Sex

Sexual Eagerness (Not Just Willingness)

To be eager for sex, it has to be sex worth wanting.

Posted Jun 29, 2020

Great sex is all about eagerness. The thing that makes sex look so great in the movies is that the characters are so excited that they can’t hold themselves back. The thing that can make sex in porn so boring is that sometimes the people look like they are just going through the motions and faking for the camera.

Eagerness is central to good sex—everyone involved is happy to be there and really wants it. They are in the moment, connected to their partner, working well together, and comfortable. They aren’t distracted, preoccupied, distant, insecure, or only doing it to avoid a fight. Of course, this kind of eagerness makes most experiences better, whether it’s a romantic dinner or even cleaning up the kitchen together.

These eager sexual encounters can be fantastic, but they can be more fleeting than many might hope. Those who can’t find that eagerness are going to have a hard time getting turned on enough, not only to enjoy it, but also to ensure that physically everything works as it should. And if they are anxious or dreading it, then it’s even more likely that they will have some sort of performance issue like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, sexual pain, inability to orgasm, etc. If these troubles happen often enough, then it’s easy to see how someone would lose interest in sex entirely—at least when someone else is also involved. Speaking of which, their partner might also find sex much less interesting.

Is It Sex Worth Wanting?

When sex therapists meet with a new individual or couple who is having some sort of sexual difficulty, often one of the first things we consider is whether what the individual or couple is doing is enjoyable to them. Is it arousing? Does it turn them on? Does it get their motor running and then get them all the way over the top to orgasm? If it’s kind of boring, awkward, anxiety-provoking, or uncomfortable, then it isn’t surprising that things don’t work so well when they do it—nor that they probably aren’t that eager to do it again.

Copyright 123RF.
Source: Copyright 123RF.

After all, if someone offered to make you dinner and all they did was make was mac and cheese (and burned it), you probably wouldn’t be very interested. Same if they put in way too much hot sauce, to the point that it burned your mouth. Maybe you told them before that you don’t like that much hot sauce, but they keep “forgetting”; or maybe you feel like you can’t say you don’t like hot sauce because everybody should like hot sauce or you worry your partner would be upset if you asked for less of it. In all of these cases, you might politely oblige to eat dinner with this person occasionally, but you certainly wouldn’t be eager about it.

In the same way, if the sex that you’re having doesn’t work for you, it’s unlikely you are going to be chomping at the bit for more of it. So, this raises an important question:

What kind of sex would you be eager for?

Copyright 123RF.
Source: Copyright 123RF.

The multi-part answer may involve some aspects of the sex itself, such as the activities that you do or the order that you do them. Or maybe how you do them—the tone of the whole thing and how you and your partner interact. It may involve revealing some part of yourself that too rarely, if ever, comes out. It may also involve what happened before the sexual encounter or the circumstances of where you are having sex.

Even if you feel pretty OK in your sex life, it may be worth some thought on what would make you even more eager. I’m not suggesting that more is always better or that everyone needs to be swinging from the chandelier every night, but to keep sex interesting in long-term relationships requires some intentional effort and perhaps this is where it begins. For more on how to maintain sexual desire in long term relationships, check out my prior post, Porn Isn’t Addictive and Sex Doesn’t Need to Be Spontaneous.

If you’re in a relationship, you may want to think about what would make your partner more eager for sex—and then ask them and talk about what they say. If you are having sex with the same person, it’s hard to get repeat business if one or both of you isn’t really that into it.

If one of you wants notably less sex than the other, then it may be worth some honest discussions about what kind of sex the lower desire partner would be more eager for. These can be difficult to have, as one of you needs to be honest about some things that the other person may not want to hear—like, “you kind of stink if you don’t take a shower first,” “I don’t actually like it when you do [something]; it kind of turns me off,” or “I would really prefer to spend longer on this before we move to that.” The reward for handling these disclosures well is that you then actually have a shot at getting more sex—and your partner is more likely to be honest next time, so you’re more likely to get a chance to make things better then, too.

Not every sexual encounter is going to be epic—sometimes it’s just Tuesday night and you’re kind of up for it but also, frankly, kind of tired. Fine. Sometimes re-heated mac and cheese is a pretty good meal. My hope though is that at least sometimes you make it a bigger production and invest the time and energy to have the kind of sex that’s worth being eager for.