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Women Reveal How to Make Makeup Sex the Best Sex Ever

The two of you have had an argument. You're still mad, but he's not — and he wants to make up by making love. Fat chance: You cross your arms in front of your chest and stand firm, unmoved by the tender kisses he attempts to plant on the back of your neck. "How could he think he's getting sex now?" you wonder. You're not alone: When Redbook surveyed readers, 72 percent of female respondents said they withhold sex from their husbands when they fight.
But maybe you should open your arms and embrace your man instead of pushing him away. Having sex is not an admission that you're wrong and he's right. It's an acknowledgment and a celebration of the love you share even in times of discord. Besides, 10 minutes after the shouting, he's already past the argument. Women hold on to anger longer than men do. We could learn from them how to let it go.
For garden-variety fights — disputes over household chores, child-care duties, budgeting, in-laws, not big issues — makeup sex has the power to heal emotional wounds. "These ongoing issues may never be satisfactorily resolved," says Diane Andoscia Urso, a couples therapist in New York, "but good sex can really take the edge off them."
Here, seven makeup-sex strategies that have worked for wives who've found that it's better to give (and receive!) than to withhold.


For many couples an argument is verbal foreplay; they're sexually aroused by debate. This isn't surprising. The adrenaline rush accompanying mild anger creates a response in the brain that is similar to sexual arousal. To use that rush to your advantage, avoid uttering the harsh words and accusations that turn a little fight into a big standoff. Don't be cruel to each other. Instead, feel the erotic possibilities in the energy pulsing through your angry body.
"He'll stop in the middle of a sentence and say, 'Your skin glows when you're angry' or 'Your nipples are hard under that shirt.' It turns me on. The adrenaline is pumping, and so are the sex hormones. I like knowing I can completely break his concentration by putting my hands on my hips and thrusting my chest out." —Gina, 33
"When we fight, we have to stand toe-to-toe and stage-whisper so we won't wake the baby. His lowered voice and the proximity of his body to mine is exciting. I can't help myself. I want to kiss his Adam's apple." —Andrea, 29


Laughter is healing. It can also be erotic, like champagne bubbles bursting in the brain. So laugh with each other — but not at each other.
"After a fight he'll say something funny, usually at his own expense. He can tell how ready I am to forgive and forget by whether I give him a thin smile or a real laugh. If I laugh he'll pull me into his arms and nuzzle my neck. Then he licks inside my ear with the tip of his tongue. That always makes me shiver and giggle. If he only gets a smile, he'll make another joke to loosen me up. He could be a stand-up comic." —Jenna, 31
"Mark is more inclined to pout after a fight than I am. I'm the one who wants to make up with sex. I tickle him. He pushes my hand away, but not too forcefully. I tickle him again. He tickles back. We play like kids until one of us reaches inside the other's clothing to tickle bare skin. That does it! Once our hands are on each other's bodies, we can't stay mad about anything." —Christine, 37


Some women need to make a closing "anger statement" before they can move on to lovemaking. Keep it brief. Give him encouragement with your eyes as you express your feelings. End by saying in a suggestive tone of voice, "But we can talk about it another time" — a sentence men always love to hear.
"I always have to get the last word in (I'm a lawyer). That doesn't mean I'll get my way. The last word is my summary statement, my last chance to clinch an argument. He might find this behavior obnoxious if I didn't undress him with my eyes while I'm talking." —Deborah, 34
"I tell him, 'I want to make love to you, but I need a few minutes to speak my mind without interruption.' I stand across the room from him so he has to watch but can't reach out and touch. And I start undressing while I speak. He doesn't interrupt; I shut up when I'm naked. I feel a little bit exhibitionistic — but I have the power again." —Kim, 32


The makeup ritual, a bridge between anger and loving, is a way of calling a truce. It can be as simple as taking a shower together or exchanging shoulder rubs. Both of you recognize that it also means no more arguing.
"Rob does something for me without being asked — even if I'm the one who's more at fault. He makes tea or pours a glass of wine. Maybe he'll go out into the garden and pick a rose. His offering signals a cease-fire, and my gracious acceptance of his gift says, 'Me, too.' Recently he brought me the last dish of chocolate ice cream, significant because we'd been fighting about doing the shopping. We shared the ice cream, feeding each other with the same spoon. Afterward we kissed, and his mouth was sweet and cold. I asked him to suck my nipples before he warmed up." —Tracey, 29

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