February 2, 2016
Here’s a hint: It probably doesn’t take what you think it takes.
Many people believe — wrongly — that great lovemaking is only for the young.
On the surface, it seems to make sense: A pair of hot, impassioned 20-year-olds, deeply in love; the novelty of the experience, happening in an era of sexual exploration that only occurs before the stresses of “real” adulthood — careers, children, domestic life, financial worries — settles in.
But is that true? Is great lovemaking only reserved for the young?
Not at all. As a psychologist with 20 years’ experience working with more than 1,000 couples in relationships, I’ve found that the best lovemaking actually depends on several factors, most of which have little to do with youth, and more to do with authentic self-expression, creative thinking, and communication — all of which typically get better with time.
It turns out great lovemaking is a fusion (or at times a combustion) of great sex and great love. With the following three factors in place, you’re nearly guaranteed to create powerful, wonderful experiences in the bedroom…and beyond.
Factor 1: Create an Emotional Connection
Great lovemaking is founded in great love, and the #1 factor in finding, growing, and sustaining great love — from the very first time you meet to spending a long together — is a deep emotional connection. But what is that exactly?
A deep emotional connection is the result of the bond that forms when both partners are willing to share their feelings — including their most vulnerable ones — with the other. That means being willing to be authentic about you experience at any given moment: from giddy joy and excitement to fear, sadness, shame, anger, and every possible permutation among them. Now and then, it means sharing feelings you’re not particularly proud of. Or happy about.
It also means being genuinely curious about your partner, and willing to accept him or her for their feelings. How do they feel about [insert topic]? Are the two of you in alignment? Does it matter? What are their deepest desires? What have they experienced — and what have they learned from it? In creating deep emotional connection, authenticity and curiosity must go hand in hand.
Finally, having such a connection means “being there” for each other: when one partner needs support from the other, as well as when the tables are turned. Over time, as the two of you both continue to be authentic, curious, and supportive, the bond between you grows stronger, deeper, and more significant.
This emotional connection is the single largest factor behind great lovemaking. From the first moment of arousal to the last explosive orgasm, it underpins the entire erotic process, resulting in deeper, richer, and more loving moments of intimacy. The two of you share the experience with your own special beloved — and that makes all the difference.
Factor 2: Explore Your Pleasure Playfully
Part of what makes early sexual encounters exciting is that they’re novel and fun. And it’s true: Much of what makes good sex good is about having fun, discovering what’s pleasurable for you and your partner, and coming up with new possibilities of things to explore. A commitment to make it fun and be willing to try things you’ve never tried before will go a long way towards keeping your love life fresh and new.
Think you already know everything your partner likes? You probably don’t. That’s okay — preferences can change over time; yours have, right? — and asking directly will give you an opportunity to know your partner better. (We’ll talk more about communication in Factor 3.)
If you’re ready to fire up your love life, start by creating an evening in which the two of you agree to explore different ways of touching each other. Start with one partner — hands only, at first — and then reciprocate. Be patient; talk about how it’s feeling. Keep it light and fun. Then try different textures: a feather, a brush. Or maybe step in the shower, soap each other up, and explore how it feels for each of you. Some other ideas:
- Instead of just touching, try massaging parts of each other’s bodies. A deep, slow muscle massage is a different kind of pleasure than sensual touch.
- Change up where you’re doing it. The bedroom is great, but why not make love on the balcony? On a rug in front of the fireplace? On a deserted beach? In some other place? Your creativity is your only limit.
- Explore new sexual positions, noticing how each one feels for each of you.
- Get away for a weekend. That means just the two of you, alone, which allows for more playfulness and focus on each other.
By being inventive and creative, you’ll discover more options for your intimate connection, allowing the two of you to explore your pleasures in as many ways as you can think of.
Factor 3: Communicate What You Like
After counseling thousands of couples, I’ve seen how common it is for two people in a relationship not to talk about to each other about what they like (and what they don’t) when it comes to sex. It’s sad but true. It means that on many occasions, the two partners are left to assume what the other likes or dislikes instead of knowing about it clearly.
So I urge you: In terms of lovemaking, share what you like and don’t like with your partner, and ask him or her what feels good for them.
This discussion doesn’t have to be timed only for intimate moments. Take time to connect before, during, and after sex — any time the two of you feel like talking more about…
- …what kinds of touch you like and on what areas of your body
- …what kinds of touch are sensual for you, and what turns you on erotically
- …what positions you like and don’t like
- …what turns you on and what turns you off
- …when are your favourite times are for lovemaking
- …how often you enjoy making love
- …when you prefer an extended lovemaking session and when you prefer a quickie
- …anything else you can think of.
Being able to fully express your own desires and becoming a master of your partner’s is likely to transform the sexual experience for both of you.
So there you have it. By creating a deep emotional connection, committing to explore new ideas playfully, and speaking up about what you like, the two of you are likely to bring a whole new energy and enjoyment to your lovemaking, which (it turns out) can be incredibly fun and deeply satisfying at any age or stage in the relationship.
And, lucky for both of you, none of my solutions require either of you to have the body of a 20-year-old.
If your relationship has become stale or too comfortable and a little boring, and you’d like to rejuvenate both your relationship and your sex life, check out my new Online Relationship program Renew Your Spark www.renewyourspark.co. The 9 modules cover essential areas of your relationship and sex life and can be done in the comfort of your own home and when the timing suits you both. Alternatively, if you're looking for help from a psychologist in person or over the phone, contact us here.
A more exciting and rewarding relationship awaits you.