Just in case you thought the route to sexual bliss was straightforward, here's a list of things to avoid. They're all pretty much guaranteed passion killers for a woman - and if your check list contains more than ten of these, you've got some serious work to do on your sexual etiquette!
1 Going straight for the naughty bits
You've got to be sensitive to the fact that a woman is more likely to be irritated than aroused when a man dives for her breasts and vulva after a few minutes' perfunctory kissing. While you might get to feel the goods, you're not going to be invited back.
2 Not knowing how to kiss sensitively
Passionate or sensitive, firm or gentle, good kissing is an art form which lubricates the wheels of sex and gets everyone in the mood for more intimacy. Learn how to kiss, and do it well. That doesn't mean sticking your tongue in her mouth and wiggling it around like you're trying to floss her teeth.
3 Being too rough when you touch her erogenous zones
Men like a firmer touch than women, especially when it comes to our penises. So if you touch her clitoris with as much force as you apply to your penis when you masturbate, she's most likely to howl with pain - and then kick you out of bed. Remember: the clitoris has twice as many nerve endings as the penis, in a much smaller area. Treat it with respect. It's the only organ in the human body that has no function other than to provide pleasure.
4 Not stroking and caressing her
A woman's second biggest sex organ is her skin. (The first is her mind.) You can make your touch on any part of her body into a sexy caress, but you have to focus on what you're doing and put some sexual energy into your fingers while you caress her. That means not thinking about the baseball game while you're giving her a sensuous massage.
5 Locking onto her nipples like a suckling child
Yes, we know it's fun for you. To her it just feels like she's got a teething infant hanging off her breast. Lick and kiss around her whole breast before you go for the nipple, then flick your tongue gently across the nipple and around the areolae. If she likes what you're doing, you'll know by her moans of pleasure.
6 Biting on her earlobe because you think it's sexy
She may not agree with you. In which case it will just be irritating for her, not a prelude to her turning into the sex goddess you thought you were summoning up.
7 Leaving a hickey on her neck like a teenage badge of honor
If you're over sixteen, this is a no-no. If you need to know why, you're obviously under sixteen.
8 Not shaving before sex
When you're in the throes of passion, having your beard stubble brushing back and forth across her face isn't so sexy, but at least it'll produce a red rash she can remember you by.
9 Not washing your pits and bits before you have sex
If there's one thing that turns women off, it's a lover whose personal hygiene isn't up to scratch. Even though men have a higher smell threshold than women, keeping yourself clean - especially in the more intimate corners of your anatomy (like under your foreskin) - is not just a matter of courtesy, it's a ticket back to the bedroom.
10 Forgetting she has a sensuous body waiting to be stroked
Pretty much the same point we already made up above, but worth remembering: touch doesn't just have to be in the bedroom, a prelude to sex. In fact, if you touch her a lot in a loving way during the day, she'll be ready to melt into your arms by bedtime.
11 Trying to get your fingers in her underwear before she's ready
This is the mark of a gauche teenage lover who wants to get to fourth base just so he feels more accomplished as a lover. Take your time, let things evolve naturally, and apply a little sensuous touch on the fabric covering her vulva before you dive under the elastic. The hint of what's to come is often more erotic than diving straight in there.
12 Dropping the condom on the floor
Must we say why this isn't the most popular move post sex? Dispose of the condom tidily in a tissue - put it in the bin rather than down the toilet, or it's likely to float there for some time to come as a reminder of your sexual encounter.
13 Going straight for the clitoris during oral sex or masturbation
Like we said above, most women just find this irritating - and, if you press too hard, bloody uncomfortable too. Your first caresses should be on her labia, the lips of her vulva, then as she gets more aroused, you can work nearer the clitoris itself. But even when she's aroused a soft touch along the sides of her clitoris may be more acceptable for her than any pressure on the head of her clitoris.
14 Breaking off just as she's getting to the point where she wants you to keep going at all costs
Women often get so lost in their sexual arousal that they forget to give feedback. In reality, the fact that she's lying there quietly may actually mean she loves what you're doing; if so, you should feel her pressing her vulva against your mouth or fingers, or shifting like she wants more touch, rather than giving you a sense that she'd rather be out shopping.
15 Undressing her clumsily
Listen up guys: you don't have to be able to take her bra off with one hand, behind her back, while kissing her. In fact, in my experience, it's better if you don't try. She probably puts it on by fastening it first and pulling it over her head anyway. Let her take off the garments you don't understand, and whenever you do lend a helping hand, undress her gently and sensuously rather than pulling at her clothes like you're ripping the paper off a birthday present.
16 Undressing yourself inelegantly - which includes taking your socks off after your underwear
Nothing is more comical (or pathetic) to a woman than a man in his socks and pants. Except possibly a naked man wearing socks. If you don't understand why, just accept that it is so.
17 Expecting her to shave for you
You might like the baby smooth look around her vulva, but she's more likely to see this as a prickly route to itchy stubble. Ask her nicely if you'd like her to go smooth. If she says "no", accept that graciously.
18 Sticking a finger up her vagina before she's ready, willing and able
In general, women do like to be penetrated just as much as men like to penetrate, which, considering how much men like to stick things up there, is just as well. However, she'll only want you to do this when the time is right - i.e. when she's aroused enough to enjoy it. If you're giving her clitoris attention, there'll be a point where she might like to have a finger or two inside her. If so, be gentle, and start with one finger on her G-spot. Make sure she enjoys this before you put another one up there. Two fingers on her G-spot is probably as much as she will want. And be just as firm with your touch as she finds pleasurable. If you don't know what the G-spot is, then do some Google-ing before you get into bed.
19 Entering her without asking her first
What is it with men and these dark, wet places? Just keep in mind that she decides how far sex goes, and if she doesn't want to enjoy intercourse then don't press the point. This applies especially to any strategy that involves nudging your penis into position and then pressing forward without her consent, verbal or otherwise! Having said that, you don't always need to ask "May I enter you?" though it can be a romantic and sexy thing to do if you're looking deep into her eyes. Needless to say, that's most likely to happen in the man on top position, which, by the way, remains everyone's most popular position for sex.
20 Pecking away around her vagina with your penis if you can't find the way in
This is, by all accounts, many women's least desired sexual moment. If for any reason you can't get in, don't pretend you're in control and keep trying. Simply ask her to guide you in with her hand. That way you'll save a lot of embarrassment, not to mention time.
20 Pumping away without regard for her pleasure
When you've achieved your most desired objective, and your penis is inside her, you'll want to show a certain consideration for her pleasure. She may want hard and fast thrusting, but it's best to start slow and shallow. While you're making love, she'll most appreciate your efforts if you're masculine and strong - which is to say, if you act like you know what you're doing, you're considerate and gentle at first, and work up to firm and strong thrusts if she likes them.
21 Expecting her to make love bottom up
Yes, we all enjoy rear entry. But she may be more self-conscious of her butt, she may feel like a sex object, and she may not like the rather impersonal nature of this position. If you really want to do it, and you explain to her why you like it so much (i.e. "It's incredibly exciting to see your gorgeous bottom as we make love", rather than "I get so turned on fucking from behind") she'll probably co-operate from time to time, even if it's only on your birthday and hers.
22 Thrusting too hard
If you happen to be well-endowed, or she has a short vagina, and you thrust too hard, you may end up banging her cervix. This can make her shriek, though sadly not with sexual pleasure.
22 Coming before she's got excited or begun to enjoy sex
There aren't many men who can last long enough to really satisfy a woman who enjoys vaginal intercourse and G-spot stimulation. If you can't be bothered learning how to be a long lasting lover, then at least have the decency to keep going for a few minutes so she gets some pleasure. This isn't hard, and there are plenty of ways you can learn to extend intercourse and not come so quickly. Do some research on Google for "end premature ejaculation". See also number 26.
23 Not coming at all - or losing your erection when you put the condom on
If you're one of that rarer breed of men who has trouble coming during intercourse, may we respectfully suggest you see a sexual therapist? You can then deal with this problem, learn to come more quickly, and avoid giving her a numb vagina and an intimate knowledge of the exact shade of color you painted your bedroom ceiling. If you're one of the many men who lose their erection when the condom comes out of its foil wrapper and onto the head of your penis, it's back to Google for a search on, surprisingly enough, "losing erection when putting on a condom".
24 Asking her how it was for her
This is not the mark of a confident lover, so if you really want some feedback, phrase it thus: "Did you prefer it when I did X or Y?"
25 Not going down on her when she wants oral pleasure
Since oral sex on a woman is so pleasurable for most men, this seems unlikely. But if it's a question of the smell or taste being a bit much for you, try taking a shower or bath together before sex. If you just want her to fellate you and you simply can't be bothered to reciprocate with cunnilingus, then reading these tips isn't going to help you much anyway.
Rod Phillips is an online sexual counselor at Sex and Relationships. Send your sex tips to firstname.lastname@example.org , For more information on controlling your ejaculation, see:End Premature Ejaculation Now!.