Great sex is an interesting topic but we rarely talk about it. It is uncomfortable to mention within the family and even with our closest friends. In many relationships, our partners aren’t an exception to that! So we tend to make it a physical thing while there is a lot more to it. Many of us are struggling and/or have a struggling partner in sex, in intimacy and in pleasure. If we dare to listen to others, we might find that many of us don’t have a great sex life. Or not anymore. If we dare to look at our sex life, we might find the same or know it’s only time until it “gets there” again.

As with love, great sex fades away. It becomes something that was great one day and now it’s confronting. Or just something we do, for satisfying a basic human urge or to please a partner, but the source of joy, excitement or pleasure dried up a long time ago.

Sex makes us feel awkward and clumsy, it makes us shy and scared. We do not explore who we really are in the bedroom, we do not dare to share our fantasies or thoughts with our loved one. We assume our partners’ preferences instead of asking for them and then we end up not being good at pleasing them. We put the mask of confidence and hope that our doing will be enough.

Sex has been such a shameful topic that our parents, our schools and our society taught us so little about it. There is a lot of judgment around sex practices and preferences. Sex needs to be something hidden, that if we brought it up in public, it’s looked at with disgust. But yet, we are all excited by the dirty nature of it and what we like to do when nobody is around.

I believe that the lack of openness and dialogue around sex hurts us, it hurts our relationships too. It creates shame and lack of acceptance and so many of us are isolated in our sexuality.

As with love, great sex fades away only if we let it do so. We can choose to have a great love-life like we can choose to have a great sex life. We can cherish these aspects of our relationships to make them grow, to feed them so we can enjoy the benefits they provide.

As my interest for relationships is growing, I’d like to share more and more in my articles about anything around relationships. In one of the podcasts I was listening recently, I came across an interview with John Gottman. He is a world class therapist and has been focusing on relationships for decades. After reviewing and conducting many studies, he started to see some patterns. Some couples could still have great sex even after 5, 10, 20 or more years of being together. Some couples had a poor sex life for many years and developed habits and routines that helped them achieve a great one. Great sex comes from the knowledge of one another, it comes from intimacy and closeness. We need to be vulnerable and surrender to our partner. There is a need for a huge amount of trust, honesty and dedication in the bedroom, to build happiness in a relationship.

While we might achieve amazing sex from time to time, how many of us can say with true confidence that great sex is their norm? That they can be fully connected to their partner, give and receive pleasure and do it a way that can be reproduced over and over again? That sex is openly discussed and that they are sure that all partners are having a great time, consistently? If you can say so, you are probably a rare exception and I hope that what we will have a look at today will help you strengthen that further. If not, I hope so that you can bring these ideas to your partner(s) and see if they can help you achieve a better sex life.

According to Doctor John Gottman, these are 13 practices that if done consistently, have been proven to deepen sex and intimacy in most relationships if not all. These are the practices:

  1. They say “I love you” every day and mean it
  2. They kiss one another passionately for no reason
  3. They give surprise romantic gifts
  4. They know what turns their partners on and off erotically
  5. They are physically affectionate, even in public
  6. They keep playing and having fun together
  7. They cuddle
  8. They make sex a priority, not the last item of a long to-do list
  9. They stay good friends
  10. They can talk comfortably about their sex life
  11. They have weekly romantic dates
  12. They take romantic vacations
  13. They turn towards their partner for connection

It isn’t that hard to do right? I’d say that would also be a good list for having a loving and happy relationship, not just sex wise. How many of us are doing these kinds of actions purposefully? On a daily/weekly basis! Very few of us and it could explain why so many relationships have sex issues.

I am unsure where it is coming from but I always believed that relationship could look like these 13 practices. I believe the passion doesn’t have to disappear after 6 months or 6 years. I believe that a relationship is a source of joy and happiness. Despite my convictions, I could never experience it. At least, not until I met my wife. We both had partners that would stop kissing after a few months, that wouldn’t be saying I love you with passion multiple times a day. Most of our previous partners wouldn’t want to be good friends either, nor they could handle affection in private or public very often. We were missing so much in these relationships so we kept searching and it is great we did.

I also don’t believe that is the only way to have a great relationship or great sex, I’m sure there are many couples with other ways to achieve that. But I feel so grateful that I always knew that something along these 13 practices, would provide happiness and that I met someone that share these beliefs. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t make the relationship easy. Life is not easy and relationships, healthy or abusive, aren’t an exception to that. If life is going to get difficult, why not working hard to get a great one? Why not putting efforts in place to have a chance of great sex, instead of spending hours arguing, fighting and be upset at each other?

These negative behaviors are taking a lot of time and energy too, while they don’t give any chance for having a happy and healthy relationship.

I wanted to share my experiences with these 13 practices. After all, it is the purpose of this blog, share great knowledge but always put it in the light of my own experience. As I will refer to the practices by number, for your reading convenience, here is the list again:

  1. They say “I love you” every day and mean it
  2. They kiss one another passionately for no reason
  3. They give surprise romantic gifts
  4. They know what turns their partners on and off erotically
  5. They are physically affectionate, even in public
  6. They keep playing and having fun together
  7. They cuddle
  8. They make sex a priority, not the last item of a long to-do list
  9. They stay good friends
  10. They can talk comfortably about their sex life
  11. They have weekly romantic dates
  12. They take romantic vacations
  13. They turn towards their partner binds for connection

I was initially quite surprised with the list as my wife and I tend to do a lot of these “naturally”. We do not imagine a relationship without passionate kissing (2) and daily kind words (1). We cuddle all the time (7) and are affectionate, even in public (5). Feeling connected is something that is dear to us and we genuinely work towards it (13).

We have room for improvement and I would say that mainly: 3, 4, 8, 11 and 12 are our weakest points. While we do all of these, they mostly lack consistency.

Gifts we offer each other are rarely romantic (3) and it would be a new habit to develop. My wife is highly receptive to gifts, that how she feels she is loved (see my Article about the language of love)

While we are open and curious around sexually (4), I believe we have a lot more to explore individually about ourselves and then to share that with each other. This learning will help us know more about what turns us on or off.

(8) is mostly for inconsistency, we do prioritize sex regularly and if you don’t, I would suggest doing so! At times we get trapped in our daily schedules and priorities and found ourselves going to sleep before we even get started.

(11) is very interesting to me, when we moved together a year ago, we agreed to have at least one date a month. We are a young couple without kids so we still have a lot of time for each other. We found in many books and videos that a weekly date is usually a good practice to maintain the flame of love. Particularly when having a busy work life or children. While reading that point in the list, we were excited about thinking to have more dates. The core here is to spend time together that fosters dialogue, so if we would go for a dinner, for example, we would take our time so we can discuss and be together.

Lastly (12)! That’s something we never did for more than a few days on a weekend. We are always looking to have regular scheduled time for us to connect and weekend escapes is a great way to achieve that. We will spend 2 weeks in Thailand at the end of the year and that will be the first time that we aren’t going to see friends or family during a vacation. We will taste our first romantic holiday break. I might tell you more about the effect of such vacations in the new year 2018!

I hope you enjoyed your read today and that these 13 practices will bring your sex life (and relationship) to the next level. I love to see and hear more about conscious coupling as these practices are definitely part of that. If you think it might be useful share this article to your friends and partner(s) so they can be on their way to a better sex life!

 

 

 

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