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Media skews our expectations when it comes to sex.

Every sexual encounter will not look and feel like an L-word scene.  That’s not realistic.

Bad sex can improve to average sex or maybe even better.  The point is to have realistic expectations and know that no relationship is perfect.  If you live a happy daily life together, that will likely outweigh an average sex life.  Small improvements may be all that you get, but communicating about sex is an important thing to be able to do and will reap long term rewards.

Having Better Sex 101

Identify what you want: If you don’t know what you want in bed (ie. how you like to be touched) then it will definitely be more difficult to guide your partner. This means you need to know your body and learn what you like, and what you don’t like.  If you like a lot of foreplay but your partner likes to get down to business, then that’s a specific detail that can be discussed.  If it’s a question of not getting to the right spot, poor technique, or just having infrequent sex, these are all examples of specific wants that can be identified and hopefully improved or replaced.

Another common complaint I hear is when one partner likes to have slow, smoldering sex full of eye contact and “I love you’s”, but the other seems more interested in just getting it over with.  If you don’t want your girlfriend to bypass foreplay and get straight to “business”, then suggest sensual activities that are centered around taking it slow and playful teasing.  If there’s something for the other person to gain or be rewarded with, they’re more likely to meet your request.  Give your partner the opportunity to suggest new ideas to your sex life as well.  It’s likely that your partner has some good ideas.

Break the Silence: As I stated earlier, talk about it.  Begin by bringing up the specific want or behavior you want to add to sex; without judging, using a negative tone, or saying what you don’t like that they do.  Make is sound like a game, “you know something I’ve been thinking about that we should try is ___.” Ask them what they would like to add or change too.  If there’s a technique that they’re not doing, suggest that you love it when they do ___.  If your partner is unsure of their skills, just tell them sex is not an exact science and part of the fun is learning together.  This brings me to the next step.

Communicate in bed: This means tell your partner if they’re doing something you like.  If you want them to stay in a certain position longer- vocalize that. Sounds simple right?  A lack of verbal and nonverbal communication in bed will often lead to disappointment and even frustration.  Encourage your partner to also communicate with you.  By being open and honest about what you like, you are modeling good communication and encouraging your partner to do the same.  The end result will be better communication, more intimacy, and hopefully better sex. If your partner is not doing what you like, you can guide them and then respond positively when they get it correct.  While I’m on this topic, don’t fake an orgasm- you’re only doing a disservice to yourself and sending false messages to your partner on how to please you.

Stay Positive: Give positive feedback so they’ll do more of whatever it is you enjoy.  As humans we love rewards, especially positive feedback.  If your sex life still is not improving and you’re feeling frustrated, reframe the situation and view this as a work in progress.  I’ve also met couples that found instructional books and videos to be helpful when learning new techniques together. There are even educational sex classes at certain adult toy stores.

Different Issue: If the problem is more complex than the examples I just described, such as performance anxiety, trauma history, or pain during sex (vaginismus); then you may find it helpful to see a therapist to address these issues.  Working on intimacy issues is a great starting place before trying to address specific problems with your sex life.

I hope this article was helpful in breaking the silence and exploring new ways to improve your sex life.  As they say, practice makes perfect! I can’t think of many activities that are more enjoyable or rewarding to excel at!

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