I recently promised to write about how to improve your sex life.
“Got any pointers?” I asked James, my husband of fourteen years.
“I do,” he answered. “A big one. I’ll show it to you.”
When you’re feeling loving towards and supported by your partner it’s easy to have awesome sex, to feel generous about sharing your body, and to want to pleasure the other person. You don’t need to improve your sex life because it’s already in good shape.
But when you’re pissed off about the undone dishes, the coming home late from work, the colleague who keeps calling your spouse’s cell phone, and the middle-of-the-night wake-ups to soothe a breastfeeding baby or a worried preschooler, it’s a lot harder to get into the groove.
If you’re having trouble finding time to get horizontal with your partner and you want to improve your sex life, you’re not the only one.
Seventy-eight percent of couples want better sex
According to this YourTango survey, 78 percent of married couples want to have better sex.
Leaky breasts, whining kids, hormonal changes, and the exhaustion that comes with 21st century life often seem at odds with hot, steamy sex.
But good sex is like good sleep—sex begets more sex, which makes everybody happy.
Not having sex leads to Long Dry Spells, which make your marriage feel like a desert.
So what’s a couple to do?
Tips to improve your sex life: 8 Great Ideas
There’s nothing like a fru fru girly drink (lemon drop, anyone?) or a glass of Pinot Gris to help you lose your inhibitions.
Writer and sex guru Alisa Bowman suggests coconut oil to lubricate down there. Olive oil and avocado oil work well too. Don’t be shy about needing lubricant, which makes hand jobs go more smoothly and intercourse more fun.
In order to learn what you like from someone else, you need to learn what you like. Masturbating and experimenting with touching yourself is a great way to figure that out. Masturbate often. Not only will you be pleasuring yourself, you will be figuring out how to teach your partner to pleasure you. Masturbating with your partner can be fun too.
I’m not opposed to sweaty, grimy, rolling-in-the-dirt or just-after-exercise sex but a partner who is scrubbed and shaved, just out of the shower, is definitely a turn-on. Leopold Bloom ate with relish kidneys that had the tang of urine but unless you’re into golden showers you probably prefer the penis you are pleasuring sans piddle.
5. Add surround sound
Sounds like hackneyed advice but when you’ve been having sex with the same person for many years it’s easy to forget the small touches. Some sexy music like Sadé, a candle, and mood lighting (the iPod has an app for this) will help you relax, especially since you’ve just finished that girly drink and are making an erotic show of sucking on the straw.
6. Define “sex” your own way to improve your sex life
Maybe you’re NOT in the mood for an orgasm but you want some skin-to-skin. That’s okay. Your partner who’s jonesing to get his rocks off can give you a long back rub. And take care of his business solo at another time. Sex doesn’t always mean intercourse. And it doesn’t always mean orgasm. Though both of those are fun too.
7. Try something different
One friend has decided to do it in the garage next time. Another to wear high heels and a cute red T-shirt (her partner’s favorite color). You can also use props: cock rings are fun, a mirror on the ceiling if you’re not the shy type. Change positions: doggie style, standing up, or you lying back to stomach on your partner’s front. Or sneak some sex in the great outdoors. You know how food always tastes better when you eat it outside …?
8. Bone up on your … reading
Learn how to give the best cunnilingus or how to give the best blow job. Read sexy novels like D. H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover and sex memoirs like Hump: True Tales of Sex After Kids and Confessions of a Naughty Mommy: How I Found My Lost Libido.
There’s nothing like reading about other people’s triumphs (and failures) in bed to get you in the mood to improve your sex life for have some of your own.
Now where did I leave that coconut oil?
Inspired to improve your sex life?!
Close your computer, run out for that jar of organic coconut oil, jump into bed with your partner or yourself, and have some fun.
And please report back and share your best advice so we can learn from it too.
Let’s Talk About Senior Sex, Baby
Seven Secrets to a Vibrant Life
Published: September 13, 2012
Updated: December 31, 2022
All such important things. Married a long time sometimes equals stagnant sex. Nice reminders!
May I suggest breast massage if your partner is willing and adding that to your otherwise inspired list of suggestions?
Jane Boursaw says
You’re brave to write about this stuff! But I read it all the way through and took notes. 🙂
Kimberly Ford says
I LOVE this post. And James’s “pointer.” Hahahahaha!!!!!
Kristin Ohlson says
Good way to bump up your blog traffic, Jennifer! And good suggestions too, although I’m now partnerless and…they make me a bit wistful.
There you go, sticking your neck out again! 🙂 Nicely put!
Donna Hull says
What a brave writer you are. And, the humor made this post even more fun to read. I’ll be taking some of these reminders to heart.
Living Large says
Married 26 years. Need some of these! 🙂
ruth pennebaker says
This is great, Jennifer. Love your frankness and obvious enjoyment of your husband and sex.
Gary Buslik says
Sex doesn’t always mean orgasm? When did that start?
Steph Auteri says
Oh Jennifer, I love that you’ve mentioned redefining sex. When I was ghostwriting a book on intimacy after a cancer diagnosis, I learned a lot about this concept. Because sometimes, traditional forms of intercourse become impossible.
And this isn’t only the case post-cancer treatment. Many forms of sexual dysfunction — erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, sexual arousal disorder, painful intercourse — can force us to rethink sex in order to maintain a fulfilling level of intimacy with our partners.
Also, the focus on orgasms at any cost can actually put so much pressure on both parties that it often becomes even more difficult to orgasm.
This is why sex should focus on pleasure, plain and simple. And there are so many ways to experience pleasure, with or without an orgasm.
Bottom line: If you’re enjoying it, It’s All Good.
Deborah Gordon says
Great tips Jennifer, but I’d nix the KY Jelly, whose ingredients (Aqua, glycerine, hydroxyethylcellulose, gloconolactone, chlorhexidine digluconate, methylparaben, sodium hydroxide) may impair fertility, parabens implicated in carcinogenesis, altogether not worthy of a very absorptive mucosal surface: tongue, labia or vagina! Health Food stores and sex shops sell much more natural lubricants if the food suggestions you made don’t appeal.
Jennifer Margulis says
Thanks for this correction, Dr. Gordon. I didn’t realize that KY Jelly was full of so many toxic ingredients. Good to know.
Bill Bradford says
Either men don’t read this, or at least don’t comment! As a man, I’d rather have intimacy without sex, than sex without intimacy. The quest for more mind-blowing orgasms can be a distraction. Foreplay and afterplay are BOTH VERY under-rated! Don’t be so shy, ladies. Just ask us men. We usually say yes!