Is asking for sex selfish? What makes someone a selfish lover? And when is being a little selfish a good thing?
This email reminded me of a study I had once seen, a study that triggered headlines like “Being Selfish Makes You Good In Bed” and “Selfish Lovers Are The Happiest.” The study (which you can read here) used the term “self focused” rather than selfish, and reported that people who had high levels of sexual self focus were not only more sexually satisfied, but also had more satisfied lovers.
So what is the difference between being selfish in bed and having a positive self focus? In this podcast episode (click the play button at the top of the page to start listening!) we get to the roots of our fear of being sexually selfish and encourage instead a positive attitude of sexual self focus.
Sexually Selfish: Focuses only on own pleasure, without regard to partner’s experience or feelings
Sexually Self Focused: Focuses simultaneously on own experience and partner’s feelings, with the goal of mutually pleasurable, consensual and satisfying sex.
Sexually Selfish: Initiates sex with and agenda for a specific outcome
Sexually Self Focused: Initiates sex without an agenda, allowing the intimate moment to be an authentic expression of both partner’s needs and wants.
Sexually Selfish: Takes sexual refusal personally and holds grudges about being rejected
Sexually Self Focused: Knows refusal isn’t always personal and can feel hurt without holding grudges or punishing partner
Sexually Selfish: Expects partners to magically know what they want and perform accordingly
Sexually Self Focused: Can communicate clearly about desires, preferences and requests to give their partner the gift of being a satisfying lover
Here is the email that inspired this podcast episode. You can be in touch to suggest topics or ask questions by clicking here.
Dear Pleasure Mechanics,
Thank you for your podcast and all you do. Listening has been great for my attitudes about sex (recovering catholic here!) I have a question for you, something that has been bothering me for the ten plus years of my marriage. I seem to have a higher libido than my wife, and struggle with the ethics of initiating sex. Once we get started she enjoys sex and I focus a lot of time on her pleasure (even more now thanks to your advice) but she never initiates. When I do, i feel like I am being selfish, like I am pushing my own agenda on her. And, once we are in bed, I feel selfish if I ever take a moment to really just enjoy sex, like when she is giving me oral sex I feel like I need to do something to make her feel good. Is this normal? Basically, i want to be a good husband and respect her, but if I never initiated we’d never end up in bed. Is it selfish of me to ask for sex when I want it? Thanks, Dan