These Ten Bad Habits are Damaging Your Sex Life. You Should Ditch Them.
10 habits you should change to protect and improve your sex life, and 10 suggestions on how to do it.
There are many things to contribute to a happy relationship. One of those things is both partners feeling they have a satisfying sexual life.
By definition, a sexually pleasurable life isn’t all about orgasms and the amount of sex you’re having. It includes all of them, but intimacy and companionship are fundamental components of a successful relationship.
The fast-paced lives that many of us juggle; meetings, side-hustles, kids or house chores are heavyweights in the management of our relationships and our sex life.
Our daily compromises steal our time and drain our energy levels.
If we add to all of this the bad habits that we often adopt (sometimes not even realising it), we can truly endanger our romantic and sexual life.
The bad habits that impact negatively your sex life are divided into two categories: those that happen during bedtime and those that happen outside bedtime. Let’s start with the firsts:
Bedtime habits that affect negatively your sex life
1. Skipping foreplay
Foreplay is so, so important. It prepares the body for pleasure (especially women’s bodies, as we take longer to reach the climax than men), but it also connects you emotionally with your partner.
I have nothing against a quickie, where there’s no time for foreplay. But quickies should be exceptions, not the rule.
If you usually skip foreplay, your partner might prefer not to have sex, as it won’t be as pleasurable as they wish.
What to do instead: Make time to be with your partner. Seduce them, offer them a delicious foreplay time and be receptive to it. Remember: foreplay can start before bedtime, including with non-sexual activities.
2. Faking orgasms
There are many reasons people fake orgasms. You shouldn’t do it. You’re giving your partner the wrong feedback.
Leading them to believe that what they’re doing “works” (meaning you orgasm), will make them keep doing the same. Which, in consequence, will certainly have the same results: you not orgasming.
I don’t orgasm every time I have sex, and I’m not worried about it. My body (and mind) sometimes trick me, so I accept that sometimes I won’t orgasm. It doesn’t diminish the pleasure I have with my partner, I just don’t climax.
What to do instead: Orgasms are spectacular, but if occasionally they don’t happen, it shouldn’t be problematic. If it’s common, then you and your partner should talk about it and, eventually, seek professional help. But never fake it, you’ll be deluding both.
3. Sticking to the same old, same old
Sex can be so diverse. You have hundreds of positions to choose from and many offer of sex toys available.
There’s no reason sex should be boring.
Naturally, most of the times we have sex in a more “automatic” way. We go with the usual two or three positions and use the same sex toy or none.
Despite there’s nothing wrong with that, a bit of novelty does wonders to your relationship and spices up your sex life.
What to do instead: try to break your sexual routine. Once in a while (I dare to say frequently) try a different position, add a new sex toy to the fun or engage in other sensual activities.
4. TV and smartphones
This Italian study concluded that the couples who had a TV in the bedroom were having sex 50% less than the couples who didn’t have a TV in the bedroom.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise. We all know how distractive TV can be; it has the power to divert our attention away from things that truly matter.
Splitting attention between something important — your partner — and something irrelevant — social media — can trigger feelings of neglect and not being valued. I’m sure you’ve felt it already, with your partner, a friend or a family member.
You should wisely manage your priorities, and your partner should always be one, especially at bedtime. TV, social media, and emails shouldn’t remove your attention from them.
What to do instead: Turn the TV off when you go to bed and ditch the phone. Take time to engage with your partner. Talk with each other (positive things, not about problems), snuggle, caress each other and, obviously, if the mood takes you there, have sex. The only connection you should have in the bedroom is wireless.
5. Having stressful conversations in bed
Your bed should be a sanctuary, problems and stresses should be kept away from it.
If you have children, it’s understandable your bedroom is the only place you can guarantee privacy. But try not to take problems to bed.
Your bed should be where you relax; where you bond and have pleasure.
I’ve adopted the rule of not talking about money and problems in bed for years, and I consider it to be the best thing I did. It allows me to fall asleep with a calm mind, and it doesn’t interfere with my mood. Who wants to have sex after discussing a bank statement?
What to do instead: Try to solve your problems and discuss your stresses with your partner in a neutral place, and not immediately before bedtime.
Everyday bad habits that affect your sex life
1. You forget to touch your partner
Human touch is a basic need.
Physical contact is so important to a couple’s relationship. Not only sexualised touch but also non-sexual. It’s a stress reliever, an acknowledgement that you matter, that your partner sees you.
As the researcher Laura Guerrero states:
We feel more connected to someone if they touch us.
What to do: during the day, touch your partner, for no other reason than to feel their skin, their body. Hug them, hold their hand, kiss their forehead or their lips. Don’t neglect the non-sexual touch.
2. You don’t share with your partner your sexual preferences
The best way to ensure your sexual needs and preferences are met is for you to share them with your partner.
I know it can be daunting (I’ve been there), but the outcome is so amazing that is worth it to overcome your fears, shames or self-doubts and talk with your partner.
By repressing your sexual needs, you’re stopping yourself from receiving the sex you desire (and deserve), which inevitably will lower your sex mood.
You’ll also be depriving your partner of trying to give you what you need and love.
What to do: educate yourself about your sexual needs and preferences, and share them with your partner. Or you can embrace the process of self-discovery with your partner. That will certainly be a fun, erotic and pleasurable exploration!
3. Negative self-image
How you see yourself reflects on how you act towards yourself.
Many people (especially women) aren’t happy with their body image, and this resonates negatively with their sex life.
Because they don’t feel comfortable showing their bodies to their partners, they avoid sex. And when they have sex, they are self-conscious of their body’s (perceived) issues and struggle to fully enjoy sex.
What to do: Despite the advice “accept yourself as you are” is good, I don’t completely vouch for it. If you can improve your image (in a healthier way), go for it. Create reasonable goals and work to achieve them. Until then, don’t allow your physical image to affect negatively your sexuality.
4. You don’t make time for your partner
I get it: life gets hectic, it’s hard to make time for sex, and the mood is dead. But if you feed this dynamic, you will go down the spiral.
Your relationship must be a priority. And sex is an important part of it, so make time to be intimate with your partner. Besides the benefits it brings to you as a couple, it will also improve your mood and levels of energy — it will be easier to face your days!
What to do: I know it might not sound romantic, but my piece of advice is for you to schedule sex. It’s a way to ensure you and your partner will spend intimate and pleasurable time together.
5. Lack of physical exercise
Being physically active not only benefits your overall health as it positively impacts your sex life.
Physical exercise also boosts your self-esteem, which, as we saw, influences how you manage your sexual life. By exercising, you become more confident in yourself, your desire for pleasure increases.
What to do: exercise regularly. If you can’t go to the gym, do like I do and use YouTube videos. The pandemic and the lack of access to entertainment venues can’t be an excuse.
There are many small actions we take in our day that affect negatively our sexual life. Some of them, we are conscious about it, others are so subtle that we barely notice them.
It’s important to assess the bad habits that inhabit your life and act on them before they take a serious toll on your relationship.
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