I am often asked to speak about the benefits of good sex for established, monogamous couples. Most of us realize it’s difficult to have satisfying, exciting sex in our busy lives, with so much else competing for our time and attention.
Sometimes, it’s complicated to answer this question. Try Googling “good sex and couples,” and you’ll get a ton of information. Some of it is good, but much of it misses the mark, to my mind. It comes across as incomplete, or shallow, and it might give you the wrong idea when you read it.
Good sex is not a numbers game about how often you do the deed. There’s no competition involved in how often you have sex.
You can have lackluster sex even if it gives you each an orgasm — the sexual equivalent of fast food in the realm of haute cuisine. Or, worst case scenario, your time together amounts to mercy sex.
Good sex is all about asking for and receiving sexual favors from your partner. But this is almost never shown on TV or in movies, so you might not even know what I’m talking about.
In fact, great sex is different from what people think. It involves communication, including asking for and granting of sexual favors. It’s the communication — and the asking and the granting — that can makes sex truly intimate.
Having that kind of sex creates a durable bond between you and your partner. To know that you can safely ask for anything is the essence of a trusting connection. To take this risk and have it be warmly accepted is deeply touching and gratifying.
It can make you feel vulnerable to ask for sexual favors. For instance, it can make men worry if they need to ask for more or different kinds of stimulation if their erection falters. For women, it often takes courage to ask for more foreplay — more or different types of kissing and caressing — before getting into an activity that is more explicitly genital.
It can feel threatening to ask your partner to stop what he or she is doing if something else would feel more pleasurable to you. It could feel like a risk to ask to be able to use a vibrator if your orgasm is not emerging. For either of you, it can feel scary to ask for an activity that the two of you have never tried before, but you very much want to try.
The actors and actresses we see in movies and TV never have to ask for anything other than what they are being given at the moment by their sexual partner. So we tend to feel that something is wrong when sexual intimacy doesn’t function as easily and perfectly as we see on the screen.
But there is nothing wrong with wanting sexual favors. And mindreading doesn’t exist in the real world of real sex. You have to feel comfortable enough to ask for what you want.
I yearn for the day when this kind deep and gratifying sex is shown in the media we consume.
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