What We REALLY Want From Sex


What We REALLY Want From Sex
What do we want from sex? Most people say pleasure & closeness. So why don't we focus on that?

To enhance this “pleasure and closeness” that most of us desire, we need a different approach to sex. For starters, we need to understand that sexual function is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Lubricating or getting erect isn’t worth much if we’re anxious, self-critical, or don’t feel safe. So focusing on genital hydraulics isn’t going to get us what we want.

We also need to understand that orgasm is not the point of sex. Say a sexual encounter lasts, oh, 25 minutes from first glance to last cuddle; and say an orgasm lasts between five and ten seconds (you have multiple orgasms, Miss? OK, add another ten seconds). How can fifteen seconds determine whether the preceding 24¾ minutes were satisfying or a waste of time?


What would you say to someone who told you, “The meal at that restaurant was OK, but I was so focused on getting dessert that I didn’t really let myself get too involved in the wine, salad, bread, main course, service, music, or décor”? Don’t waste your time during sex primarily working toward a climax. Of course, if you feel bored during sex, I can understand you looking beyond the boring part to the exciting finish. But that’s the point—if you want to improve your sexual relationship, you need to focus beyond performance and orgasm. You need to connect, actually talking about what’s going on. And I understand that can be scary.

One more thing with which people distract themselves during sex: the desire to be sexually normal, and the concern that maybe you’re not. I’ll cover that in our next installment.


Dr. Marty Klein is a marriage counselor and sex therapist with 30 years experience. His latest book is SEXUAL INTELLIGENCE: What We Really Want From Sex, and How to Get It.  For more Sexual Intelligence, see and sign up for Dr. Klein’s blog/newsletter, at www.MartyKlein.com.

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Dr. Marty Klein


Dr. Marty Klein is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist.

In his award-winning books lectures, newsletter, and therapy, he helps men & women understand and accept themselves and their sexuality, reducing their feelings of guilt, shame, anxiety, and isolation.

Dr. Klein's new book is Sexual Intelligence. Psychology Today says, "Read this book if you want to improve your sex life." To connect with Dr. Klein, see his provocative newsletter.

Location: Palo Alto, CA
Credentials: MFT, PhD
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Infidelity / Affair Recovery, Sexuality
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