Tips for sex men

Contents

7. Put Sex On The Schedule

Sure, the idea of scheduling sex doesn’t sound super hot, but it can help keep things on track. Life is stressful. People get busy. And too often, sex is one of the first things to get bumped lower on our list of priorities. Putting sex on the calendar can help reposition it back on top. Besides, knowing what’s waiting for you later on gives you something fun to look forward to throughout the day.

8. Embrace the Quickie

If you really want to make sure you’re getting a good share of sex, you might think about embracing the quickie. It allows you to enjoy sex and get on with your day in a timely fashion. You can always save the cuddly stuff for later. Think about employing the most convenient positions possible. Standing doggie is always a great option for folks on the go.

9. Occasionally, Try Getting Off Before Sex

If you’re worried about orgasming too soon during sex, try getting off beforehand. After ejaculation, men experience a refractory period, a span of time whereby the body can recover and replenish after orgasm. Chances are, having a going at it alone will help you last a bit longer with your partner.

10. Try Out Some Toys For Her

A good majority of women require clitoral stimulation in order to reach orgasm. And some like that stimulation to be strong. Like, machine-level strong. Think about picking up a small vibrator, one that doesn’t take up too much real estate. Try busting it out next time you’re having sex. It will give you something new to focus on and it will give her the intensity typically required to achieve orgasm during penetration.

11. Try Out Some Toys For You

Contrary to popular belief, sex toys aren’t just for women. There are tons of strokers, massagers, rings and other accessories designed for men. The market has also expanded so as to include toys designed for couples to use together, during sex. Shop around, and see what you like. You don’t have to use it every time you get it on, but it’s always nice to have something on hand in case you’re in the mood to mix things up.

12. Don’t Forget About The Lube

No conversation concerning sexual accessories would be complete without mentioning lube. Now, women are able to vaginally self-lubricate, but often times it’s not enough. If you’re using toys, stick to a water-based lube. If you’re not bringing toys into the mix, you’re free to expand your selection to include silicone-based products. Lubes are designed to reduce friction during sex, which can otherwise cause some discomfort.

13. Talk Dirty

Talking dirty during sex can feel like a daunting task. After all, no one wants to sign up to feel stupid. But the reality is that dirty talk can really elevate the sexual experience. It allows you to communicate what you like and what you want to do to your partner in an exciting way. It also helps keep you in the moment. If you don’t know where to start, take some advice from Dan Savage and “describe what you’re going to do, describe what you are doing, and describe what you just did.”

14. Explore Other Erogenous Zones

When it comes to sex, we tend to jump right to the genitals. But the reality is that we have a multitude of erogenous zones on our bodies, and not all are located below the belt. Some folks find having the nape of their necks caressed extremely erotic. Others like having their armpits touched. Some people say nipple stimulation alone can drive them straight to orgasm. Remember, it’s important to take the time to explore all our potential pleasure centers.

15. Entertain Different Kinds Of Orgasms

Guys tend to gravitate towards penile orgasms, though it is important to point out that other pleasure centers exist, and are located inside their bodies. The prostate is known to produce such intense orgasms it’s been dubbed “the male G-spot.” It can be accessed internally, through the anus, or externally, via the perineum. The more open-minded you are, the more pleasure you might enjoy.

16. Embrace Your Adventurous Side

There’s nothing wrong with good sex, no matter the variety. For some, “vanilla” play is most enjoyable. But others might crave something a little more involved. Talk to your partner about what interests you both. Role-play has proven to be an incredibly popular way to live out our sexual fantasies. Explorations into kink are another. Spanking can be a fun way to ease into sex. Some light bondage can also work. The point is, there are countless forms of sexual expression to explore. It’s important to remember that.

17. Don’t Forget About Sexual Hygiene

Yeah, sex is supposed to be a little messy but there are limits to how gross you should get. If you and your partner are both fluid-bonded and monogamous, then you don’t necessarily need to worry about condoms and STIs, but that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Make sure to wash your hands before and after getting busy. The last thing you want to do is introduce any bacteria to your partner’s intimate areas. And hey, it doesn’t hurt to have a clean penis, either.

18. Keep Up A Healthy Masturbation Routine

Sex is an incredibly important aspect of any relationship. But even when in a relationship it’s important to maintain a healthy sexual relationship with oneself. So do yourself a favor, and carve out some time in your day for solo sex.

19. Try Solo Play Together

We know; it’s hard to keep your hands to yourself when naked in bed with someone else. But masturbating side by side with a partner can be a lot of fun. “Mutual masturbation” can help educate you on all your partner’s hidden idiosyncrasies as they relate to sex, and vice versa. Keep an eye out for what gets them going, and keep it in mind for next time you guys go at it.

20. Consider “Edging”

Orgasms feel good. Like, really good. Which helps explain why we spend so much time chasing them. But delaying that gratification can really pay off in the end. Edging refers to a form of orgasm control whereby an individual decreases stimulation as they begin to approach orgasm. This allows you to enjoy a longer sex session with your partner and a stronger orgasm once you allow yourself that release.

21. Sometimes, Forget About Orgasm All Together

It’s important to remember that sex is not a race towards orgasm. Positioning it that way takes away from the intimacy and intensity the experience can provide. Besides, putting too much pressure on orgasm alone can mess with your head. It takes you out of the moment and away from your partner, and that’s a perfect recipe for unsatisfactory sex. Try not to focus on the destination and just enjoy the ride.

22. Do Your Kegels

Men can exercise their kegel muscles too. If you aren’t sure where to locate them, try cutting off urination in the middle of your stream. The muscles responsible for this action are connected to the pelvic floor. The stronger the muscles, the better control you’ll have over your erection, orgasm, and ejaculation.

23. Consider Maybe, Possibly Making a Sex tape

Watching other people have sex has become somewhat of an American pastime. On average, PornHub receives around 92 million visitors to the site per day. But why spend your time watching porn when you can be making it instead? For couples interested, it functions as a fun activity and a nice little ego boost. The thing is, keep your options open and discuss what might be fun. That’s the joy of sex with a long term partner. Of course, before you go ahead with any plan, you’re going to need your partner’s explicit an enthusiastic consent.

24. Don’t Underestimate Her Pleasure Points

Our bodies are amazing vehicles for orgasm. Many women gravitate towards clitoral stimulation as a means of achieving orgasm. Some prefer internal stimulation, more targeted towards the G-spot. There are also women who enjoy cervical stimulation, which can be delivered through deep penetration. Others prefer to access their pleasure points through anal penetration. The point is, there are a lot of different ways to make a woman cum. Talk to your partner about her particular preferences, and act accordingly.

25. Don’t Forget About Aftercare

It’s important to remember that sex doesn’t end after orgasm. Embracing your partner after you pop is also part of the process. A nice cuddle helps communicate intimacy and affection, and those are two very important things to prioritize in any relationship

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The post The 25 Best Sex Tips For Men Who Want to Be Great in Bed appeared first on Fatherly.

The flip side of this coin can be just as troubling. Anytime I hear about Sting’s tantric stamina, I think, Poor Trudie Styler! Frankly, I’m surprised she doesn’t walk like John Wayne. Allana, 25, was dating someone who took forever to finish. “I didn’t want to hurt his feelings, considering most guys think of stamina as a good thing, so I just told him how wonderful it would be if we could finish together. Then I coached him: Just as I was about to come I’d whisper, Can you finish with me, baby?’ Guess what? My narration was apparently exciting enough for him that more than half of the time, our trains pulled into the station at the same time!” All aboard!

…the bad kisser

Many of the women I interviewed saw this flaw as a complete deal breaker. They believe it’s not something you can teach or get past. Then I used this scenario: If you’re dating Leo DiCaprio and he starts slobbering all over your face, you’re going to say forget it? Take your movie-star ass outta my sight? I don’t think so. I think you’d work with him—and you should. Eleanor, 39, gets that: “I was recently dating a guy who could not kiss. I love to kiss, so it was a huge turnoff.” The first few dates she avoided any lip action, but as they started to spend more time together, she couldn’t ignore it. “I began to give him what I call secret lessons,'” she says. “I would kiss him a certain way and then whisper in his ear in a really sexy and sensual tone, Kiss me like this.’ It was sort of like follow-the-leader. And it worked! He began to automatically do it exactly the way I like.”

…the too-dirty talker

Back in my dating-a-million-guys period—postcollege, pre-having to get up in the morning—I was seeing a guy who did the dirty-talk thing, and I loathed it. But it wasn’t his potty mouth that bothered me, it was the things he asked me to say. Once he wanted me to tell him to you-know-what me and I said, “Are you nuts? I’d never say that!” If anything I’d write the scene like this—it’s 1945 and you’ve just returned from Versailles…. I’m wearing a satin nightgown, white. No, dusty rose. No, yellow. Wait. I’m wearing a WAC uniform à la The Andrews Sisters, my hair is like Veronica Lake’s…. By then the guy would either have drifted off to sleep or gone out for a hooker. My friend Alice, 31, had a slightly more useful method with a guy she dated a few years back: “He loved to say dirty stuff while we were making out and he would ask all kinds of ridiculous questions and expect answers.” Her replay of one of their typical conversations:

Him: You know when we were on the ferry last week?

Her: Yeah.

Him: You wanted to f**k me in the bathroom, right?

Her: Um, gross!

Alice would try to play along, but her heart just wasn’t in it. “I talked with my girlfriends endlessly about how to bring it up to him, but I really didn’t want to ruin his fun. Finally one night after a lot to drink I blurted out, Shut up! I don’t want to talk anymore!’ I know it wasn’t the most sensitive way to handle it, but it worked. And it improved our sex life incredibly.” Actually, it improved their sex life enough for Alice to realize that losing the dirty talk didn’t fix the relationship. They broke up but remained friends. She said he now asks his girlfriends if they like dirty talk before imposing it on them. A+, Alice!

…the orally challenged guy

When I was 11, my mom’s sister was getting divorced, and they wanted to see a movie and brought me along. The movie was Coming Home, the emotional story of a Vietnam vet (a young Jon Voight) who falls in love with the wife (a young Jane Fonda) of an officer at war. Voight is paralyzed from the waist down, and after a lot of plot, the two of them end up in bed. All you see is the top of his head going up and down under the covers and she’s saying things like “Softly, slowly.” Totally puzzled, I wondered, What is he eating? When I saw the movie again as an adult, I told my mother she was lucky that child welfare didn’t cart her away. But I also thought, Jeez, Jane’s giving him some pretty serious instructions—good for her. If only the rest of us were so bold!

Great Sex Tip 4: Focus on Pleasurable Sensations

While we’re on driving, let’s talk about commutes. And cubicles. And computers. And the demands and distractions of our daily lives.

Stress is an enemy of great sex. So is anxiety about performance. Minimizing both helps maximize your enjoyment of your partner. “If we can quiet our monkey-minds, put a stop to that ceaseless inner-chatter, we can open ourselves up to better sex,” Britton says.

She recommends that men adopt a mantra: FOPS, or Focus on Pleasurable Sensations.

“There are techniques ranging from eye-gazing to massage and synchronized breathing that help keep you in the moment,” Britton says. “Great sex happens in the present. It doesn’t happen in the future, like worrying about how quickly you’re going to come.”

Great Sex Tip 5: Focus Less on Size and More on Other Matters

“I’m not going to pretend it doesn’t matter,” Davidson says. “There are plenty of women for whom it absolutely does. But I prefer to focus on the idea of the right fit.”

No two people are built the same, and it helps to have compatible body parts. For some women, men of modest size may be a perfect fit. It’s a matter of physiology and personal preference. But perfect-fitting penetration isn’t the only path to satisfying sex. Focus on foreplay. Concentrate on kissing, cooing, caressing — the full panoply of sexual pleasure giving.

“A lot of women are very responsive to a man’s voice during lovemaking,” Davidson says. “If a man has verbal facility and can entice a woman through his voice, that can become a powerful part of his repertoire.

Great Sex Tip 6: Schedule Sex. Really.

What sounds rote and dreary can actually be dreamy, says Michael Castleman, who recommends the strategy especially to couples in long-term relationships, who’ve passed the can’t-keep-their-hands-off-each-other phase.

“There’s this powerful mythology that says you should fall into each other’s arms spontaneously, with string music playing and the sun setting in the West, and if that doesn’t happen there’s something wrong with you,” Castleman says. “Nonsense. Real life doesn’t work that way.”

Foreplay can include any activity that leads up to sexual intercourse:

  • Whispering your desires to your partner
  • Kissing on the mouth or over their body
  • Massaging different areas of their body
  • Slowly taking your clothes off in front of your partner
  • Fingering or handjobs
  • Oral sex

Masturbation can also be foreplay. Like other sexual activities, masturbation can help boost your mood, increase your libido, and help make you feel good in your own body, which leads to sexual confidence.

There’s no right or wrong way to do foreplay. As long as whatever you’re doing is consensual and sexually stimulating for both of you, go for it!

3. Try different positions

While there is something to be said for sticking with what works, trying the same position every time can get monotonous for you and your partner. Explore different positions, taking inspiration from porn, erotica, or the Kama Sutra.

Trying different positions can also help keep the passion alive if you’ve been with your partner for a while, or if you are role playing. The partner on top is in a more dominant position, and being underneath or behind can be more submissive.

4. Make some noise

Being vocal during sex with moans, sighs, grunts, or whatever else comes out of your mouth in moments of pleasure can help reaffirm to your partner that you’re enjoying what’s happening. Plus, being loud during sex can help you express yourself and might even increase your pleasure.

5. Let your partner see

When it comes to sexual confidence, it’s great to be able to put it all out there. Whether it’s letting your partner watch you touch yourself, or keeping the lights on when you’re having sex, letting your partner see all of you can increase their arousal.

It helps if you know what’s going on down there too. Get to know your anatomy by touching yourself or looking at yourself in a mirror. You might have to look closer, but women’s sexual organs become erect with arousal too!

6. Don’t worry about your looks

Learning how to be confident in bed involves being able to be in the moment without distraction. Sure, you may have spent some time getting yourself ready, but once you’re in bed, your focus should be on how you feel, not on how you look.

7. Tell your partner how you want it

Sexual confidence is built by knowing what you want and getting it. If there’s something you know you like that your partner isn’t doing, find a constructive way to offer feedback without criticizing their efforts. If you can, try showing them how you want it so they can follow your lead.

8. Keep things spontaneous

If you want to surprise your partner in the bedroom, try suggesting that you watch porn together as a way of foreplay or introducing a new sex toy to mix things up. Making things fresh and spontaneous is a great way to keep it fun and interesting for both you and your partner.

And once you feel confident in the bedroom, you may be ready to get outside your comfort zone and try sex or foreplay elsewhere. Maybe you surprise your partner in the kitchen wearing nothing but an apron. Or perhaps you rub your hand across their pants under the table at a restaurant. Just like trying different positions, trying different locations can also be exciting.

Photo: Bonita Cooke/Getty Images

While humanity’s most basic activity may not seem like a subject for buttoned-up social scientists, sex researchers have started unearthing some sensible findings around sexuality, like that happy couples have sex about once a week, and that watching porn primes partners’ attraction to each other. Every human desires to feel sexually confident and capable, which is why we’ve rounded up the best sex advice science has to offer. Below, learn how to be better in bed with five simple actions.

1. Get high.

According to a new, small, but in-depth study from New York University, marijuana goes better with sex than booze does — leading to “magnified” orgasms and less regret. Participants in the study claimed that getting high increased sensitivity, while getting drunk led to desensitization and more regret. The research also suggests that people hook up with fewer strangers while on marijuana, so take that how you will.

Learn more about the differences between drunk sex and high sex >

2. Make your special someone actually feel special.

A new study out of Israel found that when people felt their partner was being more attentive toward them, they were thirstier for their partners — and they had more sex. Just like the Drake lyric, Soon as you see the text, reply me suggests, responsiveness may be the key to keeping the fire burning in a long-term relationship. Scientists reason that when you feel your partner is responsive to you, then you see your partner as someone desirable and worth pursuing.

3. Understand that having good sex takes work.

Scientists from the University of Toronto analyzed how the way you frame your assumptions about sexual chemistry shapes your sexual chemistry. They found that couples who believed you had to put effort into sex in order for it to get better reported higher satisfaction in both the bedroom and the relationship. If you fall into this category, it means you don’t let a sex disagreement put a strain on the relationship, therefore making it more resilient.

Learn more about sexual growth beliefs >

4. Don’t study texts on sex; study your partner.

Beyond the basic anatomy of knowing what goes where, the best thing you can do to get better at sex is listen to your partner. Sexual relations, like any other relationship, come down to communication, and research suggests that what really drives sexual satisfaction is rapport. You can’t rely on noises or gestures — you must rely on positive guidance.

Learn more about how communication can improve your sex life >

5. Be more altruistic.

It turns out that people really are just looking for kindness in a partner. According to new research, altruistic behavior significantly predicted how satisfied participants were with their sexual behavior and their number of sexual partners. Previous research has shown that people prefer more unselfish long-term partners, but this study shows generosity can be sexy in the short term, too. Proof that nice guys don’t always finish last.

Learn more about why altruistic people have more sex >

20 Great Sex Tips for Men

7. Abstain a bit. Abstinence as a sex tip? Believe it or not, it’s a surefire way to improve sex and make your next encounter with your lover even more exciting. “Practice abstinence for a couple of days, a weekend, or a week,” says Mandel. “Abstinence does make the heart grow fonder and makes you lust after forbidden fruit.”

Related: 5 Exercises Men Can Do to Improve Their Sex Life

8. Plan for sex. It may not sound that romantic, but Dr. Simmons says it’s a great way to improve your sex life and satisfy women. Construct a plan for having sex, he suggests: “Setting aside time or arranging opportunities for sex is very important, especially for busy couples or those with children. Don’t let the frequency of sex dwindle due to fatigue or the inability to find the ‘right time.’”

9. Make use of technology. Want to keep her in the mood for sex later that night while you’re stuck at the office? Use your cell phone or e-mail. “Send her sexy messages throughout the day,” advises Mandel.

10. Compliment her body. Want a foolproof way to drive her wild and ensure better sex? “Find a particular feature, and tell her that she is the best in this class,” says Mandel.

11. Focus on relaxation. Men like to get excited for better sex, but women are more likely to get in the mood through relaxation. “Wash her hair in the shower or massage her scalp to relax her,” says Debbie Mandel, a stress management expert and author of Addicted to Stress. “A woman needs to be relaxed before she is ready to receive.”

12. Foreplay. Regardless of how you get revved up for better sex, Matthew N. Simmons, MD, PhD, of the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute in Cleveland, suggests not skimping on the foreplay — no matter how long you have been together as a couple. “Foreplay contributes greatly to stronger orgasms and improved sex,” he says. “Gearing up your autonomic nervous system will increase sensitivity, excitement, and strength of orgasm. Your patience and attentiveness will pay dividends.”

13. Think like a woman. Natalie Bencivenga, co-founder, editor, and writer of twodaymag.com, advises thinking like a woman. “To think like a woman in bed, you don’t have to be one,” she says. “Give attention to some of her most neglected areas, like her neck, her feet, her inner thighs. Tease her mercilessly. Make her want it. You will be surprised what a build-up will bring!”

14. Let her take the lead. Men so often take the lead in bed. Sometimes, the key to better sex is letting her be in charge. “Don’t be afraid to let your mate lead,” says Joyce Morley, EdD, a licensed counselor in Decatur, Ga. “Allow your mate to initiate sexual pleasure on occasions, as well as taking the top position.”

15. Don’t overlook lubricant. According to Bencivenga, there’s no shame in using lubricant to satisfy women. “Many guys think that since women get wet, if we aren’t wet, then we aren’t into it,” she says. “That’s not true. Sometimes, whether it’s stress, certain times of the month, or fatigue, women can have a hard time getting physically aroused even when they are mentally in the game. Lubricant in the bedside drawer is your new best friend.”

16. Switch things up. If you’re experiencing a case of the “same-old, same-old,” working on adding a little variety is the key to better sex, says Simmons. “Spice things up by planning and discussing variations on your usual sexual habits,” he explains. “Lingerie, toys, new positions, and other creative additions can enhance intimacy and orgasm.”

17. Change the location. Another way to add variety and improve sex life, suggests Mandel, is to try someplace new. “Do it in different places to experience a different energy,” she says. “Take it outdoors if you are overwhelmed with technology and want to get back your natural rhythm.”

18. Make love instead. Does it feel lately like it’s just sex? “Try making love,” advises Dr. Morley. “You make love with that special someone, but you have sex with anybody.”

Related: The History of Smooching

19. Use touch even without sex. Even when you’re not having sex, you can still improve your sex life by using touch in an intimate, but not sexual, way. “Touching is important, but doesn’t always mean sex,” says Morley. “It is important to be intimate with your mate by touching her with love and affection on a daily basis. Kiss daily, and don’t be afraid to allow her to reciprocate.”

20. Practice self-care. “Take good care of your penis,” says Dr. Simmons. “Penile injury is usually sustained when your partner is on top or when the penis buckles from missed penetration. If things are getting out of hand, ask your partner to ease up. If you suspect a penile fracture due to a perceived ‘pop’ followed by bruising, see a urologist immediately.”

When it comes to sex, you might be wondering if there are tips and tricks guys want to share, but don’t. Frankly, there is no magic erogenous zone or blowjob technique to have on standby that’s going to blow his mind. Everyone is different, and what works for one guy might not work for another.

As these guys can attest, the best “tips” are just knowing how to enjoy yourself and have fun during sex.

That being said, here are 11 things guys want you to keep in mind during sex — if not just to make it better for yourself.

1. “This is a pretty gender neutral sex tip, but… relax. Enjoy yourself and don’t get in your own head. Sex is fun.” — Matt, 28

2. “I’ve been with men and women, and in my personal experience, guys are generally more vocal. They’re willing to ask for things more in bed. So women: don’t be afraid to make demands.” — Dave, 26

3.“If you’re looking for sex tips or you’re worried about how you are in bed, enthusiasm goes a long way. In fact, I’d say, more important than being ‘good’ at sex is being into it.” — Scott, 25

4. “I think you’ll have more fun if you can talk with your partner, and you’re both actively making sure you’re in an environment where you feel comfortable.” — Charles, 27

5. “Don’t worry about sex tips. Just worry about being in the moment.” — Chris, 28

6. “Take things slow. Even if the guy you’re with is in a rush, don’t be afraid to slow it down . Foreplay is important. Make sure he knows that.” — Jason, 27

7. “I think eye contact is very underrated but very sexy. It’s incredibly intimate to gaze into each other’s eyes during sex.” — Mike, 27

8. “I think dirty talk is so hot. It doesn’t even have to be good, honestly. Just try it.” — Dan, 27

9. “My ex was pretty into sex toys. Nothing too kinky or out there, but she’d get out her vibrator or something. I loved it. If you have sex toys and you think you might like bringing them into bed, I would say do it.” — Stephen, 28

10. “Don’t be afraid to give explicit instructions to get you off. We want to get you off. Help us help you.” — Tom, 29

11. “Just based on my personal experience, I don’t think women need to feel bad if they’re taking a while to orgasm. I don’t mind being down there between your legs.” — Seth, 27

Frank Kobola Frank is a contributing writer for Cosmopolitan.com

How to Have Sex Like a God: The Complete Guide for Men

By ASTROGLIDE Team Sexual Health

Most guys don’t have it so easy. Even if they roll up to the first date in an Aston Martin sporting the jawline of James Dean and the comedic genius of Will Ferrell, all it takes is one night of terrible sex to completely ruin their chances at long-term bliss (or a solid sexual rep).

And while it’s easy to pick up golf and grilling tips from friends, guys are far less likely to share sex tips with each other. So how can they improve their skills?

Don’t worry — we’re here to help. Follow this guide and we guarantee you’ll soon be the number one lover-man in your postal district (or at least in the top ten).

The #1 Sex Tip for Guys: Become a Mind Reader

Ever wonder why clairvoyants claim to have predictive powers but none of them ever seem to win the lottery? The answer isn’t in a crystal ball — it’s in the ancient art of “cold reading.”

These mediums begin by making general suggestions and paying very, very close attention to how people react. Nodding, leaning forward, raising eyebrows — these are all signs that the psychic’s predictions are on the right track. By backing out of the suggestions that seem to be dead ends and proceeding cautiously down the paths that produce positive reactions, mediums amaze their audiences, even if they don’t have a connection to the spirit world.

You can use the same kind of skill to seem like a mind-reader in the bedroom. Here’s how:

Like a psychic, start with a general approach.

Don’t pull any “signature moves” right out of the gate.

Pay attention to the feedback you’re receiving.

The easiest feedback is of course verbal. If your partner says “that feels good” don’t switch to another move or vary your pace right away.

Not all sexual feedback comes in the form of words.

Pay attention to sighs, moans and quicker breaths — these all mean you’re on the right track!

Body language during sex may tell you even more.

Do they pull away? Jump or jolt? Do they move your hands from where they are to another part of their body? These are signs that it’s time to ditch your current move and try something else.

Respect your partner’s boundaries.

If you have a signature move you’re super proud of and they say, “that hurts,” “stop doing that” or let you know in some other way that they’re not a fan, don’t try to convince them. Abort mission and try something else!

Give Your Partner Feedback

When it comes to sex tips for guys, “reading” your partner’s mind is incredibly important — but giving them feedback might be even more crucial. If you want to have the best sex of your life, it isn’t just about telling your partner what you like and don’t like — HOW you give your feedback matters too.

For great sex, here are tips to follow:

Talk about what feels good.

One of the most important sex tips for guys is to give positive feedback — moan, sigh, say “that feels amazing” etc. when you’re enjoying yourself.

Instead of complaining, offer a sexy alternative.

If your partner has been going down on you for hours and you can’t wait to do the deed, instead of saying “UGH why are you taking so long!?” say “I can’t wait to be inside you.” They’ll usually take the hint without their confidence getting damaged in the process.

Keep it general when you compliment their body.

You may love tiny breasts or a huge butt, but the very things you find sexy about your partner might be sources of major anxiety for them. So instead of talking about the size or shape of their body, keep it general. Say things like, “you’re so sexy” or “your legs are so hot.”

Don’t leave them guessing after the deed.

A simple, “That was fun!” after you’re done gives them some validation and also lets them know you’d be interested in a second-round at some point.

For the Best Sex of Your Life: Speed Is Key

As many a girl’s Instagram bio proclaims, “Life isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey.” So while you may have tunnel vision on the orgasm waiting for you at the finish line, try not to run full speed until you reach it. Slow down and take a detour or two.

If you’ve ever wondered how to have longer sex, taking control of your pace is key, but in the heat of the moment, it’s easier said than done. These sex tips for guys can help:

Refocus on foreplay.

Kissing and caressing aren’t things that should only happen before penetration. You’ll have the hottest sex ever when you continue these actions throughout your sex session.

Running out of ideas? Check out these 6 sexy foreplay tips you’ll want to try tonight!

Give the nipples some love.

Nipples are packed with nerve endings, making them powerful erogenous zones. Slow your thrusts and give your partner’s nipples some attention by gently licking them up and down, licking around them in a circular motion and sucking on them lightly. It’ll drive them wild and allow you a chance to catch your breath.

Slow your breathing.

You don’t need to get into the lotus position and start meditating, but breathing deeply for four seconds and exhaling for four seconds can help slow your heart rate, decrease blood flow and help you last longer in bed.

Want to Have the Hottest Sex Ever? Be a Giver.

Blow jobs are like pizza slices — if you’re handing them out for free, 9 out of 10 people are going to jump on it.

But a far smaller percentage is going to return the favor. “I just don’t like giving oral sex!” they’ll say as if their partners woke up that day thinking “I hope I get to give a blowjob today!” Shout-out to those of you who do — you’re the true MVPs. But in the words of Sex and the City’s Samantha, “Honey, it’s called a job for a reason!”

If you’re happy to receive, you should be happy to reciprocate.

This doesn’t just go for oral sex, it should also apply to other areas of your lovemaking. Does your girlfriend constantly give you back rubs before sex? Does your boyfriend always agree to do your favorite sex positions, even the ones he’s not that into? Think about what makes you feel best before, during and after sex and ask yourself if you’re putting in the same level of work.

The Best Sex Begins When You Lose Your Fear of Taking Control

If there’s one sex tip for guys that you should always remember, it’s that when it comes to sex, consent isn’t just important — it’s critical. You should never engage in a sexual act you’re not sure you have consent for or pressure someone who seems upset or unwilling to have sex. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t tell a partner what you want, or ask them for what you’re into.

Taking the reins in the bedroom can lead to some of the best sex of your life, not just for you but for your partner as well. When you say things like “I want to taste you” or “get on top of me” you’re not just being powerfully sexy, you’re also being passionate. Asking for what you want or giving instructions can help you enjoy yourself more, but it can also take the pressure off of your partner who may be asking themselves “are they into this?”

Remember you don’t have to wait until you’re both naked to be decisive. Send a sexy text while your partner’s at work letting them know exactly what you want to do to them when they get home. Getting in the mood early will lead to some great sex later.

Learn the Locations of the Male and Female G-Spots

People talk about g-spots like they’re UFOs or sasquatches. Sure, some people claim to have found them, but do they really exist? The truth is out there, friends, and the truth is this — knowing your g-spot and your partner’s g-spot might just be the key to the hottest sex ever.

How to find the female g-spot

If you love the ladies, do yourself a favor and read our Ultimate Guide to the Female G-Spot. Contrary to popular belief, the female g-spot isn’t a spot at all.

ASTROGLIDE’s Resident Sexologist Dr. Jess explains: “The G-spot is not a distinct entity, nor is it located inside of the vagina; it can be felt through the vagina and when stimulated, the tissue begins to swell,” says Dr. Jess. “As opposed to being a singular organ, it is believed that its sensitivity is connected to corollary stimulation of the female prostate (previously referred to as Skene’s glands), urethral sponge and inner clitoris.”

Complicated? Maybe a bit, but don’t worry — our Ultimate Guide can help you find and stimulate the female g-spot to give her a mind-blowing orgasm.

How to find the male g-spot

Does your partner have a penis? If so, they also have a g-spot! Stimulating the male g-spot basically means stimulating the prostate gland and there’s more than one way to do it.

The easiest way is to press gently on the skin between the anus and balls (the perineum). You can massage this area by using two fingers to “pulse” as you’re stroking, sucking, or having sex. Do this right before he orgasms to be known as the man who gave him the hottest sex ever.

You can also stimulate the male g-spot from the inside. Read our complete guide to the male g-spot to learn how!

20 More Sex Tips for Guys

We’ve covered a lot of the basics, but don’t text your hookup yet — we’re not done! Here are 20 more sex tips for guys who want to make love like superheroes:

1. Trim your nails.

This one is especially important for ANYONE who has sex with ladies. No one wants to get fingered by Freddy Kreuger. (There’s a reason we also included this tip in our beginner’s guide to lesbian sex!)

2. Ease into new experiences.

Dr. Jess says, “Wait until you’re both really turned on before you try something new. As you become aroused, the chemical changes in your body help you to relax and be more uninhibited.”

3. Download an app.

Wondering how to have sex longer? Darren J Smith founder of pillow.io recommends both his app and one called Edge Stamina. Smith says, “It teaches guys how to control their ejaculation and last longer in bed.”

4. Don’t be obsessed with sex positions.

Smith continues, “As a guy who previously thought that learning a new acrobatic position every week would make him a better lover, I now suggest guys focus on the subtleties of lovemaking – that undivided attention, the eye contact, that soft delicate touch on the neck, empathy, openness, a variety of kissing techniques… there’s so much more than just “positions!”

5. Have a sense of humor.

You aren’t the first person to fall off the bed or pass gas right in the middle of great sex. Don’t get angry or flustered — laugh! There’s nothing sexier than a sense of humor.

6. Don’t disappear off the map.

If you expect to have sex with someone more than once, don’t wait more than 24 hours after sex to send them at least a text message. Even if your encounters are purely casual, waiting days to get in touch after a night of great sex just looks like you’re playing games. Who has time for that?

7. Do that come hither thing.

This tip comes from comedian Billy Procida, host of The Manwhore Podcast. “The ‘come hither motion’ is a nuanced but critical tool to have in your sexual toolbox. Using one or two fingers (remember, listen to her body and sense what her body is asking for), gently thrust in and out as you flex your fingers like Obi-Wan summoning a lightsaber. Every woman’s ‘spot’ is in a slightly different place, so pay attention to her moans and words (“More shallow!” “Up more!”).”

8. Don’t get wasted.

In Dr. Jess’s words: “Drink a little less than you’d like to. A drink or two may help to loosen you up, but excessive alcohol can actually increase nervousness and impair sexual functioning.”

9. Use lube.

Sure, seems like an obvious one coming from us but it’s still important. Remember that using lube doesn’t mean you’re doing a “bad job.” It just means you want your partner to be comfortable and enjoy themselves as much as possible! Not sure where to start? Here are 10 great ways to use lube, and our advice for introducing lube to the bedroom.

10. Remember you’re not in a porno.

Relationship Consultant Benjamin Ritter says, “Porn producers have only one purpose and that’s to make money. It is scripted mainly for men to enjoy and does not usually depict sex that women (or a lot of men) want to experience. Stop treating your partner like a porn star.

11. Don’t ignore the clitoris.

Many women simply can’t reach orgasm without clitoral stimulation, so don’t ignore it! You can learn more about the clitoris here.

12. Don’t treat the clit like an enemy base.

While you shouldn’t ignore it, you also shouldn’t go full-throttle at it. There are a lot of nerve endings in that little guy! Be gentle and play close attention to your partner’s reactions

13. How to have longer sex: practice.

“You can train your body to last longer during sex by practicing during masturbation,” says Ritter. “When you are masturbating take the time to be aware of your levels of arousal, and as you feel yourself coming closer to orgasm, stop. Continue doing this for the length of time you want to have sex. Once you are able to identify your levels of arousal you can learn to avoid reaching orgasm until you decide.”

Nervous in the sack? Here are 10 ways to overcome sexual performance anxiety. Relax and have the time of your life!

14. For great sex, pay attention to their whole body.

Ritter says, “There are places on our bodies that rarely get touched but are extremely sensitive; i.e. the inner thigh, back of the neck, the lower spine. Pay attention to these areas to make sex a unique and complete body experience.”

15. Be an early bird.

Sometimes the best time to have sex is in the morning — you’re both relaxed and rested! Switch up your routine and try having sex when you wake up.

16. Freshen up first.

“Always approach the bedroom squeaky clean,” says psychologist Dr. Fran Walfish. “Shower regularly, lotion up and spray perfume or cologne (lightly). This not only makes you appealing to your partner but raises your personal confidence sexually.”

17. Know when to call it quits.

“Sometimes one of you just isn’t really feeling it. You’ve had sex for a while and something is off, or you feel she’s done. It’s ok to stop. You don’t have to be a marathon man.” says Ritter. “Respecting the mood of the situation will earn you tons of points and make you a person they want to sleep with more often.”

18. Don’t force your partner to be confident if they’re not.

Everyone feels differently about their own bodies and sexuality, and your partner isn’t going to have the hottest sex ever if they feel like they’re performing or being forced way out of their comfort zone. There’s nothing wrong with candlelight or getting busy under the covers.

19. Buy some “man-gerie.”

Women shouldn’t be the only ones out there with sexy undergarments (and no one is turned on by your dirty Spongebob draws). You don’t have to get crazy with thongs and silk boxers, but you should always wear new underwear that makes you feel sexy.

20. Don’t be shy about sex toys.

The right sex toy can turn good sex into great sex. Ask your partner if they have a favorite toy — they’ll feel more comfortable using theirs than trying one that’s new. Check out our Complete Guide to Sex Toys for Couples and see what excites both of you!

“Sex is not a mechanical act that fails for lack of technique, and it is not a performance by the male for the audience of the female; it is a continuum of attraction that extends from the simplest conversation and the most innocent touching through the act of coitus.” Garrison Keillor

We’ve thrown a lot of sex tips for guys at you in this post, and we know it’s a lot to take in all at once. But if we can leave you with one final tip for great sex, let it be this: stay in the moment. Read these tips, try to remember them and put them to use, but don’t try to cross them off your mental checklist while you’re thrusting. Stay present, connect and above all enjoy yourself!

And if you want even more sex advice for men, here are 3 ways to be a gentleman on the streets and a freak in the sheets.

Know some sex tips we didn’t share here? Think you know the secret to having the hottest sex ever? Share the love and tweet your tips to @ASTROGLIDE!

Images are for illustrative purposes only.

Here’s a universal truth: No human wants to be labeled as lousy in bed.

In fact, most people probably don’t want to be rated average, either. We want to excel in the sack. Fortunately, science has discovered a few ways that both men and women can boost their bed cred.

1. Talk Dirty To Me

A big plus of long-term relationships is that you know, or should know, what pleasures your partner. But sticking to the same sexual routines can be a buzzkill when it comes to actually desiring your partner, explains sex researcher Dr. Kristen Mark, director of the Sexual Health Promotion Lab at the University of Kentucky.

Don’t underestimate the power of a cuddle.

The big problem: people — even in long-term relationships — often find it tough to talk about sex and what they want. “Talking about sex makes you feel vulnerable and most people think they may make their partner feel bad if they suggest something new,” says Mark.

Her own research, however, shows that people actually are open to trying new things in —or out — of the bedroom. And couples who talk about sex are much more satisfied with their sex lives.

In a survey or more than 3,000 folks ranging from 18 to 70-plus years of age, Mark and colleagues found that majority of participants indicated that engaging in sexually adventurous behaviors (ranging from masturbation, voyeurism, the use of sex toys, and more!) increased their sexual satisfaction, with a large majority of participants indicating their partner’s satisfaction was also improved with engaging in the behaviors.

Women weren’t averse to talking dirty or sharing fantasies with their partners. In fact, they were significantly more likely than men to have engaged in a wider variety of sexual activities, indicating they are more “sexually open” than often thought, says Mark.

RELATED: Ideally, how often does a couple need to have sex to be happier?

2. Cuddle and Canoodle

Don’t underestimate the power of a cuddle.

Research suggests that cuddling, canoodling, spooning, even laying there like skin-to-skin zombies after a romp can pay off big in how your partner views their own sex life and overall relationship.

“One of the most common reasons why people engage in sex in relationships is to enhance intimacy and feel closer to the partner and I think after-sex affection helps to accomplish this goal,” says sex researcher Dr. Amy Muise, assistant professor of psychology at York University.

Trending stories,celebrity news and all the best of TODAY.

And it’s not just women who need a cuddle in order to feel good about sex with their partners. Men are also affected since it increases their sexual satisfaction, which makes them feel happier about the relationship.

Her studies show that even though parents may spend less time in post-coital cuddling than childless couples, their relationship and sexual satisfaction was more strongly linked to post-coital cuddling than childless couples.

RELATED: 5 relationship warning signs to never ignore

3. Good Sex = Hard Work

One secret to good sex during a long-term relationship is the belief that sexual satisfaction takes effort, according to a study published the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

In order to have sexual satisfaction long-term, partners need to develop “sexual communal strength,” basically they need to be motivated to meet a partner’s sexual needs, says Muise.

Her research shows that those couples that developed this strength were more satisfied with their sex lives.

In one study, she and her colleagues asked people in relationship the types of things they would do to meet their partner’s needs. A common response: doing the deed when they aren’t in the mood. Other research showed that doing the deed when you’re not in the mood actually resulted in both partners feeling more satisfied.

But it’s not a one-way street. Research also shows that when one partner is overly focused on their partner’s needs, to the exclusion of their own needs, neither partner benefits, Muise says.

Science says nice guys have more sex

Feb. 21, 201700:49

4. Context is key so write it down

What turns you on – or off – is dependent on context.

Imagine it this way: If you’re feeling playful and your partner tickles you, it may feel good and may even lead to some good sex. “But if you’re stressed, or in a lousy mood, you probably want to punch your partner in the face,” says sex researcher Dr. Emily Nagoski, author of Come as You Are: The surprising new science that will transform your sex life.

She suggests that couples think about the best sex they’ve had, and consider what it was about that encounter that made it top of the list. “Think about where you were, what was happening in your relationship, what you did, and how you felt about what you did,” suggests Nagoski.

If an individual writes down three great-sex encounters, patterns may start to emerge about individual turn-ons. You can then share these with your partner and try recreating these contexts.

“Let’s face it more erotic stimuli means more arousal,” says Nagoski, adding that some of the things are brains perceive as erotic are obvious like erotic stories or videos. Other things may be erotic only in the right context, such as a fantasy about being dominated, which is only a turn-on perhaps when it is a fantasy, she adds.

“It’s really important to find out what turns you on, and find out what turns your partner on, and then create contexts in which those turn-ons can be maximized,” Nagoski says. “That way you can both reach your full sexual potential.”

5. Be a giver

If you want your partner to think you’re good in bed, find out what pleasures him or her. But take it one step further through random acts of kindness and you too can be the world’s best lover, according to Canadian researchers who found that altruistic people are uber-desirable.

This was especially true for men who scored higher on altruism. They reported more sexual partners, and more casual hook-ups compared to female participants. Altruistic individuals who were coupled-up didn’t lose out either. In fact, they reported more sex over the last 30 days than the non-altruistic.

6. Lay off the smokes and the booze

It’s clear the quitting smoking can make you physically healthier, but it can also help in the sack. For example, according to a meta-analysis of ED research, about 40 percent of men with erectile dysfunction were also smokers, says Ball State University sex educator and researcher Dr. Justin Lehmiller.

A small study published in Archives of Sexual Behavior by researchers affiliated with New York University’s Center for Drug Use and HIV showed that alcohol and marijuana were reportedly associated with a variety of negative sexual effects including sexual dysfunction.

For some, though, weed may indeed stimulate desire and magnify orgasms, but more work needs to done.

“The most important thing a person can do is to be attentive to their partner,” which is tough if you are high or drunk, although both may lower inhibitions, says Lehmiller. “A man might think his erection was lasting longer when he was high, but his perception of time could be way off because he was stoned,” he adds.

And we’re not talking about sleeping.

There’s no greater mystery than the human body. Whether physically or emotionally, there is always something our bodies do that takes us completely by surprise, be it a spontaneous crying fit or sudden inexplicable fatigue.

And no area is fraught with more intrigue than our sexual side. Not only do we have to try and figure out what gets our partner’s fire burning, we also have to understand our own body’s sweet spots before we have any chance of having a great time in the sack. This, frustratingly, as I’m sure many women will agree, is easier said than done.

Fortunately, there are a few simple tips and tricks you can employ to make sex go from groan to moan in no time. And according to sex therapist Pamela Supple, they don’t involve turning yourself into a gymnast to reenact every page of the Kama Sutra. Here are 18 entirely uncomplicated ways to become an outstanding lay…

1. Use your body (language)

“Don’t just lie there; move. You’ll enjoy it all the more. People pick up on body language. If you aren’t contributing with the body, or flinching and pulling away, your partner will sense it,” says Supple.

2. Don’t skimp on the foreplay

“Foreplay is a must, especially for women, who need a little more physical preparation than men. However, if it hurts in any way, you must say so.”

3. Let your lips do the talking

“You can’t beat it oral sex. Give or receive; either way the feeling is amazing,” says Supple.

“Ask your partner what they like, get feedback, and the experience will get better and better.”

4. Make eyes

“It can be uncomfortable sometimes, but eye contact is a must. It needn’t be used all the time, every time, but eye contact can be very sexy, hot, and seductive.”

5. Be patient

“Vaginal intercourse won’t always get you to orgasm, hence the importance of foreplay and oral sex, so take your time before moving on to penetration.”

6. Know your G-spot

“Sex toys are ideal for G-spot stimulation,” advises Supple.

“They are ergonomically designed, which is why they make your body produce such amazing sensations. You can also use the ‘come hither’ finger technique, if you don’t have any toys.”

7. Kiss. A lot.

“Kissing is essential, especially when seducing. You’ve got to be a great kisser, especially as the lips are one of the most erogenous zones on your body.”

8. Communicate

“You have to communicate, otherwise how do you know what each other likes? When you’re in the middle of sex, it can be a bit hard sometimes, but sounds of sexual enjoyment are always good for this,” recommends Supple.

9. Don’t stick to the bedroom

“Sex can happen wherever, whenever, and however. Just make sure you are both safe and are both willing.”

10. Have some quiet time

“Being quiet can be as sexy as moaning loudly. Some people are silent naturally; if you’re a quiet lover, well, that’s the way you are. Go with it!” says Supple.

11. Exploit the quickee

“Not every time has to be a lengthy making love session. Quickees are good for both of you if you’re in a hurry, or even because you want to focus on your partner, or vice versa.”

12. Get loud

“Noises are a natural part of sex,” assures Supple.

“Whether bodily function noises, verbal oohing and aahing, or laughter, just let go and enjoy!”

13. Mix it up

“Yes, mix it up! If you have an urge, run with it. Specifics probably won’t come into it, which can be half the fun. It’s always great to be spontaneous.”

14. Take the pressure down

“Sometimes orgasm just won’t happen, and that’s okay. You may be just tired, not concentrating, your mind may be wandering, or you might be happy to be close and enjoy a good lay. Getting anxious hinders your orgasm further, so take the pressure off.”

15. Relax, just do it

“Tension and self-consciousness can hold you back from exploration and fun, so give yourself permission to relax,” advises Supple.

16. Be yourself (but also let your inner freak out)

“Definitely stay true to your natural sexual being. However, if you want to play, and become another aspect of yourself sexually, great! Why not?”

17. Don’t have sex as a courtesy

“Sex isn’t about reciprocity. If you’re only putting out to get something back, you might want to have a look at your relationship, both emotionally and sexually.”

18. Talk dirty

“Big yes to talking during sex. If you think it’s kinky and will turn you both on, just say it! But it has to be sexual. Don’t talk about the kids, shopping, work, and so on. That’s a bit of a turn off, and takes you right out of the moment.”

Images via giphy.com and tumblr.com.

This article is published in partnership with Scarleteen.com.

veganpop asks:

I’m confused as to how a girl can be “good” in bed in a heterosexual relationship? What does it mean to be good at sex?

Heather Corinna replies:

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That’s one of the best questions I’ve received in a long time. I wish more people would ask it!

But. Umm. I can’t actually answer it.

I can’t answer exactly what you’re asking because human sexuality is one of the most diverse things there is, and that diversity includes how different everyone is in what they like and don’t like and in what they experience or consider “good” and what they experience or consider as “bad.” What one person means when they say someone is “good in bed” can be way different from what another person means. One person’s awesome can be another person’s awful. There is no universal “good in bed” for people of any gender or orientation, or for people, period. Some people certainly seem to think there is, or present that as real, but this really, truly is not universal.

But let me tell you why I’m glad you’re asking: because nobody knows, but very few people question that phrase or ask what it means. Instead, people will just tend to stress out about it, and decide the answer is whatever any given source who pretends that this stuff is universal says it is, often trying a million different ways to be “good” even if they really aren’t interested in those things, don’t enjoy them, or their partners aren’t interested in those things and don’t enjoy them. Sometimes people are so focused on trying to be a person someone will call “good in bed” they wind up sabotaging what otherwise would have been good sexual experiences.

It’s hard to really enjoy ourselves and each other sexually if and when we’re hung up on the idea of proving ourselves in any way, being some kind of sexual expert or getting a gold star. While I think being a good partner for people is certainly laudable and important, I think framing ourselves or anyone else as “good in bed” or trying to achieve that as any sort of status we affix and carry around is a mistake. A phrase or idea like “good in bed” is so loaded, so external and so arbitrary that it’s more likely to be a barrier to you or partners feeling your best about sexual experiences and yourselves as sexual people, rather than a help. The proverbial rubbish bin for poor or iffy terms or framing often used with sex is always overflowing, but my advice is that you cram this one in there.

Here’s the good news: even though I don’t know the answer when it comes to the framework you gave me and I suggest you ditch it, what I do know, and can fill you in on, are some basic things — let’s go for top-ten list — that tend to play a part in people mutually enjoying sex and sexuality together; that typically loom large in people feeling good about sex during and after. The even better news is that these things don’t require asking anyone to be a contortionist, they don’t usually cost any money, you won’t need to memorize anything, they don’t involve doing anything that doesn’t feel right to you or pretending to be someone, something or somewhere you’re not.

These things are fairly universal to people having healthy, happy sexual experiences and relationships they’ll tend to report are awesome, not just good. (Who wants good when you can have awesome?) And that’s as true for your partners as it is for you: this list isn’t just about what you can try to do yourself, it’s also about what you can look for and ask for in your partners. These things aren’t about one gender or orientation or just about things only one partner is doing: they’re about everyone.

1. Clear, open and honest communication: A whole lot of people, especially younger people, have this wacky idea that people don’t talk to each other during sex or about sex when they’re not having it. While that’s often how sex is presented in television, the movies and a lot of mainstream media, that’s not how it actually goes for people who are having mutually and frequently excellent sex.

Nobody can be expected to be psychic, and body language only gets us so far. Same goes for monosyllables, moans or groans which can be confusing: one person’s pleasure-sounds can sound like another person’s sounds of pain or discomfort. And what we like, or think someone else will, may not be what they do, or may not be all they like. In order to really find out as fully as we can what people like and dislike, what does and doesn’t feel good for each other, and by all means, to make sure everyone is giving and getting real consent, we’ve got to communicate clearly, openly and honestly, with real back and forth.

I’m talking about doing that during sex, just by asking someone what they like and want and need, and as you’re doing things together, if things are feeling good or not. I’m talking about them responding with honesty and direction, like by being real when something doesn’t feel so hot (but also when it feels great!), and by telling you think like to slow something down or speed it up, to move your hand or mouth or body a little this way or a little more over there, to add extra lubricant, all kinds of cues and directions. And then I’m talking about all of that also happening on your end, with them asking you and you responding. I’m talking about talking about sex when you’re not in bed, too. Those conversations should certainly include talking about reducing risks of infections and/or pregnancy and injury, but also about your sexual histories, things you’re curious about, things you know you usually don’t like and usually do, limits and boundaries: the more the better, building with both of your comfort levels and as trust is built.

It’s hopefully obvious I’m also talking about doing consent well, which, especially when a partner is new or we’re doing something new, needs to involve talking, not just eye contact or body language. A big part of good sexual communication is about consent. There isn’t anything that’s not sexy about someone you’re into asking you plainly if you want to do something sexual that you want to do: hearing it said out loud, hearing a partner voice their desire to be sexual in that way with you is yummy. Obviously, it’s different if someone doesn’t want to do something, but if someone doesn’t want to do something, it’s important you know that so you don’t do that thing (and in case you didn’t know, just because your partner is a guy does not mean everything is okay with him: consent matters for all genders, in all directions). Even if and when someone doesn’t want to do a given thing with you, hearing you ask and feeling you give them real room to take a pass is likely to make them feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed with you than they would otherwise, which makes great sex together more likely.

2. Be present and responsive: If our attention really isn’t on the sex we’re having, not only are we likely to enjoy sex a lot less, but so are our partners. Part of what makes sex so awesome is feeling connected, not disconnected. A partner who is spacing out, doing their taxes in their head, or is trying to remember the eighty-seven steps to mindblowing oral sex they read in Cosmo instead of really being present in the moment isn’t likely to be enjoying themselves much and neither is their partner.

That also means taking a pass or doing something else when you’re not all there. Sometimes we think we were into a thing, but it turns out that we were actually too tired, that we have something else going on we can’t let go of, or that what we thought was going to be exciting just wasn’t all-that. If and when situations like that happen, pretending isn’t the way to go. Again, that’s no good for you, but on the partner end, it can feel a whole lot like one imagines having sex with a zombie feels (save that you’re hopefully not also going to try and eat their brains). A partner just going through the motions is usually not what folks really want sexually.

3. Be creative and curious: Every now and then, I hear from someone who earnestly, really, truly, does not know there are other kinds of sex to have besides vaginal intercourse, and who has been having a sex life that truly involves nothing but intercourse, and maybe some kissing and the occasional boob-grab. It probably doesn’t surprise you that when I hear from these folks, it’s not because they’re writing to tell me how awesome their sex lives are. Usually they are writing to tell me that they, their partners, or both of them are really unhappy and really aren’t enjoying sex.

I’ve bent my brain backwards trying to figure out how, exactly, someone winds up in that position. The best I can figure is that for whatever reasons, these folks simply are not that curious about their bodies and their partner’s bodies or are not following their curiosity, and are not creative or are not being creative. When we’re both of those things, we’re going to try lots of things, even if we think no one else has ever tried them before. We’re going to try them because we want to and we can, and because a big part of sex is about experimentation: that’s one of the most fun parts of it, after all.

So, when you’re curious, follow your curiosity, and don’t get hung up on what the “right” thing is to do sexually beyond what you and your partner feel right about or what may or may not make you look or seem like a sex goddess. Just try and go with the flow. Be creative: don’t get stuck on just what you’ve seen in movies or read about in magazines. Try and channel your own intuition and imagination, because that’s what makes the sex you have, and the sex people have with you, unique and memorable, not cookie-cutter. Even if your curiosity and creativity have you wanting to try something you think seems silly, so long as you check in with partners about it first, chances are, even if it does wind up being silly, a partner might want to try it, and will appreciate you being willing to think of and try new things. Plus? Silly is fun. But we’ll get to that in a little bit.

4. Be confident and vulnerable: Confidence is a biggie people will tend to report as something they find very sexy and excellent in a lover, whatever their gender. Someone who clearly likes and loves themselves, who finds themselves sexy — and not just because a partner or someone else does — and enjoys their own body, who is willing to try new things even if they might make an ass of themselves, and who also holds their own lines tends to be a great and exciting partner to be with.

That said, confidence is different than cockiness or being closed-off. Sex can be a deep way to connect to other people, and we’re all certainly very exposed, even in casual scenarios. Now, if we or someone else wants, one can certainly put up certain walls to be less vulnerable, but when anyone is doing that? Those aren’t usually our most amazing sexual experience. We’re unlikely to remember a sexual performance long after it’s over; we’re much more likely to remember a time when someone seriously was open with us, and really let us in, and we’re also more likely to experience something as fantastic when people’s hearts are open.

5. Be and respect yourself and afford partners that same acceptance and respect: Really, truly, just be yourself. That includes doing the best you can to be honest with yourself about what you want and don’t want, regardless of what the other person does, and being true to whatever those things are, only doing what you want to, and making sure that you’re not just doing things to impress, satisfy or placate someone else.

A lot of the time, the word “respect” when used around young people sex is used as code to mean don’t let anyone mess with you, don’t do certain sexual things, or even don’t have sex at all. When I’m talking about respect, though, I’m using the word as defined, which is to regard yourself and others (and everyone’s sexuality) with honor and esteem. When I say acceptance, I mean accepting people for who they are, not looking to change them or to try and get them to conform their sexuality to yours. I also mean that you’re doing the same for and about yourself, so again, that you’re being authentic. We need to all be on the same page with what we do and will need to find common ground with the things we and a partner both like, but if and when someone has fantasies or desires and we don’t want to engage with those, just letting them know that we accept them as okay, despite not personally having an interest in exploring them, can be major for many people.

6. Don’t be fake. It’s one thing to be theatrical and to have fun playing. Maybe you’re role-playing and acting out being someone you’re really not, but you’re acknowledging you’re role-playing, not trying to fool a partner into earnestly thinking you’re their doctor, boss or zookeeper. Sometimes, too, we might key things up a little — a little, I said — to increase everyone’s excitement a bit more, including our own. I’m not talking about things like that.

Those are very different things than putting on a sexual performance which is false and meant to hide your real experience, like faking orgasm, pretending to enjoy yourself when you’re not, or saying you really want to do something because you think that’ll get a good reaction when the truth is, that thing feels or seems boring or creepy to you. Sex with you should be sex with you. Sometimes people feel like who they are sexually just can’t be all that sexy, but the truth is that sexy is as sexy does, and someone really claiming their own sexy is usually going to seem a whole lot sexier than someone trying to put on someone else’s sexuality.

We gotta whole lotta fake going on in our world: it’s very easy to come by. People being real is far more rare and valuable.

7. Take care of yourself as much as you take care of someone else. Some folks have the idea that what it means to be good in bed is to only go with what a partner wants, to only focus on their body and their pleasure, taking their own wants, needs and real responses out of the picture. But most of the time, when you’re with people who really want to be with you, as a person, not an object, as who you are, not who they wish you were, they really want to be with you and have things be mutual and reciprocal. In healthy, happy sexual exchanges, we care for ourselves and we care for each other: no one is parenting a partner or placating a partner at their expense. Sex is an awful place for martyrs.

If someone is ready to be sexual with you, and you’re very sure they are — I’d hope if you were not, you’d pass on sex — they are ready to take care of themselves and don’t need you to do it for them. Emotionally healthy people are not going to get excited by you being a doormat for them or just whatevering to whatever it is they want. Assertiveness is not only really important to healthy sexual exchanges, you’ll find that when you ask around, most folks will also agree that it’s far sexier than the alternative.

8. Take positive risks. So often when we use the word risk when we’re talking about sex, we’re only talking about the bad or unwanted stuff. But there’s risk in everything, and in order for good things to happen, we need to take risks, too.

I’m not talking about risking pregnancies you don’t want or don’t feel ready for, risking STIs needlessly or risking injury or being treated badly. I’m talking about things like trying something new you’re curious about, and feel good about doing, but are just a little worried you won’t do “right.” Or opening up emotionally a bit more in an experience you’re pretty sure it’s safe to, steeping a bit outside your comfort zone. Or sharing a fantasy with a partner, even though you’re a little embarrassed or showing them how you masturbate. Positive risks are risks we take which don’t ask that we risk anything major, and where we take a risk because it seems very likely that doing so is going to result in experiencing something positive we might not have otherwise.

9. Don’t be ashamed. Obviously, that can be a lot less easy than it sounds. Many people have shame around sex and it can take a lot of time and effort to unpack it and toss it. And if and when people feel very deeply ashamed with sex, it can be a good idea for those folks to step back away from sex and get some help sorting it out first.

But shame will crop up now and then for all of us, and it’s a headspace that not only often influences our decision-making poorly, it can also really limit our sexual experiences. If you feel emotionally and physically safe with a partner, know that that means you can try things out and be authentic in your sexual responses without big worries that they’ll feel or apply any shame you are yourself. And often enough, just giving shame the finger by refusing to go to a shame-place in our heads does a whole lot to send it packing.

10. And, last but so not least, have a sense of humor: Think about how you and others are usually feeling and behaving when you’re enjoying yourselves in your lives. You’re laughing and smiling, right? You feel joy, right? Most of us don’t file times when we’re dour, stoic or highly emotionally restrained under “Best Day Ever.”

In a whole lot of ways, sex is one of the ways we play. I don’t mean being cavalier about people’s feelings or not taking the things seriously with sex that we all need to. I mean play, like we did as kids where we could go for hours in doing something that was fun, where we could get totally lost in the world of whatever that play was, where we could let off steam, and be goofy and happy and relaxed while we made and enjoyed our own world-in-the-moment.

For sure, sex can be serious, and it is in many ways. But sex is primarily about physical and emotional pleasure and enjoyment. That’s why it can potentially be one great way to relieve stress, not just because we get off from it (when we do). I mean, let’s be real: in a lot of ways, when you really think about, sex is truly kind of ridiculous, it’s just a good kind of ridiculous. It IS a place to laugh, to smile, to be silly, to make an ass out of ourselves, to not take ourselves so darn seriously.

Don’t forget: getting “good” with sex in these ways isn’t likely to be something anyone is an ace at right at the gate. Just like with anything else in life, doing sex well — and I’m not just talking about the physics, which is the least complicated part — time and practice and growth, and we’re all going to have parts of this that we’re better at that others, or where some of these things feel easier than others. It can help to know that sex is a place where intention really matters. If our intention is to do all of the things in the list above, even if we bungle some of them sometimes or aren’t quite there yet in some places, but are working on it, it’s all usually going to be okay.

It’s also going to be okay if and when someone you sleep with doesn’t think you’re good in bed. The world won’t end, I promise.

Here’s the last thing I want to leave you with: sometimes wanting to be or be seen as “good in bed” is about trying to get validation in a not-so-great-way or about trying to get someone else to give us esteem through sex or their opinion of us sexually. If you ever find that having sex is all about, or mostly about, you feeling “good in bed,” in those ways, that can be a cue to check in with yourself about the reasons you’re being sexual with other people and about if you really feel confident enough in yourself at the time to be sexual with others. Ideally, we want to be walking into sex with as much esteem and confidence as we feel we need right from the start: not going in feeling we don’t have those things and hoping to find them there.

But if this is about you focusing on all the kinds of things I talked about above, chances are very good that you and your partners are going to pursue, experience and leave sexual experiences and relationships both feeling very good about yourselves and having felt good together. In bed.

Here are some extra links which might be of use to you:

  • Driver’s Ed for the Sexual Superhighway: Navigating Consent
  • Be a Blabbermouth! The Whats, Whys and Hows of Talking About Sex With a Partner
  • 10 of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Sexual Self (at Any Age)
  • Reciprocity, Reloaded
  • Ready or Not? The Scarleteen Sex Readiness Checklist
  • Yes, No, Maybe So: A Sexual Inventory Stocklist

Topics and Tags:

acceptance, advice, communication, Consent, desire, fake, Humor, identity, partner, pleasure, real, relationships, respect, Safe, self esteem, sex, Sexuality, Shame, status, vulnerability

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