The ONE Thing To Do For Your Sex Life Each Day
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that there are about as many tips in regard to having better sex out there as there are snowflakes, give or take. It can start to feel overwhelming, especially since many suggestions conflict: Talk dirty! Don't talk! Be submissive! Be dominant! So I asked sex experts of all stripes: What is the one thing to do for your sex life daily?
There were some parameters for this query. This one thing had to be simple: If you're going to do something every day, it has to be about as painless as brushing your teeth. But it didn't have to be about sex itself — rather, it had to enhance sexual intimacy in a relationship. Interestingly, of the five people who passed on their recommendations to me, none said anything expressly about sex. Their suggestions varied, but they were all about things to do to improve life in general, which leads to a better sex life. I guess if life is good, sex is good. If only everything were that simple! Anyway, from getting real about money to rolling around naked to practicing downward dog on the regs, here are five different clues for how to have a baller sex life ASAP.
Psychologist Nikki Martinez says that her "one thing" is unexpected, but it's tried and true — and super sweet! "The one exercise that I do that keeps couples connected and makes them want to be intimate and close with each other is to tell each other every day (could be spoken, text, e-mail) one thing that they appreciate about each other," she tells Bustle. I love this.
Though this is unexpected — most people think of sex-related activities when they're trying to spice up their sex lives — it's genius. As a result, both parties "feel appreciated, connected and noticed," she says. "Who would not want to be with someone who makes them feel like that?!" Totally. I challenge everyone in a relationship to try this every day — even if it's just for a week.
Put It In The Cal
"It" doesn't necessarily need to be sex — but sex and relationship counselor Julie Jeske tells Bustle that a 15-30 minute calendar invite for intimacy will do a ton for your sex life. If you want to get your partner involved, cool, but this is about you. "Set a reminder," she suggests. "It sounds silly and not very 'sexy,' but the truth is, people are so busy that sex and pleasure can often fall off the radar." Don't let that happen. We schedule everything from meditation to phone calls in our calendar, and everything in between — why not intimacy?
"People really want sex and desire to be spontaneous, and often worry that scheduling something will take the passion or mystery out of it," she says. "However, we schedule anything else that is important to us — doctors visits, exercise, time with friends." Truth. So find time daily to "cultivate intimacy," she suggests, however that might look to you.
Some options from Jeske:
"Send your partner a sexy text. Spend some time fantasizing about sex. Read some erotica. Do some research online and read some articles about sex. Spend that time talking with your partner about sex and what you both desire. Masturbate. Desire begets desire, passion begets passion, pleasure begets pleasure. And if you don't have 15 minutes, you can commit to five minutes."
Pretty smart. I bet if we all did this every day, we'd all be in better moods — and would have a lot more fun.
This might seem obvious, but before you skim over this one, wait: Shamyra Howard-Blackburn, a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in sex and relationship therapy, tells Bustle that hanging out naked is the best way to connect with your sexual side. Stripping down is "the one best thing I recommend every human to do to enhance your sex life," she says.
But this is not necessarily about sex in and of itself, Howard-Blackburn says. It's about your experience of your own body. "Not only should you get naked, but you should look at your body in a mirror, paying close attention to your genital region," she says. "Get a hand-held mirror and explore where the sun doesn't shine." This will put you in closer touch with your own body, which should enhance sex in general. "Get to know your body, appreciate how different it is from everyone else's," she suggests. "Learning to appreciate how perfect your body is, flaws and all, can contribute to a healthy, happy, adventurous sex life."
It's common knowledge that it's a good idea to be active to stay healthy, but founder and CEO of matchmaking service Dating Boutique Amanda Rose tells Bustle that yoga is where it's at if you're looking for a hotter sex life. "It opens your hips, is sensual, creates flexibility and is also wonderful for mental clarity," she says. "All these factors increase intimacy." Anecdotally, I've done a lot of yoga in my life and I feel as though everything is better when I'm doing it on a regular basis, so I'm on board with Rose's recommendation.
Talk About Money
Another unexpected tip: "You want a hot, intimate sex life? Know how to talk about money with each other," Emily Bouchard, who has a master's in social work and is a certified money coach, tells Bustle. "Couples cite differences about money as the number-one source of conflict in their relationships," she says. Less conflict leads to better sex, since nothing is a turn-off like resentment.
"It doesn't matter how little or how much money you have," says Bouchard. "Nothing dulls a sexual appetite faster than unresolved, repeated arguments about finances." If you're angry with your partner or they are pissed at you, your sex life will suffer. "Understanding and knowing how to relate effectively about your budget, your spending, your debt, your savings and investments will serve to have you trusting each other more and feeling more intimate and adventurous in bed."
Bouchard adds this anecdote for illustration:
"One couple I worked with hadn't slept together in years. Once they learned about how their 'money patterns' were creating ongoing resentments and unintended hurt, they were able to shift old habits, replacing them with new, daily ways of honoring and acknowledging each others' approaches, while also handling differences of opinions with respect and ease. And their desire for each other returned and became better than they could remember."
Three cheers for that. Turns out your sex life can be improved by doing things that seemingly have nothing to do with sex.
Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our video on sex positions for small penises:
Images: Andrew Zaeh/Bustle; WiffleGif (6)