3 Easy Ways to Step Up Your Sex Life With spring in full swing, it’s time you and your spouse get back in the groove—and these simple-to-apply tips can help. BY WENDY STRGAR
When you're able to talk about your sex life more openly you'll be able to go where you've never gone before.
“ Sexually speaking, being able to play fair and with abandon is the perfect equation where we can blossom into our hidden erotic selves.”
Sexual dissatisfaction is one of the top reasons cited when a person leaves their marriage. It is also one of this life’s most worthy challenges to take on—not only for the meaning and pleasure it can bring to our marriage, but also for the very real health benefits that a satisfying sex life bestows on our well-being. I also believe that learning how to satisfy our sex drive and grow our comfort with our erotic selves is a window, which reveals our deepest humanity.
It is no surprise that a massive consumer market designed to offer a quick fix for our sexual desires has ballooned into a billion dollar industry. But despite the millions of options available, there is no magic pill (even those that manage to sustain erections), toy or DVD of new sexual techniques that is going to bring you the kind of passionate intimate connection that we all long for.
There are however, some pretty straightforward shifts in focus and attention that will lead you towards more satisfying sexual experiences with your spouse and a comfort with who you are as an erotic human being. Here are a few ideas (not listed in order of potency) and take note on how your intimate life responds—even if you only try one at a time.
Love Your Body
Our sex life lives within our physical body, so how you feel about and treat your body is a direct reflection of the respect you hold for your sex life.
For many, this must start with a decision to stop comparing our body to the myriad of Photoshopped images of models that even models don’t look like. Don’t sacrifice your access to pleasure in the patently false belief that sexual satisfaction will find you when you are more fit or more beautiful. Actually, studies have shown the reverse relationship to be true: opening yourself up to more sexual pleasure will make you recognize the beauty in your body as it is and inspire you to treat it better.
For me, the dictum that "bodies are designed for motion" is a good place to start. Get moving more often and find ways that offer you the experience of both building strength and discovering flexibility, both of which are critical for more pleasurable and long-lasting intimacy.
Dedicate yourself to finding ways to live more deeply in your body, which is easy when you don’t take your five senses for granted. Explore the range of scent, taste and touch that surrounds us, that we often overlook by being overly focused on visual and auditory stimulus—it will ground and nourish the richness of living in our bodies. Resolve to treat your body with a little more attention and loving kindness and it will reward you by revealing its capacity for pleasure—sexual and otherwise.
In childhood, no one had to teach you how to play. Even the most serious street games of capture the flag were won with just your natural curiosity and eagerness to play. Having fun was second nature and treating your quest for more satisfying sex with this same spirit can help free your imagination to silence the external voices, whether they be the experts who are supposed to know or the insidious cultural messages of shame and fear surrounding sexuality.
The key to rekindling this kind of playful spirit is to recall how our youthful spontaneity came riding on the tails of the youthful abandon and freedom that came from not worrying about how we were being seen. Playfulness, by definition, excludes issues of right and wrong. Playing fair mattered, but this we could spot a mile away. Sexually speaking, being able to play fair and with abandon is the perfect equation where we can blossom into our hidden erotic selves. Playfulness in bed is where we can have fun pushing the edges of our comfort zone and know that no matter how it comes out, we will laugh and build trust in our ability to be in the game.
Talk About Sex
For most people, talking about sex, even with their spouse, is the most taboo topic to discuss. This overbearing silence not only keeps us from creating the sex lives we want, but worse still, keeps us from maturing into our erotic selves.
Partly we don’t talk about sex because we are frightened by what we don’t know and partly what we are afraid of what we do know. Consequently, it is more common than not to retreat and to limit our sexual vocabulary to the lowest levels of discomfort.
Tragically what is lost is the opportunity to both learn who we are as a sexual being and who we could be as a sexual couple. Here are a couple of topics that you could take turns sharing that will open your sex life in ways that will amaze you: talk about your desires; tell your spouse what you really want to do; or share a recurring fantasy, even if you would never want to do in real life.
As you begin to broaden your sexual vocabulary, make sure you can distinguish between sexual education and entertainment. There is a wide gap between some fun ideas you can gather from sexual entertainment videos or magazines and expertise of a qualified sex educator, counselor or therapist.
There are no shortage of resources to grow your ability to have a sexual conversation with your husband or wife. Taking the leap to create a sexual conversation will open up your capacity for pleasure and enhance the trust in your connection.
Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family. In her new book, "Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy," she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative advice. It has been called "the essential guide for relationships." The book is available on ebook. Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13-23 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.