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4 Stages Of Sex: What He's Feeling And Thinking

The best way to give your guy maximum pleasure is to pay attention to arousal cues--and then rock his bod and blow his mind with these tips.

Wouldn't you love to crawl inside his head—and body—to find out exactly what sex feels like from a dude's point of view? Whether it's your first time with a new lover, or the nth time with your partner of many years, knowing what your man is thinking and feeling during sex will surely enhance the experience for both of you. Not only would this insight satisfy that gnawing curiosity, but more important, it'd show exactly how to maximize each level of bliss he hits, which is the trick to truly thrilling him.

To that end, we asked sexperts to describe what sex feels like for men, stage by delicious stage, inside and out. Think of it as a double-whammy approach to making your dude deliriously happy.

Stage 1: The Tease

His Brain: "A man's desire can be triggered by almost anything—a subtle stroke, a provocative visual, the sound of a woman's voice at a certain pitch," explains Ian Kerner, PhD, author of He Comes Next. But interestingly, the first thing that runs through his head when he feels that initial stirring is Is it okay to raise the mast? "No guy wants to get an erection at an inappropriate time. This push-pull state of wanting to go with his desire and maybe needing to restrain it fuels his excitement," says Kerner.

His Bod: As soon as your man's mind switches over to sex, his body begins to prickle with anticipation. "His temperature starts to rise, and chemical messengers released into his bloodstream make his skin supersensitive," explains Susan Kellogg, PhD, director of sexual medicine at the Pelvic and Sexual Health Institute of Philadelphia. Basically, every impulse in his body is focused on his ensuing sexual gratification, and he's getting harder by the second down there.

Work It To The Max: Tease him like crazy. "He's at a stage when he's half letting himself go and half holding back, so make him lose control," says Kerner. "The male mind holds great power over his physical state, so the key now is to use teasing preplay moves that will make him ache for you." So confess to a dirty dream you had about him or touch him in a sexual way—but in a nonsexual setting. Keep it light. Right now, the tiniest movements feel massive, which is why you should keep your caresses soft and unexpected. "Take advantage of his physically on-edge state by keeping him guessing where your lips, nips, and strokes will hit next," says sex expert Ava Cadell, PhD. Run your nails down his torso, graze your lips across his clavicle, or lightly tap his tush.

Stage 2 The Quick Bang Buildup

His Brain: He's now being pulled in two different new directions. He knows he should keep it slow and sensual to please you, but he's desperate to devour you whole. "During this stage, guys oscillate between feelings of tenderness and raw animal instinct," says Kerner. "They will often struggle to keep their focus on the woman because their physical cravings take over."

His Bod: You can see the physical changes taking place here: He responds to more intense touches because his pain threshold is increasing, his breathing quickens, and he's fully erect. "The more turned on he becomes, the more he craves release," explains Kerner. "And it's during this stage of arousal that a man is desperate for intercourse, because that's what will really drive his pleasure forward."

Work it To The Max: Manage his changing needs. Show him that you feel the difference in intensity too. "Get a little rough with him. You almost have to act as lion tamer, allowing his passion to be both contained and provoked," says Warren Farrell, PhD, author of Why Men Are the Way They Are. For example, pin his hands above his head and kiss him hard so while he's physically restrained, your passionate lip-lock communicates desire, or clamp your thighs around his torso, letting just the tip of his penis enter you.

Pay attention to his shoulder blades, spine, and butt. Before you let him enter the Promised Land, lightly scratch your nails over those areas. "The nerves near his spine and waist are directly connected to his package, so stimulating them has a tantalizing ripple effect," says Kerner. Then flick his frenulum (the tiny nob of flesh on the underside of his penis head) with the flat of your tongue. "Sending that shock through his system just before he enters you will trigger a chain reaction of pleasure," says Kerner.

Stage 3: The Stamina Stretch

His Brain: Guys know this: If they want a mind-blowing finale, they have to go the distance. "So he's easing up a little from that wild animal frenzy—he's focused on enjoying sex, but not too much," says Farrell.

Basically, there's a pause effect happening inside his head: "Switching gears mentally—possibly thinking of a nonsexual image—lets him hold back," explains Farrell. "But as he talks himself down to last longer, he'll sometimes have trouble getting back up to speed." At this point, he may need to delve into a fantasy to reignite his arousal, and as a result, you may feel like he's zoned out.

His Bod: "For men, variety is key during this phase," says Kerner. "Physically, his pleasure is completely concentrated in a hot belt around his lower back, butt, and groin, with pleasure waves radiating out from this point." And because he's being challenged physically every step of the way to hold back from climaxing, men crave a series of different frictions, rhythms, and sensations in the stamina stretch. "By alternating positions and speed, you drive his excitement but still allow him to remain in control," says Kerner.

Work It To The Max: Help him ride out the carnal roller coaster. If you sense your guy's momentum is lagging, whip out some dirty talk. Tell your man how hot you feel with him inside you, and throw out some sexy requests like "Thrust harder" or "Hold me tighter."

Create the cocktail of sensations he craves. To do that, try these three moves: rear entry, which enables him to thrust deeply; straddling him so you can combine shallow strokes with deep grinding gyrations; and missionary, which creates that fast friction he needs toward the end. Just remember, don't lose him too soon: "Pay attention to his body, and slow down when he reaches overdrive," says Kerner. The longer you keep him in this holding pattern, the more pleasurable the explosion will be for him—and the more likely you are to get yours.
Stage 4: Climax Time

His Brain: "In those moments just prior to ejaculation, your man's brain basically shuts down," says Kerner. "He's completely overcome by the physical sensations." And afterward, he feels a huge relief. "The sexual chemical prolactin is released into his system after climax to relieve his body from the rigors of ejaculation and to take his mind off sex," explains Kerner.

So if you're dating one of those guys who immediately wants to jump out of bed and, say, wash the car—now you know why. Of course, most men crash after sex. "The endorphins that make them feel euphoric during the act actually put them to sleep afterward," says Kerner.
His Bod: Seconds before your guy reaches his peak, you can actually feel his body stiffen—like he's using all his energy for those final thrusts. He feels his testicles tighten and the pressure creeping up his penis shaft before—bam—the big finale. "There are normally four to five rhythmic contractions that occur at 0.8-second intervals, the first ones being the most intense before orgasm," says Kerner.

Work It To The Max: Enhance his orgasm. You can do that by pulling your guy deep inside you as he ejaculates to create an intense, powerfully connected sensation. "Stimulating him throughout the orgasm is important," explains Kerner. But immediately following climax, blood rushes away from your man's penis, leaving him unable to endure anything more than feather-light strokes. "While his sensitivity slowly subsides, trace your fingertips over the upper half of his body," says Kerner. "These movements soothe his skin and reinforce your bond."

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