2007


Sex is like pizza. When it's good, it's really, really good. And when it's bad..., it's still pretty good.

Seriously though, sometimes it's not great. But pizza...

I think the important thing is that when it stops being absolutely amazing for him all the time (and it will), don't take it as meaning anything other than the flip side of the average. It'll be great again sometimes and not so great again. But it could always be great to be together regardless.
posted by qwip at 5:45 AM on June 21, 2007


In my experience, it varies a lot from partner to partner. (Not that I've had a ton.)
posted by callmejay at 5:52 AM on June 21, 2007


we have it a lot (ranging between 6 and 12 times a week, every week

well, no wonder he's happy with you. if i was having that much sex you could hit me with a freight train and i wouldn't complain.
posted by mr_book at 5:55 AM on June 21, 2007


Good sex is bodies in conversation, not performance art. Sounds like you've found a conversation partner you click with. Good for both of you! Have a lovely time.
posted by flabdablet at 5:57 AM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sex isn't always great. Yeah, men nearly always have orgasms (but even that isn't guaranteed). But the quality of the overall experience can vary greatly on any number of factors.

Just to give you a simple example, the sex is much, much, much better if your partner makes it clear that she wants to be having sex with you instead of just being willing to let you have your way with her. You are clearly enthusiastic about the whole thing, this alone would make it better for him.
posted by oddman at 6:58 AM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sex isn't always that great.

Men are always perceived to have great sex because it's easy for a man to achieve orgasm without things being perfect -- women have a much higher 'hurdle' to get over as far as everything being perfect before they can reach orgasm. But some sex is just like masturbation... it's slippery, it can be fun, it can get you off, but there's something missing.

Being completely in love with a person can be part of what's missing. For a woman, that's kinda required -- for a guy, not so much. But it can certainly make it better.
posted by SpecialK at 7:41 AM on June 21, 2007


Well, the answer seems to be pretty well answered (no, sex is not always, or nearly always, really good for men while they're in a relationship), but I'll try answer the other part:

how can our half-year relationship compare sexually to his five-year one

Shortly, yes. Sex will improve through the relationship, but much more slowly than you think. Any relationship I've had when the sex is good, it's been good from from the get-go (well, at least past those first couple of times when you're getting used to each other). I've never been in a relationship where the sex suddenly got better at the 7-month mark after 6 months of mediocrity. If he thinks you're good in the sack now compared with some previous girl, then chances are you are better in the sack than the previous girl, regardless of your inexperience.

This isn't at all unusual, some people are naturally good swimmers, even if they're late to taking to the water.
posted by kisch mokusch at 7:57 AM on June 21, 2007


ugh, emphasized the wrong are!

...chances are you are better....

For the children at home, Dno't Anwser Qeustinos Afetr Drikning!
posted by kisch mokusch at 8:03 AM on June 21, 2007


Okay, flabdablet's is actually the best answer here.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:09 AM on June 21, 2007


"Yeah, men nearly always have orgasms"

Depends what you define by "orgasm". It's fairly easy to ejaculate; having what you'd want to call an orgasm along with it is a lot trickier, though. A good sneeze is often a more interesting experience (and I can have one of those just by looking at some bright light, win!)

I dare say the experience of having plenty of sneeze-level sex with one person, and finding you have brain-exploding sex with another, is quite common, men and women alike. I also dare say we're as good at faking as any woman. And hey, we have "reliable" physical evidence!

"Men need sex like we need food"

Only in so much as if none of us have sex, we go extinct. Sure, it's often nice to have, but go without it for a few years and I'm sure anyone will get used to it.
posted by Freaky at 9:36 AM on June 21, 2007


It's fairly easy to ejaculate; having what you'd want to call an orgasm along with it is a lot trickier, though.

Er, what?
posted by kindall at 11:00 AM on June 21, 2007


Wait wait wait, Freaky is confusing me. Men can ejaculate without having an orgasm? And that's how they fake it? Also, men can fake it?
posted by spec80 at 11:49 AM on June 21, 2007


Your boyfriend is probably being completely honest. A guy's hormonal craving for sex is usually satisfied by getting it at all, but get with someone who is truly awful or wonderful and it's Something Else.

I've dated Ms. Else (both extremes), and comparing those experiences to others before or since is ridiculous -- they're both so far away from the others that I may as well measure it in astronomical units. It was very obvious at the time that this was the case, so I know "why" and all... but those factors are different for everyone. Obviously whatever you've got works on this guy!
posted by Pufferish at 11:58 AM on June 21, 2007


I always figured that if people are in a long-term relationship (like his 5-year one prior to me), they get better at sex, because they have longer to practise, get to know each other, etc.
mathowie already nailed this but I wanna throw in two cents: in general sex gets better over time as you learn more about it; it's complicated and unpredictable and 'love' totally messes up one's evaluative metrics. It doesn't improve monotonically, and obviously there's a level of physical compatibility that overgoes some of the emotional stuff, but by and large you love the one you're with.

Every relationship I've been in was a strong candidate for 'best sex I've ever had,' even counting the one-night stand(s), and my current (three-year) relationship takes the prize easily. But the workings of memory are funny that way: I've adapted to my partner and am very much in love, so I naturally think less fondly of past sexual experiences.

Which is to say, it's probably the best sex he's ever had, and that kind of praise is not uncommon. And a dude who's had three partners isn't yet drawing on a huge data set. Dig it while ya got it! [/cynicism]
posted by waxbanks at 1:13 PM on June 21, 2007


kindall and spec80's incredulity aside: yes, it's perfectly possible to ejaculate and have it feel more like a good sneeze than anything else.

You know that term "relief" that used to get thrown around a lot, as one of those Things Men Need? That's what that's about. A "relief" ejaculation is pretty much on par with the "kerchoo" at the end of a few days of "ahhh... ahhh... ahhh...".

Orgasm, on the other hand, is where your whole mind just melts down and leaks out your ears. Usually, but not always, accompanied by ejaculation.

Mrs. Hand and her five daughters are pretty good for relief, but in my limited experience, orgasms need a lovely partner and close emotional connection.
posted by flabdablet at 4:44 PM on June 21, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've been in relationships with lousy to no sex, and I stuck around because I was foolish enough to fall in love before figuring out what the deal would be. I've been in relationships with fantastic sex, and what usually determined whether the sex was fantastic was a peculiar quality of empathy that not all people have. I'd guess that the qualities that make some people pick up massage quickly could determine who will make a good lover, but I don't have enough sexual experience to be sure. Being unselfish enough to learn what your partner likes is the key (after that you can be a little selfish).

"And no, men do not always enjoy the sex they get in a relationship. Otherwise people would not cheat."

Seriously off topic of me, but go smack whoever told you this. It may be true in a few cases, but people usually cheat because they are cheaters. Inaccessibility of great sex, lack of emotional intimacy, or length of relationship are excuses, not reasons. I know plenty of men in relationships with no/lousy sex who don't cheat on their wives/girlfriends. They watch porn and masturbate sure, but if you consider that cheating I can't have a conversation with you. I've known men and women in relationships with sex, intimacy and commitment who are compulsive or intermittent cheaters, and what they usually have in common is a strong need for ego validation. In other words, they are weak. I'm sure it's not universal, but you'd have trouble convincing me the exception doesn't prove the rule.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:00 PM on June 21, 2007 [2 favorites]


spec80: Sure. Most definitions of orgasm include something along the lines of "marked by strong feelings of pleasure", and it's perfectly possible to ejaculate without that, literally to the point at which it's little more than a sneeze (and not necessarily a good one). On the other hand there's nothing to stop a guy from feeling next to nothing but acting as though it was incredible.

Antidepressants have an annoying tendency of skewing the curve way towards the "umm.. that's it?" end of the spectrum, especially at higher doses. Of course, depression doesn't help either. But even without those, there's a definate, um, response curve.

There's something slightly odd about explaining this to people who have probably had at least 100x more experience than me.
posted by Freaky at 5:15 PM on June 21, 2007


BrotherCaine: You're right, I shouldn't have said that people wouldn't cheat if they had great sex in their relationship. I meant that if sex was the only reason men got into a relationship in the first place (regarding humblepigeon's comment) then they'd all bail as soon as the sex got lousy. But since that doesn't occur, it can't be just sex that keeps men in relationships. I agree with everything you said regarding cheating, so I think we're on the same page.
posted by liquorice at 5:46 PM on June 21, 2007


Liquorice: Well, okay then.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:09 PM on June 21, 2007


It's perfectly possible to get a man to ejaculate whilst denying him an orgasm. Google "prostate milking."
posted by desjardins at 8:30 AM on June 22, 2007


I always figured that if people are in a long-term relationship (like his 5-year one prior to me), they get better at sex, because they have longer to practise, get to know each other, etc. So how can our half-year relationship compare sexually to his five-year one?

I think humblepigeon nailed it with this bit (before heading off on a bizarre rant for the second part of his comment):

Sex is all about chemistry between two people. Love also helps a bucket load. Love can turn ordinary sex into something that exists on a level with God.

Plus, there's such thing as being a responsive lover. Some women lie back and think of England. Some women provide feedback. Some women have their own techniques, for chrissakes!


I might also throw in a suggestion that people can have short memories, especially with intangible things like the quality of emotions, pleasure & desire. Since humblepigeon was ranting about food, it could be like this: imagine that some time five years ago, you frequented a certain fancy French restaurant. You remember that the food was great, but your memory of it now extends to little more than "I ate some great food back then", quite abstracted & drained of the visceral side of things. Similarly, you can only really remember illness & pain in a very abstract sense.

Also, as mathowie suggested, you're probably (both) riding the waves of dopamine & oxytocin that kick in early in good relationships, so your boyfriend may be comparing the current emotional & physical intensity with a rather abstracted memory of something that might have last happened to him around four years ago. Evolutionarily speaking, a theory is that these chemicals usually stick around long enough for a baby to be born, plus a little time while it is still tiny & vulnerable, but that's a bit of an overthinking derail. The summary is that maybe he just hasn't been in this lovey-dovey zone for a while, and has largely forgotten what it feels like.

Anyway, it sounds like you're having a ball, so good luck & stop overthinking it! :)
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:41 PM on June 23, 2007


Most definitions of orgasm include something along the lines of "marked by strong feelings of pleasure", and it's perfectly possible to ejaculate without that, literally to the point at which it's little more than a sneeze

Oh, for fuck's sake. Yes, yes, you're so sexually enlightened. Meanwhile, the rest of the world realises that, while once in a while you'll have an orgasm that's so emotionally intense, man, even when you're cracking one off by yourself, it still hits your pleasure centre, and everyone calls that an orgasm. Get over it.
posted by chrismear at 6:28 PM on June 23, 2007


(the issue is derail noise, anyway)
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:00 PM on June 23, 2007


What? The OP asked if sex was always good for men, presumably thinking that, because men normally "orgasm", they, um, "ORGASM". The answer is no. If you want to get upset and insulting about it or call it a derail, fine, I'm thrilled your sex life/plumbing is so great that what I'm saying sounds unreasonable.
posted by Freaky at 7:31 AM on June 24, 2007


someone on the bust forum a while back joked that sex for guys is like pizza: "even when it's bad it's still pretty good." i don't think the guy/girl experience being different thing is all that reliable necessarily, but i have heard a lot over time from different guy friends about that "relief"/releasing a pressure valve sense of sex.

personally, i've always been really glad i was a girl when it came to sex. it's pigheaded, but i get the feeling when functioning at our full potential, women get the better end of the deal. sorry to sound so simplistic and generalizing about something i can't ever really know...but that's how i feel. (:
posted by ifjuly at 1:07 PM on June 24, 2007


Freaky: sorry, didn't mean to offend. I interpreted the question more in terms of emotional-physical chemistry & whether it's sustainable in the long term. Framing the issue in terms of intensity of male orgasms, ejaculation without orgasm (or vice versa) etc seemed to be reducing it to a single mechanical detail, which is only one part of a much broader experience, imho.

Fair enough, though. I can see where you're coming from now. Just because guys will usually 'orgasm' doesn't tell you all that much about the quality of their experience.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:22 PM on June 24, 2007


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