When it comes to having better sex, most of the advice tells you to add new, sexy, fun things to your routine. Variety indeed keeps things exciting, and also it’s not long before your routine expands to include that something new. Then there’s the fact that, for many people, there isn’t a toy, sex position, or move that solves their struggles with low desire, orgasm difficulties, body image issues, relationship issues, etc. For those answers, we have to look outside the bedroom (kind of).
Over the years, researchers have examined this question and discovered just three factors most people need to have the intimate, exciting, and fulfilling sex life they crave. Here’s what those three keys are—and how to achieve them.
Manage your stress
For many people, stress kills libido. For fewer, it ratchets up their sex drive, sometimes to an uncomfortable point. Either way, managing (not decreasing or eliminating) your stress is key.
Stress, like all emotions, needs to be experienced and resolved. Otherwise, it takes up residence in your body, wreaking havoc on your sleep, mood, sex life, and more. One of the best ways to manage stress is to physically release it from your body. This can be done via sound, movement, or tears.
Place your hand on your chest, just below your collarbones
Inhale deeply, filling your pelvis, lower belly, ribs, and chest
Sigh deeply as you exhale. You want to feel your chest vibrate beneath your hand
Repeat multiple times, throughout the day, and anytime you feel tense
A good ol’ scream or two also works great, though this can be a bit harder to do in a public place or even your home, depending on your living situation.
Ever notice that after a dog gets spooked they shake it out? Shaking is one of the best things you can do to manage stress. After experiencing an acute stressor—say, a loud noise—let that shudder out. For chronic stress, try a daily rebounding or shaking (or dance that’s mostly shaking) practice.
Feel silly crying? Put on that show or movie, the one that always wrecks you, or grab that book, and let it flow!
Increase the trust, intimacy, and connection with yourself and your partner
The second major factor? How you feel about the person you’re getting it on with! Now, this doesn’t mean that good sex only happens in a committed relationship, simply that most people have better sex when they trust and feel connected to their partner. That can happen in any relationship structure, from a hookup to a committed relationship. And don’t forget yourself! Your physical and mental health, body image, self-esteem, and trust in your body’s ability to experience pleasure all impact how good masturbating can be.
Feel disconnected from your lover? Here are 21 intimate ideas to help you reconnect instantly.
Feel disconnected from yourself? Give mindful masturbation a try.
Make it explicitly erotic
Let your brain know: it’s go time! There are as many ways to make something explicitly erotic as there are people on this planet. However, there are a few that anyone can do, no matter their sexual desires.
- Keep the bed for sleeping and fucking. This signals your brain that only relaxing, fun things happen here.
- Have a signature scent like this candle that doubles as a massage oil.
- Know what turns you on…and off. Incorporate more of the former throughout your day and remove, heal, or dismiss as much of the latter as possible. Not sure what turns you out? Try this sexy date night in, solo or with your beau.
The only three things you need for a better sex life
Each of these is simple but not easy. All of them are the foundation to help you address any sexual issues you experience, from trouble experiencing orgasm to low desire to premature ejaculation and everything in between.
At the end of the day, it’s not just about knowing the right moves or having the best toys. It’s as simple—and complex—as these basics, whose impact will ripple through your sex life, relationship, and entire life.