They say sex is like riding a bicycle: once you know how to do it, you won’t forget.
While I agree with that statement in theory, I’ve come to understand that the actual doing isn’t as simple. You see, most of my clients are over the age of forty-five and are what society calls “midlife.”
They often begin working with me due to a major life shift: a divorce, an empty nest or a career change.
Though they may have enjoyed an active sex life in their twenties or thirties, these life shifts also make them realize that they are in a bit of a dry spell when it comes to their sex life.
What we lack in skill in our twenties can be made up with enthusiasm in the bedroom. But, let’s be honest: who wants to fumble around in the bedroom now? If you want to become a better lover — and enjoy sex more — it’s time to go back to school.
Lesson 1: Be Ready and Willing to Learn — You’re more receptive to learning when you make the decision to be open and willing. You may think you know enough about sex, but I promise you, if you approach going back to school with enthusiasm and a willingness to learn new things, you’ll be rewarded with a happier and more fulfilling sex life.
Lesson 2: Crack Open a Book — Though we may understand the basics of sex, do you understand how arousal and orgasm actually happen? Do you have a clear understanding of the anatomy of both men and women? If you want to be better in the bedroom, then get an intellectual understanding of how the human body really works. This goes for both sexes, by the way. Both men and women can enjoy sex more if they understand how their own bodies — and their partner’s bodies — are constructed.
Lesson 3: Take Psychology — The psychology of sex has always fascinated me, but most of my clients have confessed to not really thinking about it. Sex begins in the mind, so get a better understanding of how your own mind works when it comes to sex. What arouses you? What type of touch do you prefer (hard, soft, gentle, rough or a combination)? Talk to your partner. What’s sexy to him? What makes her feel desired?
Lesson 4: Don’t Substitute the Movie Version for the Book — Porn is pretty commonplace these days and you don’t have to go to a seedy part of town to buy a movie. Porn can be a way to explore some fantasies or get some ideas for your sex life. But don’t mistake sex in porn for how sex works in real life. While the actors are actually having sex, remember that they are still actors. Their responses and levels of enthusiasm are not always accurate.
Lesson 5: You Need Labs — Begin by experimenting with your own body. Touch it. If you’re feeling a little unsure about this whole process, begin by gently (and then firmly) exploring parts of your body you may not see as erotic, like your forehead and ears. Move on to places where your body naturally joins parts, like your armpits and hip creases. Explore the sexual parts of your body, like the nipples, clitoris, vagina, penis and testicles. Don’t skip parts you may see as “dirty,” like the perineum and anus.
Lesson 6: Study Alone — Take a good look at your body in the mirror. Examine your body in an unaroused state. Then, arouse yourself and see how your body changes. Masturbate with a mirror and watch how your body reacts.
Lesson 7: Don’t Rush Through Your Homework — If you’re uncomfortable with these back to school suggestions, you’re not alone. Please trust me when I tell you that you’ll learn more if you allow yourself the time to not only do the work, but understand it.
Lesson 8: Study With Your Partner — Take a good look at your partner’s body. Though everyone has the same parts, everyone is still an individual and their bodies will be slightly different than the photos in books. Ask them what they like about sex (and what they don’t).
Lesson 9: Show and Tell — After you’ve spent some time understanding your own body, communicate with your partner about your discoveries. Show them how you like to be touched. Tell them what feels good and what you want to experience.
Lesson 10: Don’t Get in a Hurry to “Graduate” — Sex is meant to be enjoyed and savored. If you rush towards the results — an orgasm — you’re going to miss a lot of pleasure in between.
Lesson 11: Consider Graduate Studies — Once you get the basics down, be game to take it to a new level. Experiment with different positions. Dabble in some light bondage. Explore your fantasies. Midlife is a fabulous time to push our sexual boundaries.
Lesson 12: Be a Lifelong Learner — Look at this mid-life back to school as an adventure, not a destination. Committing to being a lifelong learner when it comes to your sex life means that you’re willing to continue to explore, try new things and adjust how you relate to the world.
Don’t believe that menopause or midlife means the end of your sex life. You can have an active — and rewarding — sex life well into your eighties if you desire.