NYC Psychotherapist Blog

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Thursday, March 30, 2023

Can Hookups Be Safer and More Sexually Satisfying For Heterosexual Women?

In my last article, Sex Research: Heterosexual Women Often Find Hookups Less Sexually Satisfying Than Men, I discussed some of the reasons why heterosexual women often feel less sexual pleasure during hookups than men. 

In this article, I'm focusing on how these hookups can be safer and more sexually satisfying for women.

Can Hookups Be Safer and More Sexually Satisfying For Women?

Let's face it: Regardless of how you feel about hookups, they're here to stay--for adolescents, college students and people in their 20s and beyond. 

So, for the purpose of this article, it's not a matter of stopping hookups or casual sex--it's more a matter of how to make hookups better for women who want to hookup.

Before going on, I want to clarify why I'm focusing on heterosexual women in particular. 

Based on sex research, compared to gay men, bisexual men, bisexual women and lesbians, heterosexual women have the least sexually satisfying sex, even in committed relationships, and even less satisfying during hookups and casual sex (see my articles: Closing the Orgasm Gap - Part 1 and Closing the Orgasm Gap - Part 2).  

More about this in the second half of this article.

Can Hookups Be Safer For Heterosexual Women?
Let's start by focusing on personal safety.

Personal safety is an important issue for heterosexual women who are much more at risk during hookups.  

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted in the United States.  

This is an astounding number.  It means that 20% of women in the US are sexually assaulted at some point in their lifetime.  

Considering that alcohol and drugs are often a part of hooking up, you can see where safety could be an issue when both people are impaired with regard to using good judgment and practicing consensual sex (see my article: What is Sexual Consent?).

    Tips For Safer Hookups
Although any hookup can be potentially unsafe, there are steps you can take as a woman to make them safer:
  • Share Your Location With Trusted Friends: Before you meet with the person you're hooking up with, share your location so, in case of an emergency, people know where you are and how to find you. You can do this through your iPhone or using Google Maps.
  • Keep Friends Informed: Share the first and last name of the person you're hooking up with and one of their social media accounts, like Instagram. Also, keep your friends posted with your whereabouts if you leave the place where you originally told them you would be.
  • Practice Safer Sex and Carry Your Own Condoms: You can't always rely on your sex partner to have condoms, so bring your own to protect your health and theirs as well.  If your partner refuses to use a condom, don't engage in fellatio or have intercourse.
  • Know Your Partner's Sexual Health Status: Even though it's good to use condoms, condoms aren't 100% safe when it comes to sexually transmitted infections and HIV. So, it's good for both you and your partner to get tested beforehand so you know each other's sexual health status.
  • Be Aware of  Your Alcohol Consumption: Be mindful of how much you drink and what you drink. Never take a drink that wasn't given to you directly by the bartender, especially if you don't know your hookup partner well, because someone could easily slip a drug into your drunk that will impair you.
  • Don't Walk Home Alone Late at Night: Make sure you have friends who can walk you home from wherever you were hooking up with your partner, especially if it's late at night or you're in a remote area.  If your friends aren't available, have enough money or a credit card with you to take a taxi or car service home.
  • Trust Your Instincts: If you get the feeling that something is off, don't hang around just to be polite. Trust your gut and leave without feeling guilty. This is about your personal safety.
Can Hookups Be More Sexually Satisfying For Heterosexual Women?
Now that I've discussed the safety precautions, let's focus on how hookups can be more sexually satisfying for women, which is so important considering the orgasm gap.

    Tips For More Sexually Satisfying Hookups
Since women often leave hookups without experiencing an orgasm or without even feeling sexual pleasure, here are some tips:
Know What You Like Sexually and Tell Your Partner

  • Tell Your Partner What You Like: You can learn to get comfortable talking about sex with a partner by practicing. The more you're able to talk about what's pleasurable to you, the easier it can get.  Don't assume your partner knows or is even concerned about your sexual satisfaction, especially if you don't know each other well. You're entitled to sexual pleasure, so don't settle for less (see my article: Finding Your Sexual Voice).
  • Take the Time to Get Sexually Aroused: Whether you experience spontaneous desire or, if you're like most women, you experience responsive desire, take the time to get aroused by kissing, touching, clitoral stimulation or doing whatever it is that gets you turned on (assuming your partner consents to it) before you engage in oral sex or intercourse. Don't allow your partner to rush you if you're not ready.
  • Make Sure You Use Lube: Even if you're very turned on and already wet, adding lubrication can help reduce the amount of friction that can make penetrative sex unpleasant and even painful. Remember that oil-based lubricants break down latex condoms.
  • Use Sexual Fantasies to Get Yourself Turned On: Sex starts in the brain, so if you want to get turned on, think about your sexual fantasies, including your peak erotic experiences.
  • Feel Free to Use a Vibrator to Have an Orgasm: Depending upon whom you're with, your partner might have an orgasm before you do. Some partners can be more sexually generous than others, but if you're with someone who is mostly focused on their own orgasm, feel free to use a vibrator to have your orgasm. There are now so many varieties to choose from, including small bullet vibrators that are so convenient that you can carry one in your pocket.
Hookups aren't for everyone, but they're not going away any time soon.

Since heterosexual women are more at risk than men, it makes sense to take basic precautions to ensure personal safety.

In addition, since heterosexual women tend to have less satisfying sex than men, knowing what you like and being able to tell your partner can help you to have more satisfying sex.

Getting Help in Sex Therapy
If you're having a sexual problem, seek help from a licensed mental health professional who is a sex therapist.

Sex therapy is a form of talk therapy (see my article: What is Sex Therapy?).

Individual adults and people in relationships seek help in sex therapy for a variety of reasons (see my article: What Are Common Issues Discussed in Sex Therapy?).

During sex therapy, there is no nudity, physical exam or sex during therapy sessions (see my article: What Are Common Misconceptions About Sex Therapy?).

Rather than struggling on your own, seek help from a skilled sex therapist so you can have a more fulfilling sex life.

About Me
I am a licensed New York City psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT, Somatic Experiencing and Sex Therapist.

I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 during business hours or email me.