Sexy couple lying on bed

Is Sex with Your Partner Getting Boring?

Even in otherwise healthy relationships, it's not uncommon for sex to lose its spark. According to a January 2023 study published in the journal Innovations in Aging, only 56% of heterosexual adults and 52% of sexual minority adults (gay, bisexual or other) over the age of 40 % of people are satisfied or very satisfied with their sex life.

Why do only half of people, regardless of sexual orientation, feel satisfied with their sex lives? If you've noticed a decline recently, there's probably no need to panic. It’s important to remember that you may be going through a phase, whether due to illness, hormonal changes, or stress in your home or work life – there are countless reasons why your sex life may be affected, but that doesn’t mean you Your sex life may be affected. However, if you've experienced lackluster or unsatisfying sex since the beginning of your relationship and have chosen to ignore it, it's worth asking yourself why.

A dull sex life may simply stem from an unwillingness to express dissatisfaction to your partner. We are often not taught how to have open discussions with our partners about sex and our desires. However, mastering this skill requires practice and the right approach.

Sexual disconnection often leads couples to seek therapy, and a common phenomenon they experience is called "spectating."

Spectation occurs when an individual views themselves from a detached, third-person perspective during sexual activity. They may find themselves judging their performance, criticizing their body or specific body parts, or dwelling on their perceived shortcomings.

It's common for people to feel uncomfortable with their bodies during sex. However, in order to fully enjoy the experience and connect with your partner, there must be a renewed focus on the present moment and sensations, with an emphasis on touch and pleasure. Even if the rest of the relationship is strong, addressing concerns about sexual satisfaction is critical to nurturing intimacy and ensuring both partners' needs are met.

There's no doubt that sex plays a key role in the special connection you have with your partner.

In a monogamous relationship, sex represents a unique kind of intimacy that cannot be replicated with anyone else. While you can travel with other people or confide in them, sex is still exclusive.

Here are six strategies to strengthen your sexual connection with your partner and improve your intimate experience.

1. Explore your own desires

Have you actually discovered what turns you on sexually? Many people don't take the time to reveal their preferences. Without this self-awareness, guiding your partner to fulfill your desires can become challenging. Allocating time for self-exploration, becoming familiar with your body's preferences, and engaging in self-stroking and masturbation can allow you to identify what you like and don't like, allowing you to take control of your sexual experiences. Ultimately, we are responsible for our happiness.

Couple kissing by the bedroom window

2. Be honest about orgasms

While it may be tempting to fake an orgasm in order to please your partner or hasten the end of sex, it's not a sustainable approach to your relationship. Essentially, this is cheating on your partner.

Additionally, faking an orgasm may mislead your partner about what truly satisfies you, creating a harmful cycle. You're essentially training your partner to stimulate you in ineffective ways, which can lead to ongoing dissatisfaction. It's best to openly discuss your expectations about sex and orgasm beforehand.

Redefining the importance of orgasm in sexual encounters. While orgasms can enhance the sexual experience, they are not necessary to enjoy sex. Instead, think of orgasm as an aspect of sexual intimacy between many people. There are many pleasurable experiences without orgasm that can make the situation less stressful.

3. Express yourself with kindness

As children, we are often taught this: If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. While that might be enough to accept a gift from Great Aunt Gertrude, it's not the rule to follow in the bedroom. When it comes to sex, communication is essential, but it must be done tactfully.

The importance of accusatory statements such as You Can't Make Me Come is that they may imply flaws in the partner. Instead, she recommends focusing on constructive dialogue. Encourage positive reinforcement by acknowledging encounters you enjoy and bringing up new experiences in a supportive way. For example, introducing new ideas with phrases like "My friend mentioned..." can open the door to experimentation without placing blame or pressure on your partner. Approach these conversations with an open mind and a willingness to explore together, viewing them as opportunities for growth and mutual joy.

4. Express through words and actions

Your partner isn't a mind reader, so it's crucial to communicate your desires openly and clearly, especially when it comes to sex. Focus on positive reinforcement by expressing what you like and desire more of. I really like it when you touch me here, and I'll like it even more. Additionally, you can show how you like to be touched with your hands.

However, be aware that some people may be sensitive to feedback, even well-intentioned feedback. Even if you communicate in a good way, your partner may still feel a knock on their sexual confidence.

In this case, it may be necessary to have a more in-depth conversation about how to discuss sexual issues effectively. Start the conversation by emphasizing that the purpose of the conversation is not to criticize or hurt the other person, but to increase mutual satisfaction. This approach can help your partner understand that the discussion is about improving communication, not pointing out flaws.

5. Ensure both parties are satisfied

When you and your partner are both sexually satisfied, your bond will strengthen. Once you've identified your preferences and learned to communicate them effectively, you have to make sure your partner is satisfied too. Simply asking them can start a valuable conversation. Check after sex. Be open and nonjudgmental about their desires and interests. Advocate for your desires and encourage your partner to do the same.

While it can be difficult to hear if your partner is unhappy, try to understand that this is not a personal criticism but an opportunity for them to express their needs. Listen to your partner's feedback and recognize that it's not about you personally, but about their desires and needs in the sexual realm.

While some requests may not be possible for a certain partner, others can be explored. No one should feel judged or invalidated because of their sexual orientation. It is crucial for both parties to feel heard and for their wishes to be included in their sexual experience.

6. Embrace planned intimacy

Contrary to the fantasy of spontaneous sex often portrayed in the media, the reality is that most sexual encounters require some level of planning and preparation. Whether it's making sure your appearance is to your liking or setting the mood cleanly, spontaneity is often an illusion.

Research published in the Journal of Sex Research shows that how we feel about planned sex can significantly affect our satisfaction. People who believe that planned sex can be pleasurable tend to get just as much satisfaction from it as from spontaneous sex.

Routine is the secret, not the culprit. Regular date or sex nights can take the pressure off of fitting intimacy into your busy schedule. Within this framework, couples can still inject spontaneity by adding sex toys or sensory enhancements, such as candles or massage oils, to keep the experience fresh and exciting.

By embracing planned intimacy, couples can create dedicated time for connection and exploration, thereby increasing sexual relationship satisfaction and fulfillment.

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