Sex tips for men: What is your partner thinking of during sex?

Fantasising about someone else during sex is so common that over 40 per cent people do so, according to a survey. Is it normal?

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What happens when the men are thinking about Scarlett Johansson and the women about Ryan Gosling during an intimate moment?  

Guilt? Fear of discovery? 

Perhaps.  

But, fantasising about someone else during sex is so common that over 40 per cent people do so, according to a survey published in the magazine ​Cosmopolitan. Is it normal? Of course, only a psychologist or psychiatrist may be able to tell you whether this sort of behaviour is okay or not in your case.  

Most people we spoke to were more concerned about keeping this hushed up than whether or not it was normal. Though it may seem like a wretched thing to do, it does not really cause much harm unless one says the person’s name out loud. Then again, if the name you utter is a celeb's, a partner may overlook it, but if it is an ex, then you may be on your own for a long time to come.

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Also read: Sex column: Real women reveal their biggest turn offs  

Another thing that most couples might think, but seldom, if ever, reveal, are their own insecurities. More than one woman who was asked what she thought about while making love, admitted that she was concerned about her appearance. Am I too fat? Too thin? Un-sexy? These are some of the labels that cross their mind right in the middle of it all. Men could help allay their concerns if they complimented their partners once in a while.  

But most women are usually told that they need to lose weight or something equally unflattering. And to top it all, unlike women, men often talk about how they prefer boobs or backsides while blatantly looking at other women without sparing a thought about how it makes their partner feel at that moment. I mean how many women do you see raving over a guy’s sexy hair, height or taut muscles when their partner who is balding, short or chubby is in the same room?  

 Not that they should, and this is not to say that men don’t have any insecurities either. It is just that these don’t often come up in everyday conversations. Most women are very careful to not even let slip that they didn’t have an orgasm than to openly discuss what turns them off. 

Also read: 40-year-old virgin?

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I’d rather not know… 

There are some thoughts that are way too embarrassing to share because it can make one’s partner feel uncomfortable or put them in an awkward position.  

Pradeep Sharma, a 49-year- old HR consultant from Chennai, is usually worried about how he is faring in comparison to any previous partners. “Especially, if I happen to know someone’s ex, then I wonder how I measure up to that guy,” he wonders.  

Along the same lines, Ravi Shankar, a 40-year-old techie from Bengaluru, chooses not to reveal his biggest pain point, which is his penis size. Though he is aware that he is not very well endowed, he struts around seemingly without a care in the world. His partner Ankita Singh guffaws while sharing what Ravi asked her in a tongue-in-cheek manner, “Did it feel like a tiny spoon scraping a bowl?” Obviously, size doesn’t matter to her, but she is careful not to mention anything that he might not want to know. 

Size seems like a recurring theme as 44-year-old professor, Ambika Devi from Mumbai, shares her experience about feeling exactly as Ravi described it. Basically, she did not feel anything at all during the act. However, she could not even bring herself to mention that she was not yet satisfied let alone why. Unlike Ravi who tried to put a funny spin on his predicament, this guy was delusional . A vexed Ambika laments, “He actually had the gall to say that he lasted longer than average and had a great track record of satisfying women. His ego more than made up for any shortcomings!”  

Also read: Woman on top: Why label her sanskari, slutty or sex goddess?

I’d rather not say… 

Fantasising aside, there are many thoughts that may or may not be related to sex that flit through one’s mind during the act. Sometimes, it doesn’t even have to do with oneself or one’s partner. Annie Joseph, a 32-year-old writer from Mumbai, says she gets distracted if she has too much on her plate or something important on her mind. So, she may be thinking of a task that needs attention or an email that needs to be sent. If she felt this wouldn’t hurt her partner’s ego, she might perhaps be able to share such thoughts.  

Even though the thoughts may not be shameful or secretive, one may still not be comfortable sharing these with one’s partner. In Annie’s case, it is about hearing her kiddo’s voice. This was when she had just resumed sexual activities, long after her baby was born. It would have been too much for her partner to handle.  

I really want to say it, but don’t want to hurt your feelings! 

Many partners shy away from revealing what goes on in their minds because they are worried about how their partner will take it.  

Anil Datta, a 32-year-old businessman from Pune, has often found himself unable to tell his partner that she is not sufficiently lubricated. “Of course, there are ways around it but even if it is slightly painful, I can’t bring myself to discuss it because it might affect her. I have experienced this on more than one occasion. One of my girlfriends was naturally wet only when we went away on a trip but not when we were at home. I discovered this when she told me herself. But, just as I didn’t bring it up with her, I don’t tell other women either,” he explains. 

Unlike Anil who wouldn’t broach the issue with his girlfriend initially, but found he could after she brought it up, Debanjana Ghosh, a 35- year-old travel blogger from Mumbai, feels it is too late to say anything. 

She freely discloses that she can’t tell her boyfriend about his moves during foreplay because it might be awkward. Debanjana confesses, “In the beginning I would just go with the flow. There were some moves he tried during foreplay which were a bit of a turnoff, but they would be offset by some other really hot moves. Now he thinks I actually like that stuff and it is too late to tell him that I never enjoyed certain aspects of our lovemaking.” Now she is concerned that he might actually start wondering whether she was faking it or something if she says anything at all. 

Also read: emale masturbation - real women talk about how and when they masturbate

It is an open secret  

In many cases, it may even be known to both partners. Like an unfulfilled fetish or fantasy. It might be something the couple discusses but doesn’t bring up because one of them vetoed it the first time! 

Suresh Swamy, 43-year-old CXO from Bengaluru, is mindful about his partner’s feelings and chooses not to bring up anything that she may find upsetting or inappropriate. He shares, “If I know there is a particular position she doesn’t like, or, if there is something that went wrong the previous time, I think about it, but I don’t say anything.” 

This actually makes sense. No good comes from raking it up. Maya Prasad, a 40-year-old writer from Kolkata talks about her most awkward moment with a guy she dated briefly. “He seemed so suave and sophisticated. I was drawn to the impeccable English and the way he conducted himself. He took a while to get physically intimate. But, in the middle of our lovemaking he asked whether I would be okay with him using Hindi cuss words,” she exclaims, sounding more than a little disconcerted. 

She continued to go on for a time or two after that, but it was something that lingered every time. Needless to say, her illusions about the guy were shattered and there was no recovering from that.

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