Bedroom etiquette

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Are there really rules for the bedroom? Lines that simply must not be stepped over and procedures that must be adhered to? We investigate

Bedroom etiquette
A lovers' bedroom routine shouldn't be like a parade drill but just as with any area of life - be it the office, the tube or the doctor's surgery - there are dos and don'ts. And don't forget, the bedroom is not the office or the tube, it's possibly the most important 'space' for a relationship - if one or other of you doesn't play by the rules, it can be very hurtful and damaging. Of course, what goes on in the bedroom is an unruly subject that's hard to find precise rules for. Nonetheless rules between the sheets do exist. They're important, they'll help keep your relationship afloat and we've pinned down the most important of them for you here. So read on, email them to your friends - the vital things every woman should know...

1 Do make love when you say you will

There's nothing worse than giving your partner the eye all day and not coming up with the goods later. Of course there are times when life intervenes - with a health problem or an unavoidable circumstance - but let him down too many times and he won't trust you to provide for him sexually. If you say you're going to have sex that night, make sure you deliver.

2 Don't make him jealous of your vibrator

So many women have discovered the joys of a little battery-assisted pleasure, but not all men can handle the second penis in the relationship. Strange but true. And not that strange when you consider that a vibrator can make you come in - ooh - ten seconds but it can take a man a good half hour to achieve the same result. The trick is, not to come too quickly with your machine and then lose interest in making love to your poor unsatisfied partner.

3 Do share the vibrator

Let your partner control it, using it on you - teasing you with it. Let it lie between you when you make love. Run it all over him, finding his most erotic spots. Make sure that when he sees that particular piece of plastic he smiles.

4 Don't go down on him if you have a cold sore

Herpes of the mouth is transferable to the genitals, and it's a far nastier business in the underwear region than it is on the face.

5 Do go down on him at all other available opportunities

Men just love oral sex and so many women stop giving them once they're in a relationship. Keep at it. Perfect your technique. Get to know what his penis does and doesn't like about your mouth. You cannot underestimate the power of a good blow job.

6 Don't get in the habit of making love without foreplay

It's the kiss of death to any sexual relationship. Feel each other up regularly (in and out of the bedroom) to keep things exciting and fresh.

7 Do be open to his ideas, whatever they are (as long as they're legal)

He shouldn't feel scared to ask you to try new things. Let him know you're up for change - ask him if there's anything he's ever wanted to do with a woman that he's never managed. And whatever it is, give it a go. If it's not your bag, say so and move on to try other things you might both like.

8 Don't have unsafe sex with a man whose sexual history you don't know

Cases of HIV in heterosexuals are rising. Don't think, 'Oh, he's my brother's friend, he'll be alright.' Wear a condom until you know the score. In the not too distant future the aids test looks set to become a bigger milestone in a relationship than getting engaged.

9 Do take turns to come

Lots of women get into the rut of making sure their partner is always satisfied and thinking about themselves last (often when it's too late) - and so sex becomes merely a matter of serving an annoying pest (your man) until he's satisfied. Prioritise your own orgasms and he'll take great pleasure in watching your pleasure.

10 Don't think you have to be having sex all the time

The way it's focused on in the media, you couldn't be blamed for thinking that what's necessary to maintain a relationship is sex, sex and more sex. The real point though, is not to be at it like rabbits, but to make sure that when you do make love, you both have a good time - play by the above rules, and that's far more likely to happen.

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