Lift Your Love-Life Out Of The Doldrums And Enjoy Better Health!
Lift Your Love-Life Out Of The Doldrums And Enjoy Better Health!
Here are my solutions to common issues in the bedroom so you can enjoy a more satisfying sexual relationship.
Enjoying a satisfying sexual relationship is not simply a matter of pleasure, it's also a matter of good health. Research from the United States shows that those who enjoy regular sexual relations live on average three years longer. They also enjoy more vigorous health with fewer problems with, e.g., their blood pressure, and have better mental health too.
These are important considerations with the recent revelation that women in the UK experience less satisfying sexual relationships than their European cousins, often citing being too tired or stressed to enjoy a full relationship. With these reports it’s timely to tackle bedroom troubles so you can enjoy the benefits of better health and a happier relationship.
The Issue: Health issues - unhealthy diet, smoking, excessive drinking, fatigue.
Your body should be treated like a temple but many people fail to do so. You may not realise it but if you’re a regular smoker, drinker, or are overweight as well as the obvious health implications you’re much more likely to have sexual difficulties.
The Solution: Together combine fun and fitness to improve your overall health. For example, try some dance classes to invigorate your relationship. Agree a pact to stock your cupboards with healthy choices, to limit your alcohol consumption to no more than one-two units per night as a woman or two-three units nightly for a man. Pack in smoking together. As you take such steps you'll have far more energy for sexual enjoyment.
The Issue: Mismatched sex drives
Couples frequently complain about different levels of drive. It can seem an insurmountable problem. It's rare, though, to have identical sex drives so couples must compromise.
The Solution: Check that the partner with the higher drive isn't using sex to get affection or gain control of the relationship. Also check there's no underlying reason for the lower sex drive, e.g., overwork, side-effects of medications, etc.
Next, agree to alternate who initiates lovemaking. Allow the one with a lower drive to simply initiate cuddles if they don't feel like more than that. Put a safety check in place - many with a low sex drive assume the other always wants sex even when that's not true. Those with a higher sex drive should always make clear when they simply want a cuddle, too.
The Issue: Personal issues - stress, depression, anxiety
Unchecked stress, depression or anxiety can have an overall impact on your relationship without you even knowing it.
The Solution: Be open and honest about personal issues. Otherwise your partner may worry they’re undesirable if you don’t want sex when actually you’re struggling with, e.g., depression. Together plan solutions to the issue - you may need to change your workload, see your GP, try relaxation techniques, etc.
The Issue: Lack of sexual desire and arousal
Wide-ranging issues can cause lack of desire/arousal. Common culprits range from medical problems and the side effects of medications, to poor sexual technique or inhibitions.
The Solution: Establish when the changes in desire occurred. For example, did it coincide with an illness or the birth of a child? While establishing the cause the person with desire difficulties should be encouraged to be honest about what techniques will arouse them. Simply beginning with sensual massage can rebuild their confidence. Take turns saying what you'd like to experiment with, e.g., a new position. It feels less daunting when you’re both trying to improve things.
The Issue: Relationship issues - disagreements, lack of time, feeling taken for granted.
If you've been arguing, not communicating or not spending time together you won't be in the mood for sex.
The Solution: Take time out from the daily grind to enjoy some simple pleasures, e.g., walk in the park, visit the places you first courted. Next put pen to paper and note the highlights of your relationship. Plan how you can do more of those into your schedule. Now tackle the “hot spots” you argue about. Each of you should suggest one "blue-sky" solution per hot spot. Lateral thinking can sort out relationship issues.
The Issue: Lack of romance
You may have an essentially good relationship but have lost that certain spark.
The Solution: Small gestures go a long way to rekindling romance. Leave little love notes for each other or send sexy texts or e-mails. Flirt again - be suggestive, giggle, have fun! Enjoy candle-lit dinners with a little mood music playing. Don't forget the importance of touch - simple hand-holding and caressing increases production of the bonding-hormone oxytocin.
The Issue: Anorgasmia - the inability to reach orgasm
There are many causes for anorgasmia from the psychological/emotional like the fear of pregnancy or sexual inhibitions, to the medical. Although mainly associated with women’s sexual dysfunction men too can be unable to reach orgasm.
The Solution: It's critical to evaluate what's happening in your life and whether there are any medical concerns. You also need to de-stress, bolster trust and confidence, be loving and tactful, and take things one step at a time. Gaining body confidence is important, too. Part of this is self-acceptance. Pelvic floor exercises can help strengthen the critical muscles needed to for orgasm.
The Issue: His difficulties - erectile dysfunction (ED), premature ejaculation
Your partner may experience any of the health, personal and relationship issues above as well as issues specific to men like erectile difficulties. The root causes are as varied as those above, and medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and blood-pressure drugs have been linked to ED.
The Solution: Tact is essential as he may be very sensitive about ED. Open a conversation when you both have time, are relaxed, and won't be interrupted. Talk outside of the bedroom so it's not associated with "big chats". Begin with something positive about your relationship/life together. Then explore issues like health, stress, quality time, etc. Don't expect to cover everything in one go. It may work best to have a series of loving conversations. Meanwhile, re-connect through physical affection while taking lovemaking off the agenda.
Published in the Express Newspaper