Sex is everywhere… except in sex in western society.
Magazine ads, billboards, and mainstream media shove sex in our faces on a daily basis, but it's still somewhat shameful to discuss sex publicly.
As a byproduct of the commercialisation of sex to sell soft drinks, deodorant, and video games, the sexual act itself has become increasingly void of depth and passion.
The massive success of books like 50 Shades of Grey speaks to an under-sexed culture of people who are looking for intimacy and intensity that they currently aren't experiencing in their sex lives.
Do you ever feel like the spark is gone from your sex life?
With a couple of smart tools under your belt, you can start to inhabit your sexual self more deeply, and more truthfully.
Here are half a dozen hacks for a thriving sex life:
#1: Eye Contact
Studies have shown that, early on in a romantic relationship, the greater the amount of time you and your partner spend making eye contact the greater chance of success your relationship has long-term.
One of the most common complaints I've received from my heterosexual female clients is that their boyfriends bury their face over their shoulder and they get little to no eye contact during sex. Counteract this by consciously connecting with your eyes. To take it a step further you can touch your foreheads together for periods of time for some deep soul gazing.
Feel like your sex drive has dropped off in the last little while? Unless you’ve just had a baby and are dealing with sleep deprivation, you're probably not getting enough exercise.
Challenging exercise gives you a rush of endorphins, dopamine, and a host of other happiness inducing brain chemicals. Weight lifting also helps with the production of testosterone (the sex and aggression hormone) which keeps your sex drive healthy and regular.
Does the thought of becoming a gym rat with a regular protein shake habit sound like too much? Then don't commit to that. Work out with intensity once and see how your body, libido, and mental state respond.
#3: Make It A Priority
It's easy to let life get in the way of our relationships. But whatever we tell ourselves is the reason that we don't prioritise our sex life any longer, it is only an excuse.
Schedule it. Turn off your cell phones. Keep all phones/televisions/computers away from your bedroom and make it a sexual safe haven. Talk to your partner about your ideal frequency of sexual intimacy. No more excuses. Put the effort in, make it the priority that it deserves to be, and you will both benefit tremendously.
#4: Just Say No To Porn
I've written about this extensively in the past, and it bears repeating.
Fast food is to nutrition as porn is to intimacy.
If you have a low sex drive, have difficulty becoming aroused with your partner, or generally have a lacklustre desire for your partner, this can frequently be tied back to your porn consumption. Just say no to porn. You can go as far as downloading website blocking applications that keep you away from your most visited sites to help you abstain.
The one exception for the ‘no porn' rule is to only watch “porn” of you and your partner. Whatever you are doing in any moment you are getting better at. So by becoming aroused by your partner by getting off to photographs or videos of them (or you with your partner), then you are deepening your attraction to them.
BellyBelly says: You can read informative and eye-opening articles and research on how porn can quickly become addictive and significantly affect your body, mind and relationships at the YourBrainOnPorn website.
#5: Experimentation And Openness
Sex with someone new is always the same… but sex with the same person is always different.
Have all of the darkest corners of your sexual psyche been explored? There's no better time to explore these than within the context of a committed relationship.
You can sit down with your partner and take twenty minutes to write down all of the things you have ever wanted to try sexually… then at the end of the session, compare notes and see if there is any overlap or things you would each be willing to try. Make sure you agree at the beginning of the exercise to have it be a judgment and shame free session. Whatever comes out is from the most vulnerable parts of you and your partner, so treat the information with respect.
BellyBelly says: If you feel this may be too confronting or if you feel insecure about doing this, it might be a good idea to talk things through with an experienced sexual or relationship counsellor first. What gets heard cannot be unheard, and if you’re in a place of insecurity, it can cause difficulties in your relationship.
#6: Have The Tough Conversations
… And have them outside of the bedroom.
It's easy for things to pile up when you are in a long-term relationship. Conversations about sex, money, children, morals, and religion can go unsaid until resentment starts to build up from one or both partners.
Lean into the awkwardness and have the tough talks. Bringing it up could be uncomfortable for a moment, but not bringing it up will make you uncomfortable for months (or years!).
Also, if there is unresolved sexual trauma in either one of your pasts, I would highly recommend talking to a therapist or coach that can help you process some of the stuck emotion that you have surrounding the incident.
While not being a registered psychologist, I have helped many people process PTSD, sexual anxiety, erectile dysfunction, past sexual trauma, and enabled them to help their partners through the same things. Verbalise your fears. You are far from alone.
Just The Tip…
We all have some elements of sexual programming that our friends/family/religion/culture have pressed upon us that aren't serving us. Make it a goal to look within yourself to see what your inner voice tells you about what is “okay” or not in your sexual self.
The truth is that there are as many sets of sexual kinks and preferences as there are people in the world. Sexuality couldn't be further away from the overly masculine perspective of ‘black and white' and it should be embraced as such.
It is my belief that the world is constantly in a state of ever-increasing openness.
The ink runs… the smoke leaves the fire and never goes back in… two lovers under a single white sheet look into each others eyes and are transformed forever…
So where do you need to open up and let others in more deeply?
How could you be more fully seen by your partner?
Set your intention, and walk confidently in the direction of your fears.