Valentine’s Day: Not-So-Crazy Ideas for Better Sex

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It’s Valentine’s Day, and so many people are thinking about sex. Most people won’t do it tonight (there’s no day of the year when “most people” have sex), but in case you do, here are some tips you probably won’t read elsewhere. In fact, they’ll contradict some of the most popular advice. BTW, no equipment or weight loss is needed for any of these.

~ Have sex assuming you WON’T climax.

Now, what would make sex worthwhile? Without an orgasm to look forward to, you’re more likely to do stuff that feels good in the moment. The idea won’t be to build intensity toward a climax, but rather to enjoy the sex moment-by-moment-by-moment.

~ No matter what your body does or doesn’t do during sex, DON’T apologize.

Our bodies crank out smells and fluids on their own schedule. Some we love, others we, well, don’t love. Be sympathetic if you fart or drip or drool–afterwards–but don’t apologize as if you’ve done something wrong. And don’t disrupt the proceedings looking for forgiveness.

~ DON’T try to make your next sex the best you (or your partner) ever had.

That kind of performance pressure can only undermine the experience, rather than heightening it. To be enjoyable, nothing has to be the best of its kind–not a meal, not a Superbowl, and not sex. Comparing a given sexual experience to another from the past (like the fish that got away, that great sex you once had gets bigger and better with age, right?) is a recipe for dissatisfaction.

~ Only do activities during which your body is comfortable.

While our various body parts can fit together in marvelous ways, there are also ways that involve cramped wrists, twisted necks, aching backs, and sore this or that. And while those ways may involve sex that feels great for a few moments, sooner rather than later, we hope that something will change–our partner will climax, they’ll want to change position, or somehow the discomfort will go away.

I encourage everyone to find positions that don’t hurt, whether during sex or afterwards. It’s not the difficult, especially if people are willing to talk with each other. Neck or shoulder problems? Rearrange the bodies for oral sex. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome–not sexy, I know, but you’ll enjoy sex way more if you find alternatives to your favorite hand jobs.

By having only sex that’s physically comfortable, you won’t be in a hurry to “finish” anything or to “move on” to the next activity.

~ Find at least one part of your partner’s body that you enjoy caressing.

Caress it, making sure your partner enjoys it, too. Don’t worry if it isn’t a “sexual” part of their body. It is–because our bodies have no non-sexual parts.

This is especially valuable for people who are self-conscious about their body, or who are being sexual with someone who isn’t their preferred body type. If you don’t want to have sex with someone then just don’t; but if you’re going to, make it enjoyable for yourself. Enjoy a leg, a shoulder, a lower back, a calf. Touch a face or a butt–slowly, savoring every moment. Butts don’t know they’re “too big,” and calves don’t know they’re “too hairy.”

Let your hands celebrate whatever they enjoy. If you’re not trying to EXCITE your partner or yourself (that is, creating a future state), you can just ENJOY yourself moment by moment. Your partner can, too–with the body part you’re caressing, or by suggesting another.

~ Do NOT share your fantasies, nor ask your partner to do so.

Instead, tell your partner one thing they can do with their hand that would please you. And ask them to name one, too.

Talking about fantasies can be great fun–if both partners agree on a few ground rules. Like, Do you really want this? Is it OK for your partner to bring up your fantasy in the future? Can your partner share ANY fantasy with you, or only some? Will either of you become uncomfortably curious about which of your fantasies have been enacted in real life?

There are no wrong answers to these questions. But each one assumes a level of communication that some couples lack. That’s how sharing fantasies can lead to misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and even recriminations that may never be forgotten.

Sharing fantasies is for people who can talk about sexual topics like periods, herpes, bad breath, and realizing that they’re not in the mood right in the middle of sex. If you can do that, sure, bring in the Green Bay Packers or someone’s younger sister.

~ Whatever speed you typically go during sex, slow down.

Rushing through an ice cream cone, or a gorgeous sunset, or a peak at someone’s underwear? No one does that, right? So slow down during sex, and instead of creating more excitement, get more relaxed. Not the drift-away, nothing-matters kind of relaxed, but the open-to-things, really-present kind of relaxed.

You’ll either love it, or you’ll get excited soon enough–or both.

Happy Valentine’s Day.
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