10 Ways To Future-Proof Your Sex Life

10 Ways To Future-Proof Your Sex Life

Nothing stays the same as we age, and that includes our sex lives. But how we approach intimate moments can mean the difference between satisfaction and disappointment. That’s the premise behind Harley Street psychologist Dr Karen Gurney’s debut book Mind the Gap. Here the psychosexologist explains where we might be going wrong….

Understand The Orgasm Gap

“The orgasm gap refers to the well-researched fact that when women and men have sex together, the rate at which women orgasm is significantly less than men. Men reliably orgasm 95% of the time during partnered sex and women just 65% of the time – there is a real assumption that the male orgasm is an ‘essential’ and the woman’s is ‘nice to have’. The orgasm gap widens further in casual sex, where women can expect to orgasm around 16% of the time compared to men’s 95%. The orgasm gap is the impact of patriarchy in action, with men’s needs and preferences for sex being privileged over women’s in terms of what works for their anatomy.”

Rework Your Idea of Sex

“Social chat about sex tends to focus on how much sex people are having, or whether they went all the way (penetration), and very rarely how mutually pleasurable or even life expanding it was. This is important, as alongside making people who have infrequent but life-affirming sex feel like their sex life isn’t up to scratch, we know that frequent but unsatisfying sex is generally bad for desire. Less often do people think of sex as psychological, i.e. what’s going on in your minds or how you’re connecting with another person.”

Recognise It’s All About the Clitoris

“The majority of women can’t orgasm from vaginal stimulation without any additional direct or indirect stimulation of the clitoris – remember there’s more to sex than the penetrative. All orgasms are related to the stimulation of the clitoral complex in some way or another, either externally through touch to the gland of the clitoris, or internally via internal stimulation of the clitoris through the vaginal wall, an area sometimes referred to as the ‘G spot’. How most women masturbate – through external touch to the clitoris – gives us a good idea of the usual routes to orgasm for women. However, the female orgasm comes down to a complex combination of the physical and the emotional – it’s normal to not have an orgasm if you’re distracted by other thoughts and worries.”

Try Masturbation

“Research tells us masturbation is good for sexual response and sexual satisfaction. While it’s not essential and plenty of people have a great sex life without it, it does provide a good opportunity for people to enjoy their sexuality outside of a relationship, connect with their sexuality, discover what works for them, and trigger arousal and desire.”

Know That Age Is Irrelevant

“Your age doesn’t necessarily affect your ability to orgasm. Many people find that as they age they need more physical stimulation to get turned on, and for some this may make the time it takes to get to orgasm longer. In contrast, many women express more sexual confidence and less anxiety about sex as they age, meaning orgasms can be easier to come by. Due to the complexity of the mind body interaction, the age and desire equation isn’t always set in stone.”

Don’t Fake It

“Around 50-65% of women report having faked or regularly fake orgasms, and for a variety of reasons, including wanting to look like a ‘good sexual partner’, wanting to protect a partner’s feelings and to avoid conflict or explanation. However, faking an orgasm just creates the illusion women are just as satisfied by the way sex is happening as men are. Faking it also affirms the false belief held by society that most women can orgasm from penetrative sex. Faking it also does men a disservice, as it provides unhelpful feedback about the things that add to sexual pleasure, and leads to unrealistic expectations – in fact, studies have found that men consistently overestimate the number of women who reach orgasm and underestimate those who don’t.”

Remember Orgasm Isn’t The Goal

“Sex is more than orgasms, and there is plenty to enjoy without them. There are plenty of other emotional, relational and physical rewards that sex can bring that we should be aiming for as part of our sexual experiences. Yet research tells us that women report more satisfaction with their sex life when they have more orgasms, so while we shouldn’t see orgasms as the only goal of sex, we certainly shouldn’t discount their role in overall sexual satisfaction, either.” 

Talk About It

“Talking about sex is difficult, but couples who talk about sex have higher levels of sexual satisfaction than couples who don’t. The best time to have a conversation about sex is when you feel connected, close and content. Remember, it’s hard for all of us as we’re raised in a sex negative society, but as with most things, the more you do it, the easier it gets.”

Make Sex a Priority

“To have a great sex life, many couples will need to prioritise and make time for these aspects of their relationship. Make a concerted effort to prioritise time alone with your partner at least once a month. If you can’t go out because you have young children, dedicate a night where you do something fun together such as buying some paints and paint each other’s portrait, cook a recipe together, or play a board game.”

Forget The Sex Olympics

“Sex is not a competition where your body needs to be trained to do more and more. Pleasure is pleasure, orgasms are orgasms, and who cares how each of us get there as long as we have the knowledge about ourselves to get there. Good sex is about so much more than a technique, is so much more than a physical act. How you relate to your body, your relationship and yourself sexually are factors that will make sex worthwhile and sexual desire and satisfaction long-lasting.” 
Mind the Gap: The truth about desire and how to futureproof your sex life by Dr Karen Gurney (RRP £14.99, Headline) is out now.

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