It has nothing to do with biology and EVERYTHING to do with this.
Your man enjoys a amazing orgasm during sex. You revel in the thrashing of his body on top of you. The air sighs out of him and he goes limp, his weight pressing you into the bed. Down below, you feel “the main event” shrinking. He looks into your eyes and says, “It was good, it was big.”
He kisses you, rolls off … and falls asleep.
You lie in the dark thinking, “Maybe I’m responsible for my own orgasm, but couldn’t he have contributed a little more?” Or, maybe you are sexually satisfied, but feel as though he betrayed the closeness of your “lovemaking” with his unceremonious drop into sleep. Listening to his gentle snores, you feel dissatisfied, frustrated, and lonely.
You’re educated, liberated, understanding, and get gender differences. You’ve read the studies and know that “75 percent of men do this …” and what not. You (and science) justify his post-coital snooze by acknowledging that he just got a massive hit of prolactin with his orgasm, knocking him right out. And, with his evolutionary duty being done (making kids) — he’s done, too.
Resigned to yet another example of God and evolution not working in your favor, you figure you might as well let it go and get used to it.
Let me stop you right there!
Yes, we’re biological creatures, zinging with hormones and neurotransmitters, but we’re NOT slaves to our biology.
You know damn well that if the game were on after his “big O,” he’d be bushy-tailed again by kick-off. Remember, too, the battles early feminists waged against experts who solemnly asserted that women couldn’t adequately function in the work place, because of their monthly hormonal maelstrom. (In other words, don’t believe every scientific justification for insensitive behavior).
Biology is no excuse. It influences but does not dictate our behavior. Your man can choose something other than sleep after sex. And, you can choose something other than lying in bed feeling resentful.
Two things could be at play here: Sleep, like “having a headache,” is an easy way to avoid the messiness of dealing with uncomfortable stuff, like connecting with your partner on an emotional level.
So, what’s the real reason he’s nodding off versus connecting with you? What’s your man avoiding?
If women worry about their appearance, men worry about their performance. Can they keep it up? Will they come too soon? Can they find your clit, g-spot, or even trigger your ejaculatory release for that matter? Can they match the improbable antics they see in online porn? Can they sexually satisfy you?
Society raises men to perform.
We frequently tie our self-worth to how well we do in school, sports, careers, and most other areas of our lives (Note: women too! See Brene Brown’s masterful: The Gifts of Imperfection). We’re praised when we do a task well and criticized when we do it poorly. Who we are as men is measured by our performance. But, it gets even nastier. No matter how well we perform, it’s never perfect — we could always have done better. It’s as if we marinate ourselves in a corrosive sense of never ever being good enough.
So for us, it’s better to go to sleep than learn that we’re not satisfying you.
This situation becomes exacerbated by several factors. Physiologically, you’re confusing. When pleasing a man, it’s reasonably clear what you need to grab onto. However, with women, it’s a guessing game — especially in the dark and with, say, your tongue.
How often has your partner gone downtown, industrially licking down there, but way off-center? You reach down and gently guide his head to the big top, but after a few seconds he drifts off onto some other random fold.
Any lover, particularly one just starting out, is going to get lost now and then. Instead of asking for directions (c’mon, a man!?), he’s going to pretend all is well and avoid any bad news by going to sleep.
With sex, the stakes are really high. It’s not like figuring out the remote — after sex, you’re open to serious rejection, criticism, or judgment. Again, safety feels better than to feel hurt.
Finally, women are often lousy at communicating their needs. Even if men ask, we often just get a tepid, “I’m OK” or “I’m fine.” Little is more corrosive than the lie designed to protect another’s feelings. We know you’re lying and you’re training us not to trust you AND that your needs aren’t important.
So what do you do when your man wants to snooze post sex?
Communicate. Be straight, courageous, and responsible. Do it with heart, grace, and generosity.
Too frequently, people blame their partners for what isn’t working in the relationship — “He’s the one who’s going to sleep, after all.” True, but it’s your job to talk to him about what you like and do so without deploying the relationship killers of criticism, judgment, and resentment.
Engage him so that your request lights him up. Create a space in which he’s comfortable talking about pleasuring you. Give him a tour. Be straight about what you like and what you don’t like.
Be warned that, generally, you can’t talk someone out of a deeply held belief such as “I’m not good enough.” That’s his work. It’s enough to know that insecurity is there and that it’s tender.
Bringing an open heart to sex is scary. Having the courage to wade into the messiness of feelings, fears, and the unknown — without judgment — is a gift to you and to him. But, do it successfully and you’ll grace your lovemaking with intimacy and love.