Tips for Optimal Sexual Experiences
Sex. That's right, I said it. The awful-taboo-uncomfortable-risqué word that puts people on edge and shuts conversations down immediately. It's the topic we were taught to never address and to avoid at all cost yet would also partake in someday as well. Conflicting right?! Sex doesn't have to be an awful-taboo-uncomfortable-risqué word or topic. In fact, I argue that's not healthy. Rather, sex should be something we are talking about! If we are partaking in it, then we have to be able to talk about it with our partner. Research shows that the more we communicate about sex the more fulfilling sex we will have. So, let's start talking shall we! Here are some ways to help you get the conversation flowing:
It Starts with YOU!
We can't possibly communicate about the messages we got about sex, past experiences that impact our sex lives or even what sex we like and don't like if we don't even know this information ourselves. Take some time to think about how sex was talked about for you growing up...if at all. Where did you learn about sex? What was consider "acceptable" and "unacceptable"? How has this shaped your ability to experience sex in a positive and healthy way? How do these messages impact the way you see yourself and your partner? Where did you learn that the sex you like is okay? What sex do you like? What do you find enjoyable, fun, pleasurable? What makes you feel safe during sex? The list goes on and on and on! Take time to reflect and get to know about your sexuality. Once we have this insight we can better communicate with our partner.
Communicate Breaks & Accelerators
We all have things that get us revved up and things that can bring us to a screeching halt. Think of it like driving a car. There is the accelerator, the foot break and the emergency break. The accelerators are the things we like. The things that attract us to our partner. A little tip for y'all, these usually occur outside the bedroom. These can be things like when your partner is playing a sport, engaging in their passion, spending quality time with your kid(s), rocking a work presentation, making your family a priority, or just simply doing the dishes after a long day. The foot break are the things that slowly turn us off over time. These may include things like laundry being left on the floor that we've asked our partner to pick up a million times or feeling a lack of support from our partner regarding our goals and dreams. The emergency break is an immediate turn off. For those with a trauma history or partners navigating infidelity, these could include being triggered by a specific touch, word, reminder or memory when engaging in sexual activity. It will stop you in your tracks and completely disconnect you from your partner. When we communicate our breaks and accelerators to our partner then they can make an intentional effort to avoid our breaks and purposefully do the things that will get us revved up. Worth the conversation, right?!
Ask for What You LIKE
Research shows that one of the biggest predictors of healthy and happy sex lives is not about the type of sex we are having, but if we enjoy the sex we are having. So, ask yourself, "do I like the sex I am having?" If yes, fantastic! Make sure your partner knows what you like so you two can continue to build upon it. If no, then it's time to go back to the beginning and explore. What type of sex do you think you would like to have? Once you know this about yourself it's time to talk with your partner and begin exploring together. If your sexual desires are not something your partner is open to partaking in, this is okay! Explore together to find common ground where both of you can feel safe, comfortable and satisfied.
If you are the partner in this scenario, I encourage you to be open and non-judgement with your partner. Talking about our sexual preferences, fantasies and desires is extremely scary and vulnerable. Recognize and applaud your partners bravery, while also providing a safe harbor for them (even if you are not comfortable engaging in those desires with them).
Throw out & Rewrite the Script
The last, but most important, tip for great sex...get rid of the script. We were all given scripts about the way sex and sexuality "should" be. This includes what things supposedly indicate a healthy sex life. Things like frequency of sex, type of sex enjoyed, if toys or lube are utilized during sex, how many partners one has, the gender and sex of our partner(s) and so on. These scripts we were given are so narrow and constricting that vast majority of people do not fit in them. However, because sex is so taboo people do not realize how many don't fit the script. Thus, we walk around our whole life thinking that there must be something wrong with us or that we are "not normal" because of our sexual preferences. THIS IS A TRAP! The problem is not your sexuality or the sex you are having. It's never been the problem. You are completely and entirely normal. The problem is the script. The most liberating thing you can do for yourself and your partner(s) is to throw it out and write a new one. There is no better time than now to rewrite your script.
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