Originally published on Mic.com
It’s a scene we know all too well: A woman, seeking to impress a new boyfriend, surrounds herself with magazines preaching the hottest ways to turn him on — “8 Positions to Drive Him Wild!” and “Naughty Sex Tips!” and, of course, “His Ultimate Sexual Fantasy!” The unequivocal takeaway: Women should be the ones figuring out how to make sex great by pleasing men.
Except, well, that’s only half the story. While women mull porn-style acrobatics and applause-worthy blow jobs, we’re missing an important thing that can make sex great for men: Making sure women are enjoying it as much as they are.
Despite the well-known orgasm gap, a 2010 study in the journal Personality and Individual Differences found that 90% of men say they do care if their partner gets off. And that intention matters: The more a man is invested in his partner’s pleasure, the narrower that gap becomes. Great sex, in short, means it’s great for both people involved.
Thankfully, these 11 kickass men aren’t shy about speaking up for what men should really be looking for when it comes to awesome sex.
1. John Stamos: “I’d rather have a woman have 10 orgasms than me have 10 orgasms.”
“With women, you have to listen to their bodies… You can tell. And you have to put energy into it. To finding out what works. Try stuff out… I’d rather have a woman have ten orgasms than me have ten orgasms.”
Stamos said what every woman wants to hear while describing his sex life in Ali Adler’s book How To F*ck a Woman. You have to love a guy who is comfortable talking about exploring what feels good and freely admitting his partner’s pleasure is as important as his own.
2. Jamie Bell: “A man should have a good understanding of a vagina.”
“A man should have a good understanding of a vagina. He should be good at oral sex. On a woman. A skill a man should have? Making fires and pleasing a woman. In the vaginal area.”
Bell cut right to the chase when GQ U.K. magazine asked the actor what skill every man should have. With so many men admitting how little they actually know about the female anatomy, his answer is especially significant: Knowing what’s going on down there is crucial for knowing how to provide pleasure.
3. Chris Evans: “Listen to her instead of trying to impress her.”
“My mom told me that the best thing you could give a woman was attention. She said, ‘Listen to her instead of trying to impress her.'”
Evans, feminist superhero? Not only did the actor tell Metro that it shouldn’t matter how many sexual partners a woman has had, as he revealed to Cosmopolitan U.K., he’s learned the most about how to treat women from his mom.
4. Ashton Kutcher: “Start opening up a conversation where women are empowered with their own sexual experiences.”
“In the sex education process in schools… they don’t really talk about sex as a point of pleasure for women. [We should] start opening up a conversation where women are empowered with their own sexual experiences.”
Was the importance of women’s orgasms taught in your sex ed class? Probably not, Kutcher pointed out during a press conference in 2011 for his movie No Strings Attached. But that’s exactly when young people need to learn to appreciate female pleasure, and women especially benefit from feeling empowered in their sexuality.
5. Terry Crews: “[See] her as a total, whole human being.”
“I had to see my wife as not an object… I saw her as a total, whole human being. And I loved her more.”
Crews, the NFL player-turned-actor-turned-feminist author, took an unexpectedly progressive view of masculinity in his book Manhood: How to be a Better Man (Or Just Live With One). In an interview with eHarmony, Crews said learning to see women as more than sexual objects was a game-changer for his relationship, and for his view of women broadly.
6. Ryan Gosling: “[Never] control a woman’s sexual presentation of self.”
“It’s misogynistic in nature to try and control a woman’s sexual presentation of self.”
After the MPAA, aka the ratings lords, slapped Blue Valentine with a NC-17 rating (ostensibly because of a scene in which Gosling’s character performs oral sex on his wife), Gosling released a statement criticizing the “patriarchy-dominant society” that limits expressions of female sexuality. Hey girl, indeed.
7. Russell Brand: “You’ve got to make sure that everyone is happy.”
“If you’re having sex with someone, and you’re a man, that person’s got to have an orgasm first. Otherwise you’ve not done your job as a man. You’ve got to make sure that everyone is happy.”
Ladies first? When it comes to activities between the sheets, experts urge men to help their partner orgasm first — and Brand agrees. During an appearance on HuffPost Live, Brand maintained that guys should take pride in satisfying women. Here, here!
8. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: “Ask the actual women involved.”
“If men want to know what women want, the first step is to ask the actual women involved in their lives.”
Discovering what turns a woman on doesn’t have to be a mystery — just use your words, the NBA legend advised in his “Guide to Understanding Women” featured in Esquire. The sexist idea that women are enigmatic beings that men must “figure out” turns them into objects, not human beings with valid viewpoints.
9. James Deen: “You need to figure out what they’re into.”
“You have to change your sexual style to complement your partner’s, and you need to figure out what they’re into. Remember: You don’t have sex to somebody, you have sex with somebody. So if you’re not willing to communicate with her about sex, then you might as well just masturbate.”
Deen may be one of the biggest porn stars in the business, but he has some surprisingly insightful views about how to treat a woman in bed. He told Men’s Health you can’t have sex with everyone the same way, and that sex without a conversation is pretty much pointless — and potentially damaging.
10. George Carlin: “[Sex] with deep commitment and respect and caring is 9,000 times better.”
“Sex without love has its place, and it’s pretty cool, but when you have it hand in hand with deep commitment and respect and caring, it’s 9,000 times better.”
Quite simply, sex between two people who both want the other to have a great time is awesome. In fact, it’s one of the things George Carlin told Esquire in 2008 he’s learned in his life — something we’d all be better off remembering as we experiment and explore.
11. Louis C.K.: “She’s not needy, you idiot, she’s horny!”
“After sex, you’re looking at two very different people. The man just wants to lay there and be cool, and the woman wants to cuddle, something that men love to make fun of women for: ‘They always wanna cuddle, they’re so needy’… She’s not needy, you idiot, she’s horny! Because you did NOTHING for her.”
Every comedian has contributed their two cents to the idea that “men are from Mars, women are from Venus,” but Louis C.K. steered the conversation into feminist territory during his HBO special Live at the Beacon Theater. The comedian took aim at men’s belief that women don’t have as much sexual desire as they do and prefer mere affection, pointing out that it’s probably men’s lack of attentiveness that’s giving them that idea.
Women, in fact, do want something more than cuddling. Great sex for both men and women means paying attention to what that is.