Each season, a glossy-print magazine runs an assertive cover story declaring new and improved sex tips that will revolutionize your sex life because you surely “have never heard this one before!”
Headlines read something to the effect of “the one trick that will blow her mind” or “married life has never been hotter.” These stories are full of cliches, often laughable, and sometimes seasonal. They make a good read on the subway and fit nicely in a recycling bin after a quick commute.
You don’t need to read the Kama Sutra from start to finish in search of the wildest positions to have hotter sex, but if that’s your thing, please stretch first! If you’re seeking authentic ways to improve your sex life, sometimes practicing simple skills outside the bedroom can be monumental for close connection.
1. No One Has It Figured Out
Here’s a liberating truth—no one has sex figured out. That’s because what feels good changes from one person to the next. Also, sex can include a million different variations. The person who knows your sexual preferences, and what feels the best, is you.
“It is important to remember that everyone’s sexual needs are different and that what works for one person may not work for another,” said Dr. Martha Tara Lee, a relationship counselor, and clinical sexologist. There’s no magic secret, folks. Hopefully, this fact serves as a catalyst for you to tap into your unique desires and what feels good to you.
2. Communication Is Hot
“Communication is key in any relationship, especially when it comes to sex. To improve communication, couples should take the time to talk openly and honestly about their desires, needs, and expectations. This could include discussing fantasies, exploring new activities, and expressing any concerns or worries,” Lee said.
An effective way to get what you want in the bedroom is by simply asking for it. But for some couples, asking for something specific can feel challenging to bring up, especially if someone was raised in an environment where talking about sex was shameful. Laura Doyle, a relationship coach, suggested bringing up your ask outside of a hot and heavy moment. “If there is a particular fantasy you want to act out or a new position that interests you, approach the topic when you are doing anything other than getting ready for physical intimacy,” Doyle said.
3. Permission to Be Playful
“Sex doesn't need to be serious. Sometimes awkward things happen, and it's way more fun to laugh it off with your partner than stress about it,” explained Rhiannon John, a certified sexologist at Bedbible.
If sex has become predictable and you’re seeking a change, you might consider expanding your sexual palette and experimenting with new activities, such as roleplaying, BDSM, dirty talk, or anything that strikes an interest. Your local sex toy store likely hosts workshops, which can be a fun outing to learn a new trick or two. Approach what you’re exploring with curiosity rather than attempting to do it perfectly. Experimentation can also serve as a helpful conversation starter for any pieces that did or did not work and why.
4. Therapy Can Work Wonders
It’s no secret that therapy can help improve your relationship with yourself and others. But it also can strengthen your sex life. Therapy can help you explore feelings around sex or provide a safe container to speak about your desires.
If you’ve experienced trauma that might be coming up during sex, therapy can be particularly useful. You don’t need a specific sexual problem for counseling to benefit your sex life; it can help you communicate better with a partner. Plus, being in touch with your wants and feelings is, subjectively, hot.
For any sexual problems that might come up, such as decreased sensation, pain, or blockages to sex, seeing a sex therapist can be useful. While individual therapy can benefit couples, seeing a therapist together can help improve communication as a unit.
5. It’s Okay to Use Outside Help
While sex toys and lube have certainly come a long way from their sordid stigma, people still have a misconception that using outside accessories indicates a problem or that something is missing in your sex life. If anything, ordering sex toys or lube suggests that you’re prioritizing your pleasure.
Lube can turn a sexual experience from good to mind-blowing. “Lubrication is essential to any sexual experience, as it significantly enhances pleasure by reducing friction and pain,” John said.
Shopping for sex toys can also help couples bond and facilitate conversations about wants or curiosities. “I'm a great believer in using sex toys to bring couples out of a sexual rut, to experiment with new sensations and positions, and just because sex toys are a lot of fun,” explained Wednesday Lee Friday, a Sex Expert & Sex Toy Reviewer at Women's Health Interactive.
“A great first step is virtual shopping for sex toys at a site you trust. Spend an hour scrolling through toys and discussing, and probably laughing a lot, which toys you'd like to try and why,” Friday said.
6. Reframe Your End Goal
Reframing your goals for sex can help take the pressure off of performing and place the attention back on pleasure. Especially for couples who have been together for a long time, you might consider scheduling time for intimacy instead of for sex. For some people, scheduling sex can feel unsexy as the implication elicits feelings of pressure. But taking time to explore intimate touch, whether cuddling or massaging one another, can facilitate closeness and if it leads to sex, great.
There is no secret to having mind-blowing sex other than listening to your unique desires and that of your partner. If sex feels good to you and your partner, you’re doing it right! If you’re having trouble finding out what a partner wants, you can simply ask them and listen—that’s the most important tip there is.