Walk into any store this week and you're guaranteed to face flyers for decadent sweets, promotions for "gifts she'll love", and the mandatory explosion of pink and red. Love it or hate it, it's almost Valentine's Day.
For many couples, the annual celebration will go something like this: Man hunts for present that adequately represents his feelings; man searches for ways to celebrate the occasion; woman sits back and allows herself to be romanced. In essence, the long-time marketing -- and resulting expectation -- of Valentine's Day is centred on the things men can do/buy for their women while women await what's in store for them.
While I'm all for spending a day spoiling your significant other (albeit unofficial, let's not forget about Steak and Sex Day on March 14), this trend of active men and passive women is also a reflection of what' happening in the bedroom. Here's where I think we have a problem.
On average, men are four times more likely than women to be the regular initiators of sex (Valentine's Day or not) and, though more than half of Canadians have had an embarrassing sexual experience, it's typically women who allow these hiccups to keep them from being honest about their intimacy needs.
My experience has taught me that there are a myriad of reasons why women tend to hold back in bed, however, with all this love in the air, I think now is the perfect time to talk about role reversal. For those who have always been more comfortable riding in the passenger seat, here are a few simple ways to move seamlessly behind the wheel (buckle up!):
• Put it in writing: Coming right out with the words, "I want you," or verbally expressing that fantasy you've always had can BE intimidating. Put your dirty thoughts on paper and pop a note into your man's coat pocket for him to find unexpectedly. Not really the note-writing type? A quick text can also get his mind and pulse racing. Remember, things can heat up long before you hit the sheets.
• Let your fingers do the talking: He'll love it if you take charge and surprise him with an unexpected sensual massage. And I know how we women love to multi-task, so use the opportunity to try a brilliant massage oil that doubles as lube. Smooth!
• Put it in code: Establish a word, phrase or signal that says you are in the mood. Hey, do it in public and watch his eyes widen! It's extra intimate because only the two of you are in on the secret and the obscurity makes it an easy way for shy women to instigate getting physical.
• Get out of bed: There's nothing wrong with good old sex in bed, but you'll take your significant other by surprise if you start something at a time or in a location that's new to both of you. If you're not typically the instigator, becoming one when and where it's least expected, will have even more impact.
• Don't be spontaneous: Okay, I get it. The idea of surprise sex makes you break out in hives. If you're a planner, do a little behind-the-scenes prep. If there's one thing that's universally true, the best way to take charge of your sex life is to make sure that you feel good about yourself. So, if making sure things are "just right" is how you feel best, don't fight it.
Almost 60 per cent of Canadians say that their relationship improves with a healthy sex life, so don't wait for him to make the first move. Grab some lube and start improving your relationship!
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