METERThere are messages about sex everywhere: from advertising to pornography to social media feeds. But they rarely feel inclusive, consensual, and focused on pleasure. I am here to change that. My goal is to get people to talk more confidently about sex.
I spent five years teaching relationships and sex education to youth at the sexual health charity StreamAnd while it is vital that these messages are communicated to teens, they should not start and end at school. Wherever you are in life, there is always more to learn.
The underlying message of so many tips is: “Buy this and your sex life will improve.” As we begin a new year, I encourage you to spend time in your sex life, not money. It’s about feeling connected and empowered through sex play, not constantly pushing boundaries. Here are some ways to inject joy into your sex life.
Create an environment where desire can thrive. For most of us, this means a comfortable and safe place, where we feel able to communicate our needs (although if you are into outdoor getaways, be my guest). Turn off the phone, try to put everyday stress aside and, if you have something on your mind, acknowledge it: with your partner, a friend or with yourself. Communication is key.
The best quality for good sex is curiosity. Be playful with your touch and remember that not every move you make has to be mind-blowing. Consensual contact given with care and curiosity will always add something pleasant to a sexual experience.
Trying out new acrobatic positions is overrated Variations on the classics work way better than anything that can risk slipping a record. Rather than reinventing the wheel, think about the sensation you are looking for (lots of body contact; room for direct stimulation) and choose a position that provides it.
Stop having sex just before going to sleep Actually, this comes from my mom and it’s a game changer. If you wanted to improve in any other activity, would you wait to do it at the end of the day, when you are devastated? Absolutely not. Sex in the evening can be lovely, but I (and obviously my mother) advocate sex in the afternoon whenever possible; makes things relaxed and forgiving.
Avoid chasing an orgasm I’ve been guilty of making sex so goal-oriented that I forget to enjoy all the things that lead up to the grand finale. Try to avoid preconceived notions of what is going to happen before you start, and stop focusing on what you can carry; it’s best when it’s in the moment. Oh, and a penile orgasm doesn’t automatically indicate the end of sex, okay?
Good sex involves lube – the notion that you shouldn’t need it is outdated and useless I like to think of it as the best sex toy, because whatever you do, a good dose of lubrication is guaranteed to change and increase sensation. If you’re not using it, what are you doing? And if so, try using even more.
Believe on the importance of solo sex Masturbation is a space to enjoy your own pleasure and explore new sensations. If you’re in a relationship, it’s easy to feel like your sexuality is tied to your partner, but it exists in its own right. Investing the time to explore this on your own is a way of claiming agency on your pleasure. Also, everything you learn can be communicated to lovers for better sex as a couple.
No sugarcover the challenging stuff Sex does not exist in a vacuum: stress, parental duties, mental health, body image, all of these and more can affect our ability to feel desire. There are many difficult and painful things that we have to overcome that we cannot shy away from. It may seem counterintuitive coming from a sex educator, but it’s okay not to feel sexual; Desire ebbs and flows – remember to be kind to yourself.
And here’s the problem: stop thinking about how should have sex and focus on what to wish for sex and pleasure As long as it is consensual, there is no wrong way to have sex. Throw prescribed do’s and don’ts out the window and focus on having fun.
• Sex Education: A Guide for Adultsby Ruby Rare is published by Bloomsbury.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism