Want to improve your sex life? Most people do. Being sexual is one of the healthiest things a couple can do. Not only is physical connection with someone good for your emotional health, it can be wonderful for you physically, not to mention pleasurable. People who have active, ongoing sexual relationships tend to be happier and in better physical health, and to live longer than counterparts who do not. When couples have happy, healthy sex lives — defined by having relations at least twice per month — they report being happier overall and dealing with the ongoing stresses of life better.
Following are five simple steps that could make your own sex life better as soon as tonight. Even if you only follow one or two, you should reap some benefits.
1. Tell the truth.
This means two things. First, it means to tell your partner the truth about how you feel about your sex life together. If you want more frequency, ask for it. If you want more foreplay, make sure you talk about it. The second meaning is to tell the truth about your experience: If you have trouble having an orgasm because you need more foreplay, be honest about that. If you need more kissing before sex, say so. Telling the truth means being honest about what you need sexually and having a discussion with your partner about it. You may feel shy talking about it, but remember, the best sex comes when couples communicate about it.
2. Ask for what you want.
This could sound like:
- “I wanted to tell you that I would like more foreplay when we are sexual before we have intercourse.”
- “I really need more kissing and touching outside the bedroom before we just start touching sexually in the bedroom.”
- “I want us to experiment with different positions in bed, rather than the same position we always use.”
Really asking for what you want is a huge step towards having a better and more fulfilling sexual relationship. Remember, couples that have great sex do so because they have talked about it. Great sex ends up happening when you ask for what you want, because it’s a more fulfilling experience.
3. Let go.
Letting go of inhibitions is a great way to make your sex better. This could mean trying to relax more during intimacy. It could mean letting go of ideas about “the way sex is supposed to look.” It could be trying a new kind of foreplay you haven’t experimented with or haven’t done with your partner in a long time. Letting go could also mean that you experiment with having sex with a different script, such as kissing then intercourse then foreplay. Maybe letting go is trying a new position, or discovering how your partner self-pleasures, which can actually be a great way to find out how they like to be touched. Letting your inhibitions go with your partner can be a wonderful way to connect, build intimacy, and strengthen your relationship.
4. See a doctor or therapist.
Sometimes, medical issues can wreak havoc on a couple’s sexual relationship. Certain prescription drugs, such as anti-depressants, sleep medications, heart medications, and allergy medications, can cause sexual functioning problems, including difficulty with erections, trouble having an orgasm, and lack of desire. It’s good to talk to your doctor about whether any of your medications may have such side effects. Sometimes switching to a different drug can smooth things out; taking your medications opposite of when you have sex also might help.
In other cases, seeing a couples therapist together can be useful to help you talk through how you feel about your sexual relationship and to craft a plan for fixing things moving forward. Certified sex therapists can be fabulous in helping you gain solutions to sexual functioning problems, including how to last longer in bed.
5. Prioritize your sex life.
Things that have priority in your life get accomplished. If you set a goal to eat better, you are likely to be more aware of your food. If you set a goal to get more sleep, you’ll go to bed earlier. If you set a goal to have a better physical relationship, you will invest more time in it. Most couples I work with in my private practice decide to set a goal of trying to go to bed together at least one night a week. By going to bed together, they then increase the touching, talking, kissing, and sex in the relationship overall. Not ready to go to bed together? Then talk to your partner about why not. If issues loom in the relationship, then either fix them or make peace with what they are. Disconnecting physically is bad for your relationship, and for your health. By making your relationship and sex a priority, you really are investing in yourself.