Relationships can be tricky. I sat down with Cassandra Hesse, a badass bombshell that has devoted her life to researching the psychology behind sex and relationships. In this article, she outlines the top questions and concerns people come to her with, and offers up her best sex and relationship advice for women.
Let’s get toooo it.
Top 7 Pieces of Sex & Relationship Advice for Women, as told by a sex researcher
Lesson #1: Not picking up what your partner is puttin’ down? Communicate!
It’s time to take a page from the song, “Let’s talk about sex, baby!” and actually do it. “My biggest sex and relationship advice for women is to communicate. Women aren’t communicating and there is a disconnect between the expectations of what their partner thinks they want versus what you actually want. Some are too nervous or shy to speak up, and others don’t want to hurt their partner’s feelings. To that I say, get over it. Don’t be afraid to say “Stop.. this ain’t workin’ for me”. Yah, it might be uncomfortable at first, but you’ll thank yourself in the long run.”
Research has consistently discovered that the more sexual communication you engage in with your partner, the more sexually satisfied you will be (Levin, 2006; Brewer & Hendrie, 2011)
Lesson #2: It’s about QUALITY over QUANTITY
“I see this all the time, people will stress out so much about how often they are having sex with their partner. I always follow up with, “when you do have sex, how is it?!”
Most people get so caught up in the numbers. As long as things are good between the sheets when it does happen, what do you need to be concerned with?”
Research has determined that although couples in long term relationships tend to have less sex with time and age, the quality of the sex tends to get better, and individuals report feeling happier. This in turn is due to feeling more comfortable in your skin and more confidence in expressing what you like. Specifically, people tend to focus less on the frequency of the sex, and more on the intimacy and emotions sex can bring to the relationship.
Lesson #3: Relationships Can’t Thrive on Sex Alone and Vice Versa
“People tend to use sex to evaluate how things are going in a partnership. However, there is so much more to the sexuality of a relationship than the physical act itself. My advice for people is to start evaluating relationships based on INTIMACY.
How often are you cuddling on the couch? Are you still going on dates and having engaging conversations over wine? Do you understand each other? Do you support each other when you’re going through a totally shit time?
When you build a relationship with someone, intimacy surfaces in so many other ways and deepens your connection. Things like developing trust, blending your families and friends, sharing hobbies, that is all an integral part of the intimacy in your relationship.
This is also why a relationship can’t thrive on physicality alone. Relationships built on sexual connection versus the quality of the partnership itself as a whole have a very low chance of survival.”
Lesson #4: Men and Women are Wired Differently
Everyone knows this. It’s basic evolution. So why do we constantly feel like we always need to be on the same page when it comes to sex? Men can get turned on by a slight breeze on a summer day. Women ain’t so lucky.
“There is a fundamental difference in how the two approach sex. Women put a lot of weight on the quality of sex, while men tend to lean towards quantity. While women need to be in the right mood and need more time, men are over there like “oh, our car broke down and we have to stay in this dingy motel 4 that probably has bed bugs… soooo *eyebrow raise*”.
The sooner you realize and honour this difference, the easier it will be to navigate through it in your relationship.
Tip: On average, women tend to take roughly 11 minutes to warm up and get in the mood whereas men can get excited in seconds. Therefore it is important to be mindful of the needs and expectations of each partner, and plan your sex night accordingly. No quickies!
Lesson #5: It’s all in your head
The success of a sexual encounter really comes down to your frame of mind. If you’re thinking about what that b*tch Sandra in accounting said at work today, chances are things aren’t going to go well under the covers.
Although life events such as work, stress, children and family can potentially hinder your sex life, it is still important to take the time to be physical with your person.
Research suggest that partnerships that take the time to understand the wants, needs and expectations of the relationship have a higher chance of survival. Be mindful of potential stressors in your partners life that may lead to unfulfilling expectations towards the relationship. Provide support in these cases, not conflict.
Lesson #6: Happiness in a Relationship Starts with You
“Chances are, there is something holding you back from being 100% yourself in the bedroom. This is often correlated to a person’s self-confidence. When it comes to sex and relationship advice for women, being comfortable in your own skin top’s the list. As women, our perception of what guys prefer versus what they actually prefer has been skewed by the beauty industry, and this unrealistic expectation often leads to low self-esteem, anxiety, and in severe cases eating disorders.
In recent years, researchers have discovered that this unrealistic standard is actually not preferred by men and several studies examined this phenomenon by using pictures to illustrate the gross misunderstanding.
Researchers would show several pictures of women standing in a line next to each other – skinniest to largest. They then asked women to pick the woman that they thought men would prefer the most. Results reveal that women were actually way off, and tended to pick the woman with a smaller frame and skinnier thighs and hips.
Opposing however, men consistently picked women that were larger than average, and with bigger hips and breasts.
The takeaway? Don’t believe the distorted view the beauty industries are having you believe that is shattering your self-confidence. Find ways to love who you are. You are beautiful no matter what your body looks like, and your partner thinks so too. As soon as you believe this in the bedroom, the better off you’ll be.”
Lesson #7: Casual Sex & Catchin’ Feels
Casual sex. Is there such thing?! Maybe in rare cases. Emphasis on rare. As women, we are naturally searching for a partner because we are more maternal. Our biology triggers us to want a relationship and when we find someone who has resources we are attracted to, we have a residual connection with that person after we are physical with them.
Men on the other hand are conditioned to look for someone who has an ability to be child bearing, often younger women with genetics they would want in an offspring. Her resources don’t matter. Once they have “planted their seed” so to speak, their work is done. Harsh, but true. Women are built to nurture and protect, so we connect on a deeper level to that person, and have a higher chance of catchin’ feels.
Research suggests that men are highly motivated for the sex whereas women are seeking an emotional connection. In addition, men are more likely to want the relationship to stay the same, whereas women often express a desire for the relationship to change into a full on partnership. This is consistent with the notion of traditional gender roles and how the sexual double standard may influence how each gender tends to approach a casual sexual relationship (Lehmiller, 2011).
Well, there ya have it. The Top 7 Pieces of Sex and Relationship Advice for Women from the lovely Cassandra Hesse. Throwing out truth bombs left, right and centre. I’d like to thank her for sitting down and chatting over coffee and diving into the nitty gritty topics people struggle with in daily life. If you’d like more sex and relationship tips from Cass, follow her here or here!
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