Have more connected sex

Aka: how to eliminate distractions

Written by Jennifer Hanson
Whether you’re abnormally tired, or stressed, or tired because you’re stressed, we can all agree that hot, steamy, intimate sex is low on the priority list right now. While understandable, there are ways to ensure your sex life is getting the attention it deserves. One of which: trying to connect more in-depth when you do get intimate with your partner. Read on for some evidence-based tips for staying in the moment during sex.

Set the mood

Picture two separate scenarios. The first: a bedroom in disarray with clothes strewn everywhere, sheets a mess and fluorescent lighting. The second: a tidy room with the bed made, low lighting, maybe some soft music playing. Which one is more appealing?
Although the first scenario sounds like how a room might look after a vigorous sexy romp, often we don’t take the time to make our environment sexually optimized. While an impromptu roll in the hay is never a bad thing, some thoughtful preparation never hurt anybody.
Of course, you don’t need to force yourself (or your partner) into the rose-petal-strewn type if it’s not your thing, but that’s not to say a clean room, better hygiene and solid communication skills should be lacking. Women cite psychological distraction as the number one hindrance to achieving orgasm, so taking a minute to tidy up is a relatively simple task that can help you feel more at ease in the moment.

Consider your partner

Often, what’s the most sexy, seductive thing to someone is a huge turn off to another, so take the time to consider what your partner would like best. Both of you would benefit from knowing each other’s love languages if you don’t already. Love languages describe the ways in which you enjoy receiving love the most. These include acts of service, physical affection and words of affirmation among others. You can ultimately avoid conflict and have a more satisfying relationship once you understand what makes your partner feel desired.
Don’t hesitate to talk about this and agree to be more conscious of each other’s actions. Effective communication boosts sexual satisfaction, and understanding how you communicate will only bolster that. Plus, noticing ways your partner aims to make you feel special will always help your relationship.
Setting the mood might mean planning a date night. Cook your partner a meal or get their favorite takeout. Watch a rom com you both like that brings back good memories. Evidence has shown that shared relationship activities like these have a positive effect on sustaining your relationship. Said study revealed that fun activities that increased closeness showed greater relationship quality, both immediately and long-term. However, both partners need to be mutually committed to these activities, or else the benefits aren’t guaranteed.
Strengthening your relationship in a fun way is your first priority. Once you can feel the mood is right and you can’t hold back, the next step comes into play.

Take it slow

For many people in heterosexual relationships, foreplay is what comes “before the good stuff.” This is not so. Foreplay, especially for women, is the marinade to get them ready for the main event. Most men only spend about 13 minutes on foreplay when women often desire more than that. As Esther Perel says, “Foreplay starts at the end of the previous orgasm.” So, think of flirty texts, meaningful conversations and sustained eye contact as foreplay in addition to whatever happens once you get your partner’s clothes off. Another reason to focus on foreplay? Women’s orgasms can be intensified with longer foreplay and more build-up.
As a rule of thumb, if you have a female partner, spend twice as long on things as you think you need to. Kiss for a while without groping below the belt. Add it to the mix after a few minutes, but don’t tear each other’s clothes off just yet. Don’t forget to deepen the connection by using eye contact and any sensual sounds you can muster. Sexual desire, arousal and response have been shown to all significantly improve with mindfulness techniques. Knowing what both you and your partner like while taking it slow can be the key to mind-blowing sex.

Mutual pleasure is key

Part of great sex is making sure both parties are thoroughly satisfied. While there’s more to sex than experiencing orgasm… it does feel good. In many instances one partner has an easier time reaching orgasm than the other, and that’s more than okay. However, if you’re the partner who usually comes first, make sure your partner gets there as well (if they’re able) by switching to other activities or encouraging them to masturbate. Bonus points: kiss all over their body, whisper how hot you find them into their ear or gently caress them as they’re self-pleasuring.
Of course, some people find it hard to experience orgasm at all, which is totally natural and healthy. In this case, shift your focus to closeness and sensory stimulation. And if you struggle with orgasm because of anxiety, Masters and Johnson’s Sensate focus exercise can help get you out of your head and into your body.
Also, give up on coming together. The attempt to orgasm simultaneously can put pressure on one or both of you that usually isn’t realistic, and can decrease the satisfaction you’d otherwise get. Instead of trying to get there at the same time, take your time ramping up to climax. Research suggests pleasing female partners is a top-three priority for men, and this is directly related to mutual sexual satisfaction. Orgasming, especially for women, is more like a marathon than a sprint, which is totally natural and healthy.

Bask in the afterglow

You and your partner are totally satisfied, and your heart is probably still racing as you both slump down on the bed. Now is the time to really feel your feelings about this moment. Make sure to open up to your partner and reflect on the parts you both liked. Don’t be shy in telling them or even suggesting new fun things for next time. Remember what we said about communicating?
It can be difficult to find the time and energy to connect with your partner, but sexual and relationship satisfaction are inherently linked, and when one is high, so is the other. This doesn’t need to feel like a massive effort if you make it more routine by learning what makes your partner tick. Slowing down adds to the connection and ensures you’re both getting what you want out of the experience. Try some of these tips with your partner and you’ll be on your way to deepening your connection.

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