Curated from: Modern Intimacy
Having better sex begins with you; sexual development can be stunted at any stage over the life span, leaving you feeling lacking, uneducated, or simply unsatisfied. Learning to identify beliefs, values and ideals creates space for adjustment and requires introspection and patience. Read on to find out how to have great sex this year and many more to come.
Begin by letting go of societal norms that highlight body centered arousal and romantic relationships as the acme of sexual experiences. There is much more to explore in terms of curating a satisfying sex life, and if you need help along the way, working with a sex therapist or educator is a great place to start.
10 Ways You Can Have Better Sex in 2023
Start by expanding your definition of sex
Expanding the definition has the ability to open sex lives to more opportunities. If sex is defined by intercourse and genitals, a lot is being left on the table. In a 2010 article, more than 6,000 men and women revealed 41 combinations of “what is sex.” When sex is defined as a sacred energetic exchange, pleasure can unfold naturally and lead to more enlightened sexual experiences.
Stop fulfilling all of your needs and desires through partnered sex
Ask your partner what needs sex provides them; if the list includes gentleness, spirituality, affection, tenderness, connection, love, etc., that is an exhaustive list of needs. Instead, consider how you can meet some of these needs through other activities, through other relationships (platonic or romantic) and engage in sex for pleasure. When sex is attached to fewer needs there becomes less pressure when you aren’t having it. If you find yourself engaging in sexual nostalgia, thinking about sex with former partners, it might be time to assess your relational satisfaction as a whole and consider open communication with your partner.
Stop asking for sex
The more you ask for sex the greater potential it has to become a commodity rather than a shared experience. Learn how to cultivate sexual energy without expectation so your partner, and you, have time to become interested in engaging sexually. When you gently bring sexual energy forward your partner has a chance to ease into an experience rather than being shocked by advances. Let go of the need to always experience hypersexual energy and activation, tap into yin sexuality.
Become a master of after play
Research highlights the afterglow of sex as a more important part of intimacy than reaching orgasm because of the long term effects on pair bonding. Worry less about the intense moments, more about feeling connected to your partner.
If you are in a non-traditional relationship, try asking your partner what they need from you. Knowing they may be returning to another partner, or you might not see them again for a bit, this question provides compassion for an emotional experience. If in a monogamous relationship, try bathing together, getting water for a partner, or simply relaxing in each other’s arms.
Consider a non-monogamous relationship
If you want to improve your sex life and are willing to explore options, you may consider a non-monogamous relationship. A typical reaction to this idea is, “I could never do that, I’m too jealous” however, jealousy, like all other emotions, is neither good nor bad. You can always learn tools around how to manage jealousy. If one partner is more interested in intercourse and has an erotic template with a genital focus, inviting others into the relational sphere can help meet this need.
Planned sex lends itself to responsive desire, allowing time for the sexual response cycle to develop. Those in long term relationships, and a large majority of women, predominantly experience responsive rather than spontaneous desire. Instead of assuming the lower libido partner is deficient in their sex drive, work to understand it.
For cis het couples engaged in heteronormative practices, women can find themselve with low desire due to feelings of objectification and nurturant labor. Planned sex allows desire to feel intentional over expectant and provides space for extensive foreplay.
Engage in self expansion
Taking time to engage in self-expansion, including novel sexual experiences, is associated with greater relationship satisfaction, sexual desire and lower sexual distress. Planned sex can promote novelty through new sexual activities, for example, signing up to take a Shibari rope tying course, trying new sex positions or introducing sex toys, talking dirty throughout the day, or planning a kinky scene together.
Learn how to say no
You can say no to sex at ANY time; consent can change moment to moment and you don’t owe anyone sex, ever. As you explore a different relationship to sex, tune into yes’s and no’s, for example, painful sex is a big NO. Sexual trauma can cause the body to work akin to an alarm; when you start to feel unsafe, the alarm goes off. Working with a sex therapist can support processing trauma and a return to feeling comfortable again.
Learning to say no can be challenging, particularly due to expectation. Society has disillusioned men into believing they are owed sex. If you’ve been the recipient of hostile sexism (if you’ve held boundaries, you likely have), it’s because you aren’t playing your role “correctly” and this can cause the male ego to erupt.
Have more solo sex
Solo sex doesn’t have to mean masturbation; learning how to be sexual with yourself will assist in finding your voice with partners. Start by making a list of fantasies and/or contexts that bring forth your desire to be sexual. You might try out kegel exercises or explore your own erogenous zone. If you aren’t sure, turn to what gives you pleasure through your senses.
If you decide you’d like to masturbate, instead of focusing on achieving an orgasm, focus on the sensations you are experiencing. Everyone is responsible for their own pleasure and learning the signs and symptoms that lead to your unique arousal. You may have never thought about it like this before, but solo sex has the potential to be the best sex you ever have.
Stop comparing your intimate life to anyone else’s
Instead of worrying about how much or little sex other people are having, focus on your ideals; there is no right or wrong in the world of sex. As Alfred Kinsey says, “the only unnatural sex act, is that which can’t be performed.” Learn to enjoy your personal sexual expression.
Having a better sex life requires more than wishing things were different. Avoid blaming yourself for your current relationship to sex and instead, begin again. Better sex exists on the road of exploration. Take one step today and watch the journey to a more fulfilling sex life unfold.
The post How to Have Better Sex in 2023 appeared first on Modern Intimacy.