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What is a healthy Sex Life?

Chantelle Otten MScMed(HSSH) Sexologist

 

The mating dance is personal and relates to much more than the number of times you ‘do it’ a week, or the style of sex you like. Passion takes work! Sex incorporates personal values, psychology, physical attributes, body image and feelings towards the person you like. All of which changes and evolves as you grow older. Pay attention to your needs and your lovers need and learn how to tune into each other. A huge aspect of passionate sex is honesty, trust and emotional openness. Do the passionate tango! Passion comes when we give our attention fully to the admiration we have for our lover, tuning in to the mating dance. It is safe to say that closed energy in the bedroom does not lead to flying sparks. Sharing is an emotional skill and can be difficult, but it is best to remember that there is a profound connection between honesty and passionate sex.


What Is a Healthy Sex Life?

When we think about healthy sex, it comes down to our personal beliefs, practices, and preferences. There is no ‘normal’ between the sheets, but there are plenty of benefits and rewards to enjoying your sex life.


So what is sex good for?

Awesome news, research connects sex to good health!  It is shown to lead to a slimmer waistline, stronger cardiovascular health and a decreased risk of prostate and breast cancers. Getting down and dirty is not only fun, but it is also brilliant for mental health. Sexual activity releases endorphins that can reduce pain, regulate sleep, aid digestion, and improve mood by soothing stress hormones.

Feeling good is important.

When you have sex, flexibility for consent and negotiation with your partner is a must. Feel completely free to emotionally and physically express yourself will guarantee a good time. Having the skills to talk to your partner about sex will be one of the most powerful things you can do to having sexual satisfaction. However, if you are experiencing guilt, fear, violence, coercion and shame, then back out of the experience! Safety is the number one.

 

To explain healthy sex, I need to give you a lesson in history.

 

Did you know that Aussie couples are having sex less often than a decade ago? And 21% of Australian women say sex in their relationship is not pleasurable. It is hard to pinpoint the reasons why, but professionally I know that if we are going to talk about sex, we need to view it in a way that is not ‘achievement oriented’. Let's take all the positive interactions you have with your lover into account, making every touch, laugh and good deed foreplay.

 

In the 1950s the original model of human sexuality and the human sexual response was developed by Masters and Johnson (this has inspired the TV show ‘Masters of Sex’ on Netflix!). They observed and monitored people in a lab, and their findings changed the way people viewed sex. Their model was broken down into four stages: Foreplay (erection for males, lubrication for females), Greater Excitement and Intercourse, Orgasm and Resolution (When you chill out).

 

However, this model assigned a 'goal' and a 'function' to each of the four stages. Essentially making sex 'achievement orientated' and establishing standards of sexual 'success' and 'failure'. Their model basically said, “if you don't get lubricated or have an orgasm, there is something wrong with you”. I don’t know about you, but that seems like a lot of pressure!

 

So forget the idea that you have to ‘achieve’ during sex. Focus on ‘pleasure’ instead. Sex is about the journey, not the destination. Similar to when you go to Paris and rush to the Eiffel tower. If you are so focused on reaching your destination, you will miss the Arc de Triomphe, the French patisseries and handsome French men. You know, if you don’t make it to the Eiffel Tower that day, you can go to sleep and try and go the day after. Or the day after that.

 

Healthy sex = Pleasurable Sex

I feel like there is something wrong with me though.

Sexual concerns are normal; every person will have a sexual problem at some point in their life, just like every couple will have a relationship concern. If you are having trouble with sex, see your GP or seek help from a sex therapist who can refer you to sexual health practitioners.

 

Common sexual worries are:

  • My partner and I have different desires!
  • I am so nervous about sex; it makes me anxious
  • I don’t like the way my body looks or feels; it’s all I think about in the bedroom
  • Sex hurts
  • My body changes after pregnancy and now sex isn’t on the agenda
  • My husband can’t get an erection, or he finishes so early
  • I have no idea what to think about sex, after menopause, I am over it
  • My relationship isn’t going well, and neither is sex

 

Remember that there is no 'normal' when it comes to sex. Learn how to communicate, keep your body and mind healthy, and most importantly know yourself! Self-acceptance is important and feeling satisfied in your own body; You’re okay just as you are. You are a unique person, capable and loveable, with special talents and strengths. Respect yourself, girl! Enjoy your size and shape, celebrate your personality, skills and achievements. Don’t worry about how it compares to those you see in magazines or on TV, be your own role model! You deserve it.

 

Let’s Talk Fun Sex

Sex is great, and there are so many ways to make it even better!

Want to know a secret? Women possess the only organ designed for pleasure. The clitoris! The only function the clitoris has is to bring sexual pleasure, it has nothing to do with getting pregnant, menstruation, or peeing. Learning to love and cherish your clitoris is crucial. Make it your friend! Try using your hands or an external vibrator such as Smile Makers Collection 'The Fireman' or 'The Frenchman' to see what pleasure is all about. Need another reason to show the clitoris love? Reports indicate that 80% of women have trouble reaching orgasm through vaginal penetration, most women need to play with their clit to orgasm. Need some ways to approach Sex feeling more empowered?

 

Preparation is key!  Planned sex is great for people with busy lives. Make it a priority and scheduling the space to have intimate pleasure is so important. Pop your phone on ‘do not disturb!’

 

Spruce your space, pop a candle on and put your stresses aside.  Enjoy a relaxed environment. If you feel your emotions sneaking in think about past adventure or fantasies that can get you in the mood. I teach my clients mindfulness and how to use it in the bedroom, awesome when trying to be ‘in the moment’. Be open to trying new things!

 

Mixing things up in the bedroom gives you a better chance of achieving pleasure. Introducing high-quality vibrators such as Smile Makers Collection can help you understand your pleasure preferences and how your body reacts to stimulation. Vibrators can also provide the confidence and motivation to be intimate by yourself and to be able to teach your partner the moves you like.


Using a luxurious lubricant such as the Smile Makers range can help make things go a little more smoothly. The Smile Makers Collection is super luxe in design, and are all natural, water based lubricant that is paraben and fragrance-free. They use only pharma-grade ingredients which can help make things go, well, smoothly.

 

Lubricants can help women who do not naturally moisten when aroused or have difficulties with vaginal dryness stemming from menopause, emotional factors or certain medications. Smile Makers lubricants are condom compatible, so there will be no risk of condom breakage, a must for protecting against sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancy, plus they make using condoms easier and more pleasurable. Supplements for sexuality!


Maca powder is a super food that is theorised to boost libido, reduce stress, increase vitality, and improve resistance to disease. The great thing about maca is that it can restore hormonal balance, so can be wonderful for women suffering in menopause, alongside men with hormonal difficulties.

 

Evening Primrose Oil is another supplement that can help with sex life by balancing out female hormones, decreasing stress and lead to dilation of blood vessels, resulting in better orgasms.

To finish…

 

It's easier than ever to discuss sex, and we just need to have the right goal in mind. So remember, the aim of sexual activity is pleasure; it doesn't have to be orgasm or penetration. It is our job as a society to create an open and supportive space for us to be curious and learn about our bodies.

 


 

Words by Chantelle Otten image under license via Shutterstock.com