There's a lot of old-fashioned love advice out there that isn't really worth following today. It's even worse when it comes to advice on sex and intimacy. But according to experts, paying attention to old wives' tales that are actually true could be the key to having better sex and creating more intimacy in your relationship.
"Even though I’m thrilled some old-school sex talk is dead, there are plenty of timeless tips I will never stop sharing," Emily Morse, intimacy expert for SKYN Condoms and host of the SiriusXM Radio show and podcast Sex with Emily, tells Bustle.
For instance, one old-timey piece of advice that Morse really likes is, "only boring people, get bored." If sex isn't interesting, both people need to put in the work to change that, Morse says. "It’s not just your partner’s job to keep things fresh, it’s your responsibility, too." When things get boring in or out of the bedroom, it's easy to place all the blame on your partner. But keeping the spark alive requires effort from both of you. If you actively find ways to keep things fresh, you can have a really fun sex life and a great relationship overall.
Here are some other old wives' tales about sex and intimacy that experts say you should be paying attention to today.
1. The Way To Someone's Heart Is Through Their Stomach
"Since the dawn of time food has evolved from a bare necessity to a sensual, pleasurable experience," Dominique Karetsos, resident sex expert of MysteryVibe, tells Bustle. "So any opportunity to share a romantic meal with someone is a great precursor to bedroom intimacy." According to her, a romantic meal is perfect for building intimacy because it allows you to show love and affection, regardless of what your love language is. For instance, you'll be spending quality time together, you can share words of affirmation over a glass of wine, and if your partner is into acts of service, cooking them a meal can be a real treat.
2. Sex Creates Intimacy
Intimacy is a closeness that you feel with another person. "When we have sex, our body releases various hormones, including oxytocin, which causes us to bond with someone," relationship coach Crystal Irom, tells Bustle. "So we can go from feeling fairly neutral about someone to very attached quickly if we have sex." While sex isn't the only way to create intimacy, it can help boost intimacy in your relationship.
3. Foreplay Starts Outside Of The Bedroom
"Foreplay happens ways before an intimate encounter occurs, and some of the best foreplay happens outside of the bedroom," Michelle Fraley, founder and owner of Spark Matchmaking & Relationship Coaching, LLC, tells Bustle. These can be little things like flirty touches or glances when you're out together, or one partner making an effort to "woo" the other. "Doing these small things, which are not necessarily related to sex, can increase your level of intimacy even before you take things to the bedroom," she says.
4. Never Go To Bed Angry
Conflict with your partner is inevitable. But if you want to keep your bond strong, it's important to work out your issues before you turn in for the night. "The old wives were right when they urged us to work it out to at least truce-level before getting into bed," Carol Queen, PhD, author and sexologist at Good Vibrations, tells Bustle. While it may not be possible to resolve all of your problems before sleep, it can be better not to wait entirely until morning.
5. Eye Contact Is The Key To Connection
"As it turns out, extended eye gazing is strongly associated with relationship closeness, even in one-time sexual relationships," Nicole Prause, Ph.D., founder of Liberos LLC, tells Bustle. So don't be afraid to spend a few moments gazing into your partner's eyes before bed or even during sex. It can help to take your connection to the next level.
6. Don't Kiss And Tell
"This popular wives' tale is definitely one to keep in mind when it comes to respecting your partner," Karetsos says. "Being sex positive doesn’t mean you have to vocalize your sex life, and for certain people, sexual intimacy is enjoyed just the same when it stays between partners." In order to build intimacy, you need to have trust. If you can't trust that your partner will keep your private life to just the two of you, it's going to be hard to have a truly intimate relationship.
There's a lot of old-fashioned sex and intimacy advice that you don't really need to follow anymore. But these are some that can help you to have a good sex life and a close relationship.