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Worried everyone is having better sex than you? Tracey Cox reveals the nine common issues you DON’T need to worry about – even if you don’t have sex that often, you like different things and it doesn’t last long
- Sex therapist Tracey Cox revealed things you shouldn’t be worried about in bed
- Includes still having solo sex even though you are in a long-term relationship
- Also says not to worry about fantasising about others in bed with your partner
Secretly think everyone else is having way better sex than you?
You’re not alone: we’re all competitive when it comes to our sex lives and keen to tick the ‘Everything’s fine here!’ box.
But a lot of the things we think mean our sex life isn’t up to par, aren’t problems at all.
Time for a reality check: these are 10 things you really don’t need to worry about.
You’re still having solo sex even though you’re in a relationship
Tracey Cox revealed things you shouldn’t be worried about in bed with your partner (stock image)
Assuming you aren’t replacing sex with each other with masturbation, this is a plus not a problem.
It doesn’t mean you’re not getting enough sex or that it’s unsatisfactory. It simply means you can still feel like a bit when your partner’s either not there or not interested.
Solo sex is selfish, often based on a fantasy you don’t particularly want to share, and the mission is accomplished in under five minutes. It’s effortless and a little something to perk up an otherwise dull day.
It has spin-off benefits for the sex you have with your partner, too, because studies repeatedly show people who masturbate regularly have higher libidos and report greater satisfaction with sex generally.
Far from being something to worry about, it’s something you should both be encouraged to do.
You don’t have sex that often
All couples have dips and peaks depending on the stage of their relationship.
Tracey (pictured) says not to worry if you fantasise about someone else while in bed with partner
If you’re 20, having sex once a month and have only been together for six, it could be a problem. If you’ve got two kids under five, in the middle of a pandemic with granny in the spare room and having financial problems, it would be quite bizarre if you were swinging from the chandeliers every night.
It’s normal for sex to take a backseat at certain stages: frequency can be an indicator of sex problems but it’s not an absolute.
How is the quality? Lots of couple prefer to have a longish sex session once a fortnight than quick sex three times a week. How high are your sex drives? If both your libidos are quite low, once a month might be perfect for both of you. As I always say, find YOUR normal.
You fantasise about someone else while in bed with partner
One reputable study found around 80 per cent of us are guilty of this one. However desperately you love your partner, it won’t stop you being attracted to other people. There’s also a basic human longing for novelty.
Sleeping with someone new in your head while in bed is actually a very sensible way to indulge adulterous leanings. Far preferable, I think you’ll agree, to doing it in reality.
I do need to add a few get-out clauses here though: fantasising about other people every time you have sex with your partner isn’t a great sign, and there’s evidence that fantasizing about the same person – particularly someone who’s available in real life – could feed the desire to act on it, rather than calm it.
Otherwise, it’s one of the best ways to keep sex hot long term.
You do the same thing, nearly all of the time
You and the rest of the world.
Most couples make love in exactly the same way, for exactly the same length of time, nearly every time they have sex.
It’s not ideal (obviously!). But if this means your sex life is bad, we’d all have to put our hands up.
Predictability in sex can also be a huge plus for some people. Knowing exactly what’s about to happen and when, enhances arousal for people who need to feel ‘safe’ in bed or struggle with orgasm and need set, specific stimulation to achieve it.
You don’t orgasm during intercourse
Almost all women (80 per cent is the generally agreed on statistic) need clitoral stimulation to orgasm. Penetration alone rarely does it.
When a woman does orgasm that way, there’s nearly always stimulation of the front vaginal wall which is rich in nerve endings. Or she has a larger than usual size clitoris or one that’s positioned close to the vagina, enabling it to get ‘pulled’ during intercourse and stimulated that way.
We have known this for a very, very (very) long time but some men still get upset when they realise their penis is not ‘enough’.
They shouldn’t: it’s the way our bodies are designed, not a reflection of his technique (or tackle!).
It’s easy to fix, of course. Simply hold a small vibrator over the clitoris during intercourse or one of you use your fingers.
Don’t be offended if she wants to DIY, guys: lots of women need a specific, particular technique, done in a certain order and a certain way. It’s her body on the end of that hand and if it’s her hand, she can then do what she needs done, when she needs it.
The sex therapist said not to worry about whether one person struggles to orgasm during intercourse (stock image)
You don’t always feel desirable
How many celebrity confessions do we have to read to realize even those who top the ‘Sexiest man/woman of the year’ lists have ‘ugly’ or ‘fat’ days?
Some days our self-esteem is low, sometimes it’s high – of course this is going to translate through to your sex life.
It works both ways. Our partners aren’t going to look hot all the time either!
If you never feel sexually attractive and it stops you having sex, it’s a problem but if it’s the odd one or two days a month, stop worrying.
Sex isn’t terribly passionate or intense
Sex offers us many things, not just erotic release. It’s also about love, fun and – crucially – connection to your partner.
Very few couples consistently have bed-shaking, knee-trembling sex sessions long-term. To have that sort of sex, you usually need to make it happen. Like try something new and ‘out there’ to press fresh buttons.
Intense, lusty sex is not the norm long-term but the exception.
Other times sex will be a bit of fun, an expression of love, a simple release for a physical need. It’s OK for it not to fit the standard model of sex we see in the media (don’t get me started) where it’s all urgent and sweaty.
You both like doing different things sexually
If you know this, it also means you’ve been honest with each other about what you want. It’s more of a problem if you both have very different ideas of a great sex session but haven’t told each other.
You could try ‘take-turn’ sex where you each get a turn to have sex the way you want. Another good compromise is to divide up the session to cater for both your needs.
If he wants fast, hard sex based around intercourse and you want lots of oral, followed by slow intercourse with you on top, one compromise might be this: the session starts with ‘her sex’, resulting in an orgasm for her through oral, then continues to ‘his’ style of intercourse for him to orgasm.
Intercourse doesn’t last very long
One extensive study categorically states that seven to 13 minutes is not just fine but a ‘desirable’ period of time for most. Other research tells us the average man climaxes in around four minutes.
Regardless of how you stack up against the stats, what’s most important is this: is it lasting long enough to keep the two of you happy? If it lasts one minute and that’s enough, there is no problem.
Tracey says not to worry if you don’t have sex often or sex isn’t terribly passionate or intense. Stock image
Intercourse that lasts too long is more of an issue for lots of women. As one of my friends so sweetly puts it: “I have sex much more often with my new guy because he orgasms quickly. If I’m tired, I know it’s not going to take that much effort.”
Not terribly romantic. But honest.
One of you takes a long time to climax and often has trouble doing it
Apart from the previous point about having sex less if it takes too much time and energy, this is only an issue if it bothers you.
If you’re both accepting of it, willing to allow the time it takes and happy to have orgasm-less sex on occasions when you aren’t (satisfying sex doesn’t have to include an orgasm), it’s entirely manageable.
Sex, like most things, is about the journey not the destination and being too orgasm focused is never a good thing.
For women who take a while to orgasm, the problem is often instantly fixed by inviting a vibrator into bed; slow arousal on his side can be sorted by him masturbating himself with his hand during the session (either to finish himself off or get him aroused initially).
No-one does it better than you do yourself.
Traceycox.com has more information about sex and love. You’ll find Tracey’s books on amazon and her two product ranges, supersex and Edge, at lovehoney.co.uk.
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