In the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, balancing work, keeping your house in order while trying to not binge-watch reruns and getting actual sleep, social media habits, and barely having time to drink your morning coffee in peace, sex doesn’t always feel like a priority.
But there are so many ways to change up your routine and enjoy a better sex life. And it’s worth making it a priority! Here’s how to get started.
How to Have a Better Sex Life: The Basics
- Practice, practice, practice
Sexual activity is a lot like physical fitness. If you want to stay in shape, you have to stick with it. Like anything in life, practice makes perfect! Practicing gives you the chance to discover what really turns you on and gives you and your partner an opportunity to really get to know each other’s bodies.
- Redecorate the Bedroom
“The bedroom does build up a lot of mundane associations,” says Louanne Cole Weston, Ph.D., a board-certified sex therapist. “But if you can do anything to transform your bedroom into something new and different, that can make a big difference.”
A better love life doesn’t require installing a revolving bed or ceiling mirrors. “You don’t need to do something that will freak out the kids or the housekeeper,” says Weston.
Lighting some candles is an obvious suggestion. But maybe getting a nicer set of sheets and a new bedspread will make a difference. Also, eliminating some of the junk that tends to accumulate in a bedroom can have an effect. Think about ditching the bedroom TV, too, or at least trying life without it for a while.
- Don’t be nervous to try a lubricant
If intercourse is painful, try using a lubricant during sexual activity. Sometimes changes occur in the body that can make things a little more challenging. However, if if you’re experiencing dryness, don’t be shy to try lubrication or specific moisturizers. Some moisturizers are made for both purposes and will state that on the package.
- Try Kegel exercises
If you’ve never heard of Kegels, you’re missing out. Kegels exercise the pelvic floor muscles, which can lead to more intense orgasms, stronger libido, and overall better sex. Finding your pelvic floor muscles by stopping urination midstream. Right there, those are the muscles we’re targeting!
There are many different exercises, but the easiest (and least awkward) is to simply tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold it for five to ten seconds, let it go, and then repeat five times. Do these every day, and in a few weeks, you’ll start to notice all of its amazing benefits.
- Don’t be shy
Some women may have trouble talking to their healthcare provider about sex. Keep in mind that problems leading to a decline in sexual activity are very common. A clinician may advise medications such as low-dose estrogen for post-menopausal women if lubricants and moisturizers are ineffective.
If the estrogen does not help, continue to work with your provider to seek a reason for your discomfort.
- No libido? Therapy may help
Men and women alike have a lot of stress in their lives. If you can’t find solutions on your own, a therapist may be able to help you and your partner.
- Talk it through, openly and honestly
Talking about sex is the same as talking about other challenging issues in a relationship. Try to describe your personal reaction and your personal feelings about certain situations instead of making accusations. Pick a neutral time and place and talk about the goal of making sex enjoyable for both of you. We recommend talking outside the bedroom.
- Take a walk and do it regularly
When you gain weight or age, it can sometimes be challenging to feel attractive or to believe that others find you attractive, even when they do. It’s not always easy for people at midlife to feel like their sexiest selves. Focus on bringing back physical activity. into your life and it should help you enjoy a better sex life too!
- Use sex toys with your partner
Sex toys don’t just have to be for solo play! Whether you and your partner browse a store (or website!) together (great bonding time) or you pick something up to surprise him or her, there’s something out there for you both.
Adding sex toys, when you’ve not used them together before, can be intimidating. But if you’re on the same page and don’t think too much, it can be a great tool (literally) for getting you and your partner out of a rut.
- Schedule a sex “fact-finding” session
“Take one night to have a raw discussion about what you do and don’t like sexually, explore new sex moves, and talk about your hidden fantasies,” advises Sunny Megatron, sex educator and co-host of the American Sex Podcast. “Don’t pressure yourself to be sexy, just experiment to see what you like and say what you normally avoid saying out of fear of embarrassing yourself or sounding insensitive.”
A 2016 online research survey on 1,200 men and women ages 18-25 showed that men and women have wildly different sexual expectations. These expectations are unlikely to change overnight, so couples must communicate their likes and dislikes in bed in order to have a mutually pleasurable experience.
The Bottom Line
When we want to change or better anything in our lives, it comes down to communication and the willingness to step out of our comfort zones. If we can be honest with ourselves about what we desire, it’s easier to communicate that to our partners.
The more we discuss what we’re thinking and feeling, the easier it becomes. Let this be the foundation for building a better sex life for you and your partner, and enjoy bringing back some sizzling, sexy, chemistry.