There is so much noise in the media about ‘getting’ a better sex life. It all mostly revolves around getting more – more orgasms, more sex, trying more edgy/crazy positions and so on. In my opinion, the ‘more’ mentality doesn’t help when you’re trying to ‘fix’ a less-than-satisfying sex life.
The only ‘more’ that is usually helpful, if a little more complex, is asking more questions: more questions about your own needs, body knowledge, and mental and emotional state; more questions about the choices you make when it comes to your sex partners; and more questions about what is getting in your way of feeling emotionally and physically satisfied by the sex and physical intimacy you are getting.
Start with you
The first question is about you: What does a great sex life look like to you? This is exactly the same process as knowing what love looks like to you. Before you can start a conversation about what you want from your partner, you have to know what you want for yourself.
Sounds simple enough, right? Except, most people don’t really ever think about defining what a great sex life looks like to them. Some have never really even explored why they do or don’t like sex, or why they have sex, even. I guess this is all probably due to a complex combination of those sex stories we chatted about earlier and the fact that woman’s sexuality has always been so packaged and taught as passive. We’re groomed to care more about how we look than how we feel; to be ‘sexy’ without asking how it benefits us.
So can you be specific about what you want? With regard to those Cs – chemistry, correspondence, confidence, communication and skill – what is your relationship to each (p93)? Do you feel confident in your own body? Do you know how to pleasure yourself? Do you know what turns you on? If you had to start a discussion with your partner about how dissatisfied you feel, for example, would you be able to articulate exactly how your needs are not being met? Would you be brave enough to have them met?
A lot of what we sometimes believe is a problem in the relationship or a problem with the other person, is often an unresolved issue or unexplored desire originating from within ourselves…
If this is a matter of dissatisfaction creep about the sex you’re getting from your partner, have you ever asked yourself what five things would make you a better lover first? And it’s not just the bedroom questions that need answering. Deeper questions start probing into what’s happening outside the bedroom. How much of that sexual dissatisfaction you feel with your partner is actually about non-sex-related issues? How much of it includes ‘normal life’ stuff, like your health, stress, body image, honest communication, or boredom? I think a lot of what we sometimes believe is a problem in the relationship or a problem with the other person, is often an unresolved issue or unexplored desire originating from within ourselves.
Of course, we’re not used to answering questions like this.
We live in a society that banished sex and sexual energy from the good normal and then decided it didn’t want to talk about the consequences of doing so. We live in a society that doesn’t like getting real about the real basics of sex and relationship education and instead gropes towards quick fixes like ‘spicing up your sex life’ in 762 ways with a dildo. Far from dealing with the dissatisfaction creep, we just try to distract ourselves from it. And this might work for you for a while. But I don’t think there is enough time in this one life to mope about waiting for better days, meeping about it, and denying yourself pleasure. Nothing gets better by doing nothing – not life issues about work and relationships, and certainly not sex. If you want anything to change, you have to start with critical self-reflection into your own belief structures, desires, and feelings.
We live in a society that banished sex and sexual energy from the good normal and then decided it didn’t want to talk about the consequences of doing so.
When you start addressing any aspect of your life consciously – your sex, your relationships, your patterns – a lot of stuff is likely come up for you. Sometimes it’s easy stuff and sometimes it’s painful, difficult stuff. Some of it is going to feel uncomfortable to talk about or ‘do’ about. If you have a partner who is open to changing with you and learning, that’s awesome. If you’re single, consider yourself lucky to enjoy a journey you can share with whoever you want.
Want to unmuddle and cut out the noise in your sex life? Read more in my love & sex guide The Dot Spot – Adventures in Love and Sex, pg 86 to 113. Gotta get it on Kindle though – it’s pretty much sold out on hard copies [clickety click tappity tap]