What's The Secret To A Happy Sex Life? The Top Things People Want In Bed

If you're not feeling totally satisfied with your sex life, it may be time to explore what can make it better. The first step might be the hardest, but it will also be the most rewarding: Be honest with your partner. Wanting to change things up isn't a reflection on either of you, it's just something you want to do.

While what you're doing may have been great, at first, over time its appeal can lessen. "Repeating the same behaviors in a predictable manner can reduce their associated pleasure," Astroglide's resident sexologist, Dr. Jess O'Reilly, tells Bustle. "Research shows that dopamine levels can be twice as high when rewards are unpredictable, so change things up and watch your pleasure soar."

To see how satisfied people really are with their sex lives, EdenFantasys.com, a sex toy shop, recently studied 1,000 American relationships. Turns out, 34 percent of participants rated their sex life below satisfactory. In fact 16 percent of people said that their sexual partner rarely or never satisfies them. Women were significantly less enchanted than men with 12 percent deeming their sex life boring, compared to only five percent of men. They also found that participants felt the biggest barriers to a better sex life included lack of foreplay, sex that was too short or too long, and lack of communication.

The study also discovered the 10 things people think are the key to making their sex life better. Here's what people want to change or incorporate into their sex life.

1More Sex Positions

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Sometimes the key to a better sex life is just changing up your position. And for the majority of survey respondents this was the one thing they wanted to change up their sex lives. Whether you make modifications to your go-to moves or try something completely new, there are tons of options out there. If you're looking for something completely adventurous try one of these.

"Many of the positions that I recommend are ones where a woman can tease herself and have control over penetration as well as rhythm," intimacy expert Dr. Dawn Michael tells Bustle. "Woman on top is one of the best positions, especially if [your partner] is on a couch leaning backwards. She can raise herself down or up, controlling the speed and motion. She can also use her thigh muscles to control the depth and hold on to his shoulders for balance."

2Sex Toys

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According to the survey, 19 percent of people are too shy to bring up sex toys to their partners. However, 49 percent said sex toys would make their sex lives more pleasurable. (Do keep in mind that this survey was done by a sex toy company). But if it's something you're curious to try, bring it up to your partner and suggest giving it a go if they're comfortable with it too. After all, sex toys can make a big difference in your sex life. “Many women and men use sex toys, and research suggests that those who use them actually report higher levels of sexual satisfaction,” says Dr. O’Reilly.

3Longer Intercourse

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While, on average, men can orgasm in as little as five minutes, women need significantly longer. The average woman takes 20 minutes to orgasm during sex. If you're not feeling satisfied with your sexual experience, it may be that it's not lasting long enough. If you're looking to make sex last longer, talk to you partner about making some modifications, then you can try taking it slower, changing up your usual techniques or trying one of these positions.

4Foreplay

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Lack of foreplay placed in the top three for why participants were unhappy with their sex lives. Experiment with different techniques and see how each effects how you feel after sex. Or try just make foreplay the main event sometimes.

According to a recent study by the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at The University of Indiana, only 18 percent of women can orgasm from intercourse alone This is why foreplay is so necessary — and should possibly even be prioritized. "When couples can enjoy all of the wonderful sexual experiences that have nothing to do with intercourse it can also create deeper intimacy as well as add spice to the relationship," says Michael.

5Change Of Venues/Rooms

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If you've been getting down in the same bed over and over, it may be time to get a change of scenery. Whether you take it to the car or go somewhere you've always fantasized about, even to a different room in the house, it can be enough to add that extra thrill.

6Dirty Talk

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If you've never engaged in dirty talk before, it's normal to feel intimidated. Try talking with your partner about what turns each of you on and then incorporate it. The key is to get out of your head and just say what you feel.

“Dirty talk can be a great tool to turn each other on, IF and only IF you have discussed what you like and want to hear,” Sarah Watson, LPC and Sex Therapist, tells Bustle. “Everyone has a different erotic template. It is important to know your own and always ask your partner if that is something they would like during intercourse or foreplay.”

7Porn

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If you and your partner are each turned on by porn, try watching it together. It may even give you some ideas on things to try. If you're wondering how to bring it up start simple. Couples Counselor and Dating Coach Samantha Burns, LMHC tells Bustle that something like this would work: "I was thinking that maybe we could mix it up a bit and watch some videos to inspire us. I think that would be really hot, and just the idea of it makes me want to put my hands all over you."

8Costumes

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Step outside of yourself and take on a character for the night. Engaging in role play can give you the opportunity to try new things while losing the awkward feeling since you're "not yourself." The question here is, who do you want to be?

9Other People

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If each partner feels comfortable and has strongly agreed, than you can broach the idea of bringing a third person into the bedroom. Threesomes are a very personal choice and it's important to make sure neither of you feel pressured into it.

10Shorter Intercourse

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On the flip side, it appears some participants think shorter intercourse is the key to a better sex life. As you can see how long sex should last is really all up to you. There's no right or wrong answer. Whether you like it short or long, it's all about what you enjoy and that you're comfortable.

You deserve a totally satisfied sex life and a partner who works with you to make that happen. Communicate with each other and see what techniques work best for you. At the end of the day, just have fun — that is what it's all about.