It’s no secret that most men qualify as proverbial minutemen when it comes to sex. No, I’m not talking about endurance; I’m alluding to the fact that, like the quick-response colonial militia that helped the Yankees triumph in the Revolutionary War, the average dude can go from 0 to sex-ty faster than you can pound the remnants of your Cosmo and say “Let’s get out of here.”
Women, on the other hand, tend to have a more temperamental libido. I’ve always thought of it like a store with inconsistent hours. Some weeks you show up and there’s an all-day liquidation sale in progress; other times you come knocking and it seems the owner has gone on indefinite hiatus. Now, while men have been trying since the dawn of time to find some secret, surefire formula for coaxing their ladyfriends into a stimulated state, it’s pretty safe to say that no such formula exists.
Nonetheless, there are known factors that contribute to a woman’s relative state of sexual agreeableness and/or anxiety, and doing your best to accommodate her needs as are attendant to such factors can greatly enhance your chances at getting lucky, according to Men’s Health’s Madeline Haller.
Here are Haller’s four common mood-killers and what you can do to offset them:
Related: 10 Girls You Should Never Date
1. “She’s Worried About What You’re Thinking.”
Translation: She can feel you judging her appearance, for better or for worse.
Solution: Positive affirmation. “Tell her how unbelievable she looks naked,” advises Heller. Try to tailor the message more specifically to her, though: as in, something slightly more articulate than “You look unbelievable naked.”
2. “She’s Distracted by the Climate.”
Translation: Women are more particular about their preferred sexual environs than men, who tend to approve “the nearest semi-sanitary surface” as a suitable location.
Solution: Heller suggests “clean sheets, a pleasant room temperature of 67 degrees, and some candles nearby” to best prep your bedroom for sex.
3. “She’s Distracted by … Everything Else.”
Translation: The presence of background noise or other audiovisual stimuli tends to render her less capable of achieving climax.
Solution: Eliminate said background noise and audiovisual stimuli at the source. “Shut off the TV, silence your cell phone — even kick your roommates out of the apartment if you have to,” Coach Heller relays. Yes, I know, this poses a problem for those of you who don’t think they can achieve climax without Rambo III blaring in the next room. But in life, we make little compromises.
4. “She’s Too Worried About Pleasing You.”
Translation: I repeat: she’s too worried about pleasing you.
Solution: Again, positive affirmation is key. Just as you should voice to her how sexually appealing you find her, so too should you “whisper in her ear how incredible she makes you feel,” says Heller. And don’t hesitate to tell the occasional fib or two. Your gratitude — whether genuine or not (I should hope it would be) — will endow her with a sense of confidence that can only improve her performance, and accordingly, your satisfaction.