Better sex is the holy grail of many relationships, but it’s not as complicated as you might think. Here we’re sharing the practical help and advice our expert sex and relationship therapists recommend to their own clients when they want to improve things in the bedroom.
Have you ever taken your partner completely out of the equation, sat back and thought about what you truly want from sex. No? The best place to start then, is on your own. In the comfort of your bedroom, carve out some you time and try masturbating. Focus on the sensations as you notice them, introduce sex toys if you feel comfortable with that or perhaps try some audio erotica to get you in the mood. Learning to understand your own body and how it reacts to gentle stimulation is the first step to improving your sexual relationships with others.
Once you work out what feels good to you (and by the way, there is no right answer to this), you will need to put in the work to help your partner to understand. Remember, they are not a mind reader, and will likely find different things stimulating. If you feel able, allow your partner to explore your body gently along with you, and find a way to let them know what feels good. That may be through words or sounds depending on what feels right to you.
And of course, make sure to ask your partner about what they prefer as well. Which areas feel sensitive to the touch? What feels enjoyable? And what would they like you to do more of?
If you’re starting to gain confidence talking to your partner about sex and what feels good to you, why not take it a step further and start experimenting together? That doesn’t mean doing anything you’re uncomfortable with, of course. But perhaps you could start small, create a bedroom environment that feels wonderful and relaxing, ask one another some of these questions to get to know each other better or play some fun games. When you feel ready, up the ante by selecting some soft porn to watch, perhaps try out a few sex toys together, experiment with some different sex positions or open up about a fantasy or fetish you’ve had.
Most importantly try to take yourself a little out of your comfort zone. But if your partner suggests something you don’t want to do, never feel you have to do it. There is a wide range of lovely ways you can enjoy some intimate time together, there is no need for either of you to engage in an activity you’re not completely comfortable with.
One surefire way to make sex less enjoyable is if you get distracted and start worrying about how you look, whether you’re doing it right, or other sexual concerns. We call this spectatoring and it can impact any intimate relationship. When we find ourselves getting stuck in our head, thinking too much about what we’re doing rather than allowing our body to simple feel and experience pleasure, it impacts not only on sexual satisfaction, but emotional connection, too.
By practicing mindfulness and other relaxation techniques you may be able to reduce these feelings of anxiety around sexual intimacy and prevent everyday life and worries from getting in the way of a healthy sex life.
If the last point rang true-ish, but for you it’s less about performance anxiety and more about how you feel within yourself, perhaps it’s time to work on you. They say ‘you have to love yourself first’. There are many reasons we think that’s not necessarily true, but we can’t argue that finding your inner confidence can go a long way to helping you feel more desirable and even improve your desire for sex. Of course, there’s no quick fix here if you struggle to see the good in you at times, but start by working on your body image. We advocate a body neutrality approach because we understand how hard it is to always feel positive about how you look. Instead, we suggest you strive to simply accept your body for what it is and what it can do for you.
And if you know there are certain triggers that make you feel less confident, try to avoid them as much as you can. Unfollow social media accounts that portray unrealistic images and choose your magazines and media carefully. And most of all, tune into the way you talk to or think about your body. Reframe those negatives and focus on gratitude for the things you’re able to do because of that amazing body.
Yes, yes, we know you want to please your partner during sex, of course you do. But it's important that BOTH of you get what you need out of it. If you are in the habit of having sex on a semi-regular basis, feel it’s always the same and you’re just not getting that much out of it, maybe it’s time to change things up. Don’t just put up with sub-par sex because it’s making your partner happy and you don’t want to disrupt the status quo.
Blueheart, the number one relationship app, is a great way to overcome many of the challenges above. With an algorithm designed to focus you on key areas that will tackle the issues you’re experiencing, you’ll find your program is personalized for you.
From strengthening communication, building confidence, helping you relax and enjoy the moment and encouraging you to explore touch and sensation at your own pace. Blueheart uses Sensate Focus techniques to help you rebuild connection, find your way back together and improve you sexual health.