It's safe to assume that many people want to have the best sex possible. Not just because it's fun and feels good, but because it's healthy. The list of benefits that come with great sex is a long one, including such gems as getting sick less and even being smarter. Basically, you want great sex in your life. Also, you totally deserve to have great sex.
As with everything, there's always room for improvement, and that includes sex. Even just a few tweaks can take your sex life to a whole other level and a good place to start is to work on your communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal. "Communication is a big topic with me," Love Coach and Host of Ready for Love Radio, Nikki Leigh tells Bustle. "And being aware with your partner."
Leigh also points out that that communication that you have with your partner should be kept positive. You can't expect great results, if you don't stick to a positive tone, along with addressing the things that feel good as a means to giving that necessary positive feedback. So what can you do? Here are some small teaks you can make for a better sex life.
1. Inform Yourself
"One of the most common questions sex therapists get across the board is 'Am I normal?'" Licensed Mental Health Therapist and Certified Sex Therapist, Kristin Marie Bennion, tells Bustle. "There are a lot of reasons behind people asking this question, but an important reason to understand is that women have all been inundated with misinformation about healthy sexuality since the 19th century! We still have a way to go, but more and more there are books and resources available to improve your knowledge like Emily Nagoski's, Come As You Are, written specifically about the latest in female sexuality."
Bennion makes a really good point. For far too long women's sexuality has been put on the back burner, while male sexuality has been championed. Even as recently as the 1970s, it was believed that women didn't have sexual fantasies. Granted, we can scoff at such a notion know, but the reality is that female sexuality still isn't embraced as fully as it should be, so it's important to find sex-positive resources and get yourself informed.
2. Verbally Communicate What Feels Good
As Leigh points out, positive communication is a definitely a tweak that you can make in your sex life. That is, if you're not already doing that. "Start with 'I love when you...' [or] 'would you...'" explains Leigh. "Offer positive suggestions, moan when something feels good, tell your partner when things feel good."
3. Don't Be Afraid To Tell Your Partner What You Want
In addition to verbally communicating with positive feedback and moans, cut to the chase.
"When it comes to partnered sexuality, it can be rather disappointing to know what you need to have a mutually pleasurable experience; yet, have a hard time telling your partner," says Bennion. "Being assertive in away that brings you closer is definitely one of those skills that require practice! Sometimes it helps to practice in less intense scenarios, like exchanging hand or back massages. Most partners want the experience to be mutually pleasurable, so the sooner you can make providing feedback about your needs and desires, the better it is for the relationship, as a whole!"
Bennion isn't alone in this opinion. "It's HUGE when you can be open and honest and non-judgmental with partner," says Leigh.
4. Be More Self Aware Of What Pleases You
As Bennion points out, no one comes into this world knowing their sexual preferences. It's all about exploring that aspect of yourself and understanding what it takes to get you off.
"Perhaps one of the most unsexy things I tell clients is that sexuality, like everything else in our lives, is a skill set and those skills require practice!" says Bennion. "This is particularly true for women... Getting curious about improving self-awareness with pleasure can be fun and exciting, especially when there is a new discovery!"
5. Understand Just How Far Non-Verbal Communication Will Get You Too
Whether it's because you can't vocalize what you want, for whatever reason (which is totally fine!), or simply because non-verbal can be a pretty sexy way to communicate, there are certain ways to approach that's comfortable for both you and your partner."
"Reach for your partner's hand and show them what you want," says Leigh. I love suggesting mutual masturbation with your partner — if you are comfortable with that; [it's a] great way to find out what each person enjoys. [Also] watch how partner reacts to your touches and your words... facial expressions and body language."
6. Know What You Want And Like
"When it comes to partnered sexual experiences, women often feel they are over-focused on the pleasure or preferences of their partner," says Bennion. "Some women enjoy this, others find it is an enormous barrier to the optimal erotic experience for themselves! It is important that women get curious about their own sexual preferences, such as location, time of day, sex position, foreplay; and sensory details, like lighting, clothing, bedding material, candle scents, and more. If you find that you are comparing your sexual experiences to your partner or friends, do your best to redirect your attention to your own experience and become curious about cultivating a rich experience designed just for you!"
7. Be Curious and Accept Your Partner's Curiosity
A big component in making your sex life better is taking chances and pushing the boundaries a bit. Many people have a bit of kinkiness in them and there's nothing wrong with sharing that with your partner and acting on it.
"Whether you are casually hooking up or have been together for twenty years, welcoming curiosity to the sexual experience can serve as the secret ingredient to a thriving sex life," says Bennion. "We never know everything there is to know about our sexual selves and we definitely don't know everything about our partners. Seeing the potential for new discovery as an exciting, interesting, and fun aspect of a life-long sexual adventure can be the perfect 'tweak' to better sex."
More than anything, tweaking your sex life means exploring, communicating, and knowing your sexual self — things that can sometimes seem easier said than done. But if these tweaks don't impact your sex life for the better, then it might be time for a serious discussion. If that's the case, Leigh strongly advises that this discussion not be in bed or while you're naked. Instead, find a neutral place, where you're both fully dressed. Being naked can add to people's insecurities and vulnerabilities so it's not the best time to have a serious talk. But if that's what it has to come to, don't avoid it. Both you and your partner deserve great sex, so do what it takes to get it.