Why Do You Think Women Need More Foreplay Than Men?

Jay Dee

Why Do You Think Women Need More Foreplay Than Men?

Oct 01, 2012

I should start by saying, I don’t fit the male stereotype. I love foreplay. I like kissing, I like hugging, I like feeling my wife. I also recognize that I need foreplay in order to perform sexually better. On the other side, my wife also does not fit the female stereotype. She gets annoyed with foreplay, she wants to “get on with it”, though she does recognize that she also needs foreplay in order to perform sexually better. We do fit the male/female stereo typical sex drives though, so, here’s my opinion on the matter:

This week I’m participating in the 1/2 Marathon being orchestrated by the Christian Marriage Bloggers Association.  I have a bunch of questions left from the A Males Perspective teleconference I spoke at last week.  As such, I’ll be using this marathon to answer some of the questions I received.  Please note, these are my perspective.  I cannot vouch for all males and when I’m giving my perspective on women, I certainly cannot vouch for all women.  So, on to the questions.

Why do you think women need more foreplay than men?  To reach our sexual climax?  And why do you think that some men have a hard time giving women what they want (In that area).

I should start by saying, I don’t fit the male stereotype.  I love foreplay.  I like kissing, I like hugging, I like feeling my wife.  I also recognize that I need foreplay in order to perform sexually better.  On the other side, my wife also does not fit the female stereotype.  She gets annoyed with foreplay, she wants to “get on with it”, though she does recognize that she also needs foreplay in order to perform sexually better.  We do fit the male/female stereotypical sex drives though, so, here’s my opinion on the matter:

First, generally speaking (but not always and less often than you think) men have sex drives that are spontaneous whereas women have sex drives that are responsive.  What do I mean by this?  It’s the stereotype that “men always think about sex”.  I can’t deny it, and I know the majority of men will agree, we think about sex a lot.  All the time?  There were probably a few minutes today where I was distracted by work, but on the majority, yes.  If my wife out of the blue said “Are you up for sex?”, my answer would be “Of course!”  On top of this, if we don’t have sex for a while, there is a biological drive that starts making us really want sex more, regardless of our partner’s fertility or mood or vicinity (though it may be enhanced by any of these).

On the women’s side (again, generally speaking, same as above), the sex drive is responsive.  Spontaneously coming up with the idea to have sex is rarer.  It is more likely to be a reaction to a previous attempt by the husband.  If the husband asks “Are you up for sex?” the answer comes after a lot of thinking or feeling “Am I too tired? Am I in the right mood? Is our relationship good enough today? Is this something I want?”

So, what does this have to do with foreplay?  Well, they say foreplay starts in the kitchen, that is, that you have to start wooing your wife well before you get to the bedroom or right before bedtime.  You need to start earlier in the day to give that responsive sex drive a chance to react because it’s often not an instantaneous reaction.  They also say men are like microwaves and women are like slow-cookers.  Not only is it not instantaneous, but it needs time to build, and it may never get as hot as your microwave can get on power 10.

So, that’s why I think women need more foreplay because generally, their sex drive is responsive.    Does this contribute to their reaching sexual climax?  Of course, if they are warmed up enough, it makes it much easier to climax.  I think that’s pretty universal, regardless of gender.

Now, what do men have a hard time giving women what they want (in that area)?  All I can do is guess as I could spend a day doing foreplay if given the chance.  My guess is that men tend to be more impatient to get to straight sex.  Now, why?  There are a few hypothetical reasons in my head:

  1. The foreplay round is all about their wives, or mostly about their wives, so being selfish, they want to get to the part that is more about them (sex).
  2. The foreplay round means someone else is in control of giving them pleasure, and being a control-freak and knowing how to make things feel better for themselves, they want to get to the part that puts them in control and thus increases their please (sex).
  3. They’re no good at the foreplay round, and being insecure, instead of asking for help, guidance, or saying they want to learn, they’d rather skip by to something they think they are good at, because it feels good to them (sex).  Note: they might not actually be good at this either.
  4. The husband is ignorant that the wife needs more warm-up time and the wife has never told him (or she doesn’t even quite know it since she has never really reached full arousal). (Added from the reader comments below)

So, the answers to the first three are, selflessness, service and humility, respectively.  Brings new meaning to 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 if you ask me:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proudIt does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs

1 Corinthians 13:4-5

Have you ever heard a sermon on how 1 Corinthians 13 is applicable to foreplay?  Probably not.

So, those are my thoughts.  Tomorrow I’ll be tackling Why do you think men think about sex more than women? And why is that so important to a man in his marriage?

Let me know what you think, does my perspective match yours? I am open to comments, rebukes and corrections!

Looking for help?

35 thoughts on “Why Do You Think Women Need More Foreplay Than Men?”

  1. A Happy Hubby says:

    I would add one more reason (or combination of reasons)

    4. The husband is ignorant that the wife needs more warm up time and the wife has never told him (or she doesn’t even quite know it since she has never really reached full arousal).

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Oh, good one! I’m going to add that!

  2. themarriagebed says:

    I agree with you that most women are sexually reactive. And, as you suggest, a lot of us don’t get how everything impacts a woman’s sex drive, and how what we did or didn’t do yesterday is part of why she is hot or cold tonight.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      The truly fun part is that:
      1) Women don’t know exactly what all impacts their sex drive
      2) Women don’t know why something worked yesterday and didn’t today

      So, we’re all flying blind together. But, that’s half the fun. If I knew exactly how my wife worked, I’d be bored out of my mind. Plus, if I knew exactly what button to push on my wife to turn her on whenever I wanted, we probably wouldn’t be very productive people, because I’d be pushing that button all day every day.

      1. BattleOfTheSexes says:

        Wow, Jay Dee, you must have no refractory period!

        1. Jay Dee says:

          Why do you say that? Just because I can’t get an erection again, or orgasm, doesn’t mean I don’t want to play with her more.

    2. BattleOfTheSexes says:

      Women ARE too fussy about sex! Why? Because it is so difficult and chancy for them to climax.
      If climaxing were universally easy and sure for women, they’d feel the same way men do about sex!

      1. Jay Dee says:

        I don’t think that’s the case. My wife orgasms 100% of the time and fairly easily. She definitely doesn’t feel the same way about sex that I do.

  3. Brian says:

    A thoughtful tackling of this issue. The Song of Solomon of course sets such a great standard for men to follow – as does the witness of Christ. When Paul tells husbands in Eph. 5 to “love your wives like Christ loved the church” it could be taken at least in part as addressing this issue: GIVE. Your first point, that it is about her, is salient. GIVE GIVE GIVE…

    and see what happens.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh, great, just what we need: another article telling men they are selfish if they spend anything less than all day warming their wives up and less than 30 minutes in ‘foreplay’ before they get to take two minutes of pleasure for themselves. If that isn’t the world’s greatest argument to just give up on the whole idea of pursuing sex and just masturbate instead, I don’t know what is.

    I’m not denying the truth of both ideas, though. Women do need a lot of help to get in the mood and men have to do a lot of work to put them there. (That is either God’s greatest joke on men, or an unstated extra penalty in addition to the thorns and thistles promised to Adam at the time of fall).

    But let’s be fair and not place all the work and responsibility and the guilting on the men. For every sermon we men need to be given regarding the importance of building our wives up for 23 hours and 58 minutes in order to “earn” our two minutes of pleasure (and of being patient and understanding when 40% of the time we don’t get it even then), there should be an equally strong and opposite sermon directed at the wives reminding them that physical release is extremely important to us, and it’s a true pittance of a request in return considering everything we’re expected to do for them leading up to it. Wives should also be helped to understand that sex is at the TOP OF THE LIST in terms of male priorities – not number 167 after picking up the dry cleaning and emptying the cat’s litter box, and that prioritizing sex accordingly would go further than anything else a wife could do in terms of ensuring she were more likely to receive the treatment from her husband that she desired. Yes – that’s it in a nutshell. Let’s even things out a bit – let’s cut back on the sermons telling men to do the dishes in order to get more sex. We’ve heard it a million times, and it’s only partially true. Let’s increase the number of sermons telling wives to “put out” in order to get more romantic dinners and conversations from their husbands. As a matter of fact, a wife who increases the quality and especially the QUANTITY of sex in a marriage is all but GUARANTEED to get more of what she wants from her husband. That’s a lot more than can be said for the husband who helps with housework until the cows come home in an attempt to get more sex.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      I am 100% on your side, and I’m sorry you are hurting in this regard, but it is quite apparent that you haven’t read any of my other posts touching on the subject of frequency. I encourage you to read the following to get a better idea of where I’m coming from:
      All You Want Is Sex!
      What Should I Get My Husband For Fathers Day?
      What I Hate About Breastfeeding
      Is Sex A Need Or A Want
      How Pregnancy Affects Sex

    2. Melissa W says:

      I’d venture to say that your bitterness and hurt is prominent and a daily companion to your wife. I’m sad that you have reached the point you are, but I’m even more sad for your wife as I’m sure the words you typed come out 1000 times more harsh in your actions or your spoken words to her (or your silence). I’d like to say that as a wife, we do not expect you to become the maid, nor do we want you to spend all day “doing” things around the house for us so you can have 2 minutes of sex. I would not be satisfied with 2 minutes of sex. Assuming there is no medical issues, if you are scrounging for 2 minutes of sex and have the attitude you do about it, I can see why she’s not jumping on board. Are you saying she only lets you near her for 2 minutes or that it takes you only 2 minutes to get what you need and she won’t even give that to you? Doesn’t matter, do you have any idea that there are couples that have sex for MANY minutes to hours without the man experiencing a release and they are both satisfied? This “men need a release” thing is crap. Men need sex, just as much as women do, and they need GOOD sex, not 2 minute sex, not 4 hours of foreplay, not guilt sex, they need connecting, loving, fun sex. Maybe if you would lose some of the anger and learn how to actually connect with her instead of expecting your release, you might see more sex. As the leader of your home, whether she wants it or not, it is your duty to lead her and talk with her and show her you care about her…God did not make stipulations on your command to lead. He didn’t say “lead her with love, as long as she puts out.” I challenge you to stop thinking about how mad you are and talk to her about anything other than sex, I’m not even challenging you to pick up a mop. Show her you actually give a care through your pain, and maybe you’ll see her care about your pain and hurt. Your only other option is to continue to be mad or “mad in your madness, wrong in your wrongness” and see how that works out for you. If you want sex, and you want it to last more than 2 minutes, then figure out how to make it happen, because your way isn’t working.

      1. Jay Dee says:

        A very good point Melissa, often just because we don’t get what we want out of our marriages, we stop giving what our spouse needs. Our wives don’t need housework done, they need love, and they need it regardless of whether or not their giving it. Giving up on loving back because your not getting what you want is a quick way to divorce, not happiness.

      2. Anonymous says:

        Guess what? In my heart, I actually do know “the right ways” just as well as anybody here. And I did them. For 15 years, they didn’t work either, and it took me that long to get to where I am today. I know perfectly well I need to rise above this and do all the right things anyway and unconditionally, and although it would not at all be apparent on the pure basis of my words here, I’m praying about it and working on it with ups and downs in my degree of success. I do vent a lot in my typing, in ways I wouldn’t think of doing face to face – that helps me diffuse my frustration so that I DON’T dump it all on my wife or others. I know full well that to “let it all out” in the way I have done here would be worse than counterproductive.

        But if I am helping you or any other women at least understand where MEN are coming from, so much the better. By saying “this men need release thing is CRAP” you are discounting what is a fact of life for a lot of men, whether you agree with or approve of that fact or not. How would you like it if I said “this women need conversation thing is CRAP?” It’s the same thing and to be told that makes me every bit as angry as being told the other would rightfully make you.

        Women have a lot of “needs” and frankly they are very high-maintenance in that regard. But so do men, and so are men. We are equally in need of having our feelings and needs appreciated and attended to also.

        1. Melissa W says:

          Let me start by saying that I applaud you for admitting you are venting and know that your words on here were less than uplifting or productive to your goal. I don’t think that your original comment was in any way to lift up or “help” any woman see what SHE is doing wrong, rather it seemed a tad pity partyish for yourself. I do get that you are hurting. However, I’ll be completely honest, you do need to vent, and doing it here is great, but so would doing it with a counselor AND doing it with your WIFE. Guess what, whether she has heard it before, whether you think she will change, or whether you are tired of saying it, she needs to hear everything you think and feel about this. Otherwise, you are doing yourself a disservice by venting to us here when we cannot change her or speak with her. Continue to let her see your pain (without the attitude), sit down and say “this is hurting me and I don’t think that is your intention, but I have no choice but to feel this way because you refuse to fix it.” You will be no worse off, and one day, she may decide to change…or, you may decide she won’t, and you can devise a new plan for yourself.

          We cannot change ANYONE but ourselves. If you have worked for 15 years without attitude and with a heart of love and pureness toward your wife, and she is still not reciprocating or attending to your needs, wants and desires, then there is a point at which you have to determine if this is the life you want. You can’t change her (or anyone) but you can change how you react to her, and what you will allow for your own sanity and well-being. If you have truly tried and done it without frustration and are now at the point your writing reflects, then your best bet is to get counseling, preferably for both of you, but go alone if she refuses. It will allow you to determine what is a deal breaker and what is not.

          I still stand firm that the “men need release” thing is crap. I would also not get mad that you said women need conversation. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve talked with friends (both women and men, married and not) and in my own marriage have seen that we can both be completely satisfied, out of breath, giddy, tired and utterly blissful without him having release. Did I say that it’s ok every time? No. But it is not physically necessary for him to have release to function and be alive. To address your rebuttal, it is also NOT necessary or a “need” for women to have conversation. You are confusing need and want. I do not need conversation to be alive, it would make life suck a little more, but I’d live, just as he won’t die if he doesn’t have release, it’ll suck maybe, but most of the time, it doesn’t suck. How about this, have you ever pleased your partner without the expectation of getting something in return? Did you enjoy it? Were you pleased by the reaction and happiness you saw them experience? I have, he has…without release, and I can’t tell you how pleasing and satisfying that feeling is.

          I understand where men are coming from because I am married to one, and we talk, and we have a wonderful relationship and sex life. Guess what, we’ve had issues too, and worked through them, so, it can be done, and you are not alone, and I don’t speak from a soapbox. Unfortunately, my husband and I are in the minority as it seems most men and women react as you do and after trying something for a long time, resolve to anger and bitterness and think that there is no help. They have no idea, and then no desire to listen to those of us that have realistic, good advice, because we are not where you are, and for YOU it is impossible to imagine that someone could know where you are, because you don’t know that we’ve been there.

          Here’s a suggestion, why don’t you email your wife this link, or show it to her on your computer.

          1. Melissa W says:

            Oh, and I welcome you to come over to my blog and see that I don’t just speak this to make you feel bad…we have a wonderful marriage.


          2. Mari says:

            OMG Melissa,
            You so DON’T have any idea what it feels like to be a man and be sexually frustrated in this way, after receiving so much stimulation through intercourse but then being deprived of the opportunity to release your built-up semen! Or you don’t care.
            Or you derive perverse, sadistic pleasure and a sense of power from teasing and stimulating him to near the point of climax and then denying him.
            I GUARANTEE that he then masturbates to meet his own needs– yes, needs– as soon as possible.

      3. William says:

        Good advise, however, when a man gives and keeps giving but is never acknowledged, a man will stop. Men in general don’t give a crap about other people and their feelings. The fact that a husband does so many things, bends over backwards, takes the constant belittling and condescending attitude by women they love, by the very women battling their own demons and failing to address it but rather project it on their husband is a daily thing for men. Women in general project their hurts, their past pains and fragility towards their husbands. Every women judges her man by some past experience and judges them by it, which in turn dictates the wife action towards the husband. You women truly believe that we men enjoy jumping through hoops for you, we don’t. We do it because we love you and all we want to do is make you happy but you refuse to allow yourselves to heal and be happy. You worry about everything and doubt everything a man says or does. It’s the way society is now.

        1. Jay Dee says:

          There are a lot of stereotypes, generalizations and assumptions in here.

          Not all men will stop. There are some who will continue, like myself.
          Some men do care about other people and their feelings, like myself.
          Some women actually deal with their issues, like my wife, instead of projecting them.
          Not all women are judgmental. There are some who believe in moving forward, like my wife.
          Some women don’t doubt what their husband says, again, like my wife.

          As well, you cannot control your spouse, only yourself. If you want to fix your marriage, then start by changing the only person you can force to change: you. It’s your responsibility to fix your marriage.

          1. Melissa W says:

            You have sweeping generalizations in your view on other men and women…that are not true. Do you really think all marriages are unhappy and just putting up with each other? I assure you, we are not. We are happy, loving and thinking of our spouses.

            I can only encourage you to fix yourself, as you can’t fix her and all of the issues you seem to be counter projecting on to her. You say she is all of these things, and seem to think you’re a knight in shining armor putting up with it. You’re not a peach here, get to counseling, alone or with her. Do you want to be right, or be happy?

  5. Cassandra Salamone says:


  6. livinginblurredlines says:

    I don’t need 30 minutes of foreplay every time. Often, I’m raring to go more quickly than my husband, but in order to climax, I need time taken…and climaxing during intercourse alone is practically impossible. For me, foreplay is a wonderful way to connect and not feel like hubby’s just using me as a blow up doll. Plus, it builds tension and excitement which leads to better O’s for both of us! Without foreplay, sex would be less than 5 minutes and I’d be left wanting….and that doesn’t make for a very happy wife….in fact, it leaves me feeling used, worthless, and pretty darned b*tchy. That doesn’t mean I hate quickies. Quickies are great, too, just not EVERY SINGLE TIME! My idea of a perfect weekend: Saturday evening hubby takes time for me. Sunday morning, I focus on hubby. Monday morning, quickie before he leaves for work.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Not every women needs to be warmed up for hours before she’s ready to go. My wife is the same as you, doesn’t really need/want the foreplay most of the time, but it does take longer for her to orgasm without it.

      That sounds like a perfect weekend to me as well. I’m going to make sure my wife reads your comment! Perhaps in a few years, when the kids don’t get up earlier than we do, we can pull it off.

  7. Julie Sibert says:

    Good post! Although it is a generalization, I do think that women need more foreplay simply to quiet down the endless stream of busyness going on in their heads.

    While it’s often the topic of jokes… that a woman can think of her grocery list or a host of other tasks while having sex… the reality is that many of us never really feel like we are on top of all the details that we must pay attention to. In other words, we use every spare moment trying to keep track of all those details, lest one fall through the cracks and only cause us more frustration.

    So… foreplay (and a lot of it) is often what’s needed to get us to relax and focus on pleasure, rather than all the other stuff we have a tendency to focus upon.

    Personally, I love not only foreplay, but sex as well (so that makes me not typical in many regards).

    I think the more a married couple can talk about their desires, expectations, etc., the better. I’ve long thought that one of the biggest barriers to nurtured sex is that a couple won’t strive to become more comfortable even talking about sex, let alone having it.

    So good to see you are participating in the CMBA blogging 1/2 marathon! Run (or write?!) strong!

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Thanks Julie,
      Yes, that’s exactly what I see in my marriage, my wife has problem focusing on sex even during sex sometimes. She says the same things, there is so much to do and so little time, so multitasking during sex seems to happen. It’s hard to understand as a guy, our only multitasking is thinking about sex while we should be working, so when we get to sex, it/our spouse has our full attention. Thanks for the perspective!

  8. Overcoming with Love via Facebook says:

    From my own experience with my husband [of 25 years], this can change depending on what’s going on with the wife’s body [and the husband’s for that matter!]. For most of our marriage, I needed more foreplay than my husband. Then my peak hit 5 years ago. Then he needed more foreplay than me! It was a total role reversal! Now, it’s more even… but it really depends on different variables, not just gender.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      Agreed, but I still hold that, by far, the most common is for women to need more foreplay than men.

  9. William says:

    I don’t mind doing foreplay with my wife, in fact I enjoy it. However, as two working adults with three kids in the home, there is not always a lot of time to commit to foreplay. I’ve never been one for a quickie, however, I adapted to my wife request to have them. However, she fails to adapt to my needs and request to forego foreplay on occasion and get down to business, especially when time is an issue. Sometimes when I engage in the foreplay with her, we are at the brink and than something happens which interrupts us. The amount of time that was spent in starting her up is wasted. Foreplay is great but expecting it all the time is not a good idea and for most men, foreplay all the time is a killer for the mood. I know a lot a men who are tired of dealing with foreplay as the only way to start the romance. I’ve tried to use different methods to switch up the standard foreplay however, it has failed.

    1. Jay Dee says:

      It sounds like your attitude needs an adjustment. You need to find a way to shift from “I don’t mind doing foreplay with my wife” to “I love doing foreplay with my wife”. Then, if you get interrupted, it’s not “wasted”. You still will have had a good time.

      And if you don’t like foreplay to start the romance, find another way to start romance before getting to the bedroom.

    2. Melissa W says:

      I’m confused, you both want to skip foreplay (you said she wants quickies, but you want to skip foreplay too)? What’s the issue then?

      You’re wrong about foreplay and most men. My husband has, can and loves to spend hours doing foreplay, we also stop mid sex and go back to foreplay most times. The mindset that sex is all about getting off is juvenile. You’re worried about yourself, and missing the entire bonding experience that sex is intended for. i can’t tell you how PROUD and utterly satisfied hubs is when I’ve had multiple times the fun and he has had zero or 1. You’re being selfish calling it “wasted” time. It’s wasted because you don’t get it and you’re too far into your pity party that you didn’t get off. Here are questions you need to ask yourself. Did your wife get off? Are you pleasing her? Does she feel loved and wanted? Did your hands and body give her satisfaction and make her feel closer to you? If you can answer yes to all of those, you’ll have mastered what foreplay and sex is about. HINT: it’s not about YOU. Learn to focus on her, and she’ll learn to focus on you (and please you). It’s not about you unless you’re the only one doing it.

      I think you may need to broaden your definition of foreplay, especially with a wife requesting quickies. I don’t want to sound mean, but maybe your foreplay is less than enthusiastic? Foreplay isn’t just closing the bedroom door and starting to make out, then moving to petting, then moving to oral and then going to sex. Foreplay can start when you leave for work in the morning and you give her a deep kiss, or pull her close and whisper something in her ear that she’ll remember all day. Foreplay can be a text or email to her to remind her that you think she’s hot and you can’t wait to get home to her. Foreplay can be standing behind her while she cooks and nibbling on her neck. Learn to get outside of your foreplay box and you may see a HUGE change in her readiness and your own attitude.

      Do you want her to “not mind giving you a BJ”? Or do you want her to “love giving you a BJ”? See the difference? Act like you love it and want it, you’ll be surprised.

      1. Melissa W says:

        I have no idea where all my capitals went at the beginning of sentences! Jay Dee, feel free to edit:)

        1. Jay Dee says:

          I’m not seeing an issue with capitals. Glitch?

          1. Melissa W says:

            Looking back on my old comments here, I see it also. In my above comment it is the “we” and “i”.

            we also stop mid sex and go back to foreplay most times. The mindset that sex is all about getting off is juvenile. You’re worried about yourself, and missing the entire bonding experience that sex is intended for. i can’t tell you how PROUD and utterly satisfied hubs is when I’ve had multiple times the fun and he has had zero or 1.

  10. Kay says:

    I am a wife of 10years. My husband and I have had all kinds of trends (not by society, but in our marriage) that ranged from hot and steamy with foreplay all day physically, mental, emotional, spiritual etc. to sex without any foreplay and is sporadic, a flip over without any eye contact, voice, touch or just an absolute nonexistent feel of love. Selfish and used as a self release tool as I see and feel it.
    Foreplay to me is not just about touching and warming up. It is intimacy on all levels…..the mating dance as I consider it 🙂
    It is important whether you are male or female and when it is not present then you can bet selfishness and sin are not far behind. It is a good relationship gauge of you ask me. I know in my marriage it is. I am not the stereotypical female. I am more like the stereotype of a male and I understand now as to in the past it was always something I questioned about myself being different. I am also not neurotypical either. Don’t know how that plays in but I would guess most people are truly (from birth) not neurotypical. But are possibly trained this way since our brains are plastic!

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