I don’t like to use the word epidemic out of context, but anecdotally speaking, there are a lot of women and men out there who aren’t getting what they want or need sexually.
A recently divorced friend of mine who was separated from his wife for over three years shared with me that he has not had sex in years and on the occasions he did, it was not that great.
A weak or non-existent sex life is not just a problem for the single. Several married people I know claim that they either do not have a lot of sex or any sex at all.
I know of at least three couples-all under the age of 50-who stopped sleeping together years ago. As one explained to me, “We are best friends, we get along well, but the sex dried up years ago.”
Lastly, lest any young people are reading this and thinking that this can’t happen to them, I have also know several people in their early 20s who had the same issues. In fact, I was one of them.
Granted, when it comes to relationships in general, to think to each their own. There are some couples for whom sex is not a huge priority and they are more than happy to have arrangements where they have little to no sex with each other. If you happen to be one of them and it’s working out for you, then more power to you.
However, most people who share these intimate details are not happy about their situations. They want/desire/crave more sex which is perfectly normally. After all, we are sexual beings.
For those who fall in that category, then here are some tips on not only getting more, but getting more satisfying sex.
1. Get to know yourself.
This is what it sounds like. First, get to know your body and want it wants. However, most importantly, get to know your mind.
i.e., What sort of sex are you desiring? How often do you want it?
While these may sound like silly questions, it’s important to know what you actually want vs. what you think you should want. The fact is, there is a lot of shame and taboos when it comes to sex. It’s normal to compare ourselves to others and/or think we should have be having a certain amount of sex and in a certain way.
The truth is, “normal” varies a lot from person to person. Some people have naturally high sex drives and some some naturally low ones. Plus, people desire different things.
You cannot ask someone for something until you actually know what you want which brings me to #2.
2. Speak up.
Do not assume that your partner knows that you want sex, how you want sex, or what exactly will bring you the most pleasure when you are having sex. Based on personal experience and that of others, assuming or expecting your partner to be a mind-reader will only lead to frustration. You have to speak up.
If speaking up is too difficult or embarrassing to you, then you may need to be painfully honest with yourself and ask if this is the person you should really be with.
If you cannot be honest with the person you are sharing the most intimate parts of your body with, then it may be a sign there are trust issues on one or both sides. Usually, if there isn’t honesty about the sex, then there isn’t honesty about other things in the relationship as well. That isn’t to say the relationship is automatically in trouble or doomed, but it could be a sign of some deeper issues that need to be addressed as well.
3. Seek professional help if need be.
Sometimes couples can work out things on their own while other times they need a pro. If the main issue is sexual nature, then seek out a couple therapist or sex therapist with training and background in these issues. Don’t assume that the former are all alike. Some couples therapists are very well-versed in these issues and others are not.
While you can start with a search on the internet sometimes the best place to get referrals is from a doctor since a lot of times they may work together. (Also, some sex therapists have a medical background.)
Usually, they will offer a free initial consultation or take the time to answer questions over the phone. If they do, then now’s the chance to ask about their background, give a general overview as to why you’re seeking therapy, and see if this person can help you or if you need to find someone else.
4. Do (some of it) yourself.
Sometimes, the only person who bring you the sexual satisfaction you desire is yourself-or at least at first until you can teach/show the other person what you want. This is especially true for women who often have far more difficulty achieving sexual satisfaction than men.
There are a number of books, sex toys formerly called “marital aids”, etc. that can help. Betty Dodson’s classic, Sex for One, is a book that has helped many people learn about their bodies and achieve sexual satisfaction on their own.
Now a days, even amazon.com sells vibrators which are classy and discreet and do not require a trip to a dodgy sex shop.
If you happen to live in a large city, there are some woman-friendly shops like San Francisco’s Good Vibrations with a trained and knowledgeable staff. If that’s not your situation, then consider #3 and working with a professional who can help you chose what you need.
While sex isn’t and probably shouldn’t be the most important thing in a relationship, it is nonetheless important.
Being sexually unfulfilled can lead to problems and in some cases, may even spell the end of an otherwise good relationship. While few of us ever discuss our sex lives with others-in some cases not even with the person we’re having sex with-it’s important to not only communicate to our partners, but also know how to do so and if need be, seek the help of professionals if we don’t know how or where to start.
While the above cannot guarantee a great sex life, it is a way to help get us all closer to that and frankly, all of us who chose to be sexually active deserve one.
To paraphrase George Michael, sex should be natural, it should be fun. However, if you need some help, don’t be afraid to ask.
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Editor: Bryonie Wise
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