Ideas about sex that may negatively impact your sex life.
There are so many sex facts and myths that you've probably lost count by now. But most of those myths hold no merit whatsoever. Here's a second look at old unquestioned ideas about sex that may be negatively impacting your sex life.
1. Lube is for old people.
Actually, lube is for anyone who wants to have a lot of sex. Or sex in a short amount of time. Or anal sex. Or sex with a condom. Or sex when they are feeling a bit stressed and their body is not keeping up with their libido. You see where I am going with this, right? Artificial lube is a great thing for your sex life and it will serve you to get comfortable with it.
There are so many reasons why a woman’s body may not lubricate as quickly or as much as she might like, and these reasons are not limited to menopause or post-menopause. Simple medications like antihistamines can impact one’s vaginal lubrication, as can stress, exhaustion, distractions. And men’s bodies don’t provide lubrication at all, so artificial lube is important for men as well.
One reason lube has gotten a bad reputation is that people have used it poorly. A little goes a long way, so start experimenting with a drop or two. You want to avoid having so much lube you no longer feel any friction. Also, experiment with different types, there are a lot to choose from now.
2. Once you learn some tricks, you suddenly become a great lover.
Sorry to burst your bubble. I know there is a lot of appeal in the books and articles promising to teach you the moves to be a great lover or how to turn on any man or woman. While it is good to know anatomy and common erotic zones, the problem with the idea of learning sex moves is that it ignores that fact that being a great lover means being in tune with your partner. Sex is not a choreographed activity, it is an improvisational dance that asks you to listen and respond to the other participants.
So what skills will make you a better lover? Work on listening and observing body language. Work on being present to your own experience and pleasure so that you can share that with your partner. What really works for one partner may not work for the next. And our bodies, moods, and erotic appetites constantly change, so what really turned your partner on last week may be different this week.
3. Sex without an erection is not sex at all.
First of all, there are many lesbians out there with hot, satisfying sex lives who would disagree with this. But let’s say you do include a penis or two in your sexual play. It may be that penetrative sex is your preference, your favorite part of the sexual interaction. And you may prefer a hard erection for your penetrative play. However, there is so much more to sexual interactions than just your favorites.
Many of us have been heavily influenced by thinking that sex equals penetration. Foreplay is all the stuff you might do to reach the penetration, and once the erection is gone, sex is over. Well, that is only one model of sex and it is a pretty limiting one.
Great sex can include intercourse or not; it can start with “foreplay” or finish with “foreplay”; it can include one person orgasming right away and one person later or not at all. There is no real reason for sex to start in one way and end in another.
Our bodies are available for physical pleasure and our minds and hearts stay available for closeness and connection whether there is an erection or not. And men, in case you are wondering about your own satisfaction without an erection, did you know that you can still orgasm without an erection? Your penis still feels sensation and pleasure.
4. Toys are for when you don’t have a partner.
Certainly, sex toys are great for when you don’t have a partner available. And many people’s time between relationships has been improved by the growing selection of sex toys out there. However, toys work just as well when you use them as part of play with a partner and they can open up whole new ways to be sexual with each other. Toys can allow for experimentation and discussion of what feels good where.
Masturbating privately, even when you have a partner, can enhance your sexuality with your partner. How could that be? Well, sexual satisfaction and orgasms can serve to increase your libido. If you know how to satisfy yourself, it is empowering and that feels sexy.
Can sex toys do things that the human body can’t provide? Sure, some of them offer very intense stimulation, but that is no reason to make them the enemy. Including sex toys and mutual masturbation in your partnered relationship can enhance your sex life by opening new doors and let your sexual pleasure be more out in the open.
5. Scheduling sex is unsexy.
Trying to cram sex into a busy schedule is hard to feel sexy about. However, scheduling time to have a relaxed sexual encounter can be very sexy and great for your love life. One reason this isn't considered sexy is because people who really feel like they can’t have sex whenever they want tend to look forward to it as something special. They may fantasize throughout the week, prepare for it in some way, primp to look and feel attractive and sexy.
With clear external reasons getting in the way of sex, it actually can make it easier to show that you are making sex a priority. Let’s face it: no one is going to feel good about scheduling sex with someone who is clearly preferring to watch Real Housewives than make time for sex. If scheduling sex begins to feel like a battle or power play, then it will probably not increase your sex drive.
So make your scheduled sex time something to look forward to by planning enough time and privacy to feel relaxed and so that you can connect. Think about it throughout the week and remind each other that you are looking forward to spending sexual time together.
Melissa Fritchle, LMFT is a Holistic Psychotherapist, Sex Therapist and Gender Specialist in private practice in Capitola, California. She is also a vibrant sex educator and writer who speaks to people about positive sexuality and relationships worldwide.