Sex, the most private element of our culture, is grabbing more attention these days – in tabloids, books, movies and even on television and in advertising. But not everyone is benefiting from the sexual revolution. A surprising number of married couples are sexually incompatible, and, consequently, are sexually dissatisfied.
Some men suffer from impotence or premature ejaculation, while some women are unable to achieve orgasm. Personalities and sexual attitudes may differ dramatically. In addition, factors such as upbringing and ingrained attitudes may affect sexual performance and pleasure.
“The problem is far more common than people admit,” says Dr. Elaine Soller, a Southfield, Mich., clinical psychologist. “It’s just that everyone’s secretive about his or her sex life.”
Dr. June Dobbs Butts, a family counselor and sex therapist in Washington, D.C., says society’s attitudes about sex need changing. “We need to be more sexually aware and less prudish about sex,” she says.
A fulfilling sex life also requires the cooperative efforts of both man and woman. Following are 5 rules that will, according to experts, enhance your sexual compatibility and, consequently, your sexual enjoyment overall.
Assume Responsibility for Your Own Sexual Satisfaction
Many sexual problems hinge on mistaken beliefs and misconceptions, and one of them, says Dr. Chavis, is the popular myth that the man gives the women an orgasm. “That is not the case; each person is responsible for his or her own orgasmic response,” he says. “The excitement that a woman generates within herself with the male’s presence is what will put her over the top.”
Indulge Your Partner in Their Sexual Fantasies
Dr. Terry Mason, a Chicago urologist who treats impotence problems, says married couples should view sexual fantasies favorably. “If the sex lives of a man and woman are enhanced by fantasy, it should become a regular part of their sexual routine,” he writes. “Marriages where both partners feel free to discuss their sexual fantasies seem to be built on the most solid foundation.
Don’t Let Outside Factors Affect Your Sex Life
Marriage specialists say that often men and women who are under job-related stress or who are otherwise preoccupied will not be able to enjoy sex. Men might not be able to maintain an erection and women might complain of a “headache” or “backache.” It doesn’t mean that you don’t love your mate,” says Dr. Berry. “But due to anxiety and preoccupation, you may be unable to perform sexually.”
Poor physical health also affects one’s sex drive. One study indicated that people over age 50 who regularly and vigorously exercise enjoy better sex lives than those who do not. Also, alcohol, “recreational drugs” and some medications (particularly those for hypertension) can decrease sex drive.
Take Time for Sex, But Avoid a Fixed Routine
Dr. Berry points out that sometimes professional couples who have demanding jobs lose interest in sex. But she and other counselors insist that couples set aside time for sex and each other. They should schedule private time to be together, a time when they will not be interrupted by children or telephone calls. By making a “date” with your mate, you let him or her know how much your relationship means.
Initiating sexual activity when your partner least expects it can be a bonus for any relationship. Keep the excitement in your marriage by trying new places and methods. Abandon all psychological and emotional restraints and allow yourself to be totally swept away by passionate impulses. Surprise your mate by serving a romantic dinner in a sexy outfit. Awaken your wife or husband with tender kisses. Leave your mate a romantic note. Keep the sparks flying and you’ll surely experience spontaneous combustion.
As the experts emphasize, intimacy requires more than just sex. Couples should work toward building a good relationship or marriage, one in which both partners are able to communicate, work toward common goals, and share the various aspects of their lives. Once this is achieved, you will enjoy a much fuller, more satisfying sex life.