While there are countless physical things you can try to make the sex you’re having more enjoyable, it’s worth remembering the non-physical things that need your attention too.
You could be going through all the motions every weekend, but if, for example, you haven’t got your boundaries set or frame of mind right, then you could still be having underwhelming sex.
Dr Laura Vowels, sex and relationships expert and therapist at Blueheart, tells us having more sex doesn’t always mean you’re getting more pleasure too – it’s more about quality than quantity.
She says: ‘There’s a common misconception that if you’re having lots of sex, it means you have a “healthy” sex life. This isn’t true.
‘Having a healthy sex life is about being intimate when you want, with who you want and having good quality sex.
‘In fact, having a frequent amount of unpleasurable sex, or having sex in order to avoid or suppress negative emotions, can lead you to form an unhealthy relationship with desire and intimacy.’
Whether you’re having sex you’d like to improve or you’re looking for tips before you get back out there, Dr Laura has put together some advice…
Be completely candid
Even though a lot of us will have heard this one before, the need for open and honest communication is no less strong.
Dr Laura says: ‘With any sexual partner you have, even if you’ve only recently met them, be completely honest about what turns you on and get to know their desires, too.
‘This is perhaps even more applicable when you’re having sex with someone for the first time because you haven’t had the time to sexually explore with them and find out what they like. Effective communication and honesty can help ensure even first-time encounters are enjoyable for all parties involved.
‘Don’t be afraid to tell your sexual partners to change or stop what they’re doing if it doesn’t feel good, and encourage them to tell you too. Honesty builds trust and will allow you to have fun and ensure the other person is too.’
Don’t use sex as a distraction for negative feelings or emotions
Distractions have their place, but sex shouldn’t be used as one of them. If you find yourself using sex as a coping mechanism, you should speak to your GP and/or a mental health professional.
‘When we’re faced with a difficult situation or negative emotions,’ says Dr Laura, ‘it’s very natural to reach out for something that can distract us.
‘This comfort can come from a multitude of external sources such as shopping, food, drinking, or sex. But using distractions to cope with negative feelings instead of dealing with them head-on can often lead us to become reliant on said distraction.
‘This can lead you to use it as a coping mechanism, which is where addictions sometimes stem from.
‘Before you enjoy a summer of lust, it’s important that you’re not using sex as a coping mechanism or a form of distraction from any negative emotions you’re dealing with.
‘If you do find yourself feeling this way, it could be a result of an underlying health issue such as anxiety or depression.’
Be more present
It can be easy for us to get nervous and lost in our own heads sometimes, but when it comes to sex, we can get way more out of it by being present in the moment.
‘Having sex with someone new can be an exciting but nerve-wracking experience’, says Dr Laura.
‘Practising the technique of being more present and mindful when you’re having sex can help alleviate some of this pressure, and even result in a more pleasurable experience.
‘Being more present during sex means focussing on the sensations you’re feeling and not allowing intrusive thoughts to take over the experience, such as worrying about how you look, or what your partner is thinking.
‘Focus more on what you can feel, touch, and taste to help minimise intrusive thoughts and fully enjoy being in the moment.’
Assert your boundaries
Another important thing to do with any sexual partner is to make sure you are aware of and assert your boundaries, being wary of any pressure you’re put under.
‘It’s your body,’ says Dr Laura, ‘and it’s all about what you feel comfortable doing.’
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