10 simple statements that are worth a thousand dirty pictures
The first time I got naked with Ben, somewhere between peeling off my shirt and unzipping my jeans, he whispered, "You're all soft and S***."
It looks pathetic in print, but at the time, my knees turned to pudding. It helped that his voice was steady and soft, his lips close to my ear. That his words were an endearing mix of tender and guy. That he said it at the moment his hands were securely wrapped around the small of my back and his bare chest was pressed against mine; the moment when I'll believe anything a man tells me.
Later, as we lay facing each other, listening to John Mayer, Ben locked his brown eyes with mine, leaned in, and said, "You do good work."
"Your Body Is a Wonderland" played, and I swallowed a gag. I felt like a whore, and when he finally fell asleep, I dressed in the dark and went home.
Ben was a good guy--he did good work, too, while it lasted. He just didn't understand the power that his words, no matter how innocent, could have on a naked woman. How in five simple whispered words, a man can set a woman throbbing. How in 3 seconds and four syllables he can so crushingly disappoint. How easy it is to do both without realizing it.
Ben's tongue gaffe doesn't even rank among the top three worst things a man has ever said to me in bed. That list: "This was a mistake." (Which it was; but still.) "I know when you're faking." (Which I wasn't.) "Thank you." (Again, the whore thing.)
The list of best things is, sadly, more difficult to compile. It's understandable, I suppose--we never tell you what we like to hear in bed. Let's assume you've said enough of the right words so far, since she's already gotten semi-naked. Now follow these guidelines and you'll become the elusive man she's longing for: the man with a well-trained tongue.
"It's okay for us to go slow"
Say it and mean it. Especially when you're first rubbing skin with a new woman and it's not yet clear whether you'll actually have sex tonight or everything but. Or when you're first getting back together with an ex. Or when you're about to have sex with her for the first time since she gave birth. It builds trust and reassures a woman that you care more about her than about the sex. Also, it often leads to the reverse-psychology phenomenon: She'll want to jump you by the time you finish the sentence. Or maybe that's just me.
"This heart-shaped freckle on your right inner thigh is so beautiful"
Compliments are always good. Except when they're generic. Then she thinks you've said the same thing to 47 other women. Focus on unique details--the way her lips curl or her eyes crinkle. The more special you make her feel, the more aroused she gets. She wants to hear words that imply she's attractive, appreciated, loved--or at least liked. Compliments after sex are good, too. (Just beware of "You do good work.") "Women feel disheveled after sex--without makeup, hair all messy," says Ava Cadell, Ph.D., author of Stock Market Orgasm. "If a man tells a woman he loves the way she looks after sex, that's a bonus point."
Say it often. "You" is the hottest word you can say to a woman in bed. "You make me feel so good" instead of "That feels so good." Subtle modification, but big difference in sentiment. "'You' is sexy because you're referring to her as opposed to the act of sex," says Daylle Deanna Schwartz, a psychotherapist and author of How to Please a Woman in and out of Bed. "It's very personal, and women love that."
"You kiss great for a virgin, Britney"
A woman needs feedback to know she's turning you on. "Oh, yeah. You feel so good. Holy f*#&%@g G--." You're shooting from the frontal lobes here, and verbal cues of any kind work. Even grunting. It indicates you really liked it when she grabbed your ass, but didn't care for the sucking of toes. Need inspiration to get vocal? "Women are much more likely to give longer and more enthusiastic oral sex when men give them a response," says Schwartz. When you drift into radio silence, she starts wondering, Is this doing anything for him? Should I stop? Does my face look fat? All that thinking keeps her from, um, concentrating.
"I'm going to take these off"
Compare this with "Should I take these off?" Too many questions makes sex seem clinical and cerebral, and women hate that. Also, women want the man to convey a sense of certainty. When he does, it creates an intimate space where she can feel safe to open up. Sometimes midthrust queries are necessary, in which case it's best to whisper urgently in her ear. A better time for questions is before or after sex, while you're holding her.
"You make me think dirty thoughts"
Your last girlfriend liked you to swear like Missy Elliot. Your new girlfriend might, too. You just don't know yet: You've had only sweet, respectful, beginning-of-relationship sex. It's time for a dirty-talk litmus test--make a statement like the one above and see if she turns red. "Some women hate the 'c-word' but love the 'p-word,' " says David Copeland, coauthor of How to Talk to Women. "Some feel the opposite. Some dislike both. It's best to test a bit, rather than go for your deepest, kinkiest dirty talk right away." Be attuned to her response before you take it up a notch on the dirty scale. "Know that you are likely to offend a woman at some point," says Copeland. When this happens, revert immediately to PG-rated compliments, a la, "Did I mention that lovely freckle on your thigh?"
"I want to make you feel good"
You want her to have an orgasm, and you want her to know it. But talking about it is one way to ensure it won't happen--it sometimes comes across as your being more concerned about your abilities than about how she feels. "Focus not on orgasm, but on giving her sexual pleasure," says Laura Berman, Ph.D., a clinical professor at Northwestern University and director of the Berman Center in Chicago. "It's more erotic." Swap in the words "feel good" and "pleasure" for "orgasm" in your vocabulary.
"Next time, I'm going to take you on the hobbyhorse"
Afterplay is just as important for building her arousal as foreplay, and it takes only a fraction of the time. "Create sexual anticipation by telling her what you're going to do to her next time," suggests Cadell. "It conveys that you care about her and want to satisfy her." And it lets her know she's still desirable to you, even after you've had your way with her.
"You amaze me"
Or "You're amazing." It says, "That was really great sex," without actually saying, "That was really great sex." Another declaration that women love to hear: "You're the best lover I've ever had." If it's true, tell her. There's no greater confidence booster; and once she holds the title, she'll make darn sure she keeps it.
"Let me get back to you on that"
In the movie Entrapment, Sean Connery says, "Rule Number Two: Never trust a naked woman." Adapt that to "Never trust yourself in the presence of a naked woman" and make it Rule Number One when it comes to talking to her in bed. "Before you make a promise, imagine her with clothes on for just a second," Copeland says. A man under the influence of the "p-" or "c-word" is in no state to make rational decisions or commitments. She knows this. Beware.
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