I don't expect you to be a perfect lover.
Shit, I don't even expect myself to be a perfect lover (and sure hope the boo doesn't, either!).
I actually believe that sex, in general, should be full of beautiful, marvelous, authentic imperfections. Giggles and queefs and fumbles and memorable blunders. Adorable clumsiness and genuine confusion. Body fluids. Accidents. Unexpectedness.
There are, however, a few general mistakes I see SO MANY people making that get in the way of truly incredible sex. Mistakes that I'm not even the slightest bit surprised about - given how little we talk about sex, and how much misinformation exists out there.
(and don't worry, I won't just tell you the mistake, I'll tell ya how to fix it, as well!)
mistake #1: not prioritizing sex
I probably don't need to list all the reasons why sex is important, right? DON'T CARE, DOING IT ANYWAY! Sex has numerous mental, physical, emotional and social health benefits, including, but not limited to: lowering stress levels, building intimacy with and demonstrating affection for someone, reducing risk of some cancers, lowering blood pressure, releasing feel-good hormones, managing pain, increasing body confidence, improves immune functioning, can help you live longer, increases blood flow to the brain, improves sleep, provides cardiovascular benefits, increases pelvic strength, increases feelings of desire... and those are just the tip! (hehehe, "just the tip" - I crack myself up)
Folks who have an active sex life report feeling more satisfied in their relationships, are more likely to feel happier overall, live longer, tend to look younger, and be more physically and mentally healthy than they're less sexually active counterparts.
We make it a point of prioritizing other activities that provide these benefits (such as doctor appointments, going to the gym, taking medication, attending social engagements, performing beauty regimens, etc.), but will often neglect sexytime because it doesn't seem as "important."
Whether you're sexing yourself or somebody else (because notice that I didn't specify that you needed to have partnered sex to reap these benefits), consider this your permission to dedicate some time (scheduled time, even! put this shit in your color-coded, post-it filled planner!) to get it on.
It doesn't have to be lots of time! Quickies (solo or partnered) are totes ok!
Although, I recommend aiming for some extended sessions too. Mix it up in order to get the most, er... bang? For your buck! (that pun wasn't intended)
mistake #2: defining sex too narrowly
If you've just read the #1 mistake and thinking, "I still don't know if I can fit sex into my super busy schedule," correcting this mistake may just help with that one too.
Stop defining sex as only intercourse!
Or PIV (penis in vagina) sex! Or whatever the "one assumed behavior I assume people mean when they say 'have sex'" is for your and your partner(s) and your body parts.
I'm gonna get all hetero-normative here for a minute but it's just to provide an example (and honestly because I feel like all the non-hetero folks in the room are already more enlightened on this point):
If I am a vulva-having woman who has sex with a penis-having man, lots of physiological things have to happen in a certain way in order for me to be quote-unquote "successful" at having PIV sex.
First, for PIV sex to be possible/comfortable/pleasurable for me, my vagina has to become sufficiently lubricated and relaxed. (And duh, let's just say for the sake of argument that I'm not the lube obsessed freakazoid that I am) On average, this typically takes about 20 minutes, which is why foreplay is so often encouraged for female sexual satisfaction.
Next, for penile penetration to be able to happen, my partner will have to get and maintain an erection. While for some men this may happen quickly, there are numerous factors that could make an erection difficult - stress, medication, dysfunction, age, depression and substance use are just a few.
With all the confounding factors that can make just HAVING the PIV sex difficult in a time crunch (not to mention, you know, enjoying it and maybe hopefully sometimes having an orgasm - which doesn't usually happen during PIV for women but don't even get me started there...), it's no wonder that just the anxiety of doing it often cripples peeps from even trying.
But hurrah! The good news is - there are a MYRIAD of other sexual behaviors you can engage in that still "count" as sex!
For example, oral sex (which is much more likely to result in orgasm for a vulva-having female recipient), MASTURBATION - helloooo!, heavy petting, mutual masturbation, a good old fashion hand-job or finger-bang, making out, dry humping, sexting, etc.
When you add all these sexual behaviors to your definition of "having sex," it really expands the possibility of incorporating sexual pleasure into your life without the pressure of having to do THAT ONE THING all of the time.
mistake #3: not masturbating
Ladies - I'm mostly looking at you, here!
Masturbation can provide many of the benefits listed above, sure - but the act of self pleasure can actually provide additional benefits that partnered sex simply cannot deliver.
- Exploring your body and pleasure on your own allows you to really connect with yourself and learn what it is that feels good for YOU - without the pressure of having to perform for a partner or give any of your attention to anyone else. It is delightfully indulgent but can also make you better at partnered sex... if you know what it is YOU like, you can then communicate with your partner(s) about how they can please you.
- When you realize how much potential your miraculous body has to provide you with good feels - pleasure, orgasm, sensation - you learn to appreciate it in a whole new way. Everyone in our society (maybe even especially chicks) is bombarded everyday with messages telling us how are bodies are inadequate - not slim enough, not strong enough, not lean enough, not the right color, etc. Masturbation is a fantastic way to spend time recognizing some of the positive aspects of your body, and can substantially increase body confidence.
- Masturbation also eliminates the NEED for a partner to feel pleasure and have an orgasm. This is HUGELY empowering and can strengthen perceptions of independence and strength. If we have this (inaccurate) idea in our subconscious that having sexual pleasure necessitates another person, we are more likely to compromise our values when attaching to a partner, because we naturally crave that pleasure. In other words - we might date an asstard because we figure we're at least having regular orgasms. YOU DON'T NEED TO DATE AN ASSTARD TO HAVE REGULAR ORGASMS if you practice masturbation.
So, if you're looking to improve your sex life, start with these three common mistakes. Rectifying them - even if it's not ALL of them, can significantly improve the quality of your sex life. And no need to go at it alone, click here to join a badass group of like-minded peeps who share sex & relationship advice and provide non-judgmental support to each other.
(PS. If you're really looking to step your game up - like, you want to have the type of sex life that other people envy - I invite you to check out my [6 Weeks to Your Most Satisfying Sex Life] eCourse)
What are some other mistakes you've seen other folks making? What are some changes you've made in your own sex life that have wildly improved it???