There’s this idea out there that perfection can be achieved by way of a purchase. And while that may hold true for people enamored with products, whether they be electronics, apparel, or accessories, there are some things in life you simply cannot make better with a buy. Like sex. Specifically, good sex. Of course, that hasn’t stopped us from trying. The sex toy universe is worth an estimated 15 billion dollars. By 2020, experts expect sex tech to balloon into a $50 billion dollar industry. Certainly, people are investing in the sector. But even the priciest of toys can’t put a Band-Aid on unsatisfactory sex. The best sex, according to those who know best, is built on a foundation of basic, simple principles, such as the five listed below.
Enthusiasm Is Essential
Sure, it’s easy to act enthusiastic when aroused. It’s even easier to do so when sitting on the promise of pleasure. But it’s important to maintain that enthusiasm when the focus eventually falls on someone else. “Sex is more than just a series of acts and motions that unlock orgasms like a video game achievement,” says Andy Duran, the educational director over at Good Vibrations. “No one wants to feel their buttons pressed like a series of cheat codes.” So please, don’t just go through the motions when it comes time to pleasure your partner. Find ways to enjoy the task at hand. The polyamorists have a word to describe the feeling of deriving joy from someone else’s pleasure. It’s called “compersion.” And maybe it’s time it makes its way into a more monogamous context.
Intercourse Isn’t the Only Course
“Over 70 percent of women do not orgasm from intercourse alone,” says Duran. “Most require clitoral stimulation, either alone or during penetration in order to reach orgasm. Yet for most heterosexual couples, sex tends to end at penetration, and only after the man has orgasmed. This information is not to haunt you, but to empower you to see the bigger, fuller picture of sex, beyond just the fragmented images we’ve learned along the way.” Try to diversify the sexual experience. Put your fingers to work. Throw some oral into the mix. Let her show you what she likes. Tailor the sexual experience to what works for you as individuals, and as a couple.
Variety Is the Spice of the Bedroom
Getting married, for the most part, means signing up to enjoy the same sexual partner for the rest of your life. But that doesn’t mean you have to stick to the same sexual routine forever and always. Try bringing some novelty into the mix. Maybe that means getting it on in another room. Shower sex is always an exciting alternative to the traditional bedroom shtick. If finances allow, maybe think of booking a hotel room for the night. Or find a secluded spot in the great outdoors. The possibilities are endless. Get creative. Go to town.
Talk Isn’t Cheap
We’re a pretty chatty species. Except when it comes to sex. Americans, it seems, have a shockingly limited ability to speaking openly and honestly about their desires. Of course, not everyone has such a hard time navigating around the subject. But even those who do dare to “go there,” have a knack for doing so in the wrong place, at the wrong time. “Lots of folks think that communication in the bedroom means it has to be done in bed in the midst of sex,” says Duran. “We actually recommend that you make a separate date to talk about sex. This could be over lunch in a diner or a picnic in the park, but the point is to chat specifically about sex.” Duran suggests covering as much territory as possible, from dislikes, desires, to fantasies. Try drafting up a list of things you want to try, and also a list of things you don’t. “It’s much easier to trust someone’s ‘yes’ when you also know they’re comfortable enough to also say ‘no’ when needed,” he says.
In the words of RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else.” Of course, that sentiment extends far beyond the realm of drag. In almost any context, it’s important to find sexual value within yourself before you can sell it to someone else. Learn to appreciate what you have to bring to the table. Find comfort within your own body. Maybe that means spending more time in the nude. Maybe it means stepping up your selfie game. At the end of the day, confidence is contagious. The more you learn to appreciate yourself, the more likely your partner is to follow suit.