What’s the secret to becoming a better lover? You’d be surprised at how many people of all different ages and stages ask that question. When you were a kid, you may have gotten “the talk” or been given a book about how your body changes, including the mechanics of intercourse. Did you ever get the manual on how to please your partner? Ah, your parents probably skipped that one.
Let’s keep the conversation here real. The reason why so many people have the same question is because being a good lover is subjective. What works for one person or couple won’t necessarily work for another. Not to mention that needs change over time. Some women I know are so tired that they would choose sleep over intimacy in a heartbeat. That probably wasn’t the case for them five years ago.
Whether you’ve always wanted to step up your bedroom game or just need to get your groove back, I’ve got you. Here are eleven tips for sending you and your partner on your way to experiencing more sexual satisfaction.
1. Talk about what you can do differently
Telling you to communicate with your partner about sexual preferences, or anything else in your relationship for that matter, is pretty cliche. That’s nothing new. So you won’t be surprised when I tell you it’s time for a good heart-to-heart if you’re looking for a different type of intimacy.
Talking is especially important if you’ve been with your partner for a long time or experienced a significant life change like having a baby. You may be taking each other’s desires for granted because you’ve been using the same positions and moves for so long and neither of you mentioned trying something new. Remember, you may not be the only one jonesing for a change. You won’t know unless you open the topic for discussion.
Broaching the topic of sex isn’t easy for everyone. To make it more comfortable, think of the three T’s of communication: timing, tone, and turf. I recommend finding a place to talk outside of the bedroom such as during a walk outside when you’re both feeling relaxed. Staying in tune with your partner’s feelings by avoiding phrases such as “you never,” and “you don’t” will keep the conversation positive and productive. I could talk for a while about the three T’s. We’ll be sure to circle back and discuss this topic more in the future.
The takeaway is to remember that talking about how to be a better lover doesn’t mean that your relationship is broken. It means that you’re working together to build a stronger one.
2. Be patient while you get on the same page
Maybe it’s been a particularly rough week. You were traveling for work and came home to discover a leak in the basement. You’re mad because the insurance company isn’t sending out an adjuster fast enough, and sex is the last thing on your mind. Your partner, on the other hand, is thinking, “Hmmm, I really missed her.” If this happens to you, it’s okay to cut yourselves some slack.
As we discussed in tip number one, remember to keep the lines of communication open and talk about how you will prioritize your relationship. The house will get repaired, and life will go on. Don’t make sex feel like something that needs to be checked off your list, but just as your house needs to be maintained, remember that intimacy is the framework of your relationship that needs continual nurturing.
3. Know what you like and want
Are you good at reading minds? Probably not. Your partner probably isn’t either. If you don’t know what you like or what will make you feel good, it will be difficult for your partner to satisfy you, and vice versa. There’s an easy solution. Give each other some pointers.
If you don’t already know what turns you on, you won’t have much to share. This is when I recommend experimenting with different masturbation techniques. Once you know what arouses you, you can have fun teaching and sharing. Be open-minded when the table is turned, and it’s your partner’s turn to teach you. If some ideas are too far out of your comfort zone, I recommend making a yes, no, maybe list. There are bound to be a couple of ideas on the list that you’re both willing to test out.
4. Find ways to manage your stress
If you or your partner are too anxious or stressed out to relax and enjoy some quiet time together, it’s time to get some help. Yoga and meditation are great options, but if they don’t work for you, don’t hesitate to consult with a professional. It never hurts to have an impartial person help you work through your problems.
5. Get out of your routine with some new products or toys
When sex gets to be the same old, same old, or if it isn’t that satisfying, it may not seem worth the effort. If that’s the case, something as simple as a scented lubricant, an erotic book, or a new toy may be what you and your partner need to reignite the fire.
Before investing in anything new, discussing what you and your partner would like to try is a good idea. You both want to be excited about the prospect rather than feeling pressured to try a gadget that doesn’t make one of you comfortable.
6. Change up the time of day
A lot of people I know have very full days working and taking care of kids. By bedtime, they’re out of steam. The good news is that there isn’t a rule saying that sex has to happen at night.
Early morning or afternoon romps can be just as fulfilling as evening sex without the pressure to rise to the occasion after a long day. A hormone called oxytocin releases when you orgasm and can help couples bond. It also helps head off depression and is associated with happiness levels. You can head off to work or spend the rest of the day basking in the post-sex glow.
7. Jump in
Some couples that I know have a ten-minute rule. For example, if you’re not in the mood, but your partner is, try kissing and fooling around for ten minutes. It’s usually just enough time to get aroused, even if you’re worn out after a long day.
8. Schedule date nights
Scheduling date nights seems like a no-brainer. It’s fun to get dressed up, have a night off, and rekindle the magic you felt when you first started dating.
Was your week especially busy? Does giving the kids dinner and getting them settled before you leave stress you out? There are those nights when even getting showered and dressed feels like too much work. If that’s the case, you have a couple of choices. First, you can power through. Once you leave the house and get a minute to relax, you’ll likely appreciate the time alone with your partner. Then, you can bring the romance home.
The other option is to get creative with your date nights. Rather than go out, stay home. If you have kids, send them to a family member or friend for a few hours or the night. Call Doordash for dinner, enjoy a candlelit bubble bath, and take your time indulging each other in your guilty pleasures. Enjoy the peace, quiet, and alone time, no matter what that looks like for you as a couple.
9. Have a quickie
A quickie could be just what you and your partner need if you are particularly busy or tired. Not every encounter has to last for hours to feel good. A quick thrill has more benefits than you probably realize. Not only will you and your partner have something to bond over, but you’ll also burn calories and sleep like a baby, thanks to the prolactin released during orgasms.
10. Get off your electronics
This one probably seems like a no-brainer, but we’re probably all guilty of bringing our phones, iPads, or computers into the bedroom at night at one time or another. If you or your partner find yourselves doing this often, it’s time for a digital detox.
The reason is that the blue light from your devices can suppress melatonin production, so it’s difficult to fall asleep. Plus, your electronics take away time you can spend bonding with your partner. Think about it. If you have an hour before lights out, you can spend that hour searching through Instagram to look at photos of your friend’s vacation to Tahiti, or you can spend that time nurturing your relationship with your partner. Which is more important?
11. Rule out medical issues
Being too tired and rundown to engage in sex can stem from various causes. It’s easy to blame being overworked or sleep-deprived, but there can be medical reasons too. If you’re especially fatigued, make sure to consult with your doctor. Low iron, thyroid deficiency, Vitamin D deficiency, perimenopause, and other medical conditions can affect your energy level and interest in sex. If that’s the case, your doctor can help you feel better and get back in the game.
Now that you have some new tools in your arsenal to amp up your sex life, I want to leave you with one very important thought. Sometimes trying new techniques or stepping out of your comfort zone can be just plain awkward. That’s okay. Remember, it’s all how you choose to look at the situation. Laughing about a knee to the head or another silly moment gives you something to bond over. It helps you become more comfortable with yourself and with each other. Not to mention that you’ll feel safer experimenting because neither of you will worry about being judged. Isn’t that what being a better lover is really all about?