5 Secrets to Increase Your Sexual Satisfaction: Tips From a Sex Therapist

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Interracial couple sharing a passionate kiss.

There are many kinds of satisfaction in life. There’s career satisfaction, emotional satisfaction, physical satisfaction, and–of course–sexual satisfaction. The fact that it deserves its own category shows just how important it is to us as human beings. After all, who doesn’t want the most satisfying sex life they can possibly have?

We all want to be sexually satisfied, and we will do just about anything to get it. But before we lose our heads figuring out the best path to take, we need to step back and consider what it is that we’re really looking for here.

So What Does Sexual Satisfaction Even Mean?

It’s hard to find something if you don’t even know what you’re looking for. So what does sexual satisfaction mean to you? Think about that for a moment. What does satisfying sex look like to you? And what do you think it looks like to your partner?

This piece from Psychology Today pours over the concept of sexual satisfaction in depth, while acknowledging that relationship satisfaction certainly has something to do with it. Although the way people express their sexuality can vary tremendously, the same unifying themes underpin many sexually satisfying relationships. These include things like trust, intimacy, and the ability to relax and be in the moment. 

As a practicing sex therapist, I often see two partners legitimately trying to bridge a satisfaction gap between each other, but they can’t seem to get the moves just right. If left unchecked, this can lead to resentment and conflict; however, couples who figure out how to speak to each other sexually (both verbally and nonverbally) have the highest success in terms of finding something that works for both of them.

Making an environment conducive to this sort of positive growth requires a little bit of effort and the ability to listen. Drawing on my clinical experience, here are my top tips for increasing sexual satisfaction:

Sex Life Tip #1: Learn How To Communicate Openly

Freedom of expression is a key component of being able to relax around your partner. Both people should feel as if they’re on the same page with whatever is going on, so fostering an environment where anything can be shared and then properly processed is immensely important.

It’s common to be very guarded about our sexual preferences and desires due to the personal nature of the topic. This apprehension is a learned behavior that can be difficult to discard, even with someone you’ve been intimate with for some time. It can be a bit of a challenge to break through those barriers, but it is very important to develop the kind of relaxation necessary around your partner so that you can express yourself. Research tells us that the most sexually satisfied couples are the ones who communicate more openly about sex and sexual desire. 

Cultivate the type of relationship where you can exchange ideas about sex (and any other topic) as openly as you possibly can with your partner. Give them the chance to do the same by being a good listener and try to do your best to understand what they really mean. 

However, remember that sometimes what we say doesn’t perfectly match up with what we really mean. So don’t be afraid to ask questions and delve deeper into the things your partner says to truly understand their intentions.

Sex Life Tip #2: Don’t Be Selfish

At the end of the day, sex is a team sport that requires careful coordination between both people to get the most possible benefit. While your pleasure level is undoubtedly part of the experience, caring only about your own pleasure isn’t part of a balanced sexual encounter. Your mind should be on having a mutually satisfying experience for the both of you, not simply a means to your own gratification.

How this translates into real life is you making sure to give your partner the attention they deserve. Understand their movements and reactions to what you’re doing and then use that information to continue the encounter in a way that keeps their reactions as positive as possible. If you notice there’s something specific that they tend to like, start giving them more of that and less of what they clearly don’t respond as well to, even if that’s what you might enjoy more.

Of course, this needs to cut both ways, with each partner contributing to the push and pull of sex in a way that taps into both of your inner desires. If you have them in mind and they have you in mind, sparks will fly.

Sex Life Tip #3: Educate Yourself About Your Partner’s Body

Unfortunately, the current state of sex education is lacking, and it doesn’t teach us everything we need to know. The main goals of most school- or parent-derived sex ed is mainly to keep you safe and to prevent STDs and unwanted pregnancy.

This leaves a whole lot out of the equation, including pleasure, not to mention understanding and appreciating your partner’s body. Even if you received great education in sexual anatomy, it’s important to recognize that everyone’s body is a little different and that the sensitive areas need to be fully explored and understood.

Everyone should take the time to understand what structures are responsible for pleasurable sensations in their partners so they can change their techniques to be more compatible. For example, far too many men neglect the importance of the clitoris, while many women don’t always take the time to understand what areas of the penis are most sensitive. Also, partners who have the same genitals sometimes make the mistake of simply assuming that the sensations they like are the same ones their partner will like.

Beyond sexual anatomy, both of you also need to take time to understand the broader picture of each other’s bodies. For instance, some people with back or knee issues might not be able to enjoy certain positions for long periods of time, or only try those positions to placate their partner. 

It’s also important to share specifics about how your own genitals function so that your partner isn’t left to deduce everything themselves. For example, men who tend to ejaculate quickly may find it helpful to communicate more and take frequent pauses in order to delay orgasm, while women who prefer G-spot stimulation may want to show their partner the positions and techniques that they find most pleasurable. 

Sex Life Tip #4: Keep at It, And Remember that Building Sexual Compatibility Takes Time

Research tells us that, on average, sexual satisfaction tends to decline over time in long-term relationships once the initial passion wears off, which is part of the reason that conflicts in this area are so common. However, it’s very much possible to develop and maintain lasting sexual compatibility, but it takes time and patience. 

Sexual satisfaction is not built in a matter of days or even weeks. The road to increased sexual satisfaction is made up of several small overtures as opposed to one grand symphony.

There will be breakthrough moments, of course; however most of the groundwork will be laid silently and you may not even realize just how far you’ve come until you’re months into the process. Remember that you are two very different individuals who may structure your thoughts and views of sex quite differently from one another. The journey to truly getting on the same page will take some time as you both adjust your ways of thinking to be even more compatible.

Remember that sex is a team sport. Every team gets better with practice, and every good team practices quite a bit.

Sex Life Tip #5: Learn To Be in the Moment, and Be Open To Experimentation

When we aren’t able to be in the moment during sex, it’s easy for the sexual connection to fizzle. Whatever is stopping you mentally will reflect physically and your partner will pick up on it.

If there is something you’re having trouble overcoming–whether it’s body anxiety, work stress, or something else–let your partner in on this so that they can be understanding and help you work through it. Work together to find a mutually beneficial solution that nurtures feelings of trust between each other. For example, if one of you has trouble getting out of your head during sex, it might be worth trying some relaxation exercises before progressing to sexual intimacy, such as by giving your partner a massage or taking the time to create some ambiance.

Also, be as open as possible to trying new things together, with the goal of learning as much as you can about how the two of you interface sexually. Even things you won’t end up repeating can offer some abstract lessons that you can apply in other situations, such as how to best support your partner’s weight or a few choice movements that are sure to drive them wild.

A very interesting experiment for my husband and I was experimenting with long distance sex toys. This was a very new idea for us at the time and, ultimately, it ended up becoming the spark that lit the match and took our sex life to unforeseen heights.

Sexual novelties like this can also be helpful for overcoming the problem of mental blocks and barriers. Doing new, different, and exciting things together can pull you into the moment in a powerful way, thereby preventing mental distractions from taking hold.

Final Thoughts

By working together with your partner, sexual satisfaction has the potential to be significantly enhanced. The five tips discussed above all work to increase the level of comfort the two of you share during your most intimate moments together. 

The real secret to sexual satisfaction is figuring out how both of you can do away with the issues holding you back from truly connecting on a sexual level. That means working to make the best environment possible, where nobody is being judged and nobody has any unrealistic expectations placed on them. 

Where comfort, intimacy, and trust intersect is where sexual satisfaction likes to live.

Angela Watson, sex therapist at DoctorClimax

Thanks to Angela Watson for this guest post! Learn more about her and follow her work below.

Guest Author Bio:

Angela Watson is a sex therapist currently living in California. She shares her clinical insights and blogs about all things sex over at DoctorClimax.com. When she’s not working or blogging, she enjoys traveling and seeing new things. Her goal is to be able to travel the world while blogging full time on her website.

Want to learn more about Sex and Psychology? Click here for previous articles or follow the blog on Facebook (facebook.com/psychologyofsex), Twitter (@JustinLehmiller), or Reddit (reddit.com/r/psychologyofsex) to receive updates. You can also follow Dr. Lehmiller on YouTube and Instagram.

Image Source: Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash 

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