Discussing sex is still a taboo in India. Couples need to banish monotony in their relationships and work towards developing and maintaining a fulfilling sex life
BY TEAM DOUBLE HELICAL
The word ‘sex’ evokes a kaleidoscope of emotions spontaneously. From love, excitement and tenderness to longing, anxiety and disappointment, the reactions are as varied as sexual experiences themselves. What’s more, many people will encounter all these emotions and many more in the course of a sex life spanning several decades. On one level, sex is just another hormone-driven bodily function designed to perpetuate the species. Of course, that narrow view underestimates the complexity of the human sexual response. In addition to the biochemical forces at work, your experiences and expectations help shape your sexuality.
Your understanding of yourself as a sexual being, your thoughts about what constitutes a satisfying sexual connection and your relationship with your partner are key factors in your ability to develop and maintain a fulfilling sex life.
Many couples find it difficult to talk about sex even under the best of circumstances. When sexual problems occur, feelings of hurt, shame, guilt, and resentment can halt conversation altogether. Because good communication is a cornerstone of a healthy relationship, establishing a dialogue is the first step not only to a better sex life, but also to a closer emotional bond. Here are some tips for tackling this sensitive subject.
There are two types of sexual conversations: the ones you have in the bedroom and the ones you have elsewhere. It’s perfectly appropriate to tell your partner what feels good in the middle of lovemaking, but it’s best to wait until you’re in a more neutral setting to discuss larger issues, such as mismatched sexual desire or orgasm troubles.
Couch suggestions in positive terms, such as, “I really love it when you touch my hair lightly that way,” rather than focusing on the negatives. Approach a sexual issue as a problem to be solved together rather than an exercise in assigning blame.
If hot flashes are keeping you up at night or menopause has made your vagina dry, talk to your partner about these things. It’s much better that he knows what’s really going on rather than interpret these physical changes as lack of interest. Likewise, if you’re a man and you no longer get an erection just from the thought of sex, show your partner how to stimulate you rather than let her believe she isn’t attractive enough to arouse you anymore.
You may think you’re protecting your partner’s feelings by faking an orgasm, but in reality you’re starting down a slippery slope. As challenging as it is to talk about any sexual problem, the difficulty level skyrockets once the issue is buried under years of lies, hurt, and resentment.
This can help you explore possible activities you think might be a turn-on for you or your partner. Try thinking of an experience or a movie that aroused you and then share your memory with your partner. This is especially helpful for people with low desire.
This can help you explore possible activities you think might be a turn-on for you or your partner. Try thinking of an experience or a movie that aroused you and then share your memory with your partner. This is especially helpful for people with low desire. 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. Try to do five sets a day. These exercises can be done anywhere—while driving, sitting at your desk, or standing in a checkout line. At home, women may use vaginal weights to add muscle resistance. Talk to your doctor or a sex therapist about where to get these and how to use them.
Your sexual well-being goes hand in hand with your overall mental, physical and emotional health. Therefore, the same healthy habits you rely on to keep your body in shape can also shape up your sex life. Smoking contributes to peripheral vascular disease, which affects blood flow to the penis, clitoris, and vaginal tissues. In addition, women who smoke tend to go through menopause two years earlier than their non-smoking counterparts. If you need help quitting, try nicotine gum or patches or ask your doctor about the drugs bupropion (Zyban) or varenicline (Chantix).
Some men with erectile dysfunction find that having one drink can help them relax, but heavy use of alcohol can make matters worse. Alcohol can inhibit sexual reflexes by dulling the central nervous system. Drinking large amounts over a long period can damage the liver, leading to an increase in estrogen production in men. In women, alcohol can trigger hot flashes and disrupt sleep, compounding problems already present in menopause.
When estrogen drops at menopause, the vaginal walls lose some of their elasticity. You can slow this process or even reverse it through sexual activity. If intercourse isn’t an option, masturbation is just as effective, although for women this is most effective if you use a vibrator or dildo (an object resembling a penis) to help stretch the vagina. For men, long periods without an erection can deprive the penis of a portion of the oxygen-rich blood it needs to maintain good sexual functioning. As a result, something akin to scar tissue develops in muscle cells, which interferes with the ability of the penis to expand when blood flow is increased.
Sex without intercourse
Create an environment for lovemaking that appeals to all five of your senses. Concentrate on the feel of silk against your skin, the beat of a jazz tune, the perfumed scent of flowers around the room, the soft focus of candlelight, and the taste of ripe, juicy fruit. Use this heightened sensual awareness when making love to your partner.
Sex without intercourse may sound disconcerting. It requires some effort, adjustments on the part of both lovers — and change is never easy, especially in erotic repertoire. But if you find intercourse problematic, sex without it allows hot, fulfilling lovemaking for life.
Once you get on board with sex sans intercourse, it’s pretty easy. It involves the same leisurely, playful, whole-body touching, caressing, and massage that sex therapists recommend to all lovers. But it eliminates vaginal intercourse, focusing instead on all the other ways couples can enjoy marvelous genital pleasure: hand massage (your own and/or your lover’s), oral sex, and sex toys, particularly vibrators and dildos for women, and penis sleeves for men.
For many couples, great sex without intercourse means experimenting, which can feel strange. But novelty is key to sexual zing. Doing things differently stimulates the brain to release dopamine, and dopamine heightens erotic intensity. In other words, if you adopt some new non-intercourse moves, lovemaking without intercourse can prove to be more pleasurable than ever.