OK, to be fair…
These are sex mistakes I see ALL couples making, not just married folks.
However, given the typical context faced by many (although not all) married peeps (for example, a long-term partnership that is often characterized by a sense of comfort and maybe even monotony, outside stressors like finances and careers and children, etc.), some of these “mistakes” are acutely experienced in this type of relationship. These are mistakes I see folks making over and over that get in the way of truly incredible sex, and therefore may also be getting in the way of increased intimacy and a higher sense of connection between spouses. (And don’t worry, I won’t just tell you the mistake, I’ll tell ya how to fix it, as well!)
Mistake #1: Not Prioritizing Sex
I probably don’t need to list all the reasons why sex is important, right? DON’T CARE, DOING IT ANYWAY! Sex has numerous mental, physical, emotional and social health benefits, including, but not limited to: lowering stress levels, building intimacy with and demonstrating affection for someone, reducing risk of some cancers, lowering blood pressure, releasing feel-good hormones, managing pain, increasing body confidence, improving immune functioning, it can help you live longer, increase blood flow to the brain, improve sleep, provide cardiovascular benefits, increase pelvic strength, increase feelings of desire… I could go on. Folks who have an active sex life report feeling more satisfied in their relationships, are more likely to feel happier overall, live longer, tend to look younger, and be more physically and mentally healthy than they’re less sexually active counterparts.
We make it a point of prioritizing other activities that provide these benefits (such as doctor appointments, going to the gym, taking medication, attending social engagements, performing beauty regimens, etc.), but will often neglect sexytime because it doesn’t seem as “important.” Whether you’re sexing yourself or your boo (because notice that I didn’t specify that you needed to have partnered sex to reap these benefits), consider this your permission to dedicate some time (scheduled time, even! Put this shit in your color-coded, post-it filled planner!) to get it on.
It doesn’t have to be lots of time! Quickies (solo or partnered) are totes OK!
Mistake #2: Defining Sex Too Narrowly
If you’ve just read the #1 mistake and thinking, “I still don’t know if I can fit sex into my super busy schedule,” correcting this mistake may just help with that one too. Stop defining sex as only intercourse! Or penetration! Or PIV (penis in vagina) sex! Or whatever the “one assumed behavior I assume people mean when they say ‘have sex'” is for your partner and your body parts. With all the confounding factors that can make just HAVING the PIV sex difficult in a time crunch (such as the need for erection, lubrication, physical arousal, making genitals accessible, etc.), it is essential to broaden your sex repertoire to include other – and potentially less inconvenient – activities.
Using mouths, hands, tongues, making out, flirting, touching, and sexting can all count as “sex”! Many of them have comparable benefits to intercourse, and many of them are also reported to provide more pleasure than PIV. When you add all these sexual behaviors to your definition of “having sex,” it really expands the possibility of incorporating sexual pleasure into your life without the pressure of having to do THAT ONE THING all of the time.
So, if you’re looking to improve your sex life – whether it’s to experience more pleasure, connect with your lover, relieve some stress… whatever! – start with these common mistakes. Rectifying them can significantly improve the quality of your sex life and your relationship!
Colby Marie Z is a sex & relationship coach, educator, speaker and blogger based out of Providence, RI. She is a doctoral candidate in human sexuality, an avid (slash obnoxious) football fan, and has been proudly talking about sexual pleasure, confidence, and satisfaction for 10+ years. You can find out more about Colby at sexloveandallthefeels.com or connect with her on Twitter or Instagram.