What does she really want during sex? Men everywhere have pondered that very question at some point in their lives. Luckily, the answer will make sex better for you, too, according to a recent study from the University of Indiana’s Kinsey Institute.
After researchers surveyed more than 2,000 men and women about their sexual behaviors, they found that both men and women desire affectionate and romantic behaviors—like saying sweet things during sex, setting the mood, and kissing or cuddling more often—more than say, talking dirty, watching porn together, and getting kinky.
It’s not the first time science has backed up the importance of intimacy, particularly cuddling. In fact, cuddling after sex can be just as important to a woman’s pleasure as foreplay, according to a survey from the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada. The researchers found that cuddling boosted sexual satisfaction for men, too.
That’s because your body is flooded with oxytocin—the bonding hormone—after sex, which makes you crave more affection, Robin Milhausen, Ph.D., a professor of human sexuality at the University of Guelph told us last September.
“It’s one of the easiest things you can do to improve your relationship,” Milhausen explains. “It’s a really important, but often missed, opportunity for connection.”
So, light some candles, kiss her passionately, tell her how amazing it feels to be with her, and take the time to hold her after sex—she’ll more than likely return the favor and you’ll both enjoy making each other feel good.
Now, that’s not to say that trying new sex positions, being raunchy, using sex toys , and doing it in a new place don’t have their moments—those behaviors can still help keep the spark going when things get stagnant in bed.
Above all, use this as your excuse to talk openly with your partner about what you want during sex, suggests lead study author Debby Herbenick, Ph.D. in a press release. Together, you may find new ways of making sex even better—which will only lead to more sex in the future.