--By Alexandra Penney

         One day I began to wonder, if men wanted to be made love to, did women know how? I realised that most women never think of making love to a man. We are taught that we should be seductive, entrancing, good conversationalists, & good cooks, but when it comes right down to bed, most of us want to be taken by Prince Charming to the fabulous land of orgasms & ecstatic sexual delights. Deep down, a woman expects a
man to make love to her & to take the initiative in the sexual area.
         Everything I read on the subject seemed to take for granted that the male was basically the initiator in sex, that he should be sensitive to a woman's needs, take a lot of time, & help a woman achieve an orgasm or even many orgasms if she needed them.
         But what, specifically, did men need besides an erection & a good climax? What were the finer pleasures that men responded to? No book or person had ever clearly revealed to women what making love to a man was really all about.
         After my spree with the books, I went to the primary source: I started asking
men what they wanted from their wives, lovers, &/or mistresses. I interviewed over 200 men of all ages from many different economic & ethnic backgrounds. Almost every one of them loved the idea of being made love to!
         Herb, a six-foot-two construction engineer, came close to summing up the majority opinion. "Once in a while I want to lie back & be taken care of."
         Other researchers are beginning to confirm that men want to be made love to. For example, in "Beyond the Male Myth: What Women Want to Know About Men's Sexuality," the most striking statistic shows that 75% of men today want more involvement by the woman before or during intercourse. They want a woman who shows her interest & enjoyment, who is an active participant, & who is not timid in bed. This is a new attitude compared with that of men of past generations who wanted only compliance from their women. Until recently a man might have found an active partner threatening, unladylike, or downright sluttish, but most men today feel they are entitled to a pleasant respite from constantly having to prove their prowess.
         Even if a woman senses that she should be more active sexually, how does she go about it without being threatening or aggressive? No one has ever helped women find out what their husbands or lovers need, & no one has taught women step-by-step how to make love to men, in clear, simple & unembarrassing language.
         How much or how little sexual experience you have had is not important. There are many women--as well as many men--who are highly experienced sexually, but this does not automatically make them good lovers.
         Technique is important, but making love is really a matter of understanding what your husband or lover wants in a
total way. This totality includes his physical, emotional & spiritual needs. Rich, full, satisfying lovemaking is one of the bases for the kind of intimate, long-lasting relationship that most of us are looking for or have & want to sustain.

         Beyond biology, there seem to be deep differences between men & women when it comes to specific attitudes toward sex.
         I found, in talking to hundreds of men, that the one most striking difference in attitude is the distinction many men make between "having sex" & "making love." Sometimes men want to have sex & sometimes they want to make love, & often they themselves are not fully aware of this distinction. For most women, on the other hand, no matter how temporary or casual the relationship, there is usually an element of affection or caring in sex.
         When it comes to
making love, men are very much like women. Affection & caring are paramount. Making love is not just a matter of reaching physical satisfaction. It also involves two people who are helping each other reach emotional & spiritual fulfilment. When you have made love there is a feeling of having given & having received. It doesn't even matter how & when & who had an orgasm first, because making love is not just a purely physical act. Having sex, however, usually is.
         To most men, having sex is basically a matter of relieving their own sexual tensions, & what their partners do or don't do is almost beside the point.
         Many men say that they want to have sex or make love more frequently than their wives or lovers do. The statistics show that 70% of the men interviewed want sex ideally at least 3 times a week, & about 50% want more sex than they are getting.

         Women are great worriers when it comes to sex: Will he think my hips are too big? Do my breasts droop too much? Do I smell funny? Is my cellulite so bad that I don't dare appear on the beach ever again? Will I ever achieve the mysterious Big Multiple O (orgasm)? Am I as good in bed as his old girl friend?
         Men have their insecurities, too, although many men feel it's unmanly to talk about their problems, worries & fears. However, if you ask questions & listen carefully, you'll find that a man's sexual concerns are quite different from yours & may cause him even more anxiety.
Size: Most men worry that their penis is too small. This is rarely the case. These are the facts: Though penises are different in their flaccid state, they become much more similar when erect.
         You run a risk if you make a direct statement about a man's penis. It may make him feel uncomfortable because it means to him that you're really noticing size (& making comparisons), & no matter
what the size, he may have feelings of inadequacy. The safest rule to follow is to stick to the truth or say nothing at all. If you feel his penis is medium to smallish, it's best not to comment, "Oh, how big!" because he'll pick up your insincerity, but no man minds hearing that his penis is beautiful.
Temporary Impotence: Fear of impotence is perhaps the most crippling fear that a man can face. "When you have to come up with a hard-on, it's a very visual thing, there's no way around it," observes a carpenter. No man, from the young adolescent who is panicked about "getting it up" at the crucial moment, to the senior citizen who is worried about precisely the same thing, is immune to this fear. The greatest cause of impotence is fear of impotence.
Keeping It Up: Closely linked to anxiety about impotence is the very common fear men have that they will be unable to perform sexually. "Not only do you have to get it up, you have to keep it up," points out one man.
Coming Too Soon: Another common fear that men have is of premature ejaculation. "I'm always afraid I'll come in ten seconds & I know it will mess everything up. And the thought is often self-fulfilling prophecy. Then I'm in agony about how frustrated my partner is when it happens," says one man.
Aging: Although most men are anxious about losing their hair & developing a paunch, what they fear the most about aging is that they will no longer be able to function in bed. But recent studies show that a healthy man can be sexually active as long as he lives.

Giving Yourself Permission
         This is about liberation. It's about freeing & opening your own mind to pleasure so that you can pleasure a man completely. It's about abandoning yourself to passion without hearing voices from the past whispering to you that "good girls don't have those feelings, good girls don't do those things."
         It stands to reason that a woman whose fears, prejudices, & inhibitions tell her "stop" at every step is not likely to get very far on the road to sexual fulfillment for herself or her partner. If you've been trained to believe that genitals are nasty, for instance, you'll have difficulty caressing your lover's penis in a way that gives you both pleasure, let alone using your mouth in creative, sensuous ways. If you've been programmed to see sex as a "marital duty," something to be done in the dark, with as little fuss as possible, how will you be able to achieve the kind of physical & emotional freedom that takes lovemaking out of the realm of everyday experience? A woman who has given herself permission to truly enjoy sex is the one who can give extraordinary pleasure to a man!
         To become intimate with someone also involves the fear of exposing the most private parts of you. Fear is actually the biggest obstacle to sexual pleasure: The fear of being hurt physically or emotionally, the fear of approaching someone, the fear of being rejected, the fear of making a mistake, the fear of being ridiculous, undesirable, incompetent, clumsy, foolish, ugly, insensitive--to name but a few. Realise that
both of you have fears & both of you are vulnerable. As one man astutely observed, "For sex to be everything it can be, you can't just stand physically naked. You have to undress emotionally too, & there is a great deal of vulnerability involved. If you are able to take the risk emotionally & physically, you're leaving yourself open for high-quality sex."
         A surprising number of women feel deeply that if they take the initiative & let a husband or lover know what they want, they're sure to be seen as threatening, unfeminine, aggressive, pushy or a turnoff. Gay Tales, the man who did nine years of research before writing "Thy Neighbor's Wife," disagrees. In an interview of "Self" magazine he states:
         "Men need help. A lot of them are passive. I think most men would welcome more sexually aggressive women. A woman who's uninhibited about taking charge of her own sexual pleasure--& his--whether by making the initial approach socially or being assertive in the sex act itself--is a boon to a man, not a threat."
         Furthermore, he adds:
         "Many women feel that a man will be threatened if they are assertive or make the first move sexually. If she's subtle & intelligent about it, no man should ever feel threatened. If he does, he is a man who's more comfortable putting the blame on women instead of where it belongs: On himself."
         Exactly how do you go about letting a man know what you want & try to give him what you suspect he wants without being negatively aggressive, or acting "pushy"? You do it by using intelligence, sensitivity, subtlety, & femininity. This emphatically means that you do not pretend, tease, manipulate or play any roles.
         Men say that one of the best ways a woman can indicate she's interested is to look at a man directly. This may seem like a simple gesture, but for many women it is extremely difficult to do. Many women shy away from direct eye contact with a man because they feel there's something brazen about it. Many a man feels that a woman who looks this way--& holds the look--is making an initial contact in a very seductive way.
         When it comes to eye contact, men note that if you look at them directly, you're paying a compliment, especially if you add a smile.

Getting Ready: Feeling Sexy
         If you ask 100 men, "What is sexy?", 99 of them will probably say something like "self-confidence" or "self-assurance." The other one will always say "big breasts." I don't think those 99 are lying. They really don't care that much if a woman is beautiful or has a goddess-like form. What they really think is sexy is the woman who is confident & feels good about herself & her body.
         It's amazing how many of us don't feel attractive or desirable or comfortable with our bodies. Many women prefer to keep the lights down low or turned off altogether when they make love. In short, many women don't think they're sexy.
         It's worthy reviewing the words men use most often when they try to define "sexy": Self-confidence, composure, intelligence, self-assurance, friendliness, femininity, at ease with her body, clean, neat, well-groomed, healthy, attractive, real fit, etc.!
         So, contrary to what the media say, you do not have to be beautiful or have a perfect body to be truly sexy! "If
you feel that you are sexy, men will feel that you are too," states a present-day courtesan.
         What does it take to feel sexy? Simply this: The more you are comfortable & at ease with yourself & your body, the more sexy & attractive you will feel, & you must
feel sexy in order to be sexy.
         Perhaps the most famous women who left a legacy of seduction & lovemaking with elaborate, lavish preparations, were the 19th Century women of France, known as courtesans. Their showiness was a result of enormous sums they were paid for making love in the most complete way, but underneath all their extravagance was a genuine concern for giving sensual & sexual pleasure to men. To me, courtesans are fascinating women who were the ultimate practitioners in pleasing a man's senses while making him feel completely at home. In other words, they knew how to seduce & how to set the scene for lovemaking. If you take the time to think about what your husband or lover responds to, & if you remember to pleasure each of his senses, you will have discovered the courtesans' greatest secret. The important point is to set, not a scene that pleases
you, but one that delights & inspires your particular man. Here are some ideas you can use as take-off points.
Sense of sound: Music can be a powerful aphrodisiac. Certain beats have a definite sexual rhythm. Many people have special music that sets the mood for romance or becomes a signal that means making love.
Sense of sight: We've all seen men watch women as they walk down the street. Notice how men also linger over a provocative picture in a magazine or how some males almost automatically check out a woman's chest area. Men's responses vary widely, but in general most men quickly react to visual stimuli. You can easily set some interesting & provocative scenes for him at home: A bed turned down the way it is in a hotel, a specially set table with candles & flowers, you in a steamy bubble bath when he comes home, sheer black stockings draped over a bedroom chair, etc.
Sense of smell: Most men are not as aware as women are of the power of fragrance & its aphrodisiac effects. Give him a bath with some scented bath oil, place a fragrant soap at the sink, spray your sheets & pillows very lightly with the fragrance that you use. Dab some of your personal perfume on the light bulbs; when the bulbs are turned on, the heat will diffuse the fragrance in the room. Fragrance is a very powerful subliminal signal that makes a man aware of your presence, but use it with restraint. Too much perfume sprayed on you, your clothes, the sheets, the room, can be overpowering & send him running out the door in search of fresh air.
Sense of touch: Men claim that things that feel silky or are diaphanous are very feminine & therefore very sexy. That explains why so many of them respond to silky, see-through nightgowns & underwear & soft sheets that feel smooth & satiny. Shiny, clean, healthy-looking hair is something else men say they love to feel. And almost every man agrees that a soft, clingy dress made from flowing material is something that almost asks to be touched.
Sense of taste: The old clich goes, "the quickest way to a man's heart is through his stomach." It's true--& rarely does a man deny it. To prepare a meal for someone is one of the most loving & seductive gestures a woman can make. Historically, breaking bread or the sharing of food is the beginning of closeness between people.
         The point to remember about taste is that it's
his taste you're trying to captivate. Don't give him just what you think he likes: Take time to find out his special preferences.

         There's something wonderfully exciting about the prospect of going to bed with someone for the first time. But although you may be looking forward to it, you're likely to feel uneasy about it, too. One friend of mine says candidly, "I'm a little afraid. I hope it's going to be great, but I'm worried that it's going to be awkward, that I'm not going to look good to him, & that things won't be as perfect as I want them to be." The first time is rarely ever perfect. Bodies are bared, emotions are flying, & anxiety is peaking. There's always a natural awkwardness about having a sexual experience with someone new, particularly with someone who is very special to you.
         Men are particularly prone to extra-high anxiety the first time they go to bed with a new partner. If you keep in mind the very common male fear about "getting it up & keeping it up," you'll begin to see that his anxieties are probably even more intense than yours. However, both of you can be more relaxed about "the first time" if you concentrate on the following:
Start by suggesting a bath or massage.
Keep your sense of humour. It's pretty certain that both of you are going to touch the wrong spots, do the wrong things & make clumsy movements, so accept your nervousness with a sense of humour.
Refuse to be hurried. Start your lovemaking by setting a leisurely relaxed pace. For most people, the first few times are so quick they don't have a chance to feel anything fully, so refuse to be hurried.
No fast or sudden moves. Keep all your movements fluid & sensual. An unexpected or quick motion can take him by surprise & cause him an anxious moment, disturbing the sensual, relaxed atmosphere.
Understand "performance anxiety." Usually, the most effective way to deal with temporary impotence due to performance anxiety is to focus on something else, such as massage or mutual, relaxed stroking of the body: A relaxed, non-anxious, unhurried attitude works wonders. Another way to deal with the situation is to put a man at his ease by recognising his problem & saying, "It's not important. Why don't we just relax, there's always tomorrow." If you say words to this effect--& you mean them--it does a great deal to alleviate his anxiety.
No faking please. Don't fake pleasure & don't fake an orgasm. It's going to backfire on you in the long run.

         Don't touch! That's what we learned when we were kids, & some of us are still following those orders. Men in our society rarely touch each other except in athletic games, most married couples touch each other less & less as time goes by, & it's a long-standing joke about how chic women often just kiss the air instead of touching the cheek that's dutifully offered to them at dinner parties. However, research has shown that babies must be touched often & with caring, loving hands in order to thrive, sometimes even to survive. We all need to be touched to reaffirm that we're human, we're alive, we're loved.
         Says a friend of mine who claims he can discover if a woman is good in bed simply by her touch: "A woman who is competent sexually usually has a firm but gentle touch. She's deft, doesn't flutter. She places her hand on your arm & holds it there for a second or two longer than the nonsensual woman does."
         Stay keenly alert so you'll know when you've hit one of your lover's sensitive, responsive areas. His whole body, or part of it, may react by a slight stiffening, he may breathe a little more deeply or audibly sigh, or his hands & toes may stiffen & curl very slightly. Sometimes the palms & soles of his feet will become moist if he is being erotically stimulated in a particularly sensitive place. Some men also display a pale pink to red flush over the chest when they are extremely stimulated.
         One last thought to keep well in mind: Don't ever confuse a
firm touch with a grabby touch. Men, as well as women, react very negatively to this kind of pawing. Quick, grabby movements are not conducive to making love. Generally speaking, slow, even, caressing movements are far better. You should begin with these & then slowly & gradually work up to firmer & firmer strokes, again keeping in mind that not only your hands but every part of your body can touch & be touched in return.

         "Most Americans make love as if they're running a race," points out one sex expert. "You can certainly have an exciting, quick sexual encounter, but most women are unaware that to really make love to a man requires time." It takes very little time for a man to simply ejaculate, but it takes an extended amount of time to give a man the intense kind of orgasm that differentiates lovemaking from plain routine sex.
         Physiologically, the more stimulation that a man experiences, the more intense & dramatic his orgasm or climax will be.

         Is there any way to talk easily about sex? Every manual, every text, almost every single book on modern sex says that communication is one of the most important parts of lovemaking. "More than any other factor," underscores the "Redbook" sex survey, "effectiveness in conveying one's preferences & feelings about sex is the key to a good sex life." Communicating about sex means that you are revealing your most intimate personal needs, feelings, & wishes, an extremely difficult feat for most of us. But it is possible to bring up the subject & to talk about what you both need from each other. Some people will be more direct & straightforward when discussing sex; others will be extremely shy or uncomfortable. The important thing to remember is that no matter what your style or his--direct, subtle, shy, embarrassed--a specific conversation about your needs is essential.
         Usually in the first stage of a relationship, couples try nonverbal means of telling each other what feels good. Touching & guiding of hands, heads, & bodies is what we typically do to tell each other how we like things to go. Some men & women who know each other well show each other how they like to be stimulated by masturbating in front of their partners--but no matter how enlightening this may prove to be, many couples still feel uncomfortable about doing it. Nonverbal methods work--up to a point--but many of us don't pick up on the clues we're given because they're not clear or specific enough.
Talking, then, is still the best & most direct way of knowing for sure that his sexual needs, & yours, will be met.
         What is the best time & place to talk about sex? Opinions vary widely, but many men I spoke with feel that the easiest place is anywhere but bed. The timing is also important. Morning seems to be a preferred hour. Explains one articulate lawyer, "I think it's harder to talk about sex when you're in bed. I find Anne & I often slip into a rating system about what happened the last time we made love. We realised that we could have a frank discussion without the scorecard situation more easily in the morning over a cup of coffee in the kitchen." One woman who finds it difficult to talk about sex says that she can bring up the subject "without too much anxiety" over dinner in an intimate restaurant. "I can talk with more detachment about sex in a public place. It's also a turn-on for both of us," she says.

         As I was doing interviews, I found it easier to talk about sexual specifics to men than to women. They're more open, more comfortable, & they're surprisingly grateful to have the chance to say something about what they want & how they want it. You'll find that most men talk in an unembarrassed way about sex, so if you can get down to details as soon as possible with your husband or lover, it will save you a great deal of groping, anxiety, & misunderstanding.
         Precisely how do you deal with specifics? Suppose you would like to do something that you haven't tried together before, but nothing, so far, has been brought up about the subject? How do you go about saying what you'd like? One highly experienced woman suggests asking a man: "What do you know that I don't know?" "This," she says, "is a no-fail method, a sure way of getting him to say what he wants. You then can tell him what
you want. Most men are happy to show off their sexual expertise by teaching you what they think you don't know, & it also gives them the chance to explore things they may have wanted to try but have been afraid to ask."

         Professional lovers--prostitutes, hookers, call girls, hustlers, courtesans--make sex their business, & those who are successful & stay successful have trade secrets that help keep business booming. Here are some extra-special techniques & ideas that you might find interesting as well as educational:
         * "Concentration is the key to being good in bed," emphasises a New York professional. "I force myself to concentrate on what I'm doing. I become totally involved with the movements I'm making.
         "Every person has something you can appreciate," says the same woman. "Even if he's not Robert Redford or Cary Grant, you can make him feel like a star if you tell him the ways he really is lovable. And make sure to show a great deal of affection & care. After all, aren't most people starved for affection?"
         * "Start with a bath for two," advises one attractive red-haired call girl, who points out that not only is a good soaping a sensuous experience, but it "guarantees a certain degree of personal hygiene."
         * "The morning is the best time to make love to a man," states one professional. "Many men usually have an erection when they wake up." Science supports this view, because the male's testosterone levels, which help to dictate sexual response, are at their peak around 7 a.m. She goes on to say, "Morning sex is, I think, quite different from nighttime sex. It's usually more athletic & gives you a boost instead of the opposite way around. Men have told me that good sex before breakfast gives them energy all day."
         * But the biggest secret of the top-quality professional remains focus & undiluted, undivided attention to the man she's in bed with. "I focus totally & completely on the man. I try & make him feel he's the only man in the World, that he's the sexiest, most desirable, most wonderful lover I could possibly have," said one articulate call girl who is paid over $1000 a night for her services by an international clientele.
         "Nothing is a bigger turn-on," she said, "than knowing you are the object of someone's desire & that you are the sole focus of love & attention. Surely the best way to make love to a man is to let him know that you are truly carried away by desire!"