©iStockphoto.com/Fotostorm Image by: ©iStockphoto.com/Fotostorm
According to Canadian Living's Intimacy Survey, 53 per cent of Canadians would like to have sex a few times a week. But the majority of us -- 39 per cent -- are making do with a few times per month (or for 23 per cent, even less).
Daily responsibilities can get in the way of a plentiful sex life, but there are ways you can work more romance into your schedule. We spoke to Cory Silverberg, a Toronto-based certified sexuality educator, to get some of his tips. Silverberg used to co-own a sex boutique and is a second-generation sex-pert: his parents were sex therapists, too!
Here are 8 tips for boosting your sex life:
1. Be explicit about what you want
"Sex is such a vague term -- it means different things to different people. Ask yourself what you really want. Is it more intimacy? More pleasure? Do you want more orgasms? Different activities? Or more time alone with your partner?" asks Silverberg, who writes the blog Sexuality Guide for about.com.
Once you know what you want, you can talk about it more constructively with your partner.
2. Be kind and communicate with your partner
Talk to your partner about your desire for more fill-in-the-blank (sex; oral sex; experimentation with sex toys; cuddling; making out). He's not a mind reader, after all. However, how you say something has as much impact as what you say. In other words: don't give him a hard time.
"Find a way to talk about your desire for more sex in a way that doesn't imply blame or make it your partner's responsibility to satisfy you," says Silverberg. "The natural reaction is if one partner says he or she wishes they were having 'more' sex, the other feels like it’s their fault they’re not giving enough," he explains.
When discussing sex, "focus on the positive: that you love your partner, are hot for them, want to have more sex with them," advises Silverberg.
Try reminiscing about Saturday mornings when you two used to linger in bed until noon, making love before heading out for brunch. Watch how fast he's speed dialing his parents to see if they can take the kids for the weekend!
3. Be realistic about life changes
Juggling career and family is energy consuming. Sometimes you'll have more time and interest in sex, other times, less so. And remember the same goes for your partner.
"Sex in your 30s may be very different from sex in your 20s … or sex in your 50s for that matter. Sex is always changing. What it’s like now isn’t how it might be in six months when your baby finally sleeps through the night, for example. Sex changes as your life changes," explains Silverberg.
Page 1 of 2 -- Find more great tips for boosting your sex life on page 2
4. Be open to change
Sometimes the surest route to more sex is throwing convention out the window. "Many couples have a narrow definition of sex: 'Sex means first the romance and talking, then we do three specific things, then we have mutual orgasms and that’s sex,' " summarizes Silverberg.
But when you're starved for time and affection, negotiate. If your schedule doesn't allow for 90-minute of lovemaking, consider a five-minute quickie instead.
"Quickies may mean only one partner has an orgasm one day and the other partner has one the next," says Silverberg. But that's still mutual orgasms – just on a different timeline.
5. Do it yourself
Remember: Orgasms are good for you, whether you reach them with your guy or solo. You know how there are chores you do around the house because it's just faster if you do it yourself? Ditto for the big-O.
Sometimes, taking matters into your own hands is a time-effective and satisfying way to please yourself, whether you're alone or during lovemaking with your partner.
6. Keep trying
"There may not be fireworks every time, or the fireworks might only last 30 seconds … But being intimate with your partner, being close physically with your clothes off, can remind you of your connection," says Silverberg.
7. Get professional help if you need it
When couples can't resolve a sexual disconnect, professional counseling may be helpful.
"A lot of people see counseling as self-indulgent – even more so if it's a sex therapist. But an unsatisfactory sex life – or no sex – can lead to serious problems in a relationship. It balloons into other areas of life and affects how people feel about themselves. When people stop having sex, they can feel lousy about their bodies: they feel like they're not an attractive person. It affects self-esteem. I hear this often from people who contact me, and I've certainly experienced it myself," says Silverberg.
Want help? Go to the website of the American Association of Sex Counselors, Educators and Therapists to find a AASECT-accredited sex therapist in your province and city.
8. Don't make sex a competitive goal
Sex has become a status symbol, says Silverberg, and couples can feel pressure to have the whole package: a nice house, new car, two great kids and an awesome sex life, because that signifies success.
"We live with social pressure to say we’re having great sex all the time. But thinking 'I should be having more good sex... now!' creates pressure and stress," says Silverberg.
The same competitive aspiration that drives credit card debt and mortgage crises can make you feel nuts about your relationship. Our advice? Who cares what others have (or claim to have): figure out what feels right for you and your partner, and work together to enjoy it.
Page 2 of 2