Know Your Clients: An Update on What Women Want

Let’s face it, ladies, having a Pure Romance party is a fun girls’ night out experience. We talk, we laugh and we generally have a great time while we hear about all the fabulous Pure Romance selections.

But there’s a serious side to a Pure Romance party, as well: It’s about you, as a Consultant, taking the time to listen to your clients about what they want—and what makes them feel comfortable in the bedroom.

At the March World Conference, we heard from Dr. Debby Herbenick, a professor at Indiana University and a long-time friend of the Patty Brisben Foundation for Women’s Sexual Health. She had some eye-opening facts and figures about what women think about sex. As you know, one of my favorite sayings is: Stay a Student.

Here are a few nuggets that she shared during her presentation that I thought you would find interesting.

  • In a 2015 survey of more than 1,000 women ages 18 to mid-90s, more than half of American women have found themselves in situations where they wanted to tell their partners how they liked to be touched, but decided not to say anything.
  • The top reasons they decided not to say anything was “they didn’t want to hurt their partner’s feelings, they didn’t feel comfortable going into detail, a lot of people feel they don’t feel they have the words to have these conversations, they would have felt embarrassed and they didn’t know how to ask for what they wanted.”

It’s important for us to pay attention to these findings.

Another question in the 2015 survey had to do with how comfortable women are in discussing sex. The findings revealed:

  • One in five American women say they have never felt comfortable or confident telling their partner how they wanted to be touched or how they wanted to have sex.
  • Ten percent said they have never felt like their sexual pleasure was valued by, or important to, their partner.
  • For those who did feel their pleasure was valued or important, the average age when they first felt this, was 25.

“Let me put this into context,” Dr. Herbenick said. “The average age of first intercourse for women in this country, has been pretty steady at age 16. But what that means, is that on average, women in the United States are having sex with a partner for nine years before they feel like their pleasure matters.

You’ve all been in those situations with women when they have an “a-ha moment:” ‘I can ask for what I want?’

“Because around 40% of women in our study said it was embarrassing for them to talk about sex with their partner in specifics,” Dr. Herbenick said. “And 40% also said ‘I would rather not talk about sex with my partner. I think it should just come naturally.’ So you know the important role that you have.

“We often raise young girls not to use words about their bodies. Ultimately, whether you’re talking with a partner or talking with a health care provider about what itches or what hurts, you’ve got to have some language to talk with them.”

Dr. Herbenick encouraged Pure Romance Consultants to lead that discussion.

“It’s good to learn how to talk about this, to feel comfortable, and to learn over time to put any shame or embarrassment aside.”

Our Consultants are the front line in leading this discussion of sexual health with their clients.

Don’t hesitate to ask women what they want. You may be the first person who’s done so.

I am so grateful for the time that Dr. Herbenick spent educating and empowering our Consultants at World Conference.

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