Sex Therapy Isn't Just About Sex

At Shift, we know that sex isn’t just sex. It can mean romance, connectedness, biological need, love, communication of loyalty, desire, and so much more in its best incarnations. In its worst though, it can mean a violation of trust, vows, a frustration, pressure, pain or boredom. So, how do you get a great sex life?

Nurture Your Connection

Sex in a committed relationship is often an extension of emotional intimacy. “When we see couples who focus in on a poor sex life, without acknowledging that they don’t even have enjoyable conversations now, we know there’s a problem, says Shift’s founder, Andrea McTague. There are a couple of simple things people can do to increase connection and attraction, and consequently, produce a better sex life.

Most of these suggestions come out of the elements of early stages of relationship. Remember when you used to flirt, have hot and spontaneous sex, gaze longingly and laugh lots? Let’s look back to that recipe for connection.

1. Make Time

Remember when life was simple and it was just the two of you and responsibility was minimal? Well, it may not be now, but falling in love and staying connected still takes time. Scheduling regular time to connect fully often needs to be deliberate. Get rid of screens, plan a dinner date, hold hands, go for a walk, sleep in and chat – whatever.

2. Have Real Conversations

Too often we forget to continue to get to know our partner. People aren’t static they change and evolve. Part of what allows people to do it together is knowing where their person is at. When we date, we pepper each other with questions, learn lots and chat about all kinds of things – not just what’s for dinner and what not. Ask questions. Be interested. Find out something new, talk about interesting things. It’s amazing how easy and fun it is to get back into it.

3. Make Eye Contact

Eye contact is implicated in attraction. Star crossed lovers don’t gaze deeply into the television, after all. Look at your person. Deepen your connection and draw out your desire.

4. Touch

Remember the role of touching in those early days? Little, non-sexual touches are like the trailer for a movie – their purpose is to build suspense. And, suspense, build-up, drama is key to a better sex life. It’s what the ‘every-Saturday-night-same-position-at-9:30pm-‘ sex lacks.

5. Change Things Up

Not that your favorite movie, ham and pineapple pizza or sex position isn’t great, but new experiences are a satisfier. And I don’t mean just change up the sex stuff; if touch, eye contact and conversation are all the initial ingredients for a great connection, it means they are also some of the ingredients for a hot ‘n steamy sexual connection.

6. Be Nice

Even more important than romantic gestures and roses, is that we have respectful exchanges. Criticism, bossing, distrust, ignoring and the like all erode connection. They don’t help us in the libido department at all. Instead, keep exchanges authentic and respectful. If you and your partner are having difficulty doing so, seek help either together or on your own. There’s no sense in forcing a connection when there’s a disruptor in the dynamic.

7. Take Care of Yourself

Whether it’s getting ready a la first date style or just making the “apple vs. fries” type of choice, putting continued effort into how we appear to our partner can have payoffs.  While it’s nice to be comfortable, it is sweet to consider what our partner likes, also. A favorite shirt, a lacy nightie, those cute yoga pants; the objective isn’t to objectify, rather to demonstrate an element of consideration and knowledge.

8. Get Your Explore On

Taking the perspective that there are lots of exciting stuff to learn and try out keeps possibility focus. Learn what you like. Learn what your partner likes. Experiment. Maybe you find out that something’s not your thing – but that’s okay – you don’t have to like or try everything. Talking openly and in a fun way can keep things pressure-free and interesting. Flogger anyone?

9. Don’t Ignore Sexual Problems

Whether psychological or medical, concerns like erectile dysfunction, loss of libido, vaginal dryness or difficulty reaching an orgasm are treatable. Sex is fun! Don’t settle for a mediocre sex life. Call in medical professionals or a sex therapist to help out if needed.

10. Lastly, even if you can’t hit up each of the nine previous suggestions, put this one into action: put a little effort in. Trying is always going to help because you can’t get a great sex life without working at it.

How Shift Can Help

These suggestions are all great! But sometimes you might need the help of a professional. There may be underlying issues that come from our limiting beliefs. Call Shift for help on couple’s dynamic disruptors or sex-related concerns, we’re here for change!