ALSO READ: Reconnecting sexually after pregnancy
We spend a lot of time in this column addressing sexual dissatisfaction. Today, I would like to devote an article to sexual satisfaction; to those who don’t necessarily have a sexual dysfunction issue but are not necessarily sexually satisfied either. My hope is you will begin to experience a different and better sex life, starting now.
1. Invest: The first and most important thing I want you to know is that a happy sex life requires an investment of time, energy and effort. This is really non-negotiable. The good news is, it isn’t as difficult or tedious as it might sound.
2. A happy sex life is subjective: ‘Happy’ for you will not necessarily be the same ‘happy’ for someone else. A good place to begin, therefore, could be in identifying what is important to you. In other words, what do you need to feel that you are having a better sex life? One question could be, "How would I know that my sex life is better? What would be different?” Please take this process seriously because the answer here is what will advise your next steps. I can tell you for a fact that people who skip this step – whether the issue is sex or work or even therapy – end up frustrated and running around in circles because they skipped the most important part of the process. Take it from me; take your time with this step.
3. Don’t compare: Comparison is the thief of joy. Remember how I said a happy sex life is subjective? This is part of it. You will hear all manner of things from your friends, family, TV, radio, movies or even social media, and if you are not clear on what you want and need, you will easily find yourself and your expectations leaning towards what others have. Forget what you think others have and focus on yourself and your needs.
4. Perception is not always reality: Think of this in two ways; your perceptions of what other people have is not necessarily the reality. No one wants to publicly state that they’re sexually bored or unhappy – including you – so don’t be so quick to believe or even care so much about the perceptions that other people are going out of their way to create. That’s really none of your business so if they (over)share, allow your mind to ignore especially if you have the tendency to compare based on other people’s opinions. At the same time, your own perception of your own sex life may not actually be accurate. You could be having a happy sex life but because you have sex a couple of times per week, you diminish its value since you assumed that you would need to have sex daily to be considered as sexually satisfied. Give your sex life a realistic view rather than a view based on random expectations, perceptions and misconceptions. Then revisit No. 2 above.
5. Take personal responsibility: No one can give you the sex life you want so place the responsibility on yourself first. It’s not useful or effective to blame your partner for what you’re missing. If your advances are rebuffed, don’t just recoil and say “my partner doesn’t want me.” Take the initiative to ask questions such as, “What can I do to improve this relationship? How can I be different in this relationship?” or even “How did we get here and how can I contribute to getting us out?”
6. Include your partner: So far, I have focused on you and what you can do. Now I want you to remember that you have a partner and they need to be part of this process for it to improve. Here’s an example of what I mean: You’re a man who wants to improve your sex life. Part of your contribution to that effort is to buy your wife flowers but you find that your efforts are not yielding fruit. Instead of making the assumption that your wife wants flowers, you could have simply included her in the conversation. A statement as simple as, “I want to improve how I am in this relationship. How can I do better?” or “My love, I feel like things could be different between us. How can I contribute to making them better?” or even “How can I make you happier?” could be a much-needed opportunity for her to respond and say, “you come home late every night and I don’t like it” or whatever else is on her mind. This will then give you opportunity to respond to her need of you or to ignore it rather than make a generic attempt with flowers. Someone recently asked me, “why give me pizza when what I really want is water?” I hope you get the point.
7. Switch it up: Definitely try something new. New clothes, new foods, bed sheets, make up, hair style, restaurants, routines...just pick something and change it up a little. Continuing to do the same old thing will continue to give you the same old unsatisfactory results so switch it up!
I hope these few steps serve as a good beginning that you can build on to have the sex life that you desire. Remember; the best sex is usually cultivated with clothes on, first. That means strengthening your relationship outside the bedroom will result in an improvement in the bedroom. I wish you a happier, healthier, more satisfactory sex life.
Maggie Gitu is a marriage, family and sex therapist. Reach her on: [email protected] or via her Facebook page: Maggie Gitu
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Evewoman.co.ke