In this big wide world, no two couples are exactly the same, there is no one size fits all answer exists, having said that there seems to be a universality to the relationship ruts we get in to. This article is written in conjunction with our in-house sexologist Jodie West, so here are 6 sex issues that are common for couples to face and how to navigate them.
Lack of Communication
Sex is often the centre of our romantic relationships, for many it’s a large component from which we build our long-term intimate relationships. However, Jodie says that “sometimes in those relationships it doesn’t get talked about as much as it should”. How to have better sex is a topic of many of the questions that Jodie gets asked and Jodie finds that when she tells people that communication is the key starting point to better sex there is often resistance. She says that it is important to invest time into having conversations about sex even if it is potentially uncomfortable.
Jodie’s top tip for this one is not to play the blame game when you talk about sex. It is important to focus more on what works, what your desires are, what you are curious about and discovering how you can grow. Sex isn’t a one-sided event so remember to hear your partners point of view and be opened to share your own. You can use these free downloads to help get things started.
Not Enough Foreplay
This is not the first time we have written about the importance of Foreplay in the Bliss Journal. It really is an essential element of any sexual relationship and some of us need more foreplay and others need less. It’s rare that both or all those involved in a sexual encounter will orgasm at the same time. Foreplay ensures that pleasure takes primary importance over orgasms. It helps everyone involved have a good time, a pleasurable experience.
Jodie’s top tips for this one is to slow down and enjoy all the elements of foreplay, take your time, tease each other, and be mindful in the moment and your pleasure, there is no rush to orgasm. If you are looking for more tips on ways to expand your foreplay repertoire, try reading the articles linked above.
Mismatched libidos are very common between couples, and it is not a new problem. Jodie says that, “when one person has a higher sex drive than the other, it can have negative impacts on a relationship and how that plays out in a long term relationship varies”. Some common impacts can be feeling annoyed, rejected, resentment, it can even have a negative impact on self-confidence.
Jodie’s top tip here is communication and if you are having trouble navigating this alone then enlist the help of a sexologist. When it comes to an individual’s sex drive, there are many factors at play and they can include age, lifestyle, health, medication, personality, and communication really is essential to get back on the same page.
Lack of Masturbating
We write about masturbation and its benefits frequently. Whether you are in a relationship or not sexual pleasure starts with yourself. If you are comfortable in your own skin and you know what brings you pleasure you can share that with your partner. If you don’t Jodie says that “it is much harder to communicate what you want and need for pleasure with your partner”. Exploring each other’s bodies and pleasure is one of the most exciting parts of a relationship but you do have to have some idea of what you like in the first place. Your pleasure is your responsibility not your partners.
Jodie’s top tip for this one is prioritise me time. It becomes even more important when you are in a relationship. Everyone needs time alone no matter how much you love your partner. We have lots of great articles on the Bliss Journal about the health benefits of masturbation. You could also enjoy mutual masturbation in your relationship.
Time is one of our most precious commodities there is no question about that. However, whether we are in a COVID lockdown situation or we are living a more normal and busy lifestyle it is easy to see how it can be hard to find the time for intimacy and sex. With all our commitments family, friends, careers, and other obligations, it is just plain exhausting. Being in a relationship or having a family means not only having to manage your own schedule, but you also have to coordinate with other people’s as well. Being blunt if you care about your relationship, you need to make time for it and that includes being intimate and having sex.
Top tip from Jodie is if you are having trouble finding time to have sex then it is time to give scheduling sex a go. It gives you something to look forward to and can even build anticipation and excitement about what is to come, which can be incredibly sexy.
Dryness, Discomfort or Pain
Dryness or lack of lubrication is not pleasurable for anyone. If you struggle with a lack of natural lubrication during sex, we sell a variety of quality lubricants that can help with that. There really is a lube to suit everyone and using a quality lubricant during sex makes sex so much more pleasurable for every one. If you have discomfort or pain for other reasons there are options for that too. The most important step is to talk to your partner about it.
Jodie’s top tip is more of a reminder that sex is suppose to feel good, pleasurable and not something that you have to grin and bear. There are many different factors that can contribute to discomfort, dryness or pain during sex. If the discomfort or pain you are experiencing concerns you or if you think it is more than not enough foreplay and arousal then in addition to talking to your partner it is important to see a pelvic floor specialist or a doctor.
For many of us in relationships there will be some point at which at least one of these issues pops up. When and if one of these or another issue occurs in your relationship there are options and ways to figure it out. Jodie says that the most important tip of all is to keep communication open, keep talking, stay open and willing to exploring.
Do you have a question about sex, sexuality, toys or anything related? write to me Jodie at email@example.com
Jodie West is a Director and Resident Sexologist at Bliss. Jodie is known for initiating Taboo conversations about women's health & sexuality. Her own health challenges & the changes they brought about in general life & sex life were the catalysts for taboo smashing projects that have made & continue to make changes in the landscape of women's health in Australia.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this document should be read as general in nature and is only to provide and overview of the subject matter. Please read product packaging carefully and follow all instructions. Seek advice specific to your situation from your medical professional or mental health professional. Safe - Sane - Consensual