A very important part of any committed relationship is your intimate life. I like some of these tips from YourTango expert/therapist Julie Orlov, who shares how couples can improve and maintain a healthy sexual connection. Here are the most common missteps both men and women make in the bedroom.
1. Expecting Your Lover to Read Your Mind
As far as I know, there is not a single person alive who is an actual mind reader. Sure, books and television make it appear that men and women are all sex expert, who know just the exact right thing to do that will blow your mind. But in reality, each person can vary in terms of what pleases him or her. What rocks one person’s mind, may be a complete “meh” to the next person.
The solution? Communicate. Let your partner know how they can please you. Be specific and concrete. If you’re sitting there thinking “Oh, that’s not the right spot.” or “I wish they’d do this.”, say it. Nothing good will come from keeping it to yourself. If you think talking might take you out of the mood, you can always try to communicate with your body what things you like and enjoy. However, sometime, whether it’s during or after, words may be needed to truly communicate what you like.
If you’re not able to communicate well what you’d like, then show them. Gentle ,but clear direction will be greatly appreciated. Your partner wants to please you. You just need to tell them how.
2. Being a Passive Partner
This shows up in a number of ways (including number one above, for that matter). Some examples of being a passive partner include, not initiating, not communication, laying still and expecting your partner to do the majority of the work, etc.
No one wants to have to run the show all the time. Take turns being in charge, and swapping back on forth between foreplay. Don’t always wait for one partner to initiate, you should both be willing to show the other person you want them. Everyone enjoys being seduced every now and then.
Be willing to try new things. No one wants to have the same meal for dinner night after night after night. Learn to get comfortable being out of your comfort zone — you just might discover new pleasures that you and your partner will both love.
3. Expecting Your Lover to Perform on Demand — Anytime, Anywhere.
Contrary to what some people will have you believe, not everyone, especially men, has an instant “on” switch for sex. Everyone is entitled to be tired, stressed, not in the mood or interested in just cuddling every now and then. When that happens, don’t take it personally. Try to be understanding. Cuddling and massages can be great things to do during these times instead. They promote feelings of intimacy while also helping your partner to relax and destress.
Respect the fact that just because you want sex doesn’t mean your lover is wanting and willing to perform on demand. However, if you want to try and get them in the mood … remember that foreplay and seduction works the same way for him as it does for you. Slow, subtle, not so subtle, creative and varied approaches are the key. Just be sure not to be too pushy. A little bit of nudging can be okay, but being overly pushy and not being respectful of your partner’s feelings can make them shut down even more.
It is important to be sensitive to the moods and needs of your partner. Know when to back off and respect their “No, thank you” and learn how they like to be touched before, during, and after sex.
4. Talking During and After Sex
Not that kind of talk, if you know what I mean. Let’s face it sometimes when we know how to talk and we know when we have a captive audience and you’ve been getting comfortable in your routine, it’s easy to take that time to want to talk through things. However, going over needs, complaints, schedules, problems, etc. isn’t exactly the kind of fun talk your partner is probably looking for. In fact, many people find this a huge turn off.
The bottom line? Stop it. Turn off any non-sexy talk. This is the time to connect with your partner in tactile ways. Get out of your head and into your body and let your partner do the same.
Save the more serious stuff for your cuddle sessions.
5. Not Taking Care of Your Hygiene
No one wants to kiss someone with B.O. and bad breath. Even if they love you.
Many people complain about their significant other’s hygiene, especially when life gets busy and they start getting too comfortable together. Some people stop getting ready when they’re staying home, and instead start to only get ready when they are going out.
So here’s my suggestion on this one. Simply be aware of your overall health and hygiene. If you know you are going on a hot date with your honey get ready for them. They’re the most important person in your life. Don’t save all of your self care for other people.
6. Assuming that Women do not Have the Same Sex Drive as Men
Don’t believe for a minute that women don’t like sex or want sex as much as men. Sex drive is an individual experience. Some woman have very high sex drives, some men have very low sex drives. This myth of women all having low sex drives while all men have sex drives that are out of control has got to go.
If your significant other is turning you down and you feel as though your needs aren’t being met, the first thing to ask is how can you make it better for them. Are they doing okay mentally? Is there something you could improve while you’re intimate to make it better for them? Is their health good? Are their hormones balanced?
A lot of times a low sex drive, especially if your partner wasn’t always that way, is tied to other health concerns that probably should be looked into. By checking in on these things, you may find that your sex drives both improve. Of course, even then, some people may still just have higher sex drives than others.
7. Lack of Foreplay
No everyone is ready to go from 0 to 60. Even when they are, quickies all the time can get old. Take the time to engage in foreplay. Really let yourself explore your partner’s body. There are so many different options for foreplay. Explore them together and discover what you both like and how much you prefer when you’re together.
For women, foreplay often happens outside of the bedroom as well. The more attentive you are to her overall needs, the more connected she feels. The more connected she feels, the more responsive she will be to sexual advances.
So if your mate is tired from a long day and you are in the mood for sex, run a nice hot bath, put the kids to bed, and your odds of changing a “leave me alone” will increase.
Nurturing your partner is the best aphrodisiac you can find. Be a great partner to your mate and your mate will be a great lover in return.
8. Only Doing Sex “Your Way.”
Oftentimes, one partner tends to take the lead in sexual encounters more than the other. And sometimes, even when the other partner does take the initiative to do sex differently, they are redirected to how their partner wants it. Their partner may not even realize that they’re doing this. They may be stuff in a loop of thinking that they was they are doing it is the only way of doing it.
Sometimes this can be a match and sometimes it is not. They may love what you love or they may prefer something different. Each person tends to have their own preferences on how they like to have sex. Make sure you find out what pleases your mate and if you both prefer something a little bit different, take turns having sex each of your ways.
Let your partner run the show from time to time, make sure their needs are being met, and you may be pleasantly surprised.
Create a safe space from which to try different things and create an intimate connection. Hot sex, tender sex and anything in-between is all great when it comes from a place of love and intimacy.