It is easy to assume our sex lives suffer in a long-term relationship. Mismatched libidos, stress and boredom can each play a part. But pleasure between the sheets doesn’t have to dwindle.
Author Isabel Losada has spent a year speaking to experts and attending workshops to find out what turns ordinary sex into good sex – and how to keep the spark alight long-term. Here, Isabel reports on her findings.
I was starting a new relationship and I didn’t want sex to be a low priority as it had been in my seven-year marriage.
Physical pleasure brings nourishment, intimacy, warmth and happiness into our lives.
So my new man and I decided to make it a serious and joyful priority.
Personally, I’m not interested in all the weird stuff. I have never considered being whipped, hung upside down, tied up or introduced to the idea of body piercings in strange places.
Author Isabel Losada embarked on a year-lon mission to find her spark
I’ve never wanted to have sex with other people’s partners or in groups and I’m not attracted by plastic sex toys.
I just wanted to learn about how to have good sex with a long-term partner. And my partner liked the idea of this year-long plan very much.
My experiment began with women-only workshops to learn to accept our bodies.
So often, we women are quick to judge ourselves, leading us to feel insecure. But learning to be happy with our bodies is necessary.
Could you stand naked and comfortable in a room of other women? If not, like me, then this practice is essential.
We had to lose our inhibitions very quickly. We are all beautiful in our birthday suits whether we are 18 or 80, I promise you.
After gradually learning to appreciate my body, I progressed to weekends away with my partner and other couples. Couples’ weekends are so beautiful and important.
The youngest couple we met were newly married. The woman was pregnant and they wanted to avoid their sex life falling off while they had young children.
The oldest couple were in their sixties.
This just goes to show that EVERYONE deserves good sex.
At the couples’ weekends, you are encouraged to work with your own partner in a series of guided exercises with others in the room. One of my favourites was learning to say “No”, “Yes” or “Wait”.
Using those three simple words can make a quality difference to our sex lives. Too many people have bad sex when they’re not really in the mood. The art of seducing your partner into being in the right mood is fun and needs effort and play.
Next, we stumbled on a practice specifically focused on pleasure for the woman. The man is taught the correct way to stroke a clitoris. No, I’m not making this up. The man is fully clothed with the lights on so he can keep focus on what he’s learning — and there is a lot to learn. This artform is well overdue.
The key points are to use lube and don’t stroke any more firmly than you would touch your own eyelid.
Keep stroking for 15 minutes and do not try and give her an orgasm, just explore the sensation for her and for you as the stroker. The upper left is the best bit to stroke. It’s like learning to play a cello.
Later, I met a tantric master who talked a lot about love, and expressing love through touch.
We’ve all been put off sex thanks to the pressure to make it a certain way.
Men are often told they have to be “harder, stronger, longer” and all that nonsense, while women are expected to constantly groan with pleasure.
The lies of the porn industry have made everyone feel inadequate. I pity teenagers today who think those performances are real. Just touch lovingly. Otis Redding had it right when he sang: “Try a little tenderness.”
Finally, I went to learn about breathing. Many of us have a tendency to hold our breath. Don’t.
Breathe deeply and you’ll feel more deeply.
Enjoy all the sensation in your body and really “listen” to any good feeling.
An intimate sex life is about making both your body and your partner’s body feel good. And sometimes that may end in climaxes and sometimes not.
Far too many couples become sexually estranged because they think they are “failing” in some way.
If you both feel good afterwards then that is good sex. Make real mutual pleasure a priority.
What better investment could there be in a relationship with someone you love?
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