Understand that women are complicated and very emotional compared to men. As C said when we were discussing this post "It's not always about you, sometimes it's just us. We don't always understand our emotions either and sometimes it is just as frustrating for us." What we as husbands can do, however, is to choose how we react. Instead of getting grumpy in return, or 'fighting back', we need to learn to put our own needs aside and offer a comforting hug or a back rub instead. Sometimes C needs me to help her tease out what the underlying issues are that are making her feel the way she does. And that helps build emotional intimacy in your relationship that will ultimately lead to greater physical intimacy down the line. Emotional intimacy and foreplay are just as important for women as physical foreplay - read Dr Kevin Leman's "Sex Begins in the Kitchen".
While men are overwhelmingly visual in terms of what turns us on, we need to remember that most women are not visual. What you say and what you do are more likely to turn her on or off than what you look like. While your basic personal grooming and personal hygiene are important to your wife, she is likely to value the hour that you spend helping the kids with their homework, or chatting to her about your respective days as you prepare dinner together, much more than the six pack abdominals you could get from spending that same hour in the gym each evening.
Let your wife know that you think she is the most beautiful and sexy woman you have ever encountered. And remind her of this constantly. Women are inherently insecure and compare themselves constantly to the 'perfect' stereotypes that Hollywood, Fashion Magazines and Television advertising put in front of them on a daily basis. It is our job as husbands to counter this societal pressure and to build up our wives through genuine, heartfelt and regular affirmation.
Help your wife to get enough rest. Women cite exhaustion as the primary reason for low libido or for refusing sex. So help around the house and with the kids in the evening. Help to create a weekend routine that provides enough downtime for rest and relaxation. And encourage your wife to take time out to treat herself. In my experience, women are natural caregivers, who tend to place the needs of their family and friends above their own needs. I find that I often have to remind C to take time out for herself, or she does not get around to it. Buying her a gift voucher for a facial, massage or manicure works well, as does taking the kids out for a half day or day on the weekend to allow her time alone at home to just 'chill' with a book or to have an afternoon nap.
[I know that by this point, husbands, some of you are wondering why in a list of 10 sex tips for husbands, I have not yet got around to anything specifically dealing with tips for love-making. Especially if you have read my previous posts of do's and dont's for wives. But that is pretty much the point - for wives, most of the lead up to great sex does not happen in the bedroom, but much earlier in the day, and is much more tied to their perceived status of their general emotional relationship with their lover. As someone once said, "husbands need to have sex to feel loved, while wives need to feel loved to have sex." With that point made, let's move on to the bedroom...]
If your wife is self conscious, help set the scene with candles, low wattage lighting, music, scents and anything else that might take her focus off herself and her perceived shortcomings and allow her to focus entirely on you and on the event.
Kiss more. Kiss to start off, kiss while you get going, and kiss while you are doing it. Kiss properly. Remember those long, insanely intense make-out sessions from before you were married? Do you kiss as much now as you did then? If not, why has that changed? Chances are, your wife is pretty sad that it has and wishes for more. For C, kissing is very intimate and is definitely the best form of foreplay to get her aroused. We generally just kiss lots, and not just as a prelude to sex, which I think is important. And our kids get to see us kissing too, which I think is also important, much as they love to roll their eyes and act embarrassed!
Take your time, don't rush foreplay. And don't be too direct, especially not too soon. Focus on general full-body stroking to start with, rather than going straight for the breasts or vagina. And when it is time to move it up a notch, again start by gently cupping and stroking the whole breast, for example, especially the sensitive sides of the breast, rather than going straight for the nipple. Same with the vagina. Wait until your lover is properly aroused before moving your focus to her genitals, and start by cupping and stroking the whole area, rather than heading straight to her clitoris. Be slow and gentle - women generally prefer a lighter touch than guys. So in the same way that one of our tips for wives is to be firmer than they would be when touching themselves, for example a firmer grip and harder action when giving their husband a hand job, husbands should be slower and gentler with their wife's breasts and clitoris than is the natural male inclination. Try experiment with just gently touching the aroused clitoris while hardly moving at all. Same for oral sex; a broader, softer, gentler action is generally better than a harder stabbing motion. The best bet of all, of course, is to ask your spouse what she likes, and to allow her to show you, or guide you, as to what works best for her.
Try different positions, but make sure that your wife is physically comfortable, or else she will get distracted. It is hard for her to focus on her orgasm with cramp in her calf! Generally, wives prefer face to face positions so that you can cuddle and kiss and look at each other - emotional intimacy is important for women. For example, rear entry positions that stimulate her sensitive G-spot are physically really intense for C, but are ultimately not her favorite as she feels isolated by not being able to see me and it is therefore not as emotionally satisfying for her. We therefore typically combine these positions, like rear entry and reverse cowgirl, that are visually appealing for me, by starting or finishing with a position that allows the intimate face to face and full body contact that meets C's need for emotional intimacy as well.
Stick to the rhythm that works. Don't try to get harder and faster to get your wife over the edge. When you find what works, and she is responding and letting you know that she is enjoying what you are doing, stick to it exactly and do not change the rhythm at all until she has come. This applies to fingers, tongues and hips - C was very firm on this point when we were discussing this post! Changing anything as she gets close can make her lose it totally and then she has to start her journey up the orgasmic curve all over again.
Finally, be a gentleman when it comes to cleaning up afterwards. Keep a box of tissues handy next to the bed, or fetch a warm cloth from the bathroom for this purpose. Your wife will appreciate the care and attention. If you have used a condom then dispose of this discreetly, and if you have used a toy together, then wash this for your wife and return it to her bedside drawer for her. Then get back into bed, cuddle your wife, and tell her what a wonderful lover she is and how no-one could ever satisfy you the way that she does, and how blessed you are that God brought HER into your life.