Sex, as you may or may not know, goes beyond purely being physical. There are psychological aspects that are attached to this and it is no longer the case that great sex happens with a hard erection and a lubricated vagina. Sex is also not just penetrative, there are aspects of outercourse, and intercourse, and it is important to take care of your mind and body for a healthy and fulfilling sexual experience. In this article I will take you through some things to consider so that you can enjoy great sex for years to come. Whether you have one life partner or several, the key thing is to have is mutual satisfaction between consenting adults.
Eating well and keeping everything in moderation is key. Ensuring that you have the right proportions to fuel your body is important as research in Nutritional Psychiatry now shows that our diet can affect our mood. And as sex is not only physical, this can have an impact on how we feel, and if we are in the mood for sex.
By ensuring that we exercise regularly, we are keeping our physical body in shape and our mind too, as the release of endorphins influences how we feel. This also is a great way to control our weight, which can help in ensuring our internal organs are working well and things like blood pressure and cholesterol are at healthy levels. Both are important for healthy sexual functioning.
If you are partnered up this is a great way of keeping track of your health together – for women, a pap smear and breast exam and for men, a prostate exam.
This is a good way to start a new sexual relationship by getting tested together, and it can enhance your sexual experience by being helping you be worry free when you do have sex. If you are with more than one person, ask them to get tested too and always use protection; this way you can keep your sex life healthy and free from STIs.
When a medical professional prescribes any medication ask whether it will have an effect on your sexual functioning, and if this concerns you and there is an alternative, ask your doctor to recommend one. Some medication affects sexual desire and functioning, so if you need to take any medication it is good to know upfront how it will affect you. This way you can talk about it with your partner and work around it too.
It is important to talk with your partner about any sexual frustrations you may have. Do not be afraid of guiding them towards your erogenous zones, as you know your body best and what part is most sensitive to touch, what feels good and what feels uncomfortable. This way, your sexual experiences will be mutually satisfying and fulfilling.
Alcohol might result in not everything working the way it is supposed to. Also, having experiences that you cannot remember because you had too much to drink may not always be comfortable or safe. Use passion and intimacy to fuel your desire during sex.
Smoking damages blood circulation in many ways, leading to a host of related health problems. Sexually speaking, an erection is only possible when blood vessels in the penis enlarge and fill with blood, so smoking will restrict that from happening.
To enjoy sex and keep it exciting, try different sexual positions, as well as reading or listening to erotica, introducing a little role play, and even sex toys. You can also try taking sex out of the bedroom (if that is where you mostly have sex), getting a couples' massage, introducing food to your sex play, tantric sex or some sensate focus, and much more. Do a little research on the internet or consult a Certified Sex Therapist who will be able to suggest specific exercises to fit your requirements as a couple or as an individual.
Our senses are fuelled by what we see, smell, taste, touch and hear. The heat (or attraction) we experience during sex is based on most of these so you can figure out what you prefer to do and pamper yourself by getting your hair done, getting a manicure/pedicure, trimming the hair surrounding your genital region, taking a shower (either together or separately) before and after sex, brushing your teeth or eating something sweet before your engage in kissing and moisturising your skin. Body positivity is key in ensuring you have the confidence to feel great in your own skin and pampering can help; but if you are still struggling with your body image reach out to a friend or a professional to work through those challenges.
Sometimes we may feel that using lubrication means that there is something wrong with us, but this is not the case. Friction, size of penis when erect, vaginal dryness, age and differences in sexual readiness can make sex painful, uncomfortable, and even awkward.
Differences in sex drives between partners can sometimes be attributed to responsive or spontaneous drives. Both are perfectly normal and healthy. It only means that people with responsive drives need a little more stimulation or time, as opposed to people with spontaneous drives who are ready to go, quickly, in terms of sexual readiness.
Both men and women can improve their sexual fitness by exercising their pelvic floor muscles. To do these exercises, tighten the muscle you would use if you were trying to stop urine in midstream. Hold the contraction for two or three seconds, then release. Repeat 10 times and try to do five sets a day. These exercises can be done anywhere — while driving, sitting at your desk, or queuing at a bank or supermarket checkout. If you have any concerns, you can contact a Pelvic Floor Specialist or a Medical Professional.
As you can see, keeping sexually fit is important for healthy sexual functioning, both physiologically and psychologically. Our behaviours and choices influence how we function and can allow us to enjoy mutually fulfilling and satisfying sexual experiences. Working on these tips will help us as we get older, and we can expect to enjoy sex into our later years by making some adjustments, no matter what age we are right now. Be safe, and ensure you always practice consent!