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Michael Abrahams | An open letter to men about women and sex

Published:Sunday | March 25, 2018 | 12:00 AM

My brothers, we have a lot of work to do. Many women are dissatisfied. Research has discovered that lesbians appear to be more satisfied with their sex lives than heterosexual women, suggesting that we need to address the people heterosexual women are having sex with; and that is us.

One of the commonest complaints I hear from women is that we “do not listen”. Too often we allow the humongous and fragile male ego to get in the way of us pleasing our partners. Nothing is wrong with asking your woman what she likes. Remember that all women are not the same. Their bodies, personalities and likes and dislikes will differ. What turned your last woman inside out may turn off your present partner, and vice versa.

Too many of us learn about sex from porn, which is not a good place to learn about sex. A lot of us think of sex as finding the hole and pumping away like the piston of a steam engine. But sex is so much more than that. We often make the mistake of focusing on what is between a woman’s legs, when we should be paying more attention to what is between her ears. If you want the best sex from your woman, you must learn to understand her mind, and acquire the skill of listening to and communicating effectively with her.

Another complaint is that too many of us do not understand the difference between intimacy and sex. It is important to comprehend this because many women desire, and lack, intimacy from their partners. In the situation of a one-night stand, or casual sexual encounters, it may not be necessary, but in the context of a relationship, it is of immense value. It is important for you to be loving and affectionate to your partner even when you do not plan to have sex with her. If you kiss and caress her only when you want to enter her vagina, she may resent you and feel like a sex object. Please remember that she is more than a “vagina carrier”. She has feelings and, being human, needs nurturing, love and affirmation.

Remember too that physiologically, there are significant differences between the sexes. There are processes unique to women that can, and do, affect their libido. Menstrual cycles, pregnancy and menopause are all accompanied by hormonal changes that can alter a woman’s sex drive. Some of the physical changes that take place during these events can also make sex uncomfortable. It is important for us to understand these issues and empathise with the ladies.

Sometimes, when a woman’s desire or enjoyment of sex is muted, it may not be about us either. Girls are often socialised to suppress their sexuality, especially if they were raised in a hyper-religious environment. Also, many women have suffered sexual abuse in childhood, and this can also negatively impact their enjoyment of sex. And if your woman is a mother and also has a job, and you expect her to cook, wash and maintain the house for you, do not just sit on your ass and expect her to be your sex goddess. Be a good partner and work with her and assist her. She is not a “Superwoman”.

As for size, it matters, but usually only at extremes. If your penis struggles to measure up to a Vienna sausage when fully erect, you may have a serious challenge. On the other hand, if your organ, when flaccid, dwarfs the cardboard tube you find at the centre of a hand-towel roll, your weapon of mass destruction will frighten the bejesus out of some females. It is usually less about size and more about the ability to know how the hell to use the damn thing. The same applies to duration. If you finish before you can finish saying the word “finish”, please consult a physician. Conversely, marathons are not always appreciated. Sometimes while you are going at it, galloping away like a jockey approaching the 8 furlong mark at Caymanas Park, her mind is far away, thinking about her grocery list, or another man, or wishing that your penis would drop off so that she can roll over and get some sleep (after she masturbates and pleases herself). Sometimes she may even pretend to “cum” to make you go. It is more about quality than quantity.

I also recommend that you acquaint yourself with the female anatomy. There are so many places on a woman’s body that you can touch, kiss and lick to maximise her pleasure. Unfortunately, too many of us ignore them as we hasten to launch an assault on the vagina. Foreplay is important and is not only confined to kissing and “feeling up”. The process can start from before you even see your partner, with phone conversations and messages. And when you are in her presence, eye contact, facial expressions and body language are valuable. Also, before you rush into the vagina, feel free to peruse the cool stuff on the outside; the vulva. There you will find a pair of inner lips (labia minora), a pair of outer lips (labia majora) and, of course, the clitoris. If you think you feel good when your penis is stimulated, it is nothing compared with the clitoris, which is like a small penis, but with way many more nerve endings. If your partner does not achieve orgasm with penetration, do not despair. Many do not. It does not mean that they cannot either, or that you are deficient.

Which brings me to oral sex. Bredrins, listen me good. Women LOVE this. Do not be a punk and scorn your woman’s vagina. Most of us passed naked, with immature immune systems, through a woman’s vagina to enter this world, and were born healthy. It is a nurturing environment, not a nasty one. I strongly suggest that you brush up on your “linguistic skills” if you have not done so already. Easter is upon us, and if you want to get a big fat juicy dutty “bun”, just make up your face when your partner asks you to go down on her. Then visit the supermarket and buy the cheese.

Finally, do not for one minute think that your woman cannot “bun” you. Many of us “walk street” and “look woman” and think that our nice innocent spouses are sitting patiently at home, waiting for their dose of our precious “penicillin”. But please be aware that more women than you know refuse to take our BS and are getting their freaks on with other men, and women.

Yes, my brothers. Women are complex. But getting to understand their minds and bodies can be a wonderful, exciting and rewarding journey.

 - Michael Abrahams is a gynaecologist and obstetrician, comedian and poet. Email feedback to and, or tweet @mikeyabrahams