Most people want to have an active and fulfilling sexual life, but let’s face it: sexual bliss can be hard to come by. In a 2012 Durex Sex Survey, half of the participants reported that they were not satisfied with their sex lives.
Moreover, 37% of them felt that their time between the sheets ended more quickly than they preferred.
Lovemaking isn’t rocket science, right? Then why aren’t our sex lives more satisfying? “There are myriad reasons why couples might not enjoy sex: stress, scheduling, kids, medical reasons (such as a prolonged illness or medication like antidepressants), and lack of emotional intimacy,” says sex educator Jeana Jorgensen, Ph.D. “So while this problem isn’t unique to our times, some of the causes are definitely characteristic of our era.”
But experts caution that sex should not be neglected. “A satisfying sex life can offer many benefits such as stress relief, maintaining a sense of adventure, anticipation of and looking forward to spending time together, and an opportunity to share and grow together,” says sex educator Dawn Serra. “Conversely, a mediocre or unsatisfying sex life can wreak havoc on a relationship in numerous ways, so if nothing else, having a great sex life avoids those pitfalls and challenges.”
Not happy with your lovemaking? Here is some topnotch advice to help you boost your sex life:
- Make intimacy a priority: Lack of intimacy is the number one killer of great sex. “There are even more distractions now with mobile devices than there were before. Intimacy sometimes feels too hard,” says sex coach Laurie Handlers. But you can rekindle intimacy. “Make an intimacy date at least once per week,” says Handlers. Before jumping into bed for the act, make sure you’re truly present in the moment. “Shower and breathe together, facing each other or back to back,” says Handlers. “Just feel each other’s body while breathing.” Before you begin foreplay, spend a few minutes gazing into each other’s eyes.
- Get your forty winks: Get back to the basics. In a March 2015 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers found that women who got sufficient sleep had a greater sex drive. The study was conducted on college women, but the message holds true for men, too. “A lack of sleep can contribute significantly to stress and anxiety which means the chances that you’ll feel sexy and yummy when you’re home with your sweetheart are very slim,” says Serra. “Getting a good night’s sleep and removing key stress factors are critical for people looking to enjoy a healthy sex life.”
- Talk sex: Talking about sex with your partner may seem awkward, but it is one thing that could make all the difference. “Make it a practice to talk to each other frequently about sex — about your needs, wants, desires, fantasies, and get curious about each other,” says Serra. “Prioritize sex. Do after-action reports where you check in with each other to see what your favorite part was and what you might change the next time.” If you don’t communicate to your partner what your wildest fantasy is, what are the chances it will come true? “But if you master the art of talking about the scary, sexy stuff, the sky is the limit,” says Serra.
- Try surprises: To bring back some spontaneity to the lovemaking, try some surprises. “You could be showered, scented, and dressed in something you know your partner will like when he or she comes home from work, and make your move,” says dating coach Tina B. Tessina. Or maybe surprise them with a romantic, erotic card at dinner. “When they work well, surprises can add some excitement and energy to your sexual relationship; but only if done infrequently,” Tessina adds.
- Take help, from lube: Most people think women use lube when they have trouble getting turned on. But that’s not the truth. “In reality, vaginal lubrication varies,” says sex coach Charlie Glickman, Ph.D. “Some women take medication that reduces it, some produce less at different points in their menstrual cycle, some find that the extra friction from condoms is too much without lube.” Glickman believes a few drops of lube can be a game-changer for your sex life. “Just be sure to use something specifically made for sex to reduce the chances of irritation or yeast infections,” he says.
- Change the pace: When it comes to sex, most people just want more: more stimulation, more fantasy, going faster or deeper. “That’s like adding more hot sauce to your food with every bite,” says Glickman. “After a while, you get over-stimulated. There’s a reason spicy cuisines often use sour cream, yogurt sauce, or chutney to cool your taste buds.” So, in other words: less is more. Maybe it’s time for you to slow down a bit and vary your pace. ‘”When you alternate lots of sensation with less sensation, you heighten the pleasure and make things feel much better,” says Glickman.
- Make the build-up sexy: For most people, foreplay starts after they’ve shed their clothes. But they’re wrong. “Flirt with each other (by text or in person) up through the date,” says Jorgensen. “Foreplay is anything leading up to sex, so theoretically, the moment right after you last finished having sex could be the moment your foreplay begins!”
This is the first day of the rest of your sex life. So, what are you waiting for?