As a life coach, I am often asked by clients about their sex lives. And not just in the office. Sometimes I can’t walk down the street without someone stopping me with a question; my neighbor, the guy who fixes my sink, random people who may have read my blog. In my previous home, even the UPS guy appeared without a package; he just wanted to talk. Now while everyone’s story is unique, the questions are often familiar, if not the same. So, as we approach the New Year, I thought I would share with you the top five questions I generally receive:
“They are uncomfortable talking about sex
because they don’t want people to think they know about it.”
~ Sue Johanson
From the guys:
How do I slow things down during intercourse?
Premature ejaculation (PE) is the most frequent sexual complaint reported by men. It affects roughly one in three men. When a man ejaculates too quickly during sex with a partner, unless he is a jerk, he will feel like a terrible lover. His partner may consider him selfish. A swarm of other self-defeating emotions can be thrown into the mix as well, e.g., shame, resentment, and inadequacy, and they only exacerbate the problem.
While PE can be upsetting to men and to their partners as well, a big part of the problem with PE is the way we look at it. In our sexual mythos, we applaud women who can reach orgasm quickly (and, often, repeatedly) and yet glorify men who can last like the Energizer Bunny in bed. We’ve somehow made “fast” a good thing for women and something likened to the end of the world for a man.
What if we thought of PE in the same way we do the same fabulous sexual responsiveness and body-sensitivity that we admire in women? It would indeed take pressure off the guy—and his private parts—which, in the final analysis, is half the battle in managing PE. The truth is, a variety of methods can help a man gain more control over when he ejaculates. And there are plenty of ways to enjoy satisfying, responsive sex if the guy does reach orgasm earlier than desired.
Attitude, as the old saying goes, is far more important than aptitude, and it’s really true when handling PE.
From the women:
Why can’t I have an orgasm during intercourse?
The female orgasm inspires more discussion than perhaps any other subject when talking about sex. From “mercy fakes” to multiple orgasms and everything in between, the subject of female orgasm gets a lot of attention, really a lot considering it lasts about five seconds.
Orgasm is often considered the measure of success for sex. Many men, and women alike, consider orgasm to be the good housekeeping seal of approval when a woman enjoys herself. If you think about it, it’s no wonder in this pressure-cooker environment that many women have trouble with orgasms at one time or another in their lives. While the majority of women reach orgasm easily through masturbation (unless their early upbringing ruined that, too), many women find themselves distracted or unable to do so during partner sex, or simply can’t reach orgasm at all as a result of a health-related issue or other issues during different times in their lives.
Ultimately, the how, what, why, where, and when of the female orgasm starts, and ends, with the woman herself. For many women, the connection and intimacy of sex may be just as enjoyable, if not more enjoyable, than the actual orgasm. For other women, sex just isn’t sex if it doesn’t finish with an orgasm. Orgasm ability is affected by everything under the sun, from physical health, psychological health, the state of your relationship or lack thereof, how things are going that day, what’s happening in bed, and many more factors. A woman’s orgasm is a precious thing and it’s important to respect that, as well as enjoy sex for the many other wonderful things it has to offer.
How can I make sex less painful?
According to results from the recent National Survey of Sexual Health, nearly 1 in 3 women experience pain during sex. While some of these women may have “vulvodynia,” a condition marked by chronic vulvar pain, it’s more common that everyday issues like vaginal dryness or specific sexual positions cause a woman’s pain during sex. Thankfully, a little lubricant can make many sexual experiences more pleasurable than for previous generations. Today there are more lubricants available than ever before, and they are more widely available than even five years ago.
Another way to decrease discomfort is to increase the time spent during foreplay. Not only can foreplay increase vaginal lubrication, but it can also help pull the uterus upward, making more room in the vaginal canal, and thus reducing the risk of a guy will hit the uterus during deep thrusting.
Is it possible to cheat without having sex?
Absolutely! Emotional infidelity is the new threat to modern loving relationships. An emotional affair starts as a friendship, often with coworkers or ostensibly harmless online relationships, and slowly evolves into something more dangerous to the relationship. A gradual blurring of the lines between friendship and intimacy draws even happily committed people into relationships they never saw coming. Many of us have the vision of infidelity in which one partner starts a torrid sexual affair and selfishly lives a double life until it all comes crumbling down. It doesn’t always work that way.
In fact, emotional infidelity couldn’t be more different from that model. This relationship leaves many couples unexpectedly vulnerable to its destructive consequences. A couple’s best defense against emotional infidelity is to learn about it, then fortify their relationship against it. Attraction is only one component of an emotional affair. In order for attraction to devolve into an emotional affair, a person has to also develop intimacy and, ultimately, a feeling of connection with the person that displaces their current relationship.
In other words:Attraction + effort + intimacy = emotional infidelity
What can my partner and I do to break out of a sex rut?
Research indicates that more than 40 million Americans are stuck in a sex rut, and more than 52 percent of us are discontented with our sex lives. It’s easier than you might think to get stuck in a rut during in a long-term relationship. After all, for most of us, the most exciting part of a relationship is at the beginning, when we’re falling in love and hormones fill our veins. It’s a time filled with freshness and opportunity, hot and heavy romance, and even hotter and heavier sex. But, after being with someone for a while, things calm down and, if you aren’t creative, get boring. In the book 52 Weeks of Amazing Sex, The author advises couples to try to have sex at least once a week. Keep in mind though, it’s also quality, not just quantity that matters.
Sex is like any exercise; you have to work all of your muscle groups to get a good workout. Likewise, there are different types of sex. There’s sex that’s loving and tender, enhancing emotional intimacy, and then there’s sex for the sake of sex; you have it because it feels good and relieves stress. There’s also sex that taps the power of fantasy and proves once again that our minds are our biggest sex organ, and there’s sex that plays to all of our various senses—sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. So give yourself a sex workout at least once a week. You get to pick the kind that suits you and your life.
Those are just the top five, but questions from people can go on and on. In the end, everyone wants to know if they’re normal. Try and remember that when it comes to sex, the only thing that’s universal is that everyone is different, even if we experience similar issues. If you have more questions about your sex life, feel free to read the book I mentioned, or better yet, speak to a coach.
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Frank Hopkins is a life coach in Baton Rouge who is certified as a Professional Coach (CPC) by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). Frank has helped numerous people to go through emotional change in a way that is positively transformative.