Women Just Want One Thing From Men

You know the old saying, men only want one thing? It’s true for women too… While a man’s one thing is sex, for a woman, that one thing is security.  I’m not saying that women need men to be secure! But in the context of a relationship, emotional security is likely top of her list.  In fact, many women will tell me that a prerequisite for sex is emotional safety within the relationship.  If you understand that the number one emotional need all women have when it comes to being in a relationship is the need to feel secure, you’ve just increased your chances for better sex.   

It’s true, there seems to be a disparity between what men and women need when it comes to sex.  To quote the astute funny-man Billy Crystal, “Women need a reason for sex, men just need a place.”  Often men are able to compartmentalize, so for men the need for emotional security isn’t always necessary when it comes to sex.  This is why it’s important for men to understand the need for creating emotional security in their relationships as a foundation for establishing good sex.

Of course, we men have emotional needs as well.  For men, the need to feel significant tops our list.  It is my experience that men gain a sense of importance when a woman opens herself up to him sexually.  In contrast ,when he feels sexually rejected he feels miserable.  It can be a vicious cycle… she doesn’t feel emotionally secure and rejects his advances for sex, he withdraws and adds to her lack of emotional security.  Somehow men typically believe that by being a good lover she will want more of him. Right or wrong, sex for men isn’t as much about an orgasm as it is about ego gratification. 

Yet for women sexual satisfaction isn’t all about performance, size or stamina.  She will more often be able to reach orgasm and feel sexually satisfied if she first feels emotionally secure. A large part of this is due to biology. At a primal level, since sex leads to pregnancy, she seeks security  as a means of survival for herself and her child.  Thousands of years ago, a woman would depend on a man to provide her physical needs for her and her children’s survival. Today women can certainly take care of themselves, but the echoes of evolution remain giving her the desire for emotional safety.  Consequently, emotional safety and security are vital for a woman to feel emotionally connected, so if she isn’t responding to you sexually it may have to do more with a lack of trust than it is from a lack of attraction.

Creating emotional security:

The good news is that guys don’t need to learn a new sexual position or find some elusive magical “G” spot.  Instead by focus on providing emotional security you likely will increase her sexual satisfaction. The best way to help her feel emotionally secure is to be this: be consistent.  She needs to know and trust that “what she hears and sees will be what she will consistently get.” She might not always like what she hears and sees, but if you are consistent and reliable then she’ll know she can trust you.  Here are five key areas to practice consistency that will build emotional security.

  1. Be Consistent With Your Words:  You can’t tell her you love her in a passionate moment and then call her a “bitch” when you’re angry and expect her to feel secure.  Your words have power to cut her down or build her up.  Consistently communicate to her that she is important, that she’s the only one, that you are not interested in anyone else and that you love only her.  Help her feel safe with your words by speaking kindness, love and adoration even if you’re upset.
  2. Be Consistent With Your Listening: Communication goes both ways, but if she doesn’t feel heard, then she’s going to feel insecure. Listening without thinking about your retort is not only a skill but it is an act of love. Likewise, to listen, really listen to her without judgement, and without defensiveness requires courage. As Winston Churchill said “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”
  3. Be Consistent With Your Actions:  Yes, words are important, but if your words and actions don’t line up then you’re going to poison the trust. Trust is the foundation of security and being inconsistent with your actions is lying through your conduct.  Security is formed when you do what you say you’re going to do, be where you say you’re gong to be when you say you’re going to be there, and followthrough with your promises.  You can’t say you’ll be home at 6:00 and show up at 8:30 expecting her to want to jump into bed with you.     Consistency with your actions also means that you don’t hide things from her. Don’t hide text messages, emails or details about your day.  Even if you think she will be mad at you, it’s better to have her upset than it is to not trust you. 
  4. Be Consistent With Your Truth: Your truth is your virtues and values.  If she sees you go back on your truth you will break trust.  If she sees you tell a white lie to your mother, she’ll expect that one day you’ll also lie to her.  If she sees you being mean to the check-out clerk, she’ll wonder when that anger will one day be unleashed on her.  Your truth is your word, your bond and the essence of your values.  Be constant with your truth and she will see you as a foundation she can rely on. 
  5. Be Consistent With Your Commitments: Even if your commitment impedes on her needs, she will respect you if you are constant with your commitments.  For example, if you made a commitment to someone but it unknowingly conflicts with her needs, don’t change your plans.  If you go against your commitments she will likely lose respect for you.  Sure, she’s not going to like it, but it will give her confidence that you can stand up to her.  By standing up to her, she knows you will be able to stand up to other women who might try to lure you away. 

Building emotional security takes time and considerable effort.  Focus on creating emotional security through consistency in your words, listening, actions, truth and commitments and see if it doesn’t improve your relationships and the quality of your sex life.


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9 Comments
  1. Louise Venison February 7, 2016 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    Sex, for women, isn’t as much about an orgasm as men seem to imagine either. Most women can get that easily enough on their own. Sex with a partner is about deepening the emotional connection you’ve already talked about here, and orgasm may or may not be part of that. Most women I’ve spoken to are turned off by a man who makes it his goal to prove himself by giving her an orgasm.

    • Chuck Chapman M.A., L.P.C. February 7, 2016 at 11:28 pm - Reply

      Louise,

      Great point! It’s interesting that there is such a focus on the orgasim. This would likely make a great post topic.
      Chuck

      • Beatrice April 19, 2016 at 8:47 pm - Reply

        I’d vetnure that this article has saved me more time than any other.

    • Kyle H. Davis February 8, 2016 at 9:37 pm - Reply

      I mean this respectfully.

      The negative aspects of your comment are based on the idea of the man not being emotionally connected. Sex, even in a situation where both are emotionally connected, is purely physical. Emotions might pave the way for it, and it may deepen the connection, but the act is pure pleasure. I don’t know of many women who, looking for physical pleasure, would opt to sit around and discuss emotions, or, looking to discuss emotions, think immediately of the bedroom.

      A man who is emotionally connected to his partner is going to want to give sexual fulfillment without it having anything to do with proving himself. And I don’t know too many women who, in a true mutually emotionally committed relationship, would balk at a man trying his best to give her an orgasm. While it might not hold any weight emotionally, it sure does physically.

      I believe your statement about how men imagine it being important, is in regards to how you might perceive it at the time, coupled with what you feel his level of emotional commitment is. If he’s not emotionally committed and you are looking for, and focusing more on, emotions than the pleasure, sure it’s going to look as if the guy has his priorities out of whack. But if you are both emotionally committed, that same priority isn’t going to be as big of a turn off.

      And, speaking for both sides (committed or not), how important we believe it to be is based on society’s expression of it. It’s not like we aren’t inundated with the image of women complaining about either the duration or lack of orgasm. And that too is a sign of some women not really putting as much weight on the emotion as they do the physical.

      Or have you truly heard your friends say “Well, he only lasted 2 minutes, but we have a strong emotional commitment”?

      • Satchel April 19, 2016 at 9:25 pm - Reply

        Haaahahh. I’m not too bright today. Great post!

    • Alex April 19, 2016 at 8:29 pm - Reply

      Absolutely first rate and cobper-pottomed, gentlemen!

  2. Kyle H. Davis February 8, 2016 at 8:02 pm - Reply

    You truly oversimplified the male side.

    By pointing out the need for emotional safety in women, surely you are not talking about simple sexual relationships, but a true relationships. And with that being the case, men generally would not continue, let alone enter into a relationship, with sex being the #1 reason.

    Ask yourself the question: Was sex the #1 reason you are with the person you are in a relationship with today? I’d bet not. Men simply have a different form of security/safety they are looking for than women.

    And just as those 5 key principles may be important to a woman and her security, sex is an important part of a list of principles that men look for in security. And both forms of security/safety, while being different, are all simply how we decide compatibility – we want to know that we are each others, and that our physical/emotional base is with that person.

    The idea that men only think about sex and are not emotional, is as archaic an idea as saying women don’t like sex and are overly emotional. But these perceptions come from the conflict between the two versions of safety/security. One of those conflicts is shown in something you pointed out: the idea of withholding the others security, which is completely independent to your own, while trying to validate your own.

    The idea of a man knowingly holding off on a woman’s measure of compatibility (listening, attention, truth, commitment) simply until he was sure about his measure of compatibility (one being in the form of sex) would be considered selfish and crude. But women holding off, simply to reassure herself about her security, is looked upon as “just” or “the right thing”. But both are selfish and misguided.
    The thing is, neither needs to be in direct conflict with the other. And any relationship that shows both forms of security is bound to last a lot longer than without.

    Just as the emotional security in women is based on a primal need for physical security, isn’t it fair to say that a man’s security is also primal based in the same way? You are, after all, talking about a primal time in which the man/woman would remain together – and obviously there must be something more than sex that would have kept “primal man” with a woman than just sex.

    • Chuck Chapman M.A., L.P.C. February 8, 2016 at 8:20 pm - Reply

      Hi Kyle,

      Some great points there.

      Just to clarify, I did say that this was in the context of relationships. I also agree that men are not lacking the need for emotional security. I touched on this in the third paragraph. But the focus of the post wasn’t about what men needed, as much as it is about helping guys understand the importance of emotional security by being consistency to create a lasting relationship.

      I wouldn’t say that the “primal man” is looking for just sex, but rather reproduction and connection.

      Thanks for taking the time to write an in-depth response. Good stuff you pointed out!

      Chuck

  3. Tawny April 19, 2016 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    This is the perfect way to break down this inrtomaoifn.

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