Sex is a journey when you're single and when you're part of a couple. Relationships change, transform, grow, go up, and go down throughout the course of many years. People transition, change, and grow personally as well. What you liked two years ago sexually (and otherwise) is probably not what you like now. Even with all of these constant progressions and changes we go through in life, there are things we can all do to maintain a happy sex life. In fact, there are several habits of sexually satisfied couples that professionals beleive improve intimacy, connection, and pleasure.
I've been having sex with the same person for almost 12 years. In our "drunk in love" phase, pulling out pony tricks galore was the norm. Fast forward to marriage, two kids later, and full time jobs I'd say things have changed quite a bit for us. Are we the stereotypical boring married couple who has no sex? No, not now. Were we at one point? Absolutely. Having babies was a total libido killer for me. Reaching a satisfying sex life again that both of us were happy with took communication and actual sex strategies that we practiced along the way (and continue to).
In an effort to focus on some of the most touted tips and techniques of sexually satisfied couples, I spoke to sexperts, marriage therapists, and an online sex toy shop owner. All had unique perspectives about how to help couples navigate their sexual well-being and happiness. Here are eight things that they beleive sexually fulfilled people practice.
1. They Discuss Their Desires Openly
"I think couples that communicate better outside of the bed, are also more likely to communicate their sexual desires and needs in the bedroom," Psychiatrist Dr. Celia Trotta says in an interview with Romper. She adds that it's really important that couples are able to express their sexual desires to each other. That includes how often you want sex and what you want during it. Being open and non-judgemental about each other's wishes and yearnings will go a long way to bliss in the bedroom.
2. They Stay Curious About What Their Partner Likes
It's great to be sexually self-aware about what turns you on, but it's also important to genuinely care about what your partner wants too.
"If this is new for the two of you, it can take some courage to say out loud what you're longing for, " Jill Whitney, a marriage and family therapist tells Romper. "Even if what your partner suggests makes you feel uncomfortable, try to listen with an open heart to your love's deep desires."
She adds that it doesn't even matter if you actually act on these fantasies or desires, just talking about them gets couples excited.
3. They Experiment With Sex Toys
Giving sex toys a whirl together can open up possibilities that you may be unaware of and bring you closer.
Taylor Henry, owner of an online sex toy store called His & Hers, says she and her partner weren't really sure if toys were for them in the beginning. But because they had to do so much research for their business, they decided to give them a try. And she's glad they did.
"After the first toy package was opened we never looked back," Henry says. "It provided more creativity and a sense of excitement we thought we would never get from a hand held silicone item, ever."
4. They Plan Quickies, Even In The Middle Of Busy Days
"Being full time entrepreneurs and parents for over eight years can really wear down any free time you have," Henry says. "So in between dropping our daughter off to school and afternoon meetings, we always plan a quickie in between to hopefully prevent a stressful day before it occurs."
Anyone with kids knows that time is pretty limited and sometimes there just isn't enough time for a full on one or two hour love making session. But quickies help sexually satisfy couples in those periods of life's chaos and help them stay connected.
5. They Realize There Is No "Normal" Sex Life
Sexual intimacy is a spectrum that fluctuates because of hormones, menstrual cycles, current life stressors, possible chronic illness, etc. for both men and women. One couple's sex life will likely be very different from another couple's sex life and that's OK. People have different frequencies and enjoy different ways of having sex.
"What's important is that you and your partner are satisfied with what you do," Trotta says. "Instead of focusing on having sex a certain amount of times per week or doing circus acts in bed, do what works best for you and focus on quality, not quantity."
Couples that don't adhere to society's often antiquated and mostly baseless ideas about frequency and modes of having sex, are the ones that are most happy and satisfied.
6. They Limit Screen Time In Bed
"The last thing healthy couples hold on to at night is each other, not their newsfeeds," Sexologist Dr. Celeste Holbrook says. She recommends for anyone that wants to improve their sex life and be more satisfied, that they take the TV out of the bedroom and plug their devices in elsewhere.
7. They Accept That Sometimes Sex Is Just OK
Sex is not going to be a mind blowing affair every time. The couples that accept this truth as their reality are still really satisfied.
"If you get disappointed that sex isn't amazing fireworks every time, you may not notice that even when it's only OK, it's still pretty good," Whitney says.
The point isn't always to orgasm, it's to enjoy the ride.
8. They Just Roll With The Ups And Downs
Both partners aren't always going to orgasm, and definitely not in synchronized fashion every time. Some times one or both of you is really going to be too tired to have sex. And that's OK.
"When anything goes 'wrong' don't let it get to you," Whitney says."That only makes it a bigger deal and makes you feel pressured, which is truly unsexy."
Whitney notes that couples who are sexually satisfied will just generally shake off a less than stellar sex session, smile at each other, hug, laugh and say "I love you." And then they move on.
"The goal isn't sex itself," she adds. "The goal is a loving relationship where sex is a satisfying cornerstone."