As someone who went through her own sexual awakening at the age of 32 and subsequently realised she’d been having bad sex for more than a decade I can’t tell you to do any one thing to make your sex life better.
There’s no magic pill to fix it. Unsatisfying sex lives happen for multiple reasons:
1. You're incompatible with your partner. This can be sexually, emotionally, mentally, physically, you name it.
2. You lack confidence in yourself.
3. You think sex is perfunctory and not fun.
4. Your partner is lacking something.
5. The mind is willing, but your body won't cooperate.
There's no one reason for a bad sex life, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution, either. Medical issues should be addressed with your doctor. Disliking your partner is a topic for another day. If the issues stem from confidence, communication, or the way you think about sex, there are some things you can do to have a better, more satisfying sex life.
1. Get honest with yourself.
Now is the time to figure out why sex hasn't been great. Are you faking your orgasms? Is there something you don't enjoy but think you should? Hell, is there something you really like but think you're not allowed to enjoy? (For the record, this can be anything from masturbation to hardcore kink and everything in between.) You're going to have to do some soul-searching and get real about where you believe the problem lies.
I'm a big believer you can never talk too much in a relationship. Unless you're only looking for one-night-stands, you need to keep the lines of communication open in and out of bed. This goes for the married-for-20-years types and the newly-single-oh-shit-I-just-met-someone-new crowd. How much you share may be dictated by how long you've known the person, but either way, you'll need to speak up. You only get what you want and need by talking to your partner. Likes, dislikes, interests, past issues – it should all be on the table.
3. Try new things.
You don't have to do this one with a partner. There are too many websites and too many toys that cater to solo fun these days. And for those of you who are trying to heat it back up after years of stagnation, there are plenty of things to try together. Role play, toys, light bondage – think of it like an adult amusement park and you need to try all the interesting rides. You're going to have to let go of any shame you have about sex or your sexuality at some point. Trying something new to you or your partner may help you get there since neither of you will have any expertise.
4. Let yourself have fun.
Sex shouldn't be all serious. Let's face it – bodies make funny noises, muscles cramp up, and sometimes you run out of steam. Laugh it off and either keep going or move on to something else. You might feel embarrassed because that sound came from your body in the middle of hot and heavy sex; laugh it off and eventually, the embarrassment will fade, especially when you see that your partner could care less and is laughing with you.
This isn't a mission to Mars. You don't need a battle plan to get through sex. Start with what feels good to you and pay attention to the reactions you get. If the evening ends with multiple orgasms, great. But if it ends with a little foreplay and a cuddle before you go to sleep, that's okay too. All that matters is that you and your partner enjoy yourselves.
In my experience, letting go of what we believe to be true is typically the biggest step in having better sex. There are plenty of myths out there about sex, and any one of them could be holding you back. Remember, sex is fun and enjoyable. The power to have better sex lies within you. Changing your outlook could change everything.
This post originally appeared on Divorced Moms.