Sex, sex, sex. It's everywhere. A lot of the time, we rarely stop to consider sex enough, other than to think, "Oooh, I want it," or, "Ugh, not again."
In my work as a sex therapist, coach and counselor, I regularly meet couples and singles who are dissatisfied with their sex lives. They put so much effort into work, family and their health and well-being, but somehow sex gets neglected along the way as part of a healthy lifestyle.
We know that sex is good for us, and we also know it can feel good too. But did you know that sex can release lots of happy chemicals in the brain, including oxytocin and prolactin, which can leave us feeling great long after the session is over?
As part of a well-balanced lifestyle, sex and erotic expression should be considered as part of an overall approach to wellness. To help you on your way, I have compiled a top five kickstarter list to get you back on track and pumping delicious erotic energy through your veins!
1. Give yourself permission to have FUN!
So many people don't prioritize pleasure as part of their health and well-being. There are many ways to have fun, and sex is only one of them, with some valuing it more than others. That's OK. Give yourself permission to value sex in your own way, and not by comparison to others' ideals or beliefs about what's normal. Take it from me: in my profession I know there are infinite shades of normal, and all of them are fabulous and fun!
2. Make time.
One of the most common things I hear from people about sex is, "I'm just so busy, I don't have time." Sex, like anything else, uses muscles and reflexes, emotions and sensations, experiences and energy. Dulling ourselves down with stress, too much work and not enough pleasure time makes for grumpy people, an unpleasant workplace and a grumpy family.
By setting aside 15 minutes three times a week for partnered pleasure (or even solo sex if you're not in a relationship — or even if you are), you're making time to connect with your lover and yourself.
Increasingly, people are expressing desire to try new things in the bedroom. In all other parts of our lives we embrace learning and expanding our knowledge. Why should sex be any different? Personally, I'm all for this and think it's a great way to honor your sexuality and connection with your partner.
Trying new things can be both fun and also carry a few risks. Always seek out guidance about new activities if you're unsure about what to do and where to start. Sex educators like myself run many workshops and seminars aimed at adults who want more from their sex lives and who want to learn how to try new things safely and respectfully.
4. Get physical.
Sometimes it's easy to just lie back, or let ourselves "be done." This is OK sometimes, but if this your regular repertoire, both you and your partner may get bored. Instead, MOVE! Try new positions and use your whole body during sex. Remember that sex is based on so much more than genitals, so experiment with the erogenous zones we all have, such as the belly, inner thighs, neck, lips and nipples!
5. Forget the pressure.
All too often sex can feel like a performance. Who pleases whom, how often and for how long? Sometimes taking inspiration from online videos can get us in the mood and even give us fresh ideas, but when we compare ourselves or try mimicking what we see online, we're shortchanging ourselves from having a truly exquisite erotic experience. Enjoy the moment you're in and take the time to appreciate your body and your lover's body.