How to have a healthy sex life
Sex. The three letter word that the world revolves around. How is your sex life? Are you satisfied? Are you getting what you want? What do you desire? Would you say you have a healthy sex life?
As Brits, (and we’re sorry to generalise here) the answer is probably a self-deprecating “No”. Most likely, you’ll shy away from admitting that you are either having an amazing time between the sheets, or you’ll hold your tongue over your unsatisfactory bedroom antics. But rest assured, when it comes to sex there is no normal. You can be having great sex with your partner one minute and then suddenly be libido-less. Maintaining a healthy sex life can be a struggle, but it is rewarding. When it comes down to it, a relationship isn’t worth it without deep and meaningful sexual compatibility. So how are you going to maintain yours?
First things first…
How often are you having sex?
We asked relationship expert, Dr. Justin Lehmiller, how often you should be having sex with your partner and he said,
“There is no minimum amount of sex that couples should be having—the amount of sex that makes people happy varies dramatically from one couple to the next. Some are content having sex very infrequently, whereas others are only happy if they’re doing it several times per week or daily. The truth of the matter is, we tend to get far too hung up on the quantity of sex when we should, instead, be focusing on the quality of the sex we’re having.”
Ok, so what is quality sex?
A Chapman University psychologist and his research team recently published a study examining the sexual satisfaction -- and dissatisfaction -- of heterosexual couples in long-term relationships, and what contributes to keeping sexual passion alive. In one of the largest studies to date that scientifically examines what contributes to a satisfying long-term sex life, the findings indicate foreplay, setting the mood, mixing things up and expressing love are all factors that satisfied couples said they do regularly.
READ MORE: Should you be having sex on the first date?
That all sounds great, but how can I keep my sex life alive?
We asked Dr. Lehmiller and he shared his advice on how to improve your sex life,
"Research finds that sexual satisfaction tends to increase during the first year of a relationship, but declines thereafter. Part of the reason for this is because many couples fall into sexual routines in which the sex becomes very predictable. The couples who are able to maintain passionate and highly satisfying sex lives over time are the ones who actively try to keep things fresh, new and exciting. There are many different ways to do this, from watching pornography together to experimenting with sex toys to trying new sex acts and positions to having romantic getaways and date nights."
What if I’ve lost my sex drive completely?
Luckily, it’s not hard to get it back. Clear your mind of all external worries. This may seem difficult, but through meditation or even just a good night’s sleep you can begin to think of life outside of the immediate stresses of everyday living. Fantasise. Masturbate. Your sex drive is still there, it just needs to be reawakened.
READ MORE: How to boost your sex drive
But what should you do if your partner doesn’t want to have sex as often as you do, if at all?
In this circumstance, as with most predicaments of being in a relationship, you need to communicate with your partner. Don’t shy away and let your sexual dissatisfaction fester. Talk to your partner about what turns you on and ask them what they expect from your sexual endeavours. With just a few words, both of your sex lives can be improved. Be honest. Accept what your partner says, and have an open mind. You may be surprised where a little intimate conversation can take you.
I’ve been with my partner for many years and we need reignite our sexual appetite for one another.
It’s very common for sexual desire to change over the course of a relationship and, unfortunately, it doesn’t always develop at the same rate for both members of a couple. Some people experience faster and steeper drop-offs in desire than others. This can be the result of a wide range of circumstances, including—but not limited to—stress, relationship conflict, having children and hormonal changes. When sexual desire declines, it is important to figure out the root cause in order to most effectively restore it. If it’s stress-related, the solution will obviously be quite different than if it’s caused by aging. Identifying the cause and figuring out an appropriate remedy is where speaking with your doctor or a sex therapist can be quite useful.
READ MORE: How to build a strong relationship through emotional intimacy
I love my partner, but I don’t think we’re sexually compatible.
As mentioned, communication is key. If you are willing to make a go of things, then don’t hold back. Synchronise your mojo with your partner by talking about what you both like and want. Listen. Hear what your partner desires and give it to them. Think of sex as a skill that needs to be practiced. You’re lucky if you nail it the first time round.
At the end of the day, what’s most important is to openly communicate with your partner about what makes you sexually satisfied and this will contribute to having a fulfilling and healthy sex life.