Because there is a lot of sex talk out there, people assume that most couples must be having fabulous sex. Nothing is further from the truth. There is tremendous amount of sexual dissatisfaction in relationships out there, especially amongst women. While it is recognised that sex is important in marriage, few understand that it is your responsibility to realise its full capacity by being in charge of your body and orgasms. The truth is that some people are too busy and tired for sex at the end of the day. Others are not just interested, while others avoid sex because it hurts or creates anxiety. Though not recognised, sexual dysfunction is quite common and results in quite unhappy and unfulfilled relationships. Some divorces are based on sexual dissatisfaction or ‘incompatibility’ as divorce papers would call it.
While physical health is sometimes an issue, as evidenced in rising sales of drugs like Viagra and miti shamba concoctions, most sexual problems lurk in the mind, not the mechanics. They have nothing to do with organ functions; they are rooted in issues like anxiety, relationship conflicts, life’s stress and just plain exhaustion – all of which affect desire for sex. In most sexual studies, women cite low sexual desire as the specific reason for their low sexual dysfunction, while very few men cite lack of desire. Indeed, most men feel they don’t get enough sex, hence engage in multiple relationships.
Sex therapists point out that women generally don’t get what they need in their overall lives and so they head into the bedroom with deficits. Because they have to juggle with many responsibilities in their lives, most women don’t get enough sleep, don’t eat right, don’t exercise and often harbour many worries and fears over their children, their finances and relationships, and so they are already wiped out by the time they get into bed. It is unrealistic to expect an exhausted woman to flick on a switch and feel sexy. This is not the case in men. Indeed when men are tired, they view sex as a way of relaxing.
Sex is psychological…
Today women are yearning for sex enhancing drugs such as Viagra to keep up with their men who achieve orgasm very quickly and leave them feeling high and dry. Most couples don’t need pills or other interventions to kick-start their sex lives but improvements in their entire relationship, as well as lifestyle. Sex is a psychological thing; you have to learn to let go and surrender to the experience of lovemaking. To help that process along, couples need to discuss how they can individually connect with their bodies, which eventually connects them to their desire and sexual response. They must learn to pay attention to the sensory input all around them; things like inhaling aromas, tastes of food, sensory touching and so on. They must also learn to communicate with each other so that their desires and wants are understood.
If you want to improve your sex life you must learn to pay attention to what feels good, and it doesn’t have to be anything to do with the genitals or orgasm. Take care of yourself. Rest, pamper yourself, exercise, have your “me” time – all of which help you feel better about yourself, in turn helping you feel more sexy. You should also stop putting expectations on yourself to perform in a certain way. People are all different and they respond differently to sexual experiences.
If stress is your main libido killer, try to think sexy when you are most rested, such as in the mornings and while on holiday. Resist the common prescription to schedule lovemaking into an already busy life. That makes sex a duty, not a joy. It is also not advisable to make dates for sex as some couples do, because dates should be for pleasure and if they culminate into sex, well and good – it is an added bonus. The more you add to the overall sensuality of your life as a couple, in and out of the bedroom, the more in touch with your sexuality you will be.
Sex is better in a steady relationship…
Sexual satisfaction is higher for people who are in a steady relationship and it is therefore important for you to first work on your relationship before expecting sex to be good when the relationship is not solid. Sex in a shaky relationship comes with a lot of instability, which has potential to create anxiety over sexual encounters, a mental state that hardly lends itself to titillation. For most people, sexual response requires love and trust. As a couple begins to trust each other, their expression of sexuality and understanding and appreciation of their own body, as well as their lover’s can really grow. The couple is eroticized and enjoys sex more.
Just as a trusting relationship leads to better sex, a struggling one causes problems. If you are afraid someone will hurt you, emotionally or otherwise, you will have trouble opening up sexually. When we are angry we don’t want to be sexy, we want to push people away. If a partnership is solid and sex still disappoints, chances are you need to work on communication. Beware of what experiences are pleasurable, and communicate that to your partner. It takes a whole lot of practice to talk about sex because most of us have been brought up to believe it is not good to talk about or even admit to sexual pleasure.
In most relationships, people do to their partner what feels good to them and vice versa, but often that backfires. You may nibble your partner’s ears because it feels good when he does it to you but if he does not like it, he will not feel aroused. Also, most men need to understand that the common missionary position rarely results in female orgasm. Pleasure and orgasm in women comes from stimulation of the clitoris, anterior vaginal wall and cervix. So positions like rear entry or the woman on top are more effective.
Another problem suffered mainly by women is when girls are brought up to believe that the male sexual drive is animalistic and faintly disgusting, so when your man comes at you, you may respond with apprehension. And while orgasm comes easily to some women, for many others, it takes practice and knowing their body intimately, not an easy thing for a woman who is self conscious and embarrassed about sex. Apprehension about sex can also be painful physically. The pain seems to be related to anxiety about performance, and is often found in inexperienced women who happen to be more anxious about sex. A woman who has experienced sexual trauma such as rape, childhood sexual abuse or sexual abuse in a violent marriage is likely to experience pain during intercourse.
There is a strong association between sexual dysfunction (lack of desire and arousal, and pain and anxiety during sex) and ‘impaired’ quality of life and low level of well-being. This means that sexual problems usually stem from stress-inducing events that take place outside the bedroom. Because sexual problems are so widespread in society, we should all expect to experience them at some point in our lifetime. But you should bear in mind that when you are exhausted at the end the day, there is good reason for a lack of desire, so pay attention to your workload if you want to enjoy sex. Also remember that there is a natural ebb and flow of our sex lives. If the problems go beyond lack of experience or ordinary slumps, look for the underlying cause, talk to your partner, and if need be seek professional help. There is an awful lot you can do once you understand the problem.
Drug therapy for sexual problems…
Drug therapy for women’s sexual problems is not as advanced as men’s. Even though more women than men have some form of sexual dysfunction, women have not been the focus of clinical trials by drug companies. For men, Viagra has changed their lives. Many men are now enjoying sex a lot more with a little help from Viagra.
One of the most common physiological causes of sexual dysfunction in women is hormonal. Estrogen and testosterone levels glide with menopause and these are the hormones that help fire libido. Women who have had a hysterectomy and/or their ovaries removed may also suffer from low libido because of reduced hormone levels. Chemotherapy and some kind of pelvic surgery could also interfere with hormone production.
There are sexual problems related to injury, for example pelvic fractures or injuries. Too much time spent on a bike seat is linked to nerve and blood flow problems in men, which often means loss of sexual response. Whether physical or hormonal, physiological problems are usually best treated with drugs. These include Viagra, which increases blood flow to the genitals. Testosterone replacement therapy has also been used to treat hormonal problems affecting sexuality, but it can have some nasty side effects like acne, excessive hair growth (hirsutism) and thyroid disease.
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10 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP YOUR Sex Life
- Get eight hours of shut-eye – exhaustion hinders libido.
- Wallow in sensuality – really taste a piece of chocolate or linger in an aromatic bubble bath or touch yourself all over sensually, for instance – and pay attention to how your senses react.
- If you are usually the more passive one, initiate sex with your partner. It will help you take more control of your sexuality.
- Check the medications you take, if any, and look for sexual side effects.
- Exercise regularly. The better you feel about your body, the better you will feel about expressing your sexuality.
- Don’t schedule sex. This puts on the performance pressure.
- Do schedule fun. Have a fun outing, go out for a nice dinner, go dancing, take a walk, or watch a sexy movie. Good times together help improve bedroom action.
- Don’t worry about how ‘everyone else’ does it. Respect and enjoy the uniqueness of your sexuality.
- Be a little selfish in bed – if you don’t tell your partner (in a loving way) what turns you on, he or she has no way of ever knowing.
- Accept that sex doesn’t always have to be mind-blowing to be enjoyable. When you make love, its real, not a scene from the movie.
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Drugs that may affect your sex
They include antidepressants; antihistamines, which dry up the nose and vagina; and some birth control pills, whose hormones can have adverse effects on your sexual response. If you are taking any of these drugs or suspect any other drug you are taking could be the culprit, talk to your doctor.