Getting to Really Good Sex
So you are starting to understand the importance of talking about sex but what about actually having it? Read for more practical guidance!
If you have read all seven blogs in this sex series: well done! You’ve hopefully learned so much about why sex is so hard to talk about as well as some skills for actually navigating the conversation(s) that need(s) to take place.
Now, we can get fun with it!
Once talking about sex is no longer only difficult and awkward and anxiety-provoking, it can start being exciting, enlightening, and energizing.
Here are 125 great conversation starters from sexuality expert Esther Perel. These questions get at many of the issues we have touched on in earlier blogs.
Take a weekend or a week or a month or a year and ask your partner some of these questions - as well as answering them. Whether you are newly dating or have been married for 20 years, you are sure to learn something!
Why is sex even important?
Sex is good for us in so, so many ways: physically, emotionally, even spiritually.
Some (of the many) benefits include:
Lowered blood pressure
Increased sense of connection
Increased trust in your relationship
Sex for adults is like play for kids. And when we play, we have more zest and energy for life.
We are deeply social beings. Our nervous system is built to regulate in connection with others. Breathing and moving together - like when we’re dancing at a wedding, in a community yoga class or having sex - resets and regulates our nervous system.
It gives us vitality and life.
It makes us feel like we belong.
It helps us weather the storm, giving us hope and optimism.
Sex is also powerful. We are literally joining with another.
It can be a deeply spiritual and sacred experience. Whatever choices we make, seeing sex as sacred can help us protect ourselves, honor the other, and have the experience be a mutually beneficially rather than exploitative, abusive, or harmful experience.
The physicality of sex cannot be underestimated though.
Learning to be a good lover is a practical way to show attentiveness, thoughtfulness, and care to our partner.
Historically, female sexuality, has been given little attention but that’s changing. Dr. Laurie Mintz talks about the “orgasm gap” that exists within many heterosexual relationships and her book teaches people how to become “cliterate.” Sites like OMGYES bring scientific resources to people invested in female sexual pleasure.
The practicality of sex can’t be overlooked either.
Busy schedules, competing responsibilities, and multiple demands make it difficult for sex to happen organically.
And yet, many couples can feel some resistance when thinking about scheduling time for sex. “Doesn’t that reduce the magic?”
My response, “Doesn’t it create an opportunity for magic to happen?”
Anything worth having or pursuing requires intentional time and effort. Being in good physical health means, for example, taking time to cook healthy meals and move your body. It probably won’t happen completely naturally. It takes some thoughtfulness. Sex is the same. If sex is an important part of remaining close to your partner and alive in that part of yourself, it needs to be given a designated, consistent time.
“Sex often draws us into a relationship and then helps keep it alive. But what is ‘good’ sex?” asks Dr. Sue Johnson, renowned psychologist and creator of Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples. This therapy is based on attachment theory and states that a deep, safe, and attuned connection can make for really good sex.
She calls really good sex - Synchrony Sex - and differentiates it from the other two types:
Sealed-off Sex: The focus is on sexual gratification not emotional connection Solace Sex: The focus is on finding reassurance and easing anxieties through sex Synchrony Sex: When it (emotional connection, erotic pleasure, presence, etc.) all come together
Read more about these three types here.
Talking about sex (all the blogs before this one in the series) can help lead to really good sex.
Good sex is good for you.
Good sex needs to be prioritized and invested in - you get what you put in.
Good sex creates a feedback loop where it supports the overall health of your relationship (and adds to each individual’s health).
Win for you-win for your partner-win for the relationship!
That concludes this 8-blog series on sex. Hope you enjoyed it.
Enough reading. Time to practice!