And no, trying to find love on Tinder is not one of them.
Do you remember the first time you had sex? Was it memorable at all or were you just trying to get the deed done so you weren’t the only virgin in school anymore? That’s sort of how it goes in high school.
Sex is one of those ephemeral, esoteric things that people tend to have a hard time navigating, by and large. It’s partially because we’ve been taught culturally that our bodies are shameful, sex is scary, and that lust is a sin. It’s not our fault, it’s simply the paradigm that we’re born into.
Europeans rave about nude beaches, they even bring their kids to them! It’s perfectly natural to have a conversation about a (European) football game while simultaneously avoiding eye contact with grandpa’s own wrinkly foot-balls. (Extra points if you look and don’t squirm or make a face.) Bodies are not shameful, everyone has one, and they are all beautiful!
Sex is also a deeply personal journey, and it’s hardly ever a clean one. From teeth-clinking, to pubic hairs in the mouth, to absurd-seeming fetishes, interpersonal connection is highly sought after, but hardly understood.
Now I’ve been around the block quite a bit, but I’ve learned a thing or two about the in and outs of the old old in-n-out. It certainly isn’t everything I’ve learned, but I’ve compiled a list of seven habits you can cultivate to having better sex in your live, now. Let’s dive in.
I don’t mean talk dirty (unless you’re into that, and I highly suggest it) but true intimacy starts from “hello.” You can tell a lot from a person by starting things off light and fluffy. You can glean information from someone’s body language, to the way they carry themselves, to how comfortable they are telling you stuff about themselves. It doesn’t take much to pick up on someone’s energy, it just takes practice.
In a time where real connection is replaced with digital approximations, there’s just something to be said about having a good old conversation about the weather. Or whatever you want to talk about (movies, music, and television shows are a personal go-to for me.) Finding things in common with another person this way lays the foundation for a deeper, more personal connection with your partners and the people you meet in general.
“In a time where real connection is replaced with digital approximations, there’s just something to be said about having a good old conversation about the weather.”
2. Establish Boundaries
There’s a reason that, in the BDSM community, having an agreed upon safe word is common practice. It allows for the safe communication of pain thresholds and establishing personal boundaries within an activity. (Mine was always “lumos,” thank you.) If there wasn’t a safe word established beforehand, I’m sure there would be a lot more people walking around with black eyes and broken skin than there are now.
Establishing personal boundaries goes hand-in-hand with starting any sexual relationship by sharing common interests. This, in turn, builds trust with your partners and allows for the free expression of what’s tolerable and what is painful. Pain = Pleasure, and understanding what hurts is good for the body as well as the soul.
“Pain = Pleasure, and understanding what hurts is good for the body as well as the soul.”
3. Be Romantic
Romance isn’t dead! People have just forgotten how to do it. We’re always so busy with work, and life, and the daily chores that we forget how to slow down and just simply be in a special moment and fully experience it. It’s really quite zen if you think about it. Why wouldn’t you want to bring a little zen into your home or your relationships?
Just because you’re having a one night stand doesn’t mean you can’t be romantic about it. Light some candles, burn some incense, share a glass of wine on the couch beforehand. There’s nothing wrong with slowing down and creating a little bit of magic before you share your bodies with one another. Romance is simply an exchange of a memorable moment and making someone feel welcome in your space shows a lot of character.
“There’s nothing wrong with slowing down and creating a little bit of magic before you share your bodies with one another.”
4. Take It Slow
Not every encounter has to be a “wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am” type exchange. That makes everyone involved feel a little cheap and that can be damaging to the ego. Some of the best sex I’ve ever had didn’t even involve any penetration. The sensation of touch is an aphrodisiac in itself, and it sets off a chemical reaction in the brain that mimics that of pure ecstasy.
Massage is a useful tool for this. It would behoove some folks to take a massage class or two in your lives. If you have a partner, maybe take one together! This can also double as romance! Look at that, killing two birds with one stone. And you thought you weren’t efficient!
“Some of the best sex I’ve ever had didn’t even involve any penetration.”
5. Be Vulnerable
Dudes have a really hard time with this one. Listen, sex isn’t always pretty. Navigating any relationship is hard without having to worry about boundaries, feelings, personal baggage, or past traumas, or anything else for that matter. It’s almost like navigating a war zone while trying not to step on any landmines. An almost impossible feat without losing a few fingers and toes in the process.
There’s something to be said about taking a risk and laying all your cards out on the table (in a healthy way!) You don’t want to fall into the toxic trap of manipulation or trying to cause harm or annoyance because your expectations were let down. There’s a healthy way to express your feelings that can show a level of maturity that may not end up with a love connection, but maybe leads to a more stable version of you. This also connects to establishing personal boundaries. Another 2-for-1 deal, you’re welcome. You’ll be receiving my bill later.
“Navigating any relationship is hard without having to worry about boundaries, feelings, personal baggage, or past traumas…”
Sex is personal, it’s also very scary because we’re not taught how to properly explore ourselves sexually. This leads to repression, compartmentalization, or even bottling of said desires that leads to frustration and lashing out. Nobody wants that, and especially not in a relationship. People crave freedom naturally, and having the freedom to sexually explore safely while simultaneously understanding personal wants and needs (I.E. boundaries) leads to more fruitful, exciting, and adventurous romps in the hay.
Masturbation is an example of something that some people may grow up feeling is a source of shame. Everyone does it and it’s perfectly natural. Without autonomy of our own bodies, or freedom to explore ourselves, it is almost as if we’re trying to fly while being stuck in a cage. Who wants to go their whole lives with their wings clipped? Not me.
“Having the freedom to sexually explore safely while simultaneously understanding personal wants and needs (I.E. boundaries) leads to more fruitful, exciting, and adventurous romps in the hay.”
7. Be spontaneous
Over preparation often leads to unrealistic expectations, and when we have high expectations, shit goes sideways real fast. You can really create a memorable experience by being fully present and willing to have fun with it. It helps if you have an open-minded partner, of course. That always helps.
It’s not exactly romantic (again, another two-fer!) to input a sex appointment into your google calendar. However, allowing a little bit of wiggle room in your strict schedule frees you up for more random acts of spontaneity. Make it a moment, even if it only lasts for 5 minutes or less, you’ll always remember that one time you had sex with your partner alone in the woods during a hike. (Or something like that. You get the idea.)
“You’ll always remember that one time you had sex with your partner alone in the woods during a hike.”
Sex is a vibration; it is energy in motion, and it is the closest thing we have to truly connecting with someone else on a different wavelength. Hell, it may as well be classified as a science at this point. It’s been proven! Everyone vibes at different frequencies of course, and we’re all trying to feel what it’s like to be human. So why don’t we slow down and try to match another person’s frequency, fully, for even just a moment. After all, it’s all just vibes, we may as well try to make them good ones.