The next time you’re standing in line at the grocery store, check out the glossy headlines of the women’s magazines that line the stands: “What Men Hate Most in Bed” or “What He Wants You to Know, but Will Never Say.” Men’s magazines echo the same theme: “What You Should Never Say to a Woman in Bed,” “Why She Won’t Have Sex With You.” We all want to know: what are my partner’s sexual complaints? What can I do about them?
The truth is, both men and women tend to complain about the same things when it comes to sex, particularly when they’re in a long-term relationship. Here are eight of the most common sex problems I hear from couples, along with suggestions to turn a partner’s frown upside down.
If your partner has stopped doing his or her share between the sheets, first try a subtle approach. Playfully lament how much you miss his or her trademark move in bed, whether it’s a turn, twist, or tweak. A friendly reminder that it takes two to tango may be all that’s required. If that doesn’t work, go for a more straightforward approach. Gently tell your partner that you’ve noticed he or she doesn’t show the same initiative and ask why. If no explanation is forthcoming (and if you’re certain there are no medical issues), be honest about how his or her lack of enthusiasm in bed is taking the fun out of sex for you, too. If your partner is invested in your relationship, he or she will step up to the passion plate. Meanwhile, it may be a good time to review your own rambunctiousness. A lazy partner isn’t worth the effort, in or out of bed.
Can you set your watch to when he’ll turn you over? Do you see her kiss coming a mile away? Long-term sex with the same person can eventually become predictable. And while there’s something comforting about sexual familiarity, it can breed contempt if it’s the only dish on the menu. To break out of bedroom boredom, experiment with different positions, focus on improving your sexual skills, or surprise your partner by telling him or her an erotic fantasy or dirty dream to kick-start your sexual imaginations. Change the way you behave in bed. If you’re usually quiet, wake up the neighbors. If you’re usually vocal, tone it down. If you’re typically slow and steady, pick up the pace. For added buzz, hide a sex toy under your partner’s pillow, whether it’s a high-tech vibrator, a feather tickler or a warming/cooling lubricant.
Ignoring the Connection between Emotional and Physical Intimacy
The way a couple treats each other outside of the bedroom has a direct effect on the quality of their love life. Nasty, nagging and negative partners rarely enjoy five-star sex. Strengthen your relationship by improving communication, prioritizing couple time, making your partner feel appreciated, and approaching conflict with humility, an open-mind and a team-player mentality. Replace the criticism or contempt in your voice with a respectful, affectionate tone. Do the “little things” that you know will help your partner have a happier day. It’s your best bet for a hotter night.
Laptops, tablets, iProducts and smartphones have a way of sneaking into the bedroom and e-undermining a couple’s private downtime. When you reply to a text or update your Facebook status instead of snuggling your sweetheart, you inadvertently send the message that your partner is not as interesting or important as the person on the other end of whatever gadget is in your hand. Make your bedroom a technology-free zone. Charge your cell phone on the kitchen counter and leave your laptop in the living room. Reclaim your bedroom for the two of you.