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Sex is a difficult subject for many couples to discuss. Cultural shame and negative past experiences have made many of us feel as though we should be embarrassed by our bodies and ashamed of our sexual desires. As a result, many of us find ourselves unsatisfied in the ways in which we and our partners connect sexually.
A study of couples from more than 20 countries found that couples with great sex lives prioritize sex and communicate their desires to one another. By changing your communication techniques you, too, can improve your sex life, allowing you to foster a richer physical, emotional, and spiritual connection with your lover.
Are you looking to improve the quality of your connection with your partner? Consider using the following tips and techniques to make your sexual life more romantic!
Communicate Kindly & Openly
Did you know that only 1 out of 10 couples that are uncomfortable talking about sex report being sexually satisfied?! From this statistic, it’s clear that communication is a crucial tool for building a better sex life. Though being vague or uncommunicative is easier than being emotionally vulnerable, we must be willing to risk exposure and rejection in order to really connect with our partners.
Never approach the subject of sex using a critical or judgmental tone. Criticism and negativity are practically guaranteed to have a negative impact on your sex life! Instead of telling your partner that you’re frustrated with their lack of romantic touch, for instance, simply tell them how much you enjoyed the last time they kissed you passionately. Rather than mentioning something that didn’t feel good the last time you were intimate, tell your partner the things they’ve done in the past that you’ve truly enjoyed, or suggest a few new things that you’d like to try with them. Instead of viewing your sex life as something broken that needs fixing, think of the situation as an opportunity to collaborate and get creative with one another.
Sometimes, asking the right questions is the key to getting the conversation started. Ask your partner, for instance, if they feel close as a result of having sex, or if, on the contrary, they feel turned on as a result of already feeling close to you. Ask your partner to tell you about some of their favorite memories of romantic and sexual experiences you’ve had together. Discuss whether you’re looking for your sexual experiences to be wilder and rougher or more like lovemaking. By really talking about your sexual needs and desires, you and your partner can work towards a more gratifying sex life.
As a result of societal pressures and the ways in which we were raised, many of us still, knowingly or unknowingly, think about sex in ways that are ultimately detrimental to our sex lives. Women, for instance, are often so fixated on their bodies and how they look in the bedroom that they cannot fully relax and enjoy the experience. Men, on the other hand, may tend to hyper-focus on their performance; according to one study, many men equate achieving orgasms with scoring goals in sporting matches. As a result of these self-conscious, goal-oriented perspectives, shame and sexual dysfunction build, making us feel as though we’ve failed when we don’t score a “winning shot” in the bedroom.Instead of focusing on achieving orgasms, strive to enjoy the entirety of the sexual experience. Having a healthy, loving, fun, and communicative relationship both inside and outside of the bedroom will make all of your interactions with your partner feel more like foreplay. In the bedroom, focus on enjoying your physical and emotional bond on all levels. Engage in forms of talk and touch that are pleasurable; focus on enjoying these sensations, rather than fixating on achieving climax. By really relaxing and mindfully enjoying each moment, you’ll actually be more likely to experience orgasms in the end!
Develop Rituals for Initiating Intimacy
If we’re to believe romance novels and rom-com films, it would appear that our partners should “simply know” when we’re interested in them. In fiction, intimacy seem to spontaneously arise as a result of palpable sexual tension between two lovers. In the real world, however, things rarely work out as perfectly! Even partners who believe they’re attuned to one another’s needs may miss the signals that their partners are in the mood.
Instead of leaving one another feeling frustrated, talk about the ways in which you’re most comfortable communicating your desire. What are the best verbal and non-verbal ways you can show your partner that you want them? Consider creating open-ended cues that allow your partner to gently decline sex if they’re not in the mood. One couple, for instance, chose to keep two figurines on their nightstand. Repositioning these figurines was a simple, non-verbal way of expressing their desires, or lack thereof, to one another. Other couples may find, for instance, that certain physical gestures work better for them. Perhaps you tell your partner that you like it when they put their hand on your thigh. Perhaps you returning the gesture would be your way of indicating that you’re in the mood to take things further, too.
Though it may feel silly to openly discuss these cues and follow such rituals, doing so is a great way to ensure that you’re not misreading your partner’s behavior. In such a way, you can put aside doubt and pursue your desires openly and without fear.
Learn to Cope with Refusal
None of us is in the mood to be intimate at all times. Unfortunately, it’s easy to feel personally rejected when our partners aren’t in the mood. In reality, however, a lack of desire often has more to do with other, external factors, such as stress and fatigue, than it has to do with us.
Be careful not to punish your partner when they’re not in the mood. Being critical or withdrawing emotionally will make your request for sex feel more like a demand. Instead, show empathy and understanding towards your partner. There will be other chances to be intimate in the future!As there will certainly be times when either you or your partner are not in the mood for sex, it is important to openly discuss your approach to such situations before they arise. Ask your partner about the ways in which you should behave when they’re not in the mood. Does your partner want to be left alone when they’re feeling this way, or are they comfortable with some forms of touching? Does your partner feel comfortable refusing sex? If not, is there something you can do to make them feel more comfortable saying no?
Talk about sexual boundaries, too. No one wants to feel pressured into having sex! If one of you, however, is really in the mood, how do you plan on approaching the situation? Would you be comfortable with your partner kissing you and trying to get you in the mood, or would you prefer that they drop the subject? If you’re not in the mood but your partner is really turned on, would you be comfortable with them masturbating as a form of release? Though these questions are perhaps uncomfortable, agreeing on a plan in advance will help you be empathetic towards your partner when you reach these difficult crossroads, ultimately improving the quality of your relationship.
Communication is the key to improving the quality of your sex life. These discussions, however, shouldn’t be had just once! Instead, encourage a continuous dialogue between you and your partner. Though these conversations may be difficult, they often become easier with time. By remaining communicative, you’ll become more attuned to one another’s wants and needs, ultimately leading to a sex life that’s filled with greater passion and intimacy.
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