Let’s not beat around the bush here: There are a lot of challenges people face when it comes to enjoying physical intimacy. Unattainable but pervasive cultural beauty standards can leave us feeling insecure—and not in the mood. Lackluster sex education can lead to partners misunderstanding how to properly get us off. And more horribly, traumas, like abuse and assault, can be absolutely devastating when it comes to sexuality.
If you find yourself not enjoying sex, you’re not alone—and there’s no reason to feel ashamed. But you also deserve better. Sex can and should be an enjoyable activity for everyone. So read on to learn more about three strategies that might make sex a little (or a lot) more fun for you.
1. Start Off Solo
The first step to learning how to really enjoy sex is to learn how to enjoy sex alone. That’s right—it’s time to invest in a few toys and learn more about how your body works. Everyone likes something a little different, and being willing to experiment and learn your own body is a crucial first step to being able to communicate with your partner.
As a sex educator, my first toy recommendation would be a Hitachi Magic Wand or a similar toy that uses medical-grade silicone. (Remember, you have to use water-based lube with these kinds of toys, as silicone lube can erode them and cause them to break down.) I also recommend purchasing a toy cleaner while you’re at it. It’ll keep your toys clean, which is a must.
While experimenting with your toys, learn the following about your body:
- How do I like to be touched?
- Where do I like to be touched?
- How do I like to be kissed?
- What kind of foreplay do I like?
- What kind of pressure/intensity do I like when I’m being pleasured?
- Do I like consistent stimulation, or do I want my partner mixing things up?
- Do I like being penetrated when I’m being stimulated, or do I prefer external stimulation?
- Do I have a favorite position I find myself thinking about or fixating on when I’m close?
- Is there something my partner does that I really like and I haven’t told them I enjoy?
- What kinds of situations do I find my mind dwelling on when I’m being intimate?
- What is my mental process for achieving orgasm?
2. Invite a Partner
After this process of self-discovery, you’ll now be armed with information—information you can share with your partner. I’ve written about how to be more vocal in the bedroom, so if you’re intimidated by sharing this newfound inspiration, that’s a good place to start.
It’s also crucial to share what you’re going through with your partner. Let them be involved and invested in your pleasure, and let them help and share in the process. Of course, it’s OK to keep parts of this journey to yourself if you’re feeling insecure or unready to be vulnerable on this level. But you should try to make being open and honest about where you are with regard to physical intimacy a priority in your relationships so you can enable your partner to take care of your needs and be supportive. Remember, your partner can’t be supportive if they don’t know you need support.
3. Seek Expert Help (if Needed)
Whether you’re enduring a mental or physical trauma, don’t be afraid to speak help. Licensed therapists can help you process assaults and other attacks, and Ob/Gyns can help you find solutions for painful sex.
Your personal sexual journey of affirmation can be a rocky road, one that’s dangerous to walk alone. Make sure you don’t let embarrassment, shame, or social stigma keep you from learning about and expressing the parts of yourself you most want to share with others.
Alice Little is a courtesan at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Nevada.
Originally posted on SheKnows.