Thursday, November 15, 2012

Really Quick Guide to Great Sex

This isn't so much a dissertation on the exact details of having great sex, rather a brief list of "ingredients" that will help you get there. Think of it as a checklist of sorts... things to work on to improve your game.

This is not the type of dumb recommendations you'll find in magazines you might peruse while waiting in line at the grocery store. I won't give advice like "blindfold him!" or "Bust out the scented candles!" This is a list of things you can work on to actually make your sex life better.

The list was derived from a variety of sources, such as scienceofrelationships.com, Dan Savage's writings, and a few other random sources I forgot to document early in the research process.

#1: Hone your technique by becoming a student of the game. This is the first "G" of Dan Savage's GGG idea. For each gender, know your preferred gender's anatomy. Know how to stimulate that anatomy appropriately. Things like timing, pressure, motion, and variety are all important. If you don't know your way around, search the Interwebz... but avoid porn. They do a lot of shit wrong. Find a variety of sources. If you happen to be heterosexual, don't neglect advice from the homosexual community. Dudes can learn a lot about female genitalia from lesbians. Same deal with the penis and gay dudes, ladies. Understand the sexual response cycle, the role of neurotransmitters, and how to get your preferred gender in the mood. Don't neglect toys. Knowing how to use a vibrator on men or women is a vastly underrated skill. Learn as many different techniques as you possibly can, because...

#2: People are different. Learn what your partner likes and dislikes. The longer people have sex with one person, the better the sex becomes. Why? It's like learning to play a musical instrument... you get better with practice. Of course, it is important for each partner to be able to openly express what they actually like and dislike, so talk about it. Never assume your partner will know what you like, and relying on chance could take a long, long time. And don't rely on nonverbal cues like moaning... shit's hard to interpret.

#3: Don't be selfish. This is Dan's second "G"... give equal time. Nobody likes a selfish lover. Focus on giving your partner pleasure roughly as often as they give you pleasure. Likewise, when it's their turn to give, sit back and enjoy. Give them the gift of giving. If both people genuinely enjoy giving each other pleasure, the sex gets a whole lot better.

#4: Build intimacy outside of sex. For the science perspective, doing things like kissing, cuddling, or giving each other massages releases oxytocin (which helps us feel closer) and vasopressin (which keeps us committed to our mate), both of which result in better sex. Closeness and great sex is a vicious cycle... a very, very good vicious cycle.

#5. Experiment on a regular basis: This is Dan's third "G"... game for anything. Humans have a need to constantly change, and that change is usually manifested in improvement. We want a partner that is always going to support and encourage us to grow. That exact same dynamic occurs in our sex lives, too. You don't want to be a sexual one trick pony (see #1 above). A major component of experimentation is trust. Partners have to trust each other enough to be open and honest about their sexual desires without judgement. Shelly and I have a pretty good rule for this. We'll try pretty much anything once. If we like it, we add it to the rotation of sexual activities. If we don't, we abandon it.

#6: Adapt. Over time, our preferences may change. Our partner's preferences may change. Aging has an effect on our bodies. Sexuality is a dynamic construct, and the ability to adapt is important. Having a lot of tools in the toolbox helps, as does an adventurous spirit open to experimentation. Also, life situations change. many couples have no problems finding time for sex in the early years. Once a career, kids, and anxiety over bills enters the mix, they can't adapt and sex falls by the wayside. Good problem-solving skills and an active imagination definitely help.

#7: Get fit. Generally speaking, better physical conditioning translates into better sex. Physical fitness improves the efficiency of our circulatory system, makes us more aesthetically pleasing, and creates a fairly powerful attraction effect. The sympathetic nervous system response that accompanies physical activity can be misinterpreted by the brain as physical attraction. For example, let's say we do a hard workout with our partner. The beating heart and sweat are interpreted as attraction- we find our partner more attractive after we work out together. Greater attraction equates to more sex. More sex equates to better sex. 

There you have it- a list of six things you can do to make yourself a better lover. Enjoy!

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