5 Small Things You Can Do To Make Sex Much Better

I think I messed up. Sometime in the hedonistic years that were my mid-20s, I perverted the awesome feminist message that it was important to take charge of my own pleasure: I got so good at my own pleasure that I forgot about the pleasure of my partners. Casual sex is, after all, essentially a selfish activity and I think I lost something pretty essential about connecting during sex in that period. I don’t regret it, because it’s not what I was looking for at that time, but my life — and especially my sex life — is at a very different point than it was even just a few years ago.

These days instead of waking up in random beds across the city, I wake up beside the same person every morning; the man that I love and have been monogamously committed to for over two years. Recently, I was thinking about the sex that we have and I realized that I could absolutely be upping my game in bed, but not in a “buy a stripper pole” kind of way. I probably would have been more likely to involve a stripper pole when I was single and sleeping around, actually, but the kind of changes I know that I need to make now are smaller and more subtle.

I want to be a great lover, the kind that makes my partner wonder what hit him every time we have sex. While I learned plenty of tricks and shortcuts while I was single that have certainly served me well, I’m embarking on a journey that’s all about taking the long way. It’s time, ladies. It’s time to go for the long game.

While this is all still very new for me, here are some of the initial things that I’ve realized need to happen if this life change is going to work. Take a look, take what you need, and leave the rest behind. After all, we all do it differently.

1. Look At Your Partner’s Face

Sex is often done with our eyes closed or in the dark or with our heads… Not facing each other. I’ve realized that if I take the time to look at my partner’s face while we’re getting intimate, he’s communicating a whole bunch of things that I wouldn’t pick up on otherwise. Sounds and body movements obviously help too but there’s something about a person’s face that communicates a helluva lot more than body language ever could.

2. Talk About It

Ugh, this one is the worst. Even me, a woman who talks about sex literally every day on the internet has a hard time talking about it with my partner. Talking about sex is scary and fraught with minefields but it’s absolutely essential if you and your partner are going to get on the same page sexually. A good way to introduce the topic is when you’re already fooling around. Say something like, “You know what would be so hot?” and then explain what you’ve been thinking about. Ask your partner to share their fantasies while you’re making out. And if you still need to go deeper than that, bring it up at a neutral time, like over lunch. Just make sure you have enough time to really hash it out.

Come As You Are, $11, Amazon

3. Pay Attention To How Their Body Responds

In addition to paying to what your partner’s face is doing, pay attention to what their body is telling you. Most people have involuntary responses when they’re especially turned on: a shudder, an arching back, a twitch. Figure out what your partner’s is and respond to it when it appears. You’ll notice a change in their pleasure practically right away.

4. Don’t Rush To Your Orgasm

This is one that I’m definitely guilty of. While my boyfriend insists that the fact that I’m a two-minute woman is actually awesome, I’ve found that not coming so fast gives me time to focus on him. Whereas before I was rushing to my orgasm because I knew that I was probably the only one who was going to make it happen, now I have a partner who is attentive and committed to helping me get there. Yes, I can come on my own and I will absolutely still help out, when needed, but I’m not making it a race anymore.

5. Try Not To Perform

The easiest shortcut for getting a guy excited is to porn-perform. Exaggerated moaning and furious f*cking are go-tos for arousal, but they also detach you from the person you’re having sex with. Instead of trying to look and act like a hydraulic fuck machine, let your body respond naturally to things that are happening to it. Breathe hard if you feel like breathing hard; moan if it feels really great; scream if you want to scream. But if you don’t? If you’ve just been doing that because, well, it works? Stop. Be quiet. Move gently. Listen to what your body wants and your partner will, hopefully, hear it too.

So these might seem like tiny things and, honestly, they are. But I’m learning that all of those little things really do add up and create something big.

Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page.

Images: Giphy (5); Fotolia