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Georgetown and UCLA are in the college basketball finals.
The players are hyped, the coaches are hopeful and anxious.
You, having put your dibs on Georgetown, have planned your day
around the event.
Every time Georgetown scores, you're off the sofa with excitement.
The tension builds. The fourth quarter ends with a tie, and
the battle moves into overtime. Then a second overtime. Finally
Georgetown scores, the buzzer sounds, the game is over, and your
team is the winner.
You are a winner-your team won!
That night you get into bed with your wife, and you want to
be a winner again.
In other words, you try to score.
Your wife's sexual responses are the baskets you make. The
faster and more often you get a response, the more your excitement
builds. You go for the hot spots-you manipulate and maneuver in
order to gain points.
If there's no response, you get tense, frustrated. You're playing
by the rules, aren't you? It doesn't seem fair. As soon as you figure
out the rules, she changes them!
The harder you try, the worse things get. You're desperate. After
all, if youwere a real man, you could bring your wife to orgasm,
more than one orgasm. If you can't, she's a loser-and so are you.
SEXUAL COMPETITIVENESS IN THE MAKING
When did this game of winning and losing at sex really start?
Your father may have been filled with pride when, at 21
months, you could catch the green sponge football or tap the keys
on his computer. "He seems so coordinated," Dad said, or, "He's
exceptionally bright!" Someday, he secretly hoped, you'd make the
family proud by tackling for the NFL or developing the next "killer
A few years later it was T-ball, soccer, or using your own computer.
You heard Daddy tell Grandpa on the telephone about your
catch, your two runs, or your amazing skill at chess. The message
was coming through loud and clear: To feel good about yourself,
you have to score, hit, catch, run, block, and rush. You have to win!
Most girls, meanwhile, were spending their early years differently.
While most boys were playing a competitive game or wishing
they were, girls pursued less competitive, more process-oriented
activities like dance or music. Some girls were active in sports, but
tended to talk while they played-making it less of a battle and
more of a social event.
Maybe you weren't into sports, either-and your parents
weren't obsessed with winning. Still, you probably saw the competition
around you and either disdained it or measured yourself
against it. Chances are those comparisons helped to form your self-image.
Puberty and Beyond
In middle school and high school, perhaps you continued to compete.
Maybe you didn't go out for a team, but still went to games
or saw them on TV. Whether you played or watched, the stakes were
high. In everything from swimming
to track to wrestling, the point was
If you went to college, maybe
you kept playing or watching. Or
your interest may have shifted to
other arenas-competing for the
best grade in chemistry, the lead
role in the play, the prettiest girlfriend, the winning vote in a student
body election. In the working world you started to vie for the
highest pay, the most impressive title.
Competing, achieving, arriving, scoring, hunting, and winning
are natural inclinations for men. It's no different when it comes to
the sexual, romantic part of life.
IS SCORING WHAT IT'S ALL ABOUT?
We're amazed how often we hear this complaint from women: "It
really bugs me when I'm cooking dinner or washing dishes and he
comes and grabs me sexually."
What's that man trying to accomplish?
He's trying to be a winner. He thinks that to be a winner, he
has to score; to score, he has to get her parts to respond.
That line of reasoning seems to start during dating. Guys ask
each other questions like these:
"How far did you go?"
"How much did you get?"
"Did you get to third base?"
"Did you score?"
The assumption is that a man should push a woman as far as
she will go. The further he can get her to go, the more of a winner
Not true! Sex is not about achieving or scoring.
You Don't Win by Pushing for More
Before marriage, the man who pushes sexually puts the woman in
the role of limit-setter. If you
pushed to touch breasts or genitals,
she had to draw the line. If you
crossed it, you taught her to resist.
Even if arousal allowed her to go
along, she may have experienced
sadness and pain afterward. She felt
she'd given in to you.
A man who pushed for more before marriage is likely to continue
the same approach after the wedding. He pushes for as much
as he can get, yet senses that he isn't getting what really satisfies.
The goal-oriented approach won't lead to greater love, passion,
or intimacy. Sex is about relating-not about conquering, achieving,
Ultimately, goal-oriented sex doesn't score anyway. It doesn't
even get you to first base. True gratification doesn't come from how
fast or how often you get your wife to agree, to get aroused, to get
you aroused, to reach an orgasm, or to have more than one orgasm.
That kind of sex leaves one or both lovers disappointed. For
example, when you grab your wife's sexual parts because that feels
good to you or you hope to get her interested in sex, she'll be turned
off. In contrast, the woman who's attended and listened to, who feels
cherished and adored, who's affirmed and pleasured will invite more
touching and more intensity.
IT'S NOT WHETHER YOU WIN OR LOSE;
IT'S HOW YOU PLAY THE GAME
Love, passion, and intimacy are never about winning or losing;
they're about how you play the game. In sex, you need to go for the
Mr. Congeniality Award rather than the Most Valuable Player.
Great sex requires a total shift
in attitude from your natural
instincts. A woman doesn't want to
be a conquest or a win chalked up.
Since the man is never truly satisfied
unless the woman is, he has to
move from his results-oriented
approach to the process orientation
of the woman. He has to learn to
soak in the beautiful movements and harmony of the symphony
instead of going for the winning of his team.
That shift isn't easy. "It is natural for us to want to show affection.
But for some mysterious reason, we equate tenderness with sentimentality,
weakness and vulnerability. We seem to be as fearful to
give as to receive it," wrote Leo Buscaglia.
No wonder it's such a struggle for a man to feel good about
himself in his relationship with his wife and in his relationship with
God. Men want to win, but relationships require a completely different
You don't have to be a slave to the drive to score. You don't have
to suffer the pressure, demands, and self-consciousness that results-oriented
sex brings. You don't have to detach yourself from the
good feelings of the moment.
In our practice of sexual therapy, we find that as couples learn
to focus on the process of pleasure-rather than on the results of
stimulation-they feel less demand. They're not merely satisfied;
they're deeply fulfilled.
That's why, in the chapters that follow, we emphasize a focus
on pleasure rather than on stimulation. If you want to have a
mutually ecstatic sexual experience, you won't be trying to have
one. You'll be attending to mutual pleasure.
To find out how that can happen in your marriage, read on.
Excerpted from THE WAY TO LOVE YOUR WIFE
by Clifford L. Penner Joyce J. Penner
Copyright © 2007 by Dr. Clifford Penner and Joyce Penner.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted October 30, 2012
In today's society there is all sorts of mixed messages about what it means to be a "man", particularly in the bedroom. I've read several of the best books on marriage available and most had a chapter about sex that pretty much said the same thing.
Penner's unique husband / wife perspective is refreshing and doesn't make one blush. I highly recommend this book to any married man who wants to come closer to understanding his wife, regardless of how long they've been married.