How To Have A Happy Sex Life
Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST
Written by Corey Whelan on August 28, 2019
© 2005-2022 Healthline Media
What constitutes a happy sex life?
Whether you’ve been in your relationship for 30 days or 30 years, you may have concerns about your sex life together as a couple. Having a happy sex life has been linked to everything from better heart health to better relationship health. But what constitutes a happy sex life? Some people believe a good sex life is based on how often the two of you have sex. Others believe multiple or mutual orgasming is the key. In truth, none of these things are vital to a happy sex life. There’s no magic number when it comes to quantity. What does matter is that each partner feels safe and comfortable, and they’re having pleasurable sex. What’s significant is a couple’s ability to communicate with each other about the type of sex they want to have. Let’s look at ways of improving your sex life together, and how that may also improve the quality of your relationship.
How to talk to your partner about sex
Sometimes it can feel difficult, but talking to your partner about sex is an investment in your relationship. Here are ways for speaking effectively:
Schedule time in advance to talk about sex. By putting this conversation on your agenda, you eliminate the possibility that this talk will arise out of anger or frustration.
Discuss what’s working and what’s not. Many problems that couples experience in the bedroom can be rectified by talking it out. Find ways to compromise so you both feel safe and heard.
Make suggestions to your partner about what you would like. Positive suggestions often work better instead of complaining about the things they’re already doing or not doing.
Be honest about what you want. However, don’t talk your partner into anything they’re not comfortable trying. Also don’t allow your partner to do the same to you.
Be open to each other’s ideas. Be willing to compromise on them, too, so that both of you feel heard and get what you need.
Be clear and honest. This will prevent less room for miscommunication. Don’t make your partner have to read between the lines. If you want something but are uncomfortable verbalizing it, try writing it down instead.
Happy sex tips
Improving your sex life takes work and planning. Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t cause the romance to be taken out of it. In fact, working on your sex life together as a couple can be a good way to put the romance back into your relationship.
Don’t hold on to anger. Anger is a normal part of life. Sometimes people even have angry sex. But unmanaged anger can squelch sexual desire, trust, and connectivity. It can be hard to feel tender, loving, or sexual toward someone you’re angry at. If you’re angry at your partner, find healthy ways to work out that emotion and to let it go. This may be as simple a fix as talking over situations as they arise that upset you. In some instances, this may require the support of a therapist or mediator.
Explore your own body. Experimenting with masturbation can be a good way for you to learn about what you like and dislike sexually in a safe and comfortable way. Some couples also find that masturbating together is arousing and a beneficial way to learn about each other’s bodies.
Don’t fake it. Sometimes it might feel easier to fake an orgasm or your desire instead of talking out why it didn’t work for you this time. You may want to avoid hurting your partner’s feelings. You may also just want to get it over with if you’re exhausted or can’t shut off your mind. But this can be detrimental to both your intimacy and ability to improve on your sexual encounters together. Being honest about your sexual experience with your partner can make you feel vulnerable, exposed, or embarrassed. It is, however, a good way to get the conversation going about your sexual needs so they can be addressed and met.
Don’t skimp on foreplay. In movies, two people may eye each other across a crowded room and be ready for sex with nothing more than one hurried, albeit passionate, kiss. In real life, it rarely works that way. Foreplay is often an integral part of getting ready for other types of sex. The type of foreplay you engage in is also important. Help your partner learn where you like to be kissed and how you like to be touched. Talk about what arouses both of you. Provide plenty of it before moving on to next steps.
Don’t skimp on afterplay. The time you spend together after you have sex is important, too. If you immediately fall asleep or jump out of bed and away from your partner after having sex, you’re losing out on an opportunity to get closer to each other and forge greater levels of intimacy. Talking, cuddling, or holding each other after sex is a way you validate your relationship and let your partner know they’re important to you. This type of intimacy is important for your relationship and for each other’s self-esteem. It also helps set the stage for better, more connected sex in the future.
Get in sync about timing. No one’s sex life remains static. In the early stages of your relationship, you may have sex several times a day or week. Later on, how often you have sex may lessen for many reasons, including the addition of children into your lives, stress, and scheduling. Libido also changes over time. Scheduling sex may sound like a turnoff, but for many couples, it sets a framework they can count on and look forward to. It’s important that you establish a schedule you both agree to. This may require reprioritizing other tasks in your life and setting them aside for each other. It may also require compromise if one of you wishes to have sex more often than the other. Scheduling sex also reduces the fear of having one of you repeatedly turn down the other when not in the mood.
Set the stage all day. If sex is on your agenda for the evening, build up each other’s anticipation and desire during the day. You can do this by sending each other sexy texts or photos. Consider sharing passages from a sexually explicit novel you both enjoy. Build up your own sense of anticipation and arousal by letting your mind wander to the night’s forthcoming activities, too.
Experiment. There’s a vast array of sexual activities you may explore as a couple, provided that both of you are comfortable. These can include everything from the use of toys and erotica to bondage sex, tantric sex, and more. Edgy or kinky sex isn’t, however, the key to a happy sex life. Mixing it up can be as simple as wearing different types of clothing or choosing new locations to have sex. It may also include the use of new positions and types of sex, such as oral sex, mutual masturbation, and anal sex. Experimenting with new ways to give you both pleasure can be a wonderful experiment in couple’s closeness, provided you discuss and agree on the things you’ll try.
Address health concerns that might be hurting your sex life. As people age, bodily changes may make sex painful or difficult. Menopause may cause vaginal atrophy and dryness. Changes in hormonal levels can include reductions in testosterone production. This can reduce sexual desire and cause erectile dysfunction. Medications may diminish libido or make it harder to orgasm. If you’re having difficulties with sex that are associated with a health condition, talk to your partner and to your doctor.