Sometimes, we can point toward the reason sex isn’t enjoyable for us. Maybe our partner’s technique is off, or maybe we’re not that attracted to them. But once in a while, the sex just isn’t great and you don’t know why. You could blame it on bad chemistry, or perhaps something you can’t put your finger on. Whatever it is, it sucks when you can’t enjoy sex as much as you did with previous partners, especially if you don’t know what to do about it because you can’t figure out what’s wrong.
"Chemistry between two people is mysterious,” Rhonda Milrad, LCSW, founder of online relationship community Relationup tells Bustle. "It is hard to know exactly what makes it work, but undoubtedly it involves primitive parts of ourselves — our unconscious mind, our innate biological processes (secretion of hormones), and our sensory experiences. When the spark is there, it is there! And when it isn’t, it is really hard to create it.”
Chemistry isn’t always a good indicator of how compatible we are with a person, though. So, bad initial chemistry isn’t necessarily a reason to give up on a relationship. Here’s what you can do if the sex is lacking for no particular reason.
1Talk To Your Partner
Avoid statements along the lines of “my last partner was better than you,” but there are ways to talk to your partner about how to make sex better without implying it’s currently deficient, Sexuality and Relationship Coach Georgia M. Hill, MA tells Bustle. You could start by asking: "What turns you on? Am I doing what you like in the bedroom? Do you have fantasies or desires we haven't explored yet?” she says.
2Identify Your Turn-Offs
Sometimes, we feel too guilty to even ask ourselves what it is that’s unappealing to us. But if we really look at it without judging ourselves, we may be able to figure out what about the sex we don’t enjoy. "For example, if there is a smell (e.g. body odor) or something visual (e.g. body hair, facial hair) or something that is not working for you (e.g. their touch is too passive) and you can recognize it, then there is a chance for that to be corrected,” says Milrad.
Getting a little adventurous can go a long way toward improving your sex life. "It is possible that you are not connecting in bed because your likes, preferences, and techniques are just different,” says Milrad. "It may be helpful to experiment sexually by thinking outside the box and trying something that ignites your sexual passion and creates a common love language.” A few things you could try include sex toy shopping and tantric sex workshops.
Non-sexual forms of physical activity can often ignite a sexual spark. Exercise releases endorphins that can up your attraction, so try hiking, running, dancing, or working out together. "You may find that engaging in a physically challenging event and watching sweat drip off your partner can awaken dormant sexual energy,” says Milrad.
5Look Beyond Sex
Sometimes, we’re dissatisfied with the sex because other parts of the relationship aren’t working for us. “Consider other parts of your relationship and if it may be blocking your desires in the bedroom,” says Hill. "Is your partner not satisfying you in other places in your relationship, like emotionally or other practical, day-to-day needs?” When we don’t feel totally comfortable with our partners, we may end up holding back in bed.
6Remember, All Hope Is Not Lost
Good sex takes work. And just because you haven’t put in that work yet doesn’t mean the sex can’t be great once you do. "Do your own exploration and take responsibility for your own pleasure,” says Hill. "Sometimes sex takes time and energy for it to be satisfying.”
Don’t get me wrong: Lack of sexual compatibility is a valid reasons to end a relationship. But if you’re willing to work on it, there’s no reason to give up.