How’s your sex life? Now that’s a question that some women might dread answering. If that’s the case, then there are positive ways of ensuring a better sex life.
30 year old Amelia quips, ‘If you don’t like sex, then you’re not doing it right!’ She goes on to say, ‘I had a light-bulb moment a couple of years ago. Getting the best sex for myself means me taking more responsibility. You can’t have good sex if you’ve got too many pressures on yourself. I decided to be gentle on myself but at the same time take more control. I encourage my lover to do things I like and I ask him what he likes. It’s a win-win situation.’
Working your way to a better sex life means forgetting some of the bad stuff you learnt along the way, listening to your own body and heart and becoming much more sexually honest with yourself – and your partner. As with all parts of your relationship, you need to be open and talk about what you want sexually. Don’t expect your partner to read your mind!
Your journey towards a better sex life involves your understanding of your own needs, your lover’s needs and how the two of you can communicate with each other both in and out of bed.
If it hadn’t been for the groundbreaking advances in understanding human sexuality that researchers like Kinsey and Masters and Johnson made, we may not have had the sexual revolution of the 1960s. These researchers over several decades of observations of tens of thousands of adult volunteers made amazing discoveries. Masters and Johnson laid to rest forever the myth of the superior male orgasm and proved that women can have a series of orgasms that put male sexual athletes to shame.
Of course, what women might be able to do physically is no longer the question. The issue now is: how emotionally connected/free/empowered are women today to have the orgasms they’re capable of having?
Recent research has found that there’s a gap between the ideal and the real when it comes to orgasms.
When women were asked - ‘How do you orgasm?’….
…they said that they usually orgasm through:
• clitoral masturbation…..29%
• oral sex…..21%
When women were asked – ‘During sex how do you achieve orgasm?’
….they said they achieve orgasm:
You can read more about research and what women say about their orgasms and better sex in Hot Sex Bible
The question is: How can women improve their chances of having an orgasm and enjoying sex more?
Sex is about wanting pleasure and giving pleasure. It’s about knowing what works for you and what works for your lover. It’s a sharing and caring experience.
Social pressure is all around us and sometimes is our own internal pressures to perform get in the way – sex as performance just doesn’t work!
Here are 10 tips and what some women say that can help enhance your sex life:
Tip #1: Know thy body
If you want to enjoy sex more you have to get in touch with your body. You need to be familiar with its terrain. Don’t be a stranger from your body!
Where are you particularly sensitive? Ticklish? What gives you the greatest physical pleasure? What sort of things doesn’t your body welcome? Some women prefer caresses to a firm hand, but there are times when you might like some extra pressure.
Sybilla, 28 says, ‘I’ve learned what my body wants and needs. A couple of years ago, I had a lover who was much more experienced than me and he taught me to really get in touch with what I like in bed. I learnt that I like firm stroking down my spine and soft pressure on my hips and the tops of my thighs.’
Tip #2: Don’t be shy
There’s nothing sexy about a bedroom as dark as a bunker in a wartime blackout. Don’t hold that sheet up to your eyes either and peer over the edge. Relax and remember – you look better than you think you do!
If you’re going to reach that delicious point of abandon then you have to be comfortable in your body – and about your body.
At 30, Corinne says she’s learned that men are not as critical of women’s bodies as we think they are. She says, ‘Most guys are visual creatures but they’re never as critical of us as we ourselves are. I’ve found that men love and admire women’s bodies – and just glad to have one available!’
Tip #3: Be natural
Remember, men have their own worries. They want a woman’s approval. By being natural, you can set an example – and reap the rewards. Self-consciousness is a real sex dampener.
Once you’re in bed with your lover, the best thing you can do is be natural. Being natural means being there and present – and focused. It’s the same thing you’d like from a man.
Remember that counselors know that men take a lot of their cues from how a woman acts. If a woman acts natural and beautiful, then she will be more likely to look beautiful and like she’s there for him and for their lovemaking.
Tina, 32, says ‘I like to let my lover know that I’m there for him – for us – and that nothing else matters but pleasuring each other. He’s got to see the real me because if you’re self-conscious, then you’re not really there – not really available.’
Reflect on Tina’s comment because it makes sense. If you’re making love and you don’t want your lover to see the real you, go ahead and turn off the lights – because nobody’s really home.
Tip #4: Taking it slowly – fabulous foreplay
Okay, there’s a time and place for a quickie, but for most women – and many men – getting there can be more than half the fun. Many people worry that they’ll ‘run out of things to do’ and get straight to the main act.
Introduce your lover to the seduction of fabulous foreplay.
Use your creativity and consider your moves carefully. Instead of going mouth-to-mouth straight away, tease him by kissing him lightly around his mouth before you even get to his lips. Then, take a detour down his knees and come back up via the inside of his thighs. Ask him to kiss you in unexpected ways – cool and brushing, then dry and suddenly wet. Get the idea?
Foreplay is about anticipation and surprise. Let anticipation do its work. Tricks to tantalize can include things like tongue-stroking the palm of his hand, tickling and fondling the soles of his feet, gently wrestling each other and some erotic hand holding. Lock your fingers together and restrain him while you lean over him and kiss his face. Let him restrain you and then slowly worship your body with his mouth.
Kate, 28, says, ‘I’ve got long hair and I use it to sweep down my lover’s body. I drape him with my hair and I flick him with my hair. It’s very sensual doing it and I get a great response every time!’
Jo, 33, says, ‘I really like oral sex and once I’ve pleasured him, it’s my turn. I encourage my lover by positioning myself in a way that’ll make it obvious it’s going to happen, then I do a gentle head grab and run my fingers through his hair. I might softly grasp handfuls of it and give him a nice firm head rub while he’s busy.’
Tip #5 Share your favorite sex fantasy
It’s official – sex fantasies are part of a healthy sex life. Make them part of your sex life.
Sex researchers and counselors have long known that sex fantasies are a big turn-on. We might be a bit shy about revealing our favorite sex fantasy – but most of us have them!
Ever fantasized about meeting a handsome stranger and going back to his place for more than coffee? Ever fantasized about having sex in a public place? Ever fantasized about a group sex fantasy – having sex with different people in an orgy situation? Ever fantasized about starring in a sex movie with your favorite move star?
These are some of the most common female sex fantasies. There are others like the domination fantasy (being ravaged against your will) and the authority fantasy (being seduced by a boss or a teacher) and lots of others.
Tip#6: Massaging each other
Try the delights of erotic massage. It’s a great way to improve your sense of touch – as well as encouraging your partner in their sense of touch.
There are some simple rules:
- set the scene by having a shower or bubble bath together
- have lots of fluffy towels at hand
- soft candlelight with aromatic vapors creates a romantic mood
- play some melodious music
- scented oils are a must
- warm your hands by rubbing oil into them before touching your partner
The key to a good erotic massage is variety – you don’t have to be a trained massage therapist to give a good erotic massage – just make sure your movements are slow, soft and smooth – never jerky or rough.
Try these techniques:
- feather-light strokes up the spine alternating with continuous downward sweeps
- butterfly strokes alternating with swirling circles – try this teasing technique up the inner thighs and into the groin and buttock area
- knead the shoulders, the buttocks, the tops of the thighs and arms
You’ll know which areas to concentrate on – and which areas of your body you’d like your lover to massage. Some women say they like their breasts and stomachs massaged while others prefer attention to their legs and buttocks.
Tip #7: Talk dirty
Don’t forget about the words! Researchers have found that erotic vocalization is a real turn-on for most couples. In fact, some men really want their lovers to talk dirty and use vivid language, but are too afraid to ask. Some women feel a little uncomfortable and weird saying all those ‘dirty’ things, but once you get into the mood, you’ll find it’s a real charge. Using words that are usually slang and a little naughty can take some practice.
Rosie, 29 says she can’t have sex now without ‘talking dirty’. She says, ‘In the beginning I found it real hard to say things about my body, like ‘pussy’ and about his body, but now, once I start I can talk real dirty!’
Tip #8: Let him watch you – the voyeur thing
There’s a little bit of the voyeur in most men, so give him the opportunity to play Peeping Tom with you. Ask him what he’s secretly always wanted you to do. Maybe it’s undressing for him as if he wasn’t there, or having you wear certain clothes or pose in certain ways.
This is just one of the games that grown-ups can play to improve their sex lives. You can create your own version of this game – or invent a new one unique to you.
Collette, 32, says, ‘I tried the Peeping Tom game with my lover and we started with just him watching me get undressed and we kind of ramped it up. He wanted to watch me masturbating and I felt comfortable doing it – and it was a real hit!’
Tip #9: Be a teenager again – and other fun sex
Ever wanted to recapture the thrill of your teenage years when necking in the back seat down Lovers’ Lane was so exciting? Why not return to that scene and indulge in that heavy breathing that fogs up windows – and either play it out erotically and decide to observe the rule of not going ‘all the way’ – or pretending the rule applies, but surprising him with your willingness to go all the way.
Researchers and counselors hear stories about couples wanting to recapture earlier, headier times and how by indulging in these kinds of sex games, you can improve your sex life. Go on, think up your own fun sex games and indulge a little.
Tip #10: Don’t fake it
Remember the idea of sexual honesty? Stick to it and you’ll have a better sex life. Guaranteed.
Don’t be taken in by the popular cultural representation of women having earth-shattering orgasms. If you believe what you see at the movies then you’ll think you have to moan and groan, thrash, clutch, claw and scream and you might feel you’re falling short of the mark. Everyone experiences their orgasms in different ways, for some women it is earth-shattering and for others it’s less so. If you feel your sexual needs have been met and you’ve had satisfying sex then maybe that’s good enough – and tell your partner what you’d like next time for a heightened experience.
Take the pressure off yourself and enjoy sex without aiming for the simultaneous couple orgasm. Relax, enjoy and let your partner know what really gets you going. Faking orgasm is not a good idea – it’s dishonest and you’re selling yourself short. If your partner suspects you’re faking it, then there might be disappointment and anger.
Tara, 34 says she spent too many years being anxious about whether she’d climax and then faking it. This lead to a vicious cycle: she worried and became anxious so her arousal level went down, reducing her chance of orgasm, which increased her anxiety and fear of being discovered and on it goes. She says, ‘Believe me, I was good – I should have been given an Academy Award for my performance of faking it. But, I was really only fooling myself and not getting what I really wanted. Now, I tell me lover what turns me on and mostly I do orgasm, but when I don’t, that’s okay. I’m honest with him and say, that I enjoyed the sex and it was wonderful. And maybe next time, I’ll climax. I’ve found that honesty is the best policy otherwise you’re cheating yourself and your lover.’
An orgasm is a gift – to yourself. It’s what we all hope for and sometimes achieve easily. But any woman who claims she reaches orgasm every time is not being honest. Working towards that goal is challenging, but fun – so give it a go!
Zita Weber, Ph.D. is an author and honorary academic, and has worked as a counselor and therapist with individuals, couples and families. She has researched and written about communication, relationships, sexuality, depression and loss and grief. More information about her work and books can be found at: zitaweber.com.