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If you have sex just for the orgasm then you’ve left yourself “a pretty narrow field to play on”, sex therapist Cyndi Darnell says.
“If all you want is the grand finale, that’s fine, but many people become caught up in having robotic sex, rather than anything that actually feels good.”
She encourages couples to talk about how they both want to feel, and why they’re getting it on. “Because sex is never taught to us or even valued as something important outside of ‘making babies’, the real reasons we have sex get lost and we get consumed by how we look, sound or smell, rather than how we feel and why we’re there.”
Her bottom line? It’s OK to shag with no expectations of a happy ending. Here are some more wise words.
When it comes to sex, there is no “normal”
There are often stories about the so-called “average” sex life — how often, how long etc — “but sex is all about diversity,” Darnell says. “If you both enjoy what you’re doing, and it’s what you both want, then this is your normal.
“One of the most common questions I’m asked is ‘Am I normal?’ Heterosexuals are very caught up in intercourse being the main event but for a lot of women, this won’t be the most exciting part of having sex, or erotically dissatisfying. We need to shift our conversations about sex away from reproduction and focus on how we enjoy it, so more people feel ‘normal’.”
Keep it above the waist sometimes
Say what, you say? Darnell says this is a fun exercise for couples, and a chance to change up their approach. “We can all get into habits, so leaving out the genitals every now and then can make us rethink why we have sex.”
She suggests couples try phone sex, Tantric sex, sending each other salacious texts or even just enjoy touching each other elsewhere.
Because if you don’t it just won’t happen, Darnell says. “Other parts of life take over and distract us and we zone out, and then we zone out from our sex lives.” And she has these wise words for people who don’t like the idea of diarising sex: “If scheduling sex is boring, don’t schedule boring sex.”
Straightforward sex is popular for a reason
If you’re both happy with your love life, and getting enjoyment out of it, don’t feel like you have to change things up because others might think you’re boring. “Vanilla sex is popular for a reason. Sex [doesn’t have to ] be kinky or dark if you don’t want to be — the reason to have sex is because you want to and you enjoy it”.