TIPS FOR ENHANCING YOUR SEXUAL ENJOYMENT
BY KALI MUNRO, M.Ed., Psychotherapist, 2001
While we may believe that sex should flow naturally and easily, the reality is often different. There are many things that can interfere with our enjoyment of sex — society’s repressed attitudes about sex; messages we receive from families, religion, schools, and the media; and sexual abuse and assault.
To experience sexual pleasure, you need to stay present with your body and feelings. You need to be able to express yourself and to let go. Finding ways to feel more comfortable with these things will help your sex life.
Making the adjustment from working all day to abruptly having sex with your partner can feel impossible. If you can incorporate loving touch — hugs, non-sexual caresses, a gentle kiss or other forms of sensual touch — into your time with your partner, the transition into sex can be a much more pleasurable thing — one of gradual build up, rather than feeling pressured.
There are many things you can to do make sex more enjoyable and fun. As always, only use what feels comfortable for you:
Become more present in your body, and feel your body’s sensations.
You can do this by doing body awareness exercises, breathing awareness exercises, meditation, relaxing, walking, dancing, massage, etc. The more present you are overall, the more present you will be during sex.
Let your body move the way it wants to.
There is no right or wrong way to move. In allowing yourself to move freely, you will find yourself feeling more pleasure. Your body knows what it wants and enjoys.
Pay attention to your breathing while making love.
Learn to stay with or focus on the natural rhythm of your breath. Try letting your breath all the way out of your body. On your out-breath, let out a sound. Practice deep belly breathing.
Make love to yourself without rushing or being mechanical.
Discover what is pleasurable to your whole body. Then ask for that when you make love.
Focus on the feelings of pleasure in your body while you make love.
Let go of any expectations you have about sex.
Just let yourself (and your partner) be. You don’t have to act or be any way. Just be the way that feels most right to you.
Accept yourself where you are at — there are no “shoulds”
Pushing yourself to be where you’re not won’t get you there any quicker — and may even make things harder for you.
Touch each other in non-sexual ways:
- EXPLORE EACH OTHERS’ BODIES
With your partner, spend time touching each other all over except for explicitly sexual areas, only touch each other where you feel comfortable touching or being touched.
- GIVE AND RECEIVE SLOW AND LUXURIOUS MASSAGES WITH YOUR PARTNER
- HUG EACH OTHER – FULL BODY TO BODY
Close your eyes and really feel your partner against you. Feel their breath, the movement of their stomach. Smell their hair, their skin.
Take the focus off your genitals or an orgasm when you make love; your whole body is an erogenous zone.
Concentrate on the emotional connection you have with your partner when you make love.
Hold eye contact, talk lovingly with each other, talk sex-talk, stroke each others’ face and hair — do all the things that help you to feel safe and grounded with your lover.
Take sex slowly, don’t rush it. Just enjoy yourself.
Stop making love whenever you need to.
Stop when you feel scared, uncomfortable, spaced out, or numb. Talk about it. Start again if you want to and stop if it happens again. Stopping and starting not only help you to feel safe or in control, it can help you to increase your comfort with different levels of sexual arousal and pleasure.
Talk about sex outside the bedroom.
Talk about what you enjoy, want, and fantasize about. Learn to make clear and direct sexual requests.
Incorporate anything that helps you to feel good about yourself and your body, or that increases your sensual/sexual feelings, into sex.
Play music, wear comfortable clothes, dim the lighting, light candles, put on perfume, use massage oils, etc.
Show your partner what makes you feel good.
- GUIDE YOUR PARTNER’S HAND TO AREAS OF YOUR BODY AND SHOW YOUR PARTNER THE WAY YOU LIKE TO BE TOUCHED.
- PLEASURE YOUR OWN BODY WHILE YOUR PARTNER HOLDS YOU OR TOUCHES YOU ELSEWHERE.
Be emotionally and physically affectionate with each other in and outside the bedroom.
Be playful with your partner.
- READ EROTICA TOGETHER.
- TRY SEX TOYS ON YOUR OWN AND WITH YOUR PARTNER.
- LAUGH TOGETHER. SEX DOESN’T HAVE TO BE SERIOUS.
Maintain an open and curious approach to sex.
Be willing to try new things – as far as you’re comfortable.
Maintain open and honest communication in your relationship.
You’d be surprised at how much this can enhance your pleasure together.
Take turns pleasuring each other the way you like to be pleasured.
Try not to overreact to unsatisfying sexual experiences. Try laughing it off.
Try to let go of thoughts that interfere with your sexual enjoyment.
Focus on the present moment.
Ask for what you want.
Practice taking up space, asking for what you want, saying how you feel, asserting yourself, saying what feels uncomfortable to you, making sounds, dancing, and moving your body.
Be gentle and compassionate with yourself and your lover.
If you’re having a hard time with any aspect of sex, the best thing you can do for yourself is to be patient and understanding with where you are. The enjoyment will come.