How to be in sync with sweetie
Sometimes it happens: sex between two people starts off grand and then, unexpectedly, it becomes less satisfactory. What happened? Did sweetie lose his great lovemaking skills? Are we no longer sexually compatible? Are we in a rut? These are some of the questions one may wonder about. After all, great sex is one of the main components of a happy (and healthy) relationship! We spoke with sex therapist Ashley Lemieux on why pleasurable intercourse can go sour, and she offers her expert tips on how to make it good again.
Can someone really be bad at sex?
“The first thing to remember is that no one is inherently bad at sex,” explains Lemieux. “Some people are more comfortable and confident with their sexuality [compared to others], and that might make for better sex.” She explains that those who aren’t as comfortable don’t necessarily lack talent but, rather, may be too scared to show their vulnerable side. “Letting go sexually, showing our partner our wild or sensitive side, can be very scary,” says the expert. “And the more we grow close to someone, the more we have to lose, and the more we fear rejection.”
This can, thus, partly explain why some couples eventually go through a sexual rut after being together for a while. “They’ve found what they both like and have stopped exploring. And they do what they like over and over, until it gets boring. And, after a few years, telling your partner you might like something different can be scary for you and might feel like criticism for him,” states Lemieux. This leads to couples staying in this so-called boring place.
Can a sexual discrepancy between two people be a cause of unsatisfactory sex?
Discrepancy between partners can also be a source of dissatisfaction when it comes to sex. “Some people like [sex] more rough, [while] some people like it more slow,” says Lemieux. “The key is variety and, to a certain extent, compromise.”
Of course, she adds, no one should do something they hate or are uncomfortable with just to please someone else, but trying something that you enjoy less but that your partner loves (and vice versa) from time to time doesn’t hurt. “Rare are the occasions when two partners are so different in their desires that good sex between them becomes impossible, unless they refuse to sometimes leave their comfort zone.” If that is the case, sex will likely remain boring with your current, or any future, boyfriend. Variety helps to avoid routine, and heightens excitement.
Is being a better lover something that can be taught?
Says Lemieux: “Although self-confidence and comfort can’t be taught by someone else and is [something that’s] more felt, sex is a physical activity, and technique can be important.” An example she offers is that if the body is so tense that the person can’t easily move and breathe, it will be difficult for them to have fluid movements and, therefore, pleasurable sex.
If this is the case for some, Lemieux says deep breathing exercises can help: “They allow for a more relaxed stance and lower stress levels.” The expert also recommends learning to coordinate breathing with your hip movements, which can heighten excitement and offer better control of your orgasm.
What tips can you give a woman to (gently) bring up the topic to her lover?
The most important thing, advises Lemieux, is to not have an accusatory tone, and to remember that sex is something that you both share. “Talk about it in “we” terms, and ask yourself how you could improve your sex life,” she says.
Lemieux also recommends couples start putting in more effort into their relationships like they did when they first started dating. Evenings out on the town and passionate nights in the bedroom eventually get replaced with PJ-clad nights in front of the television and that’s when, she adds, “it’s time to try a little harder and capture some of that old romance!”
And how can a woman help her sweetie change during foreplay and/or intercourse?
“Sometimes, we tend to forget that our pleasure and climax is mostly our responsibility, not our partner’s!” she says. “The first thing to remember is that our partner cannot read our mind.” For example, a moan can’t be clear: is it one of pleasure or dissatisfaction? What Lemieux recommends is, if your partner isn’t touching you the right way, simply guide his hands and tell him when something feels good.
She also suggests using positive words: “It’s always better to say ‘This feels good!’ than ‘This isn’t working.’ Although, if it really isn’t working, you might as well say so [instead of keeping quiet]”.
Ashley Lemieux M.A. is a Montreal-area sex therapist with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology specialized in same-sex couples' romantic relationships and a Master’s degree in sexology specialized in vulvo-vaginal pain. She can be reached at 514-686-3410 and at firstname.lastname@example.org.