On February 11, 2016, I had the pleasure of being part of a Twitter Chat about Sex sponsored by @Sheknows, a division of Blogher. Joining me were Married at First Sight sexpert Logan Levkoff (@loganlevkoff) & OBGYN Dr. Kate Killoran (@drkateMD) as #SKExperts. You can read the entire thread here: http://bit.ly/1TeZWJM
I’m listing the questions posed to me and my answers here (modified for clarity). The questions were tough to explain briefly. I’ll give a bit more information since I was only able to respond with 140 character long answers.
Q2. Do you think one can have a great love without there being great sex too?
A2 Yes, you can have great love w/o great sex. In contrast, you can also have great sex without great love. Both examples can change direction over time. People enter relationships for many reasons to fulfill their needs: romantic, sexual, companionship, etc. Partners must continually share what their needs are in their relationship.
However, things can shift over time. Some partners differ in their sex libido. Sometimes this starts to build resentment or silence; neither are useful components in a relationship. This is desire discrepancy, and it can be a temporary state based on many different factors. Partners need to communicate honestly to make sure everyone is getting what they need out of the relationship. Being honest and sharing feelings (even if one is afraid it will hurt their partner’s feelings) is as important as listening to the partner without judgment. Be respectful and listen, and then share how you feel about the information. If needed, seek out a sex-positive counselor or therapist who can help.
Q3. How can I feel comfortable with my spouse in the bedroom when I have body insecurities?
A3 You’re not alone; both men & women have body insecurities. If you are concerned that your spouse is judging your body, try a blindfold on him/her (with their consent!) so you control what they see or don’t see and when. If you are concerned about your own negative body self-talk, keep in mind many spouses are excited to be with their naked partner.
Many women think about a lot of things during sex – what they look like, what their partner might be thinking about their body, questioning if they’re “doing it right,” among other points. Remember, your partner might be thinking of the same things from their perspective. Make time outside of the bedroom to share your thoughts and perhaps your partner can help alleviate your concerns – maybe they’ll share concerns of their own.
Q7. When you have young kids, how do you find time for sex and intimacy?
A7 Finding time for sex & intimacy when you have young kids is tough but it can be done! For sex (intercourse & other sexual behaviors) plan out time to reconnect sexually & remove orgasm as a goal. (Like @loganlevkoff said: “Embrace the planning”). Intimacy (any non-sexual loving behavior) is easiest b/c I believe kids should see their parents being caring and affectionate. You’re modeling behavior and setting an example for your young kids and their future relationships.
I distinguish between sex and intimacy for one main reason: I believe intimacy is not sex, and it makes sense to define it such that sex is not contained within intimacy. Hence, children should witness the intimacy of their parents such as hugging, snuggling, kissing, and being playful, such that they learn this from them. Another example is nudity in the privacy of their home. It might be sexy to some, but it is not sex. There is nothing shameful about the body and it sets the tone in the house of the body as “normal”, and whether clothed or not, the body alone has nothing to do with the acts of sex.
Q9. I’m in my 30s and have never had sex – when is the right time to tell a significant other this?
A9 There is no “designated right time” to tell a S.O. this. Things might progress slowly w/ one or go really fast w/ another. You could tell them after kissing if you find yourself wanting “more”. You can tell them over dinner when you share how you feel when you are together. If you see the relationship progressing to a point where things could move to the bedroom then that’s a good time to share it. That first talk might be awkward but it’s worth having the conversation. If a person rejects you for being direct then they are likely not mature enough to be with someone who is being honest.
I can imagine this is a stressful situation for the person posting the question. There aren’t officially designated times for conversations like this. There is one potential script by Reid Mihalko for what to share when you’re ready.
Q13. What are some great sex references and reads you’d recommend for those too shy to ask?
A13 My best read for shy (but adventurous) readers is @charlieglickman ’s book “The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure.” This book is great for couples of all configurations who are interested in learning about (and maybe trying) anal play. Note: It contains more info than just penis/anal sex or penetration.
My fellow experts shared their favorites here.
Q15. What’s the best way for partners to make each other feel sexy and wanted?
A15 These answers are the ones many people are too busy to do. Begin by putting away your phone. Pay attention to them. Compliment them. Touch them. Plan something nice for them. Look in their eyes – sounds cheesy & old school but it works; some penis owners can get a hard on just from eye gazing.
Also, some people are turned on by auditory stimulation – your moans of pleasure can do wonders for helping a partner feel like they are doing a good job.
Q16. How can you get out of your own head and just enjoy sex in the moment?
A16 That issue is called “spectatoring”; it’s when one thinks more about what they look like or what they’re doing rather than how they feel about the sex they are having. Resolving this takes practice and focus. Meditation helps some people getting out of their heads. During the act, try to focus on the feelings of what is happening or feel the sensations of the touch. When you catch yourself spectatoring, shift to the feelings.
Similar to Q3 above. There seem to be more and more positive benefits to meditation.
Q19. For everyone – what’s the best sex tip you’ve ever given or received?
A19 Be playful with each other. Create a Sex Lab in your bedroom where you take turns to “discover” each other’s body for 10-15″ without orgasm as the goal. Set timer, one explore the other, timer goes off, stop exploring. Thank your partner for their participation and then switch roles for the next session. Tip: have you ever just sat closely and watched his scrotum? It’s like a shark: always on the move. Add a warm hand and remove, watch ’em go! Have fun!
Credit for “Sex Lab” goes to Megan Andelloux, where I heard about this idea in one of her workshops. A Sex Lab could involve experimenting with different sensations, different toys, or new techniques. The key is to make it fun and take mental notes of what worked and what didn’t for future sexy times.
I had so much fun doing this Twitter chat. Thank you to SheKnows Experts Among Us for the opportunity to participate, and thanks to my co-experts.
What questions do you have about sex? Write into the comment section below and I’ll incorporate them into another blog.