What to Do When Your Sex Life Sucks
Sex with another person is a distinct kind of human-to-human contact.
When you don’t like your sexual experiences, the fact that you don’t have them, or that you do—it’s because the sex scenes that you play in your head don’t match what you actually do. Reality doesn’t hold up to what your version of sex is.
Most of us, even those who are very adventurous in sex have a well-worn map in our heads of how to get from point A to B—orgasm. I invite you to think of your disappointments and problems with sex as an invitation to throw away the map altogether, and go off the beaten path.
Now that doesn’t mean I’m suggesting that you try to be more daring and “open” to new erotic people or experiences. Instead, change how you have sex. Have an unscripted encounter, and adventure with your partner. Use your emotions, words, and body to create a sense of connection, a peaceful point of openness between you. Whatever the encounter is, use it to make profound contact that can’t be missed or ignored, and transports you both to a place of unmistakably being with each other in that point in time.
Open all the connectors of your humanness, of your emotions, your thoughts, your physical presence and feel the sexual energy complete the circuit of full mind and body contact. This requires that you don’t look to your personal map for directions and instead show up and explore the unknown terrain that is created by human-to-human contact in this moment in time and space. It’s an adventure in uncharted person-to-person territory.
Most people view their sex life with a tunnel vision focus on turning up the erotic excitement. Your sex life will improve (no matter what) if you begin to practice a more "whole person" kind of sexuality.
When you are discouraged and disappointed in your sex life (or lack there of) here’s some do’s and don’ts to a better sex life.
Try to get, have, or be sexier and to take your sex life to new heights. The wilder, bigger, better, and hotter plan is old and tired and definitely only heightens the well worn map of expectation—“let’s have climax". If you have difficulty with a part of your sex life, this plan to rev up your sex life, will usually rev up your sex problem as well.
Instead, become more sensual on a day to day basis and with your partner in general. Sensual means you pay attention to and enjoy all the senses of the body. It does not mean seduction. Tune into the sensations of your body right now. Strive to be fully present and enjoy the moment. Try making more eye contact with your partner in and out of a sexual encounter. Your feeling of contact will increase.
Become a more sensual being in your day to day life. The popular word right now is mindfulness. Be more mindful of the tracks of your attention. Instead of getting swayed by sexual excitement, find your enjoyment in emotional, mental, and physical contact with the world around you.
Another way to say it is to "live fully in your own skin".
Yet another way to say this is that sex is a 4-track experience. When you have the emotional, mental, physical, and the erotic tracks on and operating, you have a fully turned on experience. Our common default sexual experience is a 1 track (erotic) experience. When we focus just on the 1 track, we ignore or become unskillful in the other tracks. Turning up the volume of the erotic, only increases our sexual difficulty. Turning up the other tracks of the "music" adds an endless richness of layers and textures that improves our sex life. Sharing this with another person only multiplies the pleasure.
Keep checking to make sure you still got it! This is getting validation about the erotic track again and it won’t help you interact with others which is what really great sex is about. Also, don’t give up because you are "too old" or "too fat" or "too-too". The point is that everyone has full potential sexuality. Your sexuality is about getting all 4 tracks humming along with or without a partner. You have to start with yourself!
Check the quality of your intimate relationships and dating. If you aren’t dating, you can check any relationship you have to see how you are doing on your skillfulness in intimacy. Think about it. If you don't have quality emotional intimacy in friendship, how will you have it with a romantic partner. It's more about your skillfulness in intimacy than finding the person who magically is compatible in bed.
Really—do you have intimate emotional relationships? Do you have friends you can discuss things with on a mental level? Do you physically spend enjoyable time with other human beings? These things demonstrate the fullness of your sexuality. If you are limited in your human to human relationships, if you work on that, I promise you will feel better sexually.
Another way to say this is to work on your whole life, not just the erotic piece. The erotic piece will sort itself when you are working to expand yourself as a human.
Fall for the hype of a "dysfunction". The word dysfunction is a medical term used to describe problems with sex. Although there are pills that can shift how your body responds and may provide some assistance, most people find that at best medicating a sexual problem has short-term success. This is because most of us access our sexuality mainly through our thought images and patterns. If we don't change those, we will stay stuck in our sexual difficulty.
The best way to handle sexual difficulty is to create an experience that involves your emotions and a comfort level with being vulnerable to another human. This will change the map in your head.
Try to see the function of what you consider your dysfunction. It often makes a lot of sense if you study it. If you don't have sexual desire, is it because the sex you have isn't that desirable? If you have rapid ejaculation (premature ejaculation) is it that you try so diligently to last longer that you abort any connection to your partner or your own enjoyment? If you have difficulty with climax or staying aroused, is it because you truly are not aroused or because you lost the map of how it works for you? With or without sex therapy, if you approach your next sexual encounter and pay attention to your emotions and how much human contact (try looking into your partner's eyes for starters) you make with your partner I promise you will see a difference.
If you think your partner is the main reason your sex life sucks, don't try to "sex your partner up" (entice them, turn them on, expose them to sexual novelty, question their desire for you). Getting your partner to tune into your map or even their own map of sexuality is doomed to fail at least in the long term. (Again, don't try to get hotter, bigger, or better.)
Surprising fact: The person in a partnership who complains about sex the most is usually just as responsible for the problems as their partner.
Try talking about sex to explore emotions, thoughts during sex, meanings of patterns. For example, many get stuck on the "desire of their partner" as in "if my partner desired me they would initiate sex".
There are many credible and tasteful resources available online to learn how to approach sex in a more contact based frame of mind. Ask your partner to learn with you. Also consider going to a skillful sex therapist who can guide you into learning these contact and full mind and body connection based sexual experiences.
Use or think of sex encounters as the ultimate intimate contact or of a way to get touch needs met. Sex that is centered around erotic energy is often pretty empty of emotional, mental, and physical contact. This sets many lonely people up for lousy sex and sexual difficulty and most detrimentally—difficulty in finding a committed partner in life. Whether you are craving sex as a single, happy with your friends with benefits arrangement or just want to have more sex in your marriage—the principle is the same. Having sex that is largely based on erotic experiences without the openness of emotions thoughts, and complete body acceptance and contact doesn't help you develop emotional, intellectual, or bodily openness with a partner.