Four Healthy Ways to Make Sex Feel Better Tonight
Three simple letters that elicit myriad thoughts and feelings. Sex has the potential to involve all of the senses, turn us on, happen solo or with a partner, allow us the opportunity to give and to receive, and be incredibly pleasurable. But for many people, sex isn’t the connected and fulfilling experience we know is possible. Sometimes pain or discomfort is to blame. Other times it’s sabotaged by common issues like body-bashing thoughts, anxiety, or stress. Often with subtle adjustments, sex can feel and be a lot better.
As a sex coach, I often play detective with my clients to figure out what they need to elevate their sexual experiences. Here are some of the solutions I share with them that I think will help you have a more pleasurable sex life too.
1. Don’t think about the kids (not even for a second).
This one’s for you, Supermama! “If a woman wants to have a happier and more fulfilling sex life with her husband, she’s got to set aside whatever is distracting her from him—that includes the kids,” says Les Parrott, PhD, professor of psychology at Seattle Pacific University and author of Crazy Good Sex. Here’s why this is so critical, Dr. Parrott explains: “He knows when you are genuinely with him, and when you are merely trying to check sex with him off your list.”
2. One word:
lube. Lubricant is the little thing that every woman should try to improve her sexual pleasure, and in some cases, even reduce sex-induced pain, says Amy Levine, sex coach, certified sexuality educator and founder of SexEdSolutions.com. “Using a lube is sure to enhance sexual enjoyment,” says Levine. “Some women feel there is a stigma attached to using over-the-counter lubricants, as they are self-conscious that it implies something is wrong with them.” Not true! “The truth is, our natural lubrication comes and goes during a sexual encounter; it’s not necessarily an indication of our arousal. Besides, using a lube can make penetration a lot more enjoyable for both partners,” she adds.
Your husband’s in the mood, but you’re not. After all, how could you be? There’s unfolded laundry piled high on the bed, you just got back from the gym (and haven’t even showered yet) and the baby is probably going to wake up for his 9 p.m. feeding any second. Sound familiar? “Perfectionism places a huge burden on sex drive,” says Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, MS, PT, a psychologist and physical therapist in Dallas. “A perfectionist thinks she needs to look and smell perfect, her mate must be perfect and the environment must be perfect.” Here’s the problem: “This state of perfection, of course, is impossible,” she continues. “Because of this, the perfectionist is stressed out about the flaws rather than enjoying time with her partner.”
How to Feel Sexy Again: “Give yourself, and your partner, a break,” says Dr. Lombardo. “Make your goal to have fun and enjoy intimacy rather than have it be perfect. That’s all he wants from you, after all.”
4. Do Something Different
Sometimes it’s a shift in position or being adventurous by trying something new that can instantly make sex more satisfying and exciting.
Sexual Solution: When you’re in any sexual position, try shifting — up, down, right, or left — to elevate arousal or minimize musculoskeletal or myofascial discomfort and pain. For some situations — such as when, during doggy style, his penis is hitting your cervix and creating a cramping sensation — a shift can make a change in a split second. Propping problem areas under pillows can also make sex more comfortable.
Since most women don’t climax from vaginal penetration alone, focus on the clitoris. After all, the sole purpose of this hot spot is for pleasure. Using a sex toy like the popular “bullet” shape — which easily slides between two people — boosts your arousal and increases your orgasmic ability. Or discover other erogenous areas like the g-spot, which can be detected once you’re turned on.
For guys who have trouble maintaining an erection, a penis ring made of soft material can do the trick. And his prostate is likely his most sensitive spot if he let’s you explore.
Fantasy, whether it’s a thought of something sexy or erotic that’s happened in the past or a mental movie of something you want to unfold, can fast-track desire and arousal from 0 to 60. And role-playing, whether you’re pretending to be someone or somewhere else, can reinvigorate a sexual relationship. Especially if you’re adding something fun like light bondage to your sack session, after being inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey on date night.
Amy Levine, MA, CSE, is a sex coach featured in magazines including Glamour, Health, and SELF. In her SPARK and IGNITE coaching sessions, Amy helps people solve their most intimate sexual dilemmas, inspiring them to become empowered in and out of bed.