Sex life a bit, well, lacklustre?
Don’t blame your partner, blame yourself!
The key to a satisfying, pleasurable sex life is to be your own best lover: the better you know yourself intimately, the better your sex life with your partner will be.
After all, if you don’t know what turns you on and makes you orgasm, how are they expected to?
It’s not just about masturbating regularly, either. We should all be cultivating fresh fantasies, educating ourselves and maintaining a healthy body image as well.
Here’s the five best things you can do alone to have more connected, passionate sex together.
Tracey Cox revealed the five things you can do solo to boost your sex life with your partner, as she explains knowing yourself intimately is key (file image)
Masturbate twice a week
The more sexually active you are, the more likely you are to masturbate, regardless of whether you do or don’t have a partner. Kinsey, one of the world’s best known sex experts, found people who masturbated early in life led more vigorous sex lives than those who didn’t, and continued having an active sex life long past when the average person stopped.
Recent research backs this up.
This is one area where men come up trumps. Most women masturbate about once a week (when they’re at their most active sexually), often not doing it regularly until their late teens. Most men masturbate at least twice as often and started doing so around 12 or 13 years of age.
Of the women who have discovered its joys, virtually all can masturbate to orgasm – 95 per cent of us, in fact (and some researchers put that figure even higher).
On the opposite side, if you’re a female who has never masturbated, statistics indicate it’s quite likely you’ve never had an orgasm in your life. Few of us are lucky enough to start our sexual lives with a lover who’s so patient and skilled they can teach us about our own body.
Masturbation is a sure way (often the only way) that women discover what turns them on sexually.
It also releases tension, helps us sleep and increases our orgasm quota. More orgasms mean improved circulation, less stress and glowing skin.
Don’t just do the same thing each time you indulge in a solo sex section though. Mix up the techniques you use to masturbate to keep your sexual response system nicely elastic. And don’t forget to show or tell partner what works for you (obviously).
Read, watch or listen to erotica
Understanding the mechanics of sex and mastering effective technique are crucial cornerstones to a great sex life.
But there’s something that’s even more important: arousal.
Arousal is the key ingredient needed to drive good, long-term sex: after all, it’s the pursuit of pleasure that makes us want to have sex in the first place!
Tracey (pictured) said fantasies about other people help to keep your sex life active
Keeping ourselves aroused long-term isn’t easy – and this is where erotica comes into play.
Whether it’s watching hard core porn or enjoying a more sedate, sensual scene from a literary classic, keeping our imaginations stimulated is one of the best ways to keep our libido and desire high.
Explore and find out what floats your boat: it might be devouring down the whole Fifty Shades of Grey collection. It might be discovering a new category of porn online. Rediscover a sexy old classic movie like Nine and a Half Weeks, check out Sex/Life or Bridgerton on Netflix or the new off-the-scale raunchy Russian series Gold Diggers on All 4.
If you’d prefer someone to whisper sweet nothings, try the website FrolicMe for beautiful, ‘elegant’ erotic porn or download the Dipsea app for short and sexy audio stories.
Ninety-five percent of us have daily sexual fantasies – yes, even your granny, sitting there innocently knitting, could be ripping the shirt from that tasty gent who sits next to her at bingo right this moment (though best not dwell on that one).
According to statistics, 85% of people fantasise about someone else other than their partner, during sex with a partner at some point – so there’s no need to feel guilty about that one either.
Why do we need them if we’re getting good sex at home? Most evidence suggests after the newness of a relationship wears off, most of our sexual turn-ons do not come from our partner.
This is nothing to be alarmed about.
Far from harming your sex life, fantasies about other people are helping it stay active. One study found people who fantasize during sex feel a greater level of sexual satisfaction and have fewer sexual problems in their relationships, even if the person they fantasize about is not their partner.
Spending time solo developing your fantasies is time well spent.
Conjure up a sexy scenario that appeals, then add to it. What do you want to happen next? Exactly what will the person do to you? When, how, where? The better rehearsed the fantasy, the easier it is to press ‘play’ in your head when you want to get aroused or tip over into orgasm.
Need some inspiration? TeaseMe feeds you sexy audio stories with different themes (think hot librarian, yoga teacher, ski instructor) to help you come up with more inventive fantasies of your own.
Tracey said sex apps can be useful for becoming a better lover because they offer lessons about new techniques and teach mindful sex practices (file image)
Work on your body image
Learning to love your body is one of the most important things you can do to improve your sex life.
Shift your perspective by conditioning your mind to only think positive thoughts: no-one is born hating their body, we learn how to do it.
Take yourself off social media if it upsets you. This is Body Image Fixer No 1. Seriously, who really feels great about themselves after looking through Instagram?
Stop reading magazines or looking at websites that feature ‘perfect’ women. If you watch porn, watch amateur porn. That way you’ll see real women with real bodies.
If you have a friend who ridicules your body, ditch them. Be strict. You should come back from seeing friends feeling great about yourself, not awful.
Chuck out stuff that makes you feel bad. If something is not making you happy, toss it out. Like your too-small underwear and jeans and dresses that make you feel guilty because you never did drop that dress size to wear them. Buy clothes that are the right size, that feel comfortable to wear.
Finally, have self-compassion. What would you say to a best friend who was constantly putting herself down? You’d tell her to stop and give her compliments. Do it to yourself. Be your best friend, not your own worst critic.
Download a sex app
Whether you’re after titillation, education or problem solving, sex apps are big business.
Kama (as in Sutra) is a free sex education and training app with hours of video tutorial content to help users upskill, explore and become better lovers.
OMGyes isn’t free but I would highly recommend it for any women struggling to orgasm or who would like to learn new techniques on how to get there. It’s interactive, there are tons of video demo’s and you can actually practice the techniques on your tablet.
Men also love it – if you want to be leaps ahead of the competition in terms of pleasuring women, this will get you there. Couples tune in to show the techniques that work best for her (so much easier to show rather than tell) and for ideas of what to try next.
Ferly is an app that teaches you mindful sex practices; the Lover app claims to be a ‘personal trainer for treating sex problems, creating more pleasure in your life and getting better at sex.
Check out the new products in Tracey’s supersex and Edge ranges at traceycox.com. Tracey’s new podcast SexTok comes out weekly on Tuesdays.