Our society has so many myths and taboos about sex that it can be hard to know what’s acceptable and what isn’t, especially if you feel like there’s something missing. But instead of seeing sex as something that shouldn’t be addressed, take a new approach. Improve intimacy by not only focusing on your partner but on your relationship with yourself, too.
The more you integrate different parts of yourself sexually into how you are outside of the bedroom, the more whole you’ll be as a person, say sex and relationship experts Mike Lousada and Louise Mazanti who are also the authors of Real Sex: Why Everything You Learned About Sex is Wrong (Hay House). Here’s what Mike and Louise have to say about intimacy, mistakes in the bedroom and how to improve it all…
Common mistakes couples make in the bedroom – and how to fix them:
1. Believing there is a ‘right way’
Many men and women come into our therapy rooms asking if we can teach them sexual techniques to make them better lovers. But there isn’t a right way to have sex; there’s no defined sequence of events or actions that make for good sex.
It is the flow between qualities of touch and connection, and the change of pace from fast to slow and back again that creates a pleasurable variety of sensations which make for good sex.
Read more: 8 secrets sex therapists want you to know
2. Ignoring your fantasies
If you have a fantasy about a particular scenario, it represents a part of your sexual self that hasn’t been fully expressed. It’s a great idea to write out your fantasies – you don’t even need to act them out.
And when you share them with your partner, ensure they know it’s because you want to bring more of yourself into the bedroom and experience passion with them.
3. Making an orgasm the only end goal
If having an orgasm was the only point of being intimate, then people who were able to climax quickly would be considered the best at sex. This clearly isn’t the case!
Having an orgasm is just one part of sexual experience. While it should be pleasurable, it does not hold any greater significance than any other part of sexual engagement. If you let go of orgasm as a ‘goal’ you make space for other experiences of sensation and connection.
4. Not being able to communicate
A lack of communication causes some of the worst damage in sexuality. Even if we’ve been happily married to our partner for years, we may find ourselves doing something because we don’t want to hurt our partner’s feelings, or out of a sense of duty.
Communicating well is vital because most of us feel hugely vulnerable about our sexual self and can be hurt by comments that trigger us into feeling shamed or not good enough. Try talking to your partner with a deeper intention, such as ‘I’d really love to feel more connected with you, so could we try X or Y like this?’
5. Going too fast
Society at large tells us that we should do more, do it faster, and do it now. All these messages may lead us to feel we should speed up, and that packing in more experiences, more work, and even more play is good.
But in sex the opposite is true. The faster we reach orgasm the less intense and satisfying it will be. Slow down to increase the erotic tension.
Read more: Natural ways to boost your libido
6. Not knowing your zones
The primary erogenous zones are the lips, tongue, nipples, and areas of the genitals. But don’t forget about your secondary erogenous zones that include the face, neck, hair, ears, the inside of the elbows and wrist, and behind the knees. The stimulation of these areas can create a huge amount of pleasure and sexual response.
7. Worrying about your body image
Your body image is often affected by the relationship you have with your sexuality. So if you allow yourself to deeply connect with your body you will experience it in a different way.
Being critical about weight, scars or hair means you can’t fully embrace your sexuality. When you are ashamed of – and therefore disconnected from – your body, you don’t give any attention or awareness to the sensations of pleasure from secondary erogenous zones either.