When it comes to knowing how to have good sex, it can seem like a bit of a mystery. It can seem like some people always encounter it, while others are so nervous that they never seem to relax and really enjoy it. And it's tough, because it's not always an obvious fix. Because you can work on your positions, do your kegels, and practice until you're blue in the face (and sore everywhere else), but a lot of what makes good sex happens way before the sex itself. And I don't mean foreplay. It's just that a lot of your habits and your routines can affect your sex life and predict whether or not you'll be having good sex. And a big part of it? Your attitude.
"I’m a sex therapist, and can assure you it isn’t in your technique but in your attitude," Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, and psychotherapist specializing in intimacy, sex, and relationships tells Bustle. So your perspective on sex — and towards life generally — is a big indicator. But that manifests in some weird ways. Your attitude toward a lot of different things can actually predict how good you are in bed, according to experts.
Not sure how it works? Here are seven weird factors that predict whether you'll have good sex:
1. How Much You Talk About Sex With Your Friends
Yeah, obviously a lot of sex is the passion between you and your partner(s), but it makes sex a lot better if you're open about it — to your friends. "I think talking about sex with your friends can help normalize interests and behaviors and it can also spark your imagination," Sarah Watson, licensed professional counselor and sex therapist, tells Bustle. "Friends can encourage you to try new things and expand your horizons. In my experience most people aren't educated on how to talk about sex so starting with your friends in a loving and safe environment can be very helpful!" All this normalizing and sex-positive means fewer inhibitions in the bedroom... and saucy sex.
2. How Much You Make Eye Contact
If you're constantly staring into each other's eyes on those early dates, it's a good sign. Yeah, it might make your waiter uncomfortable, but there's a link between eye contact and good sex. "A great lover makes you feel as though you’re 'escaping' your worries and totally engaged with them. Engagement with eye contact, the way you touch them, and slowing down helps build excitement, making climax easy to achieve," Rapini tells Bustle.
3. How Much You Laugh
Being silly and playfully with each other outside of the bedroom is really good predicator of how it'll go inside. "If two people struggle with playfulness outside of the bedroom, they will VERY LIKELY have a mechanical (aka boring) sexual experience in the bedroom," relationship coach and founder of Maze of Love, Chris Armstrong, tells Bustle. "Couples cannot simply turn on the fun and expect fireworks if their chemistry prior to walking into the bedroom is flat." So while chemistry can be a kind of difficult thing to measure, how playful you are is a clear indicator.
4. How Honest You Are
It's all about the honesty. I know things like having a bad day or being constipated aren't exactly sexy topics, but being able to talk about them just may be translate into good sex. "If two people struggle with being honest with each other outside of the bedroom, it is VERY LIKELY that they will not be comfortable being honest with each other in the bedroom," Armstrong tells Bustle. So the more open you can be, the better place you'll be in.
5. How Messy You Are
Glory, glory hallelujah for all us messy folk out there. Some experts think that being able to be messy and less than perfect outside of the bedroom translates into better sex. "Let your sex life be less 'perfect' and focus instead on the physical and emotional experience of being open and connected to someone you love," marriage and family therapist Esther Boykin tells Bustle. If you're too high strung and perfectionist, then you're not going to be able to relax and enjoy sex for what it is. So maybe leaving laundry an extra day as some advantages.
6. How Mindful You Are
Mindfulness may sound like it's all about meditating and green juice, but being mindful and in the moment is actually a good indicator of being good in bed, according to some experts. “A great lover of any gender is enthusiastic, curious and fascinated by their partner’s responses," co-authors of Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships , Patricia Johnson and Mark Michaels tell Bustle. "Great lovers are willing to experiment and try things that may be a turn-on; they’re able to listen to feedback, and have healthy sense of humor. When all partners approach sex with these attitudes, the results are exponential. Rather that a give and take, lovemaking can become a great adventure of mutually taking each other into higher states of ecstasy.” Sounds like a win to me.
Designer Relationships: A Guide to Happy Monogamy, Positive Polyamory, and Optimistic Open Relationships , $13, Amazon
7. Your Coffee And Wine Consumption
While being healthy is a great way to be better in bed, weirdly your not-so-great habits may be a good indicator of how you are in bed. Women's Health reports that coffee intake actually helps women feel more aroused because of increased blood flow to the genitals and according to a University of Texas study it helps men have lower rates of erectile dysfunction. And if coffee's not your thing, research from University of Florence found that women who had at least two glasses of wine had higher sexual desire and lubrication than those who don't. Cheers to that!
Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; GIphy (7)
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