Sex is like pizza, even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. — Mel Brooks
The good thing about ageing, when it comes to sex, is that you already know the difference between good and bad. When you are still in your twenties, sex is about learning everything about it, learning a lot about your own body, about your reaction, about the other’s body, about positions and tricks. It is a whole lot of experimenting, always looking for something new, or even someone new.
With a few decades of experience behind you, just as with every other thing, it starts to become a different sensation. If you consider sex as a way of personal growth, knowing yourself better, defining your boundaries and pushing your limits on your own terms — it becomes different. It begins to be more about quality than quantity, more about intimacy and pleasure than experiments.
Experience doesn’t come from a huge number of sexual partners, it can come from spending a lot of intimate time with one single person. It can come from good moments just as well as from bad moments — all of what you live through shapes you and teaches you.
I learnt the most about sex from someone who turned out to be quite a bad choice. He taught me a lot of things nevertheless, he taught me what is good like and he showed me also how it can be really bad. It all shaped me and taught me ab awful lot about myself primarily, but also about my expectations, my need for connection, my hard limits.
What makes good sex good sex?
It’s not about all the positions you can try out — although it never hurts to try new things out.
It’s not some special skill that you or your partner needs to have — although it can be nice if someone is an expert of cunnilingus; it’s rather a bonus, it cannot make up for the lack of everything else.
It’s not even being infatuated with someone — although the emotions can heighten the senses and can offer an even better experience.
There are a couple of things that should be considered without a need for special skills, without breaking your back trying out a pretzel of a position, without the fireworks of fresh love.
Making love in the dark can be magical, it has a special beauty to it, as switching off vision, all your other senses will become more enhanced. Touch, taste and smell become more important — being your only guidance when your eyes won’t help you out.
But making love with the lights on, or in broad daylight every now and then offers another sensation overall. To see and be seen. To appreciate and be appreciated in your raw and vulnerable nakedness.
In many cases, we refrain from being seen, as we feel we need to cover up out own imperfections, breasts that are not as perky as we would want them to be, stretch marks, muffin tops. Our inhibitions and perceived imperfections stop us from being appreciated by our partner. We need to learn to love the body that is loved by the other, to see ourselves through their eyes, to accept that our flaws are loveable, our underappreciated body-parts are something to fall in love with over and over again. Our expectation of perfection and our own distorted beauty standards stop us from opening up.
Eyes wide open
There is nothing to be ashamed of and so much to see. So many feelings, so much love, so many hidden signs to pay attention to. Having sex/making love with eyes wide open is a whole new universe of sensations, and bonding — seeing deep into the other through their eyes, knowing from a squint how overwhelmingly elated they feel or seeing a glimpse of loneliness and sadness in the middle of ecstasy is a tell-tale sign for changing something, saying something or carrying on just exactly as before. It provides a deep connection, that goes beyond skin and flesh — a glance into their very souls.
Be here. Now.
If you take sex seriously enough and you want to make the most of it, then it has to be considered for what it really is: a connection that shouldn’t be disturbed by the reality of the world. Our daily connectedness to the world needs to be cut off, be it phone calls, vibrating messages, or inappropriately paced or loud music. You need to focus on that person who you are with. You need to be there, then. Multitasking does not exist, it’s only the capability of your brain to jump from topic to topic. Having sex shouldn’t be one of many topics, it should be the only thing you are focusing on.
Showing undisturbed and undivided attention, ignoring everything else, forgetting about the troubles — just being there, being present, being mindful. Just breathing and letting all the emotions wash over you provides an incredible experience, that is near impossible to describe.
Talk the talk
Words are the foreplay to the foreplay.
Expressing desire, showing interest, teasing your partner, talking in innuendos, being open to discussing anything that is related to your sex life out of the bedroom too will make the bedroom experience more intimate, more interesting, more exciting. Talking about wishes and expectations and limits is key to have a balanced and healthy sex life. Not to mention the arousing power of words when the real deed is out of reach — being apart, not being alone etc.
Find out what are the overlapping interests, be curious and be brave about telling what you have in mind. The point of any sexual encounter is to agree on what consensual means for the two of you and how far it is safe to go together without the boundaries being pushed too far. Words are the best way to explore this.
Talk some more
Communication is key, always. But talking during sex — as in talking dirty or getting into a roleplay to change the usual narrative can be a huge turn on. Be respectful about the other’s boundaries, try out what else lies beyond the average positions and setups, live up to your kink, whatever it might be as long as it is respected and accepted.
Never underestimate the thrill of the novelty that is brought by a different word, a different fantasy, a different story. It can be only words, or you can take it way further by making it into roleplays, full stories or dressing up.
Walk the talk
Don’t just discuss it and get excited and aroused about it. Try it, experiment together. Try new things, new positions, new toys, new situations. Change the scenery every now and then, do not just create a routine, make it a routine to deter from it. Feel safe and certain enough to say no. And to say yes to anything that excites both of you. Be open to being surprised and try to surprise — with an unexpected comment or touch, with something out of the box, a new idea, a new outfit, a new revelation.
Giving for the sake of giving, not getting
Sex should be about mutual pleasure, but it’s not a transaction. It makes a world of difference if something is done in a transactional way — as in expecting something in return, or it is given just for the sake of giving. Taking turns when it comes to oral sex is a good example to it. If you go down on your partner just because you want them to go down on you — it shows. No matter how skilled you are, it can be felt if it’s done with real enthusiasm, and you find it pleasurable yourself too, or you do it only to get it over with, waiting for your turn to get your own dose of pleasure.
If you want to have really good sex, then the attention, the enthusiasm, the wish to please the other has to be genuine and honest. Faking it will only get you so far — you might get away with it once or twice, but it shouldn’t be the point.
Orgasms are just a bonus
When it comes to measuring sexual satisfaction within a heterosexual relationship, there is so much more than exclusively the orgasm.
Pleasure comes in different forms and on different levels. Being intimate with your partner, enjoying their company, enjoying their body, finding satisfaction in the connection itself, enjoying giving just as much as receiving can be just as satisfactory without an orgasm.
It can be very liberating, especially for a woman if sex is admittedly for the pleasure but not linked to the orgasms of either party. It is a sexual act even if none of the participants is having an orgasm, but both of them enjoying each other’s bodies, without the pressure of expected relief.
Without the expectation of orgasm, the possibility of reaching it, just from being more relaxed and less pressured, is increased. Especially if the other isn’t pushing for his own pleasure either, and the quality of sex is not defined by the number of notches.
After all, it comes down to very simple things: being there, being seen and appreciated, being respected and communication. Sex is about human connection — in a steady relationship just as much as during a casual one-night-stand. That’s what it makes it or breaks it.
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Thanks for reading.