4 Disastrous Sex Mistakes All Couples Need to Avoid
Has your sex life hit a snag? You may be making some mistakes that are killing the mood. The Cheat Sheet spoke with sex educator Andrea Renae to learn some of the major don’ts when it comes to having amazing sex. Here’s her advice for some behaviors you’ll want to avoid.
1. Taking a one-size-fits-all approach
There’s no magic formula that everyone must follow in order to please a partner in bed. Each person has his or her own desires and will respond differently to various techniques. What worked with one person will not necessarily work with another. Take time to learn what makes your partner feel good.
“We’re often sold the lie that there’s a certain way to be ‘good at sex,’ and if you’re not doing that specific thing, you’re doing it wrong. That’s just not the case. Everyone truly is a special snowflake, and has their own set of specific needs for how and when they’re touched, what turns them on, and what gets them off,” Renae said.
2. Not communicating
If you want to have explosive and satisfying sex, you’ll need to learn how to effectively communicate your wants and needs. Your partner isn’t a mind reader. Renae advises being honest and open about what you want: “We need to be able to communicate these needs to a partner, and in turn, they need to listen and learn your body, and vice versa.”
3. Not knowing what you want
You won’t be able to effectively communicate your wants and needs if you don’t know what they are. Explore your body, and learn what you like. Renae says taking time to discover your likes and dislikes will make it easier for you to clearly relay your needs to your partner.
We usually aren’t taught how to communicate our sexual needs, so it’s no wonder why so many people struggle this way. The first step to communicating your needs is learning how to recognize your needs. Masturbation is a great way to figure this out. Use your hand, a vibrator, or another toy to feel around and see what feels best to you.
Not everyone feels comfortable masturbating, and that’s OK too! You can also explore with a partner by having him or her touch you in different ways, stopping every so often to see what worked and what didn’t. You can do this during regular sexy times, especially if you have a partner you trust to help with this. Or you can set aside a separate time to play around and see what works. Sex educator Kate McCombs calls this “sex labbing.” Encourage your partner to also explore themselves or to have you help.
4. Not being clear about boundaries
While some are content with any “anything goes” approach to sex, others are not. You have to know your sexual boundaries and relay those boundaries to your partner before you’re both swept up in the heat of the moment. Renae says this discussion should take place well in advance.
When you’re already in the moment, it can be hard to remember limits we’ve set for ourselves, because we’re just so turned on. Or we might not state our needs as effectively as we would with our clothes on. My good friend and colleague, Victoria Reuveni, created an image that says “never negotiate naked,” and I agree. The first time we discuss our sexual needs to a partner before trying something new, it needs to be in a non-sexualized situation.
In a lot of my work, I use a communication tool called the yes/no/maybe list. You can find different versions online. There’s even an app version called Mojo Upgrade. This helps you figure out and communicate things you want to try out with your partner and match up their results with yours. Then you can negotiate if and how you will go about trying that type of play.
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