Sometimes talking is the best foreplay
| by Sheila Wray Gregoire
Do you know what one of my least favourite parts of being a woman is? Now don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about cramps or anything gross. It’s really quite simple. I hate multi-tasking.
I multi-task even when I don’t have to. I’m completely incapable of talking on the phone without simultaneously doing dishes or folding laundry. I can’t sit in line at a drive through without cleaning out my purse. I just can’t stay on one wavelength for any amount of time.
I know that we women often berate you men for not being better multi-taskers. (How come I leave you with the kids all day and when I get home it’s a worse mess than when I left? Can’t you clean and baby-sit at the same time?) But the truth is that we don’t always enjoy being the way we are. It makes it hard to live in the moment.
If I’m staring at a beautiful sunset, for instance, I’ll start wondering if I should fetch my camera or call my daughters to come and look at it with me. I can’t just savour God’s gifts.
And let me tell you, guys, that’s one reason why it’s hard for us to savour you, too. Even if we want to.
Take this scenario: you climb into bed one night with that glint in your eye. Your wife walks in the bedroom and grins at your “come hither” look. She scatters her clothes as she saunters towards you. You start smooching and touching and everything’s going great, when all of a sudden she pushes you away and asks: “Do you think Michelle should drop piano? She just isn’t enjoying it and it’s costing us $20 a week in lessons, and a whole Tuesday night. We could take that money and go to a movie as a family and spend quality time together instead!”
What happened to your quality time, you wonder? You were all gearing up to go someplace, and your wife has now put the brakes on. You sigh, roll back on your pillow, and listen for the next 10 minutes as your naked beloved explains the issues with the piano teacher, and the problems with Michelle joining a praise team, and speaking of the church, do you think Davy is fitting in to the new youth group? And we really should have your mom in for dinner because she’s pretty upset given the anniversary of your dad’s death is coming up.
Oh, yeah, you really wanted to talk about Dad’s death tonight instead of just getting it on. But what’s occurring in this bedroom? Has your wife, who just a minute ago was hot for you, suddenly grown cold?
That’s what it may look like, but looks can be deceiving. So allow this multitasking cursed woman to explain to you one-track minded men what’s really happening.
Many times when I snuggle up to my husband I have every intention of letting things take their natural course. But what’s natural for men is not always natural for me. Because I’m a woman, I have to concentrate in order to enjoy sex. My body doesn’t suddenly spring into action the way my husband’s does. I have to get myself in the mood, anticipate what we’re doing, and concentrate if it’s going to feel good.
Sex, you see, is mostly in my head.
And if there’s too much other stuff rolling around in my head, my body won’t be able to get in the game. Part of getting ready for the big event, then, is to empty my head of all the stuff that’s rattling around in there. When I can get it out, I can let other stuff in.
Unfortunately, I didn’t really understand this about myself when I first got married. I thought that when I lost focus in bed, that I actually didn’t want to get romantic. The reverse was true. When I started to make love, my mind went into overdrive. It realized, “Uh oh. She wants me to concentrate on sex, so I’ve got to try to expel all this other stuff that’s in here.” And it all hit full force.
Keith used to grow resentful at my monologues mid-foreplay, but one night he decided just to listen to me. And when I was all done, he started kissing me again, and everything went great! So now we try to be proactive about talking, and take a walk after dinner, or take a bath together, or just chat after the kids are in bed. I’m not looking for him to solve my problems; I just need to relieve the pressure.
Next time your wife starts talking a mile a minute in the middle of making love, then, don’t take it personally. For us multi-taskers, talking is the best foreplay. You just may find afterwards that she actually wants to concentrate on you!
Sheila is the author of several marriage books, including The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex. You can find her speaking at marriage conferences around the country, or at www.SheilaWrayGregoire.com
The article above was featured in the January 2012 issue of SEVEN magazine.