There's an old saying that bad sex is still good sex (mostly because you're still getting laid). Sometimes, though, that's just not true. If you (or your partner) find that things are lacking during sexy time, do any of these 10 things to have better sex now (and by now we do not mean sex on a beach in the middle of the day in Florida - because that will get you thrown in jail and charged with a felony).
Better Sex: 10 Things to Start Doing Right Now
1. Communicate More
Most of us wouldn’t leave so much as a haircut to chance even if we think that the stylist knows what we want. So why do we expect our partners to know what we enjoy? While the vulnerability of expressing our desires can feel scary at first, the rewards are well worth it. Keep things positive— don’t criticize. Build on what’s working and go from there. "You know what I really like? When you kiss me on my _____."
When you’re trying to get information from your partner, use open ended questions. Instead of "Is this okay?" ask "Would this be better faster or slower?" or "Harder or softer?" The answers to open ended questions give you information that will help you fine tune your technique. Communication truly is the key to a better sex life.
2. Add Novelty
Even the best of us fall into a routine, but adding novelty makes a big difference. Sharing a new experience, from a new restaurant to a new sexual position, helps build intimacy. It’s an adventure you and your partner go on together.
Plenty of the suggestions on this list can count as a novelty if they aren’t part of your normal routine. You don’t have to get crazy to change things up in a way that feels new and exciting.
3. Talk About Your Fantasies
Not only will talking about your fantasies give you ideas of things to try, but the act of sharing can bring you and your partner closer together. Sharing your desires, and having them received with compassion and an open mind, is an incredibly validating feeling.
If you’re not sure where to start, you and your partner can each fill out yes/no/maybe lists (easy to find online) and then compare your answers. You might end up with enough novel things to add to your sex life for years to come!
Don’t underestimate the power of lube. Lube not only makes things possible that aren’t an option without lube (like anal sex), but they make things you’re used to even better. It can take a position or act from 'meh’ to 'wow!’ faster than you’d expect. Add lube to the tip of the penis before a condom goes on, add lube during hand sex, and give yourself some extra slip and slide during penetration.
Be sure to get a high quality, body safe lube. Avoid anything with glycerin or other sugars. You can often get sample packs online or at sex shops. Try a few things to see what works best for you. If you use or if you are going to use sex toys, make sure that the lube you choose will not break down the material of the toy.
Women who use toys during sex with a partner report a much higher rate of orgasm, and yet many people are intimidated by adding toys to their partner play. Don’t think of a toy as a replacement for your partner or as something that makes up for a person falling short. They are simply a tool. Why not use all the tools at your disposal to have an amazing time?
When it comes to adding toys to sex, you have lots of options. Try going shopping together.Even a shopping trip is a shared experience and novel adventure. When you chose something together, it becomes more about your shared pleasure.
6. New Positions
Another way to break out of routine is to change up your usual sex positions. We all have our favorites, and it’s tempting to go straight to what works— or what works well enough. Without a little experimenting now and then, how will you know if you’re missing out on something even better?
Even if the position doesn’t work, the shared experience of trying it out will help build connection and intimacy.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
7. Whatever You’re Doing, Do It Slower
"Slow down" is some of the most common advice you’ll hear from sex educators, and there’s a good reason for it. Most people rush to the end goal of orgasm during sex, and they miss lots of the yummy parts along the way.
When you slow down, you have a chance to reach higher levels of arousal; that ultimately leads to more pleasure. You also have the opportunity to savor each sensation along the way and get to know your partner’s body better.
8. Boost Your Confidence
Whether it’s wearing something that makes you feel sexy or learning a new skill, feeling confidant in the bedroom makes a world of difference both for your enjoyment and for that of your partner.
Read a sex ed book that will help you add to your repertoire or find a class in your area to attend— solo or with your partner. The class itself can make for a great date night!
9. Get out of Your Head and Focus on Sensation
Practice stopping any chatter in your head that isn’t contributing to an optimal sexual experience. To do this, you first need to notice the distracting thoughts as they’re happening. As an exercise, notice every time you think an unkind thought about your body or have concerns about your performance, and silence that thought right away. Once you get in the habit, the thoughts won’t come as often. Eventually, they stop all together.
Meanwhile, focus on the sensations that are happening to your body in real time and try to appreciate how every little thing feels. Whether it’s the soft sheets against your back, the scent of a nearby candle, or the touch of your partners hands, revel in the sensuality of the moment.
10. Make Time for Intimacy a Priority
Even if you have to schedule sex, do it. Some people resist scheduling because it doesn’t sound sexy, but it’s a lot sexier than not having sex at all. No one thinks planning a date night isn’t sexy, and this shouldn’t be any different. It’s making your partner and your shared pleasure a priority. What’s sexier than that?
Stella Harris is a certified intimacy educator, coach, and mediator, who uses a variety of tools to guide and empower her clients and she teaches everything from pleasure anatomy, to communication skills, to kink and BDSM. Stella has appeared at conferences across the US and Canada, and regularly provides workshops and guest lectures to colleges and universities. Stella’s writing has appeared widely, including a weekly sex advice column in her local paper. Highlights of her media appearances include speaking as an expert on Banana Slug sex and appearing on the evening news discussing the importance of sex education in schools.
Stella is the author of two books, "Tongue Tied: Untangling Communication in Sex, Kink, and Relationships" and and "The Ultimate Guide to Threesomes." Learn more at www.stellaharris.net or follow @stellaharriserotica on Instagram.