Many people want to have better sex in the new year. Let me see if I can help.
For better sex, here’s what you don’t need—fancy new toys, new positions, or a new body. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with any of these, but if there are problems in the architecture of your relationships, self-image, communication style, or sense of entitlement, you can bet that toys, positions, and dieting won’t help any of those.
What does it mean to make sex better: Bigger orgasms? More frequent sex that you don’t especially enjoy? More partners? Taboo activities that have a lot of symbolic value, but aren’t especially enjoyable? Getting pounded harder, when getting pounded isn’t your preference in the first place?
Rather, making sex better means being more relaxed; feeling competent; trusting your partner; focusing on feeling in your body; and arranging the bedroom logistics (temperature, cleanliness, privacy, etc.) to maximize your comfort.
With that I mind, here’s what you actually can do to make sex better in 2017—and beyond:
1. Unless you can’t conceive, use reliable birth control when you have intercourse.
Withdrawal, hope, and “we don’t think we’re fertile” are not reliable methods. Consider vasectomy. It does NOT affect erection or ejaculation—it CAN’T; it has nothing to do with your penis. Consider hormonal methods that are not the pill, like implants or injectables. They work, they’re painless, and they don’t make you gain weight. Or consider an IUD. You can get one put in, and forget about it for years.
All of these methods are modern miracles.
2. Keep in mind that heterosexual people are curious about same-gender sex.
Not only are they curious, but they may enjoy watching same-gender porn, fantasizeabout having same-gender sex, and maybe even kiss or have oral sex with someone of the same gender. Heterosexuals like this don’t need a special category; they’re just heterosexuals.
3. Questions? Ask your doctor.
Volunteer information your doctor doesn’t ask about—that you’re not monogamous (and your partner doesn’t know it), or that you smoke a lot of pot, or hate the way your husband smells, or climax only from oral sex.
Don’t feel your doctor is comfortable talking about sex? Get another doctor.
4. If your sexual partner turns down a particular activity you desire…
Discuss it a few days later. Whether it’s tongue-kissing in front of his parents, threesomes, one of you using a blindfold, or something else, find out if it’s a total “no thanks” until the end of time, or whether you might do it sometime, eventually. If it’s the former, then maybe, don’t ask again for another few years.
Also, ask what it is about the unwanted activity that’s unwanted. Don’t demand justification, just ask for information. There may be other activities you can do that will get you what you want, without giving your partner what he or she doesn’t. For example, she might not mind doing something taboo, she just may not want physical pain, or to do it in public, or when she has a cold.
5. Lube, lube, lube.
Every time you have sex, intercourse or not. Don’t wait until you “need” it. You don’t need it—you use it because it makes sex more enjoyable. And keep it in the night table, not the bathroom (unless you have sex in the bathroom). And if your kids find it and ask about it, tell the truth about what it is.
6. If you’re in therapy, tell the truth.
That includes “I’m afraid you’ll judge me,” “I haven’t been entirely honest in previous sessions,” and “I think you’re sexy” or “I don’t like you” (or both!) if that’s true. It also includes “I don’t like this therapy,” or “This therapy isn’t working,” if that’s true. Good therapists can handle every one of these. If your therapist can’t, you need a new one.
7. If you’re upset about your partner’s porn use, be curious, not self-righteous.
Learn something new about him or her. Ask why they watch what they do. Ask if they want to enact what they see. If they say no, believe them. And then memorize these facts:
- Most porn isn’t violent.
- Most porn shows women enjoying the satisfaction that most women (and men) want from sex.
- Since internet porn flooded the U.S., the rates of sexual assault and child molestation have gone down, according to the FBI and the Crimes Against Children Research Center