There is nothing more annoying than listening to yet another “I-don’t-know” to a simple and always so welcome “what-do-you-want-to-do?” Beware of passive responses. A woman who knows what she wants will say so. A confident woman is more likely to be forceful in bed. Good lovers participate in the creation of pleasure. No guess-work is required. “Human tastes in bed are just as varied as tastes in food,” says Helen Fisher, Ph.D, author of Why We Love.
“A person may like Japanese food but hate pizza. Some women want their nipples chewed on; others need you to be more delicate.” Today’s women aren’t shy. “In the past, women didn’t get to sleep with enough men to know what they liked,” Fisher says. “But now, women are becoming more experienced and more demanding.”
Table manners also say a lot. “Watch how she uses her fork. Does she enjoy things? Is she sensuous? Is she porky and grabby?” says Candida Royalle, a producer of femme-friendly adult films and a veteran adult-film star. “If someone eats slowly, it’s likely that they like to make love for a long time. I’m one of the slowest eaters I know.”
“The first thing to look for is mirroring of verbal behavior and pace,” explains Michael Cunningham, Ph.D., a professor of social psychology at the University of Louisville. “That is, if her pace and her nonverbal behavior match yours, her sexual behavior, which is also nonverbal, will also likely match. “If somebody says something and the other person goes on to another subject,” he says, “they’re not tuning in very well. They probably won’t tune in during sex, either.”
“Young women often aren’t relaxed enough to have an orgasm,” Fisher says. Older women know what they like and will tell you. “They realize that if they have frequent orgasms, it’s better for the man in the long run.”
At menopause, “levels of estrogen recede, unmasking the power of testosterone,” Fisher says. “This allows women to be more assertive and demanding, and many of them become more interested in sex.”
“The way you kiss says a lot about how you make love,” says Ava Cadell, Ph.D., an L.A.-based sexologist and author. “I call kissing ‘facial intercourse.’ It’s not just using the lips; it’s using the entire body. If she uses her hands on you and presses her breasts into you and moans and groans, she’s going to be a great lover.
“The best female lovers also create sexual anticipation. They start with baby kisses, and then maybe lick your top lip and suck your bottom lip, and as they’re doing that, they play with your hair, or put your hands on them. It’s sort of like a dance.”
Fisher didn’t flinch. “There is a certain amount of dance to copulation. And dancing is energetic, which suggests someone who’s in good shape,” she said. “But I think what’s really going on is that dancing indicates someone who’s social and self-confident.”