“The more love affairs you have, the richer you are.” And I agree. At this stage of life, having treaded half of it, I could gauge the richness those affairs brought in me as a person, as a woman, as a poetess, and as a writer. I went to Urdu mushairas with one, dined in an upscale oriental restaurant with another man who had an exquisite knowledge of oriental cuisine; and learned kindness and responsibility from the 3rd man. Each of these men wrote different chapters and shades of my persona. It’s now difficult for me to intellectually and romantically attach myself to only one man, for the remaining of my life. But do note that I have not mentioned intercourse (sexual attachment) here.

Yes, I agree that not all was a state of bliss, I had my fair share of disappointments, failures, and let-downs. I’ll be honest here. But I think I’m better off because, in a decade of sexual and romantic experimentation, I was saved by first by a marriage and then a child and a long term partnership. I believe a woman in her 20s is more uninformed and temperamental than a woman in her 30s. And while I made spur of the moment choices about my romantic partners in my 20s and early 30s. In my mid-30s, I have become fastidious in selecting who can be my sexual and romantic partner. I want my man to be patient and to know how to seduce me. But do men know any better?

So in the interest of womankind and to put seduction back in the scheme of sex, I’m sharing how I would like men to seduce me. I believe this is not just about what I think but what women want. So men, here you go:

It cannot begin with sex: Most of the men who reached out to me are impatient when it comes to desiring sex. It takes them anywhere between 5 hours to a day to make urgent their sexual intentions. This is the real life situation I’m talking about how soon these men are willing to put their pants down. I have done this in the past, having had tempestuous casual intercourse with a man on the next day of meeting him and it left me feeling miserable, used, unloved, and objectified. So no matter, how irresistible the man can be, if he is looking for lemonade sex, I’m going to snack him out.

Then from where can it begin?: Do you know which is the biggest sexual organ in the body? It is mind. So yes, we can begin from the mind. I’m a book and I love to be read. And there are more than a thousand pages, so don’t stop at the foreword. I remember a passionate moment with a past lover when I platonically cuddled in a nesting doll position with him on a couch. His sat sideways on the couch with his legs apart and I lied in the space created between his legs. I held a book with my right hand and narrated its chapter while my left hand draped his neck. Sometimes I paused and looked up to him to see if he is still listening and understanding and he blinked his eyes to nod. No words were exchanged; no feisty lovemaking. Just a feeling of being held and being sensually touched.

Touch and Sex: Not all touch should lead to sex but I have found most men hurrying up to the final act of sex immediately after. Remember! A woman likes to be touched and not penetrated. She wants her man to have patience and lust both. She wants to be desired, not conquered.

There was another time when I went to meet the same man in his house all decked up in a mustard silk sari and sparkling jhumkas. The radiance of meeting the secret lover made my face glow as I cleaned it with a face wash in office washroom, and patted a lightener. The lover when he opened the door to greet me was awestruck with my glowing beauty. I then went to his mud green couch and leaned, with my head rested on his thighs. He would not look straight on my face and would look sideways because in his own confession, he could not bear the glitter of my face. The man was fairer than me but came from a long day meeting all the way from another town, and thus was all sweated up. I, on the other hand, had dabbed a perfume of Khas on my bosom, underarms, and neck. As I moved up to kiss his neck, his perspiration mixed with my fragrance to create a unique scent, a scent that was unique to us. I was aroused in that moment, fully aroused without having any intercourse.

Thinking how to initiate an arousing touch, without going down on genitals? Read this:

According to the ancient texts, there are 24 different erotic nerves that run through the body that cause erotic excitement. These nerves start at the different parts of the body. For ex: The eyes, cheeks, armpits, lower back but they all eventually end up in the genitals. The best way to stimulate the eye of the beloved is to alternately cover and uncover them by kissing them lightly and repeatedly. The nerves inside the cheek should be aroused with the tongue. The tongue should be rolled to make little points on the cheek and pushed against the inside of the cheek for maximum effect. The nerve on the lip should be bitten hard enough so that the lips become swollen. If each bite leads a moan of pleasure from the beloved, then you know it’s working. – Dr. Seema Anand

The smallest act of caring: A woman likes to be seen in the light of not her face but in the light of her suffering. Deep inside the depths of her heart, she is like an onion. An onion that wants to be peeled, layer by layer till you reach inner core. The coupling cannot happen until you relate to her suffering, her pain.

For me, what attracted me to my partner was his compassion. In the early days when we met, I had to go to Mumbai for a week, for some work. I did not know anyone in the city except him. And he took out 7 full days to accompany me to my work locations during the day and took me to the seashore at night to savor bada pav. All in a selfless moment of a deed. I would hesitatingly ask him each day, for the next 6 days, if he can come to meet me and he always nodded. I doubt if I can meet a man like him again, who lovingly spends so much of time with me, helps me sort my troubles without an expectation of intercourse. On a flip side, I have met men who turned cold, if I did not reciprocate their sexual advances or if I looked to them for support.

Remember! A woman is like water. It takes some time for the water to boil, but once it boils, it remains hot for a very long time. Dear men, can you wait for your woman, be kind, supporting, and genteel to her, while she simmers and ripens to reveal the immeasurable depth of her ecstasies?