There might be no literal manual telling us how to have sex, but thanks to society we have a pretty good idea of what is supposed to be "good" sex. The problem is that not all of us are built to enjoy sex the same way, which means that striving to enjoy this so-called standard of "good" sex the way society defines it can be an empty exercise. The bottomline – focus on your and your partner’s sexual enjoyment as honestly and openly as possible.
Easier said than done. That societal expectation of sex runs a lot deeper than many of us care to admit. Gender roles, sex moves, frequency of sex and many other factors play a major role in how we gauge the success of our sex lives, yet, comparing ourselves to those societal standards (ie. "I should be having sex at least three times a week" or "I must orgasm every time we have sex") can very often lead to deep disappointment.
Here are a few of those common mistakes we make and how you can avoid falling for them.
Number one on the list is comparing yours sex life to those around you. Your friend might boast about the crazy sex he and his partner are enjoying, but drawing comparisons between his sex life and yours can only cause you to feel negative about your sex life.
"People say, 'We have sex a lot,' or, 'We only have a little.' But when I probe further, what constitutes a lot or a little is wildly different," says Tristan Taormino, author of The Secrets of Great G-Spot Orgasms and Female Ejaculation.
Instead, it’s important to hold onto the memories of the good sex sessions you have shared with your partner, and be ready to talk honestly, yet constructively with them about it.
Throw out the checklist
Secondly, it’s no good rushing through sex as if you have to tick it off your list. It’s also certainly no way to convince her that sex with you is something she should look forward to. Sex should not be viewed as goal-driven – in other words, simply to achieve an orgasm. Do this and miss out on the opportunity to experience the vast and delightful world of sensuality – a place where you and your partner can build intimacy and learn more about one another.
Focusing on solely achieving orgasm can also set you up for disappointment if either of you struggle to reach climax. Enjoying each other and focusing on the pleasure, rather than the end result will help both of you to enjoy the moment far more.
Sex therapist Chris Donaghue suggests thinking about sex as circular – there is no beginning or end. "There's no such thing as ‘not finishing' or failure."
Be open to new things
Be open to new ideas. Having sex the same old way each time will bore even the most aroused among us. Try bring sex toys into the bedroom or watch each other masturbate to learn how you both enjoy being pleasured. Allowing this sense of exploration into your sex life will offer some spice and there’s little doubt you’ll be learning things about your partner you never knew before.