Improve Sex By Focusing on the Peak and the End 1

This post will share ideas about how to use the happy-ending effect and the peak-end rule to improve your sexual encounters. Sex doesn’t always go perfectly, and that’s ok! Sometimes we build up grand visions in our minds about how amazing an experience is going to be, and then the kids won’t go to sleep, the smoke detector won’t stop beeping for a new battery, or you get a cramp in your leg at just the wrong time. By understanding these two psychological concepts you can help yourself and your spouse have great experiences even when things don’t go perfectly.

First, let’s look at what these two effects are. The happy-ending effect probably isn’t too mysterious! The article below presents the effect in a negative light, but you can apply it in your marriage to improve your experiences.

“When you’re deciding where to go for dinner, for example, you think about where you’ve had a good meal in the past,” lead study author Martin Vestergaard said in a news release.

“But your memory of whether that meal was good isn’t always reliable — our brain values the final few moments of the experience more highly than the rest of it. If we can’t control our in-built attraction to happy endings, then we can’t trust our choices to serve our best interests,” said Vestergaard, a neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge in Britain.

For the study, researchers had participants select between two streams of coins falling into a bucket in quick succession. Larger coins were higher in value.

One stream was greater in value but ended with a succession of smaller coins, while the other less-valuable stream ended with a run of bigger coins. Participants consistently — and incorrectly — selected the stream that ended with larger coins.

From the study we learn that people tend to over-value the end of an experience in comparison to the rest — “all’s well that ends well”.

The peak-end rule is similar to the happy-ending effect, but includes the idea that the peak of the experience matters as much as the end.

The peak–end rule is a psychological heuristic in which people judge an experience largely based on how they felt at its peak (i.e., its most intense point) and at its end, rather than based on the total sum or average of every moment of the experience. The effect occurs regardless of whether the experience is pleasant or unpleasant. According to the heuristic, other information aside from that of the peak and end of the experience is not lost, but it is not used. This includes net pleasantness or unpleasantness and how long the experience lasted.

The big idea of the peak-end rule is that an experience isn’t only evaluated by how it ends, but also by its peak or climax. Even if an experience is largely unpleasant, awkward, or disappointing, if the peak and the end are strong then the overall experience will be viewed positively.

So how can we use this knowledge to improve sex with our spouse? By focusing our energy on the peak and end of the experience and learning to let go of our worries and frustrations about the rest. Beginnings can sometimes be especially difficult:

  • If one spouse is sexually responsive, sometimes it will take longer for him or her to “warm up” and become aroused.
  • If you’re trying a new position or activity it might take you a few minutes to figure out how to make it work.
  • If you just put the kids to bed they might come knocking at your door.
  • Your vibrator might need to be cleaned or might need new batteries.

Don’t let these speed bumps discourage you! No matter how difficult the beginning is it won’t have much effect on your retrospective enjoyment of the overall experience. Let’s dig a little more deeply into how we can make the peak and end of sex the best it can be.

This probably goes without saying, but the peak of a sexual encounter is likely to be the wife’s orgasm; if the wife chooses not to have an orgasm, or the activity is focused on the husband (e.g., blow job) then his orgasm will be the peak of the experience.

The most important thing to remember is: Do Whatever It Takes to Give Your Wife as Many Orgasms as She wants. If the wife wants an orgasm, she should get one! If your wife wants an orgasm and doesn’t get one, the peak of your sexual encounter will not be good. If you have to give up on your “great idea”, change positions, take more time than you expected, or whatever, just do it. Don’t prioritize a sexual script over the wife’s orgasm — even if you succeed in executing your plans perfectly, it will all be for nothing if the wife doesn’t get the orgasm she wants.

The husband’s orgasm is also an important part of the peak! Typically the husband’s orgasm is easier to accomplish, so the focus doesn’t need to be so much on making sure it happens, but more-so on timing his orgasm with the wife’s and giving the husband the visual and sensory experience he’s after.

The timing of the husband’s orgasm relative to the wife’s orgasm is an important decision to make.

  • Before the wife: It’s generally not good for the husband to climax before the wife (if she’s planning to have an orgasm). There may be situations where you plan to do this, but make sure you talk about it first.
  • With the wife: When the husband and wife climax at the same time you can create a very high peak for your experience.
  • After the wife: When the husband climaxes shortly after the wife, while she’s still highly aroused and coming down from her own orgasm, you can draw out the peak over a longer period of time.

Usually I climax a short time after Sexy Corte. Timing our orgasms to happen at the same time can be difficult and distracting; sometimes it happens, but usually I aim to climax a bit after her.

Men are visual creatures, and the quality of our orgasms is often connected with the visual and sensory elements that go into it — that’s why my orgasms are usually stronger after Sexy Corte has one! After the wife climaxes — or if she’s creating an experience focused on her husband’s pleasure — let the husband arrange your positions or activities to create the sensory experience he wants.

  • Visual: The husband may want a better view of the action or may want to see the wife from a different angle that isn’t conducive to her orgasm.
  • Wife’s responsiveness: The wife’s moans of pleasure and body responses are an important part of elongating the peak experience. Even if the wife didn’t have an orgasm, her signs of pleasure and arousal are an important part of her husband’s experience.
  • Ejaculation: Let the husband ejaculate where he wants to! Vagina, face, body, mouth, swallowing, butt. Semen is mystical and the husband’s peak will be higher if he can put it where he wants it.

Ok, that’s a lot about the peak — how can we make the end of a sexual encounter the best it can be?

  • Touch and cuddle. Whether it was a quickie or marathon, make sure to include some touching and cuddling afterwards, even if it’s only for a few seconds. If the experience was particularly difficult or emotional for one spouse make sure to spend extra time afterwards with comfort cuddling.
  • Focus on the positive. Ignore anything that went wrong and focus on what went right and what you enjoyed. Be thankful and grateful for the spouse God gave you. Be in awe of your spouse’s sexuality that you get to share. You might need to acknowledge some difficulty, but move past it quickly to praise the peak. “The kids sure were persistent, but wow it felt great when we….”
  • Words of affirmation. Tell your spouse what you enjoyed, what felt great. Don’t give advice or ideas for improvement right now — save them for later. “It felt great when…”, “You looked so hot when…”. It’s good to be specific and explicit!
  • Bring it up again later. The end of the experience can be elongated just like the peak can. “Last night sure was fun, especially when you….”

I encourage you to check out this story from one of our readers that is a perfect example of creating a great ending despite difficulties and frustrations during the sexual encounter. Part 1: “I felt too exposed and vulnerable”; Part 2: Perfect Example of Trying Again.

By focusing on your peaks and endings you can learn to ignore any momentary frustrations and create great sexual experiences. Please leave us a comment and let us know what you think. How do you make your peaks and endings the best they can be?

Sexual Stimulation Promotes Openness and Agreeableness 2

Research confirms that people will say just about anything to get laid and the linked article frames this phenomenon as a form of deception, but I think it’s more useful to view it as enhanced agreeableness and openness.

The first experiment asked pairings of men and women to debate a fictitious situation face-to-face, with each participant being assigned a specific stance to take. The results revealed that students who were exposed to sexual stimuli beforehand were much more likely to openly express agreement with the member of the opposite sex they were supposed to be debating with compared to the control group that did not view any sexual stimuli before interacting.

The second experiment set out to determine if participants would flat out contradict a stance or opinion they had literally written out all to appease a sexually attractive individual’s ideals. First, each student was asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding some of their dating preferences, for example, “To what extent does it bother you to date someone who is messy?”

Then, they were exposed to either a subliminal sexual picture or a neutral image. Next, each participant was told they would be engaging in an online chat with an attractive individual, and were given a profile of their chat partner that included some of their supposed opinions and preferences. Sure enough, participants who had been exposed to a momentary sexual image were much more likely to conform their tastes to that of the individual they were about to chat with, and in many scenarios those tastes directly contradicted what they had originally recorded in the initial questionnaire.

Were the students “lying” when they openly expressed agreement or conformed their tastes? I doubt their initial self-reported preferences were so strongly held that merely being socially agreeable should count as “lying”. In fact, what seems to be happening is that the students are making a completely reasonable effort to get along with their partner, catalyzed by the sexual stimuli.

So then, what can we married couples learn from this experiment on students? How about this: if you want to experience more agreeableness and openness in your marriage, then promote sexual stimulation in your relationship. Initiate and respond to sexual talk, touch, jokes, teasing, games, planning, and anticipation. View yourself and your spouse as “potential sexual partners” to be impressed, rather than roommates!

Sperm Swim in Spirals 3

Here’s a fun tongue-twister of story for Friday morning: scientists just discovered that human sperm swim with a spiral motion, not by swishing side-to-side.

Using state-of-the-art 3D microscopy, a piezoelectric device, and mathematics, researchers in Mexico discovered how sperm really move: They spin, with a wonky asymmetrical wiggle. The researchers reported their discovery today in the journal Science Advances.

“It’s 2020 and we all thought we knew how sperm actually swim, and we couldn’t have been more wrong,” says Hermes Gadêlha, a senior lecturer in the Department of Engineering Mathematics at the University of Bristol. Gadêlha collaborated on the project with colleagues at the Image and Computer Vision Laboratory at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

Sperm Swim in Spirals 4

I have no idea how this new knowledge can benefit your marriage, but you might have fun with your spouse trying to say “sperm swim in spirals” five times fast.

Husbands can Learn from What Women Look For in Casual Sex Partners 5

Wives aren’t looking for casual sex partners (hopefully!), but husbands can learn a few things from the preferences of women who are looking for casual sex. Let’s look at the six elements listed in the article, even though we only have limited influence over several of the items.

1. You need to be taller than her.

Sadly, height bias is still very much real: 89. 5 percent of respondents said their short-term partner had to be taller than them, and only 11.9 percent viewed height as unimportant.

There’s not much you can do to make yourself taller! If you’re wearing shoes and your wife is barefoot then you can add an extra inch or so. You can position yourself above your wife in some circumstances, but not always.

2. But you don’t necessarily need to be smarter.

While having similar education levels may be important for women seeking a lifelong mate, only 46.7 percent of American women thought intelligence was an important trait in a casual partner.

Well that’s a relief! Just like height, there isn’t much you can do to make yourself smarter — but you can make yourself more interesting. If you’ve been married for very long at all, you may have noticed that your wife’s panties don’t drop to the floor when you solve an equation or win an argument on the internet. Raw intelligence isn’t as impressive as what you can do with it: write a poem, build a vibrator, use classical conditioning to enhance her orgasms.

3. Hair is great, but only if it’s on your face.

While bearded men are still beloved around the world, most women said they’d prefer a short haircut and a hairless chest for a fling than luscious locks and a virtual forest of upper body hair.

Finally! Something completely under our control. Here are some tips for husbandly grooming, and yes, you should shave your balls. Put in the (minor!) effort required to be clean and fresh.

4. You don’t have to be buff.

Unsurprisingly, about half (51.8 percent) of all women surveyed considered body type to be a very important factor when deciding on a partner for a casual encounter. But if you don’t have a six-pack or bulging biceps, don’t fret. Fit, athletic physiques were found to be the most popular among women (50.3 percent), followed by “average” body types (29.1 percent). Only 7.8 percent said they wanted someone who was very muscular.

Even if being fit and athletic doesn’t come naturally to you — as it doesn’t for me — you can take action to become the best possible you. Lift some weights. Go for a run (together!). Pick her up. You might also benefit from some more fitted clothing than you’re used to.

5. Your ethnicity and religion don’t matter.

Well ok!

6. And don’t forget to smile!

Having an attractive smile was one of the most important factors for women from almost every country in the Clue survey. So, when you’re on your date, remember to show that you’re enjoying yourself by flashing those pearly whites!

Mouthwash, toothbrush, and floss — and use some over-the-counter whitening product. But don’t just smile all the time for no reason, that’s a signal of unease, desperation, and submission for men.

Husband: if you want more casual sex with your wife, make yourself an attractive casual sex partner! (Your wife will thank you.)

Solve Your Marriage Difficulties By Having Sex 6

We get emails from people every day who are having problems of various kinds in their marriage, and the simplest, most direct solution is often just have sex. Obviously this isn’t true in every single case, but you’d be surprised how often sex itself can smooth over differences and disagreements.

How does it make you feel when your partner is cold and distant? Or when they’re critical and prickly? Does it make you want to rip their clothes off, order in a vat of whipped cream and install a chandelier to swing from?

No? Well there’s your problem – according, at least, to Michele Weiner-Davis, the marriage-guidance counsellor whose Ted talk explaining her unconventional advice to warring couples has been viewed almost 3.5 million times online.

Her advice couldn’t be simpler: shag. Do it even if you don’t want to, do it especially if you don’t want to and, most important of all, do it frequently whether you want to or not. To make it even clearer, she’s borrowed one of the most famous advertising slogans of recent times: Just Do It. “Your partner will be grateful, happier and therefore nicer, too,” she explains from her clinic in Colorado. “It’s a win-win situation for both of you!”

Over the years, Weiner-Davis has honed her message. She’s now stripped it back to what she believes is the essence of a successful marriage. Gone is any therapeutic consideration of a couple’s history; of their emotional travails; of cause and consequence. Now she is entirely one-track minded: no matter how appalling the state of a marriage, she believes that kind, generous and frequent sex can bring it back from the teetering edge of collapse.

Let’s expand on the idea a little! Here are a bunch of related posts.

Sometimes we can get so wrapped up “communicating” that we forget the importance of body language. Maybe you should quit talking about your problems for a while and go have sex!

Sleeping naked is good for your health and your marriage — but how can you stay warm while sleeping naked in the winter?

If this podcast is a blessing to you, please leave us a 5-star review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts.

How did you sleep?: https://marriedchristiansex.com/blog/mental-techniques/how-did-you-sleep/

Sleep naked and wake up early: https://marriedchristiansex.com/blog/marriage-advice/sleep-naked-and-wake-up-early/

Wives: how to sleep warm and sexy in winter: https://marriedchristiansex.com/blog/information/wives-how-to-sleep-warm-and-sexy-in-winter/

Better sleep leads to better sex, which leads to better sleep: https://marriedchristiansex.com/blog/information/better-sleep-leads-to-better-sex-which-leads-to-better-sleep/

4 Ways a Wife Can Increase Her Husband's Life Expectancy 7

Although we’re all living longer, the life expectancy for men remains about five years shorter than for women.

4 Ways a Wife Can Increase Her Husband's Life Expectancy 8

We all know about the obvious things a man can do to increase his life expectancy: stay fit, don’t smoke, eat right, and avoid dangerous jobs. But those are boring!

Wives, I’m sure you’re wondering… what can you do to help your husband live longer? Well, here’s an interesting list of six items that research indicates will boost male longevity, and four of them directly depend on your assistance!

Stare At Women’s Breasts
Men’s eyes tend to wander from a woman’s face down to her chest. Previously, it’s been reported men who stare at women’s breasts tend to live longer, but this has been debunked. However, Men’s Health provided a scientific explanation for why ogling at breasts could boost longevity for men.
They explained staring at breasts or looking at cute animals benefit a man’s health by creating a positive mindset.

Wait… this has been debunked? Then why is “stare at women’s breasts” even on the list? I know that Sexy Corte’s boobs make be feel better. Let’s leave this one in the “maybe” category, mostly because we’d like it to be true.

Have Lots Of Sex
If men need an excuse to have more sex, look no further than doing it for your health’s sake. A study in BMJfound sex could have a protective effect on a man’s health. Mortality risk was reduced by as much as 50 percent and life expectancy increased by three to eight years in the group who reported more orgasms.

We’re proponents of daily sex, and the more you have sex the better it gets. There’s also evidence that sex boosts women’s immune systems and helps you sleep better. There’s really no downside to more sex with your spouse.

Get Married
Men, marriage, and mortality are the three m’s that go together. Men who have spouses tend to live longer than their single counterparts. A survey of over 127,000 American adults found men who marry after age 25 get more protection than those who get hitched at a younger age, and the longer a man stays married, the greater his survival advantage compared to his single counterparts.
Researchers have questioned whether healthy men are more likely to marry than men with health problems, but unhealthy men actually marry earlier, are less likely to divorce, and more likely to remarry after divorce or being widowed than healthy men. Others wonder if marriage is linked to better health, or just living with another person provides the benefit. However, it seems to be both — people living with unmarried partners fare better in health than those living alone, but men with spouses tend to have the best health.

If you’re reading our blog then you’re probably already married! Good job — now stick with it.

Become A Parent
Men who get married and become parents are more likely to live longer than their childless peers. A recent study in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health found men and women with at least one child had lower death risks than their childless counterparts. When parents reached age 60, the difference in life expectancy was two years for men and 1.5 years for women.

For bonus longevity points, learn how to keep your darn kids from interfering with your sex life! Lock your door, have sex during and after pregnancy, don’t co-sleep with your kids, put your kids to bed on time, and be prepared for sex on vacation.

So there you have it: wife, you have a critical role to play in your husband’s longevity.

How to Create Your Sexual Bucket List and Share It With Your Spouse 9

A survey of 2,000 sexually active American adults has revealed the top activities that are on our sexual bucket lists. (It’s a little hard to read, but that’s the best image I could find.)

How to Create Your Sexual Bucket List and Share It With Your Spouse 10

It may not surprise you that the bucket lists for men and women are different, but there are five overlapping wishes! Both men and women say they want to:

It’s surprising to me that three bondage-related activities make the top-10 for women (being tied-up, being handcuffed, and being blindfolded) while zero make the top-10 for men. We’ve written several posts about bondage, and they’re some of our most popular.

Husband: if you want to try bondage but have been embarrassed to bring it up with your wife, these bucket lists indicate that you might be in for a fun surprise!

The only items on these top-10 lists that are off-limits for Christians are threesomes and one night stands.

So, now that you’ve read the results from this survey you’re probably thinking, how can I use this? Here are a few ideas.

  • Show the bucket lists above to your spouse. Talk about what’s on each list, and maybe it will open up a dialog between the two of you that reveals some new activities you’d both enjoy — or at least be willing to try!
  • Create your own bucket lists. You and your spouse can create your own top-10 lists to share with each other. If you need inspiration, check out our “Would You Rather?” sex game — it has dozens of activities you can talk about, accept, or reject. If you’re too shy for that, you can use an online sex questionnaire that hides any mismatched ideas from your spouse to avoid embarrassment.
  • Roll the dice. After you’ve made your bucket lists, put the the items in a hat or roll dice to randomly select an activity to do together. Add the items to your sexy jenga list!
  • Check things off. If you’re like us, the best thing about a list is getting to check things off. If you do one bucket list item each week you’ll be amazed at how fast you’re trying new things.
  • Talk about it afterwards. After you check off one of your items, talk about it together. Did you enjoy it? Would you do it again? How could it be more fun next time? Maybe it’s a once-a-month activity, or only for special occasions, or maybe you want to do it again right away!

What’s on your sexual bucket list? Inspire the rest of us by leaving your ideas in the comments.

For Female Arousal, Excitement Is Better than Relaxation 11

Dr. Cindy M. Meston from the University of Texas at Austin explains that the key to female sexual arousal is excitement, not relaxation.

“For years we were told, ‘Have a bubble bath, calm down, listen to relaxing music, do deep breathing exercises, chill out before sex,'” she says.

“But my research shows the opposite, that you actually want to get women in an active state.

“So, you can run around the block with your partner and get them to chase you around the block, or watch a scary movie together, ride a roller-coaster together, even a good comedy act. If you really get laughing, you’re going to have a sympathetic activation response.”

Meston is talking about the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for subconscious muscle contractions that get us ready for the flight or fight mode, like heart rate and blood pressure. She has found that if this system is activated before sex it will help women respond more intensely and more quickly.

Paul Byerly at The XY Code has a great story about excitement:

I recall a time when Lori thought I had fallen off a cliff (I had not). We went home and had really good sex. Now I know the reason for that was the adrenaline running through her system. Likewise, this is why teenage boys used to like to take a girl to a scary movie; their chances of something sexual in the back seat of the car were much better after such a movie.

We write a lot about games, activities, and novelty on our blog because they create excitement! Wives tend to be sexually responsive and usually don’t even realize when they’re becoming aroused!

Men’s subjective ratings of arousal were in agreement with their body’s level of sexual arousal about 66 percent of the time, while women’s were in line only about 26 percent of the time.

“The general pattern that I have seen in my laboratory is that women experience a genital response but do not report feeling sexually aroused,” Chivers told LiveScience.

Husbands and wives should both ponder that statistic for a while: a woman’s body often gets aroused before her mind does, and she won’t even notice.

Do you want to kick up the intensity of your sex life? Here are a few ideas from previous posts:

How do you get your sympathetic nervous system revved up? Leave a comment and let us know!

Sleep Naked and Wake up Early 12

This post is also available as a podcast: Podcast #015: You Should Sleep Naked, Even in Winter

Sleep and sex really seem to complement each other, and not just because you’re likely to do them in the same place. If you want to sleep better and have more and better sex, try sleeping naked and waking up early.

First, the health benefits of sleeping naked. We’ve written about why you should sleep naked (and almost naked) before, and this article has some science that might convince you.

1. You’ll fall asleep faster.

2. You’ll sleep better.

3. You’ll improve your relationship.

4. You’ll reduce stress and anxiety.

5. You’ll have more sex.

6. You’ll improve your vaginal health.

7. You may lose weight.

8. You’ll look younger.

9. You’ll boost your self-esteem.

Second, we recently wrote about setting your alarm for morning sex, so we’re not at all surprised to read that early-risers have more sex than people who sleep in.

The survey of 2,000 Americans, split evenly between self-identified early birds and night owls, found that early birds have more sex per week, on average, than their late-night counterparts.

The survey shows early-risers have sex an average of three times per week, compared to twice per week for late-risers — an impressive 50% advantage for early-risers. That’s more than 50 additional sexy times per year — maybe 2500 over the course of your married life. Seems worth it to me.

How do you and your spouse sleep? Are you intentional about what you wear, when you sleep, and when you wake up? Share your ideas and experience in the comments.

(Side note: I couldn’t find an image of a man and woman together waking up early and happy. Go figure.)