Why You Should Have Sex Every Single Day

1. It could lower his risk of prostate cancer. According to a study from Harvard Medical School, men who ejaculated more often reduced their risk of developing prostate cancer by 22 percent. Researchers still don’t know why that is, but hey, if you needed one more reason to hit that tonight, having your guy avoid getting cancer is a pretty solid one.

2. Your chance of getting a cold goes way, way down. Researchers at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania found that people who had sex at least twice a week released more antigens like immunoglobulin A, which helps fight off colds and the flu, so just think of how healthy you’d be if you had sex all seven days. You’d be basically immortal is what I’m trying to say.

Why You Should Have Sex Every Single Day
Why You Should Have Sex Every Single Day

3. It keeps you looking super young and confident. In a study by Scottish researcher and clinical neuro psychologist David Weeks, judges guessed the ages of 3,500 European and American women and men, and found that the people whose age was under estimated by seven to 12 years were also reporting having sex three times a week, in comparison to the control group which was doing it twice a week. They also found these young-looking babes to be really comfortable and confident about their sexual identity. Win, win, win, win.

super young and confident
super young and confident

4. It’ll help get rid of your heinous menstrual cramps. A study done in 2000 found that 9 percent of 1,900 women were masturbating solely to get rid of their menstrual cramps. There’s no way that many masturbating women are wrong.

5. It could make you crazy-fertile, if you’re trying to conceive. A new study in Fertility and Sterility found that having sex every day could help prepare your immune system for pregnancy, which is critical in terms of increasing your chances of having a baby.

6. It lowers your blood pressure and your ability to stress out over basically nothing. A 2005 study found that people who had penile-vaginal intercourse (their words, not mine) had lower blood pressure and better stress responses than people who didn’t (or those who masturbated or had non-penetrative sex), which in theory would mean they were also way more chill. Never a bad thing.

Why You Should Have Sex Every Single Day
Why You Should Have Sex Every Single Day

7. Sex can actually make you a super genius. Separate studies by researchers at the University of Maryland and Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea, found that mice and rats who had sex more often were also less stressed, and since stress makes your brainless able to function, that made them more intelligent thinkers.

So in theory, having sex every single day would make you febrile, live longer, never get sick, and have the brain of a genius. Basically, sex makes you a superhero. That’s my take-away from this.

34 Things Your Breasts Say About Your Health (Part 3)

Your breasts can communicate a lot about what’s going on inside your body. Use these signs to learn what your breasts are telling you — and see your medical care provider if you suspect something is up.

25. You could have a non cancerous tumor. Also known as a papilloma (an overgrowth of milk ducts), it warrants a visit to your health care provider for investigation — especially if you notice this symptom in only one breast, which isn’t a great sign, Dr. Weintraub says.

34 Things Your Breasts Say About Your Health
34 Things Your Breasts Say About Your Health

26. It might mean you’re aroused. Nipple firmness rarely has anything to do with breast tissue abnormality unless there’s some sort of asymmetry, Dr. Weintraub says. It’s just a contraction of the small muscles around the nipple and is associated with stimulation before or after sex.

27. It might mean you’re cold. When sex is the last thing on your mind and your headlights are on, the simplest explanation is that the heat is off.

28. There could be breast cancer behind your nipple. Any kind of dimpling in the nipple or breast can indicate a cancer is growing back there. So if your first impulse is to see a doctor ASAP, you’re right on the money.

34 Things Your Breasts Say About Your Health
34 Things Your Breasts Say About Your Health

29. You don’t really have dense breasts. Most women who think they have this condition are sorely mistaken: The lumpy tenderness you feel during certain weeks of your cycle is very different from having “dense breasts,” a clinical diagnosis that can only be detected through a mammogram.

30. You might have a greater risk of undetected breast cancer. But this is pretty controversial: Some doctors say it’s more difficult to detect tumors through dense breast tissue — it’s why many prescribe ultrasounds to double-check. The problem is that it’s all too easy to get a false positive cancer diagnosis via ultrasound — which can trigger unhealthy amounts of anxiety all for naught.

31. You may be more susceptible to skin cancer. Pale, translucent breasts are a predictor of fair skin, which makes you especially susceptible to sunburn. But as long as you don’t worship the sun and apply sunscreen liberally to exposed skin, you shouldn’t have any major problems.

32. You could have breast cancer. If your formerly smooth breast starts to feel rough (like an orange peel), with a hardened areola and nipple, cancer could be present, and you should definitely get it checked out, Dr. Weintraub says.

34 Things Your Breasts Say About Your Health
34 Things Your Breasts Say About Your Health

33. You could have a benign cyst. If it feels round and smooth, and it wiggles, it’s probably a benign, fluid-filled cyst. (Not a tumor.) Take the vitamin combo suggested in no. 21 and wait one cycle to see if it goes away. If it persists, your doctor can do an ultrasound to check out things.

34. It could be breast cancer. While the vast majority of breast pains and masses are a normal result of fluctuating hormones, “whenever you notice a breast mass, the question is always: Is this cancer or could it turn into cancer?” Dr. Minkin says. It’s a question your health care provider is best suited to answer — so make an appointment to get checked out if you’re concerned.

6 Things Every Guy Wants During Sex

You obviously shouldn’t let a man dictate how you behave in bed. But in case you were wondering, we’re pretty simple creatures in the sack, really. We don’t want you to do anything outrageous or weird—just a little cowgirl here and there. Some other things men enjoy during sex include the below.

1. We want you to talk dirty.

6 Things Every Guy Wants During Sex
6 Things Every Guy Wants During Sex

It’s not like you need to narrate everything that’s happening, but you’d be surprised what a few well-placed dirty words can do to a guy. Not everyone is comfortable doing this, but there’s no need to venture too far out of your comfort zone. Words and phrases like “wet,” “feels so good,” and “harder” can still work wonders. Just don’t get too clinical: “I can confirm your penis is inside my vagina” isn’t going to do it for anyone.

2. We want you to take control sometimes.

6 Things Every Guy Wants During Sex
6 Things Every Guy Wants During Sex

There are few things hotter than a girl who knows what she wants, and there’s a lot of different ways to communicate that to a guy. It doesn’t mean you have to bust out whips and leather restraints and boss us around (but you could). It could be something as simple as pushing us down on the bed and pinning our arms down over our heads while you’re on top. Taking control of which position we’re moving to next can also be really hot. Just like talking dirty, this doesn’t have to be anything too complicated or filthy.

3. We want you to initiate new positions.

6 Things Every Guy Wants During Sex
6 Things Every Guy Wants During Sex

We really like it when you throw us a curveball. If there’s a new position you’ve found that you want to try, please go for it. It can be some hugely creative, elaborate sex circus that involves a Jacuzzi, whipped cream and bananas but introducing a modification to old standbys like doggy or missionary can also work. Don’t even worry about whether or not the position ends up “working” for the two of you. It’s a turn-on just knowing we’re doing something you want to try.

4. We want to be surprised.

6 Things Every Guy Wants During Sex
6 Things Every Guy Wants During Sex

I’ll admit, some guys can be intimidated if you start pulling out vibrators out from underneath the mattress in the middle of sex. But throwing some new things in there to shake up your lovemaking is really never a bad idea. You can even make the sex itself a surprise: jump your significant other in the hallway or on the stairs and just turn it into a sex session. Moments like that, where you can’t control yourself and just have to have us are always appreciated. Introducing some costumes, his-and-her lubricants, toys, and role-playing can also work. Just keep in mind that some of this stuff is outside of people’s comfort zones. Make sure you know what your guy likes before you bust out the latex nun outfit and rubber fist.

5. We want to watch you.

6 Things Every Guy Wants During Sex
6 Things Every Guy Wants During Sex

Visual stimulation really gets guys going. Choosing positions like cowgirl or reverse cowgirl where we can really get a view of what’s happening is hugely arousing. Alternatively, any position can benefit from a well-placed mirror where we can get a full view of the action. If you’re feeling really courageous, let your man watch you while you touch yourself. If you really want to drive him crazy, don’t let him touch or kiss you during the session, so he gets really worked up. This also has the added benefit of showing him what turns you on because he can see how you get yourself off.

6. We want you to feed us pizza.

This one might just be me, but I have a feeling it isn’t.

34 Things Your Breasts Say About Your Health (Part 2)

Your breasts can communicate a lot about what’s going on inside your body. Use these signs to learn what your breasts are telling you — and see your medical care provider if you suspect something is up.

11. It’s probably NBD. “This is not related to breast cancer,” Dr. Weintraub says. “Different women just have different pigmentation patterns.”

12. It’s probably NBD. Dr. Minkin chalks this up to normal variation.

34 Things Your Breasts Say About Your Health
34 Things Your Breasts Say About Your Health

13. It’s probably NBD. The breast is designed for milk production, and those bumps are just the ends of milk ducts. They sometimes puff out a bit, so it’s normal to have small, pimple-like bumps on your areolas.

14. You could have a benign cyst or cancerous tumor. Calmly call your health care provider to schedule a screening as soon as you can. She can tell you whether you’re feeling normal breast tissue or have cause for concern.

15. It could mean you’ve been exposed to testosterone cream or gel. Some guys use the stuff to boost sex drive — but rubbing up against said guy can expose you to the hormone and its side effects, Dr. Minkin explains. This could include hair growth in random places.

34 Things Your Breasts Say About Your Health
34 Things Your Breasts Say About Your Health

16. You could have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). If you find yourself suddenly sprouting chest hair, your testosterone levels might be elevated due to PCOS, a condition where your ovaries or adrenal glands produce excessive amounts of male hormones, resulting in cysts (fluid-filled sacs) on the ovaries, and other symptoms such as acne and irregular periods. Because PCOS can result in infertility if left untreated, see your doctor for a formal diagnosis if these symptoms sound familiar.

17. It might mean you left shampoo or soap residue on your breast. Just rinse off with water and apply hydrocortisone cream for some sweet relief.

18. Or you’re allergic to your clothing. A new bra can contain dye or other compounds that elicit a reaction — and the same goes for a wooly sweater. Apply hydrocortisone cream and change clothes or bras to see if the itch goes away.

19. Or you’re getting your period. Sometimes changes in your hormones (the ultimate scape goat!) can trigger itchiness leading up to your period.

20. Or you could have Paget disease. ​It’s also known as nipple carcinoma, a very rare form of breast cancer. Look for itchiness around the nipple and areola; flaky, crusty skin; a flattened nipple; and yellow or bloody discharge — and see your health care provider ASAP if any of these symptoms sound familiar.

21. It might mean you’re getting your period. It’s pretty common to experience changes in your breasts — from the texture to sensitivity — in the days leading up to your period. And it’s normal to wonder whether these changes signal something more serious (like a cancerous tumor)

To find out whether your symptoms are related to your cycle or are cause for concern, Dr. Minkin recommends taking a tried-and-true combination of vitamins on days when you’re uncomfortable: 200 milligrams of vitamin B6, 300 milligrams of vitamin E, and two 500-milligram capsules of evening primrose oil. Then wait one menstrual cycle. If the soreness and lumpiness doesn’t go away, see your doctor, who can confirm whether you’re feeling normal breast tissue or something off. (Most of the time, tumors don’t cause pain. So breast pain can actually be a good sign — even if it only occurs in one breast as opposed to both.)

22. It might mean you’re OD-ing on caffeine. Caffeine can sometimes aggravate breast soreness — so cutting back on coffee and sodas (in addition to taking the supplements listed above) can help bring your breasts back to baseline.

34 Things Your Breasts Say About Your Health
34 Things Your Breasts Say About Your Health

23. It could mean you’re feeling stimulated. The breasts are designed for milk-making, so a little leakage that resembles milk just means they’re just doing their thing. It can happen in response to physical stimulation — and you don’t have to be pregnant or nursing to experience it, Dr. Minkin explains. If the odd drop bothers you, there are some medications that can help.

24. It might be because you’re taking an antidepressant or antipsychotic. Some prescription meds elevate your levels of prolactin, the hormone that stimulates milk production. The vast majority of the time, this isn’t dangerous — it’s just a pesky side effect.

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex (Part 2)

Sex not only feels good. It can also be good for you. Here’s what a healthy sex life can do for you.

6. Lowers Heart Attack Risk
A good sex life is good for your heart. Besides being a great way to raise your heart rate, sex helps keep your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance.

Lowers Heart Attack Risk
Lowers Heart Attack Risk

“When either one of those is low you begin to get lots of problems, like osteoporosis and even heart disease,” Pinzone says.

Having sex more often may help. During one study, men who had sex at least twice a week were half as likely to die of heart disease as men who had sex rarely.

7. Lessens Pain
Before you reach for an aspirin, try for an orgasm.

“Orgasm can block pain,” says Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD, a distinguished service professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. It releases a hormone that helps raise your pain threshold.

 Lessens Pain
Lessens Pain

Stimulation without orgasm can also do the trick. “We’ve found that vaginal stimulation can block chronic back and leg pain, and many women have told us that genital self-stimulation can reduce menstrual cramps, arthritic pain, and in some cases even headache,” Komisaruk says.

8. May Make Prostate Cancer Less Likely
Going for the gusto may help ward off prostate cancer.

Men who ejaculated frequently (at least 21 times a month) were less likely to get prostate cancer during one study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

May Make Prostate Cancer Less Likely
May Make Prostate Cancer Less Likely

You don’t need a partner to reap this benefit: Sexual intercourse, nocturnal emission, and masturbation were all part of the equation.

It’s not clear that sex was the only reason that mattered in that study. Lots of factors affect cancer risk. But more sex won’t hurt.

9. Improves Sleep
You may nod off more quickly after sex, and for good reason.

“After orgasm, the hormone prolactin is released, which is responsible for the feelings of relaxation and sleepiness” after sex, says Sheenie Ambardar, MD. She is a psychiatrist in West Hollywood, Calif.

Improves Sleep
Improves Sleep

10. Eases Stress
Being close to your partner can soothe stress and anxiety.

Ambardar says touching and hugging can release your body’s natural “feel-good hormone.” Sexual arousal releases a brain chemical that revs up your brain’s pleasure and reward system.

Eases Stress
Eases Stress

Sex and intimacy can boost your self-esteem and happiness, too, Ambardar says. It’s not only a prescription for a healthy life, but a happy one.

The 7 Sex Moves Men Love Most

Men joke that any sex is good sex — and they’re not entirely kidding. They’re biologically designed to be gratified in bed more quickly and easily than we are. But when pressed, almost every man will admit that sometimes sex is better than good. Certain sex moves drive them crazy in the best possible way. Women who know these moves hold the kind of power over men that inspires great art, novels and films. And you don’t have to be lithe or athletic to perfect them. In fact, they’re ridiculously easy to learn.

The seven techniques here are guaranteed to thrill him — and make him eager to please you in return. The couples who’ve tried them can attest to that.

1. Let him watch

Let him watch
Let him watch

What it is: Moving in a way that is specifically intended to excite him
How to do it: Men are erotic visualises, more intensely aroused by visual stimulation than women are. Some men say that watching a woman climax is the ultimate form of arousal for them.

Many women touch themselves discreetly during intercourse to facilitate orgasm. Few realize they can use this little move with a theatrical flourish to arouse their men. Next time you’re ready to make love and he isn’t particularly interested, put on a sexy shirt and nothing else (except maybe black thigh-high stockings and a pair of heels) and assume a provocative position, with your back against the headboard, legs open and bent at the knees. Place two fingers in an inverted V straddling your clitoris.

2. Stand up your man

Stand up your man
Stand up your man

What it is: A manual wake-up call for him
How to do it: Men love to be stroked, fondled and handled with authority by expert female hands — and they love watching a woman take manual erotic control of them. If he’s having trouble getting a firm erection, rub a small amount of oil or lubricant onto your palms and put one hand firmly around the base of his penis. Work the other hand from the base up to the head in a circular, twisting motion, as if you were following a winding staircase up his appendage. Caress the head with your palm. Then start at the bottom again. This staircase goes only one way: up.

If he’s sensitive around his perineum (the space between his testicles and anus), adjust the hand gripping the base of his penis so you’re free to massage the perineum with a finger or your thumb. Or pay attention to his testicles if he likes that. When he has a full and firm erection, guarantee his stamina by using this stroke: Open your hand and form a V with your thumb and index finger. Slide his penis between the V so the flat of your palm caresses the shaft, and move upward from the base to the head. Again, only move up.

3. Take matters into your own hands

Take matters into your own hands
Take matters into your own hands

What it is: A hand job like he’s never had — and couldn’t possibly give himself
How to do it: This is really a two-hand job. Begin by clasping your lubricated hands together, fingers interlaced, tightly around him (but not so tightly, of course, that you cut off his circulation). Move your hands up the shaft in one long twisting motion followed by the same motion as you work your way back down. Now vary that move by eliminating the twist. When he has a firm erection, clap your hands at the top of the shaft. Gently contract and release them around the shaft at approximately one-second intervals. Keep doing this up and down the shaft, stopping at the rim where the shaft meets the head.

Alternate the twisting and the contracting strokes until he is ready for launch. Then hold him firmly in both hands, gently contracting them in time with his spasms. Finish him off by running your thumb from the base of the shaft on the under side up to the head.

4. Perfect the stand-up kiss

Perfect the stand-up kiss
Perfect the stand-up kiss

What it is: A way to arouse him or restore his flagging erection during love-making

How to do it: This can arouse him when he thinks he’s not in the mood; it’s the most direct route to a state of heightened readiness. Holding his penis firmly in one hand, take it in your mouth, moving the head and the top third of the shaft in and out. When he becomes erect, use a variety of strokes, including these two:

  • The twist and swirl: Use one hand to do the circular twisting motion described in move No. 2 as you swirl your tongue around the corona (the ridge separating the shaft from the head), paying particular attention to the frenulum (the small piece of skin where the head meets the shaft).
  • The butterfly flick: Lightly flick your tongue back and forth across the delicate corona.

5. Give him the ultimate delight

Give him the ultimate delight
Give him the ultimate delight

What it is: Oral sex all the way
How to do it: He’ll be eternally grateful for this one. Do the steps in move No. 4 until he’s close to orgasm. Then gradually draw him in, as much of him as you can comfortably handle, keeping a hand firmly around the rest (use your thumb and forefinger to form a ring — an okay sign — and place this ring around your mouth). Move your tongue around the shaft. Pull in your cheeks to create suction. Open your mouth to release the suction, but keep the tip of your tongue engaged. With the palm of one hand or your thumb, massage the perineum.

6. Take the roundabout path

Take the roundabout path
Take the roundabout path

What it is: An arousing spin on the female-superior position
How to do it: Men love the special moves women make in the female-superior position. To increase his excitement and visual stimulation — and intensify clitoral and G-spot stimulation for you — move on an oval track rather than straight up and down. Imagine you’re circumscribing an oval with your body, with the down stroke at one end of the oval, the up stroke at the other. Lean forward slightly as you push down on him, stimulating your clitoris. Pull up and move backward slightly on the up stroke, stimulating your G spot. (Can’t find your G spot? It’s a patch of skin a third of the way up the front vaginal wall, easily reachable with your fingers.)

7. Adjust the angle

What it is: A variation on the rear-entry position that dramatically improves the experience for both of you

Adjust the angle
Adjust the angle

How to do it: This simple adjustment to the basic rear-entry position accomplishes two worthy goals: It presents your buttocks in the most flattering way possible and it increases G-spot stimulation. Never had a G-spot orgasm? You just may have one now.

Here’s how you do it: Kneel on the edge of the bed and have your man stand behind you. Lie with your chest flat on the bed and elevate your hips at a steeper angle than you would normally do in this position. This elongates the vaginal barrel, making the fit tighter and creating additional stimulation for both of you.

How Often You Should Be Having Sex

When you think of a deliriously happy couple, you might assume they’re having sex every waking moment. But according to a new study, it turns out that many satisfied couples spend most nights reading in their pajamas instead.

Researchers at the University of Toronto collected data from surveys of 30,000 Americans over the past 40 years to see if happy couples have more or less sex than unhappy ones. Their results, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, revealed there’s a sweet spot for happy couples everywhere, and that’s having sex once a week.

How Often You Should Be Having Sex
How Often You Should Be Having Sex

They found that more sex meant more happiness, but there was a limit to the connection, and that was the once a week mark. This was the case regardless of age, gender, or length of a relationship. But this was only for people in relationships; for single people, there was no link between frequency of sex and general happiness.

Why does satisfaction drop off after once a week? It remains unclear, but the study authors write that couples might feel satisfied if they’re having the amount of sex they think is “average” for couples like them. Previous studies have found that people tend to report they have sex approximately, yup, once a week, so couples who do it that often probably feel pretty good about themselves.

How Often You Should Be Having Sex
How Often You Should Be Having Sex

Overall, the researchers say their results shouldn’t be a prescription for more or less sex, but a reason to have a conversation with your partner and see if you’re meeting each other’s needs in the bedroom.

“Our findings suggest that it’s important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner, but you don’t need to have sex everyday as long as you’re maintaining that connection,” researcher Amy Muise said in a statement. “It’s important to maintain an intimate connection with your partner without putting too much pressure on engaging in sex as frequently as possible.”

Tips to Improve Your Sex Life (Part 2)

Using self-help strategies

Treating sexual problems is easier now than ever before. Revolutionary medications and professional sex therapists are there if you need them. But you may be able to resolve minor sexual issues by making a few adjustments in your love making style. Here are some things you can try at home.

Educate yourself
Educate yourself

Educate yourself

Plenty of good self-help materials are available for every type of sexual issue. Browse the Internet or your local bookstore, pick out a few resources that apply to you, and use them to help you and your partner become better informed about the problem. If talking directly is too difficult, you and your partner can underline passages that you particularly like and show them to each other.

Privacy concerns and Internet use

Privacy concerns and Internet use
Privacy concerns and Internet use

The Internet is a valuable source of all types of information, including books and other products (such as sex toys) that can enhance your sex life. Although it may be obvious, never use your workplace computer to do such searches, to avoid potential embarrassment with your employer, who is likely able to track your search history. People who feel uneasy even about using their home computers and credit cards to order sex-related information or products online might be able to find a nearby store (especially in major cities) and pay with cash.

Give yourself time

Give yourself time
Give yourself time

As you age, your sexual responses slow down. You and your partner can improve your chances of success by finding a quiet, comfortable, interruption-free setting for sex. Also, understand that the physical changes in your body mean that you’ll need more time to get aroused and reach orgasm. When you think about it, spending more time having sex isn’t a bad thing; working these physical necessities into your love-making routine can open up doors to a new kind of sexual experience.

Use lubrication

Often, the vaginal dryness that begins in perimenopause can be easily corrected with lubricating liquids and gels. Use these freely to avoid painful sex—a problem that can snowball into flagging libido and growing relationship tensions. When lubricants no longer work, discuss other options with your doctor.

Maintain physical affection

Even if you’re tired, tense, or upset about the problem, engaging in kissing and cuddling is essential for maintaining an emotional and physical bond.

Practice touching

Practice touching
Practice touching

The sensate focus techniques that sex therapists use can help you re-establish physical intimacy without feeling pressured. Many self-help books and educational videos offer variations on these exercises. You may also want to ask your partner to touch you in a manner that he or she would like to be touched. This will give you a better sense of how much pressure, from gentle to firm, you should use.

Try different positions

Developing a repertoire of different sexual positions not only adds interest to lovemaking, but can also help overcome problems. For example, the increased stimulation to the G-spot that occurs when a man enters his partner from behind can help the woman reach orgasm.

The Average Amount of Time Sex Lasts-Not as Long as You’d Think

You may lay in bed, post-coitus with your partner, and wonder to yourself: Are we normal?

Well, a study called “Canadian and American Sex Therapists‘ Perceptions of Normal and Abnormal Ejaculatory Latencies: How Long Should Intercourse Last?” has an answer. Drumroll, please: The average session of intercourse lasts anywhere from three to seven minutes, not including any, ahem, warm-up activities. This data, culled from people who see therapists for sexual problems, corresponds closely to earlier studies, which placed the average at five to seven minutes.

The Average Amount of Time Sex
The Average Amount of Time Sex

“Very few people have intercourse per se that goes longer than 12 minutes,” says sex therapist Barry W. McCarthy. McCarthy adds that you can extend your time and slow things down by working with your husband to hone his technique through what McCarthy calls “non intercourse sex” (translation: manual stimulation). You also might want to try switching positions and working together to vary the speed and pattern of your love-making, but if your roll in the hay before bed regularly clocks in at 5 minutes, rest easy in knowing that’s totally normal.

Tips to Improve Your Sex Life (Part 1)

Enjoying a satisfying sex life

Sex. The word can evoke a kaleidoscope of emotions. From love, excitement, and tenderness to longing, anxiety, and disappointment—the reactions are as varied as sexual experiences themselves. What’s more, many people will encounter all these emotions and many others in the course of a sex life spanning several decades.

Enjoying a satisfying sex life
Enjoying a satisfying sex life

But what is sex, really?

On one level, sex is just another hormone-driven bodily function designed to perpetuate the species. Of course, that narrow view underestimates the complexity of the human sexual response. In addition to the biochemical forces at work, your experiences and expectations help shape your sexuality. Your understanding of yourself as a sexual being, your thoughts about what constitutes a satisfying sexual connection, and your relationship with your partner are key factors in your ability to develop and maintain a fulfilling sex life.

Talking to your partner

Talking to your partner
Talking to your partner

Many couples find it difficult to talk about sex even under the best of circumstances. When sexual problems occur, feelings of hurt, shame, guilt, and resentment can halt conversation altogether. Because good communication is a cornerstone of a healthy relationship, establishing a dialogue is the first step not only to a better sex life, but also to a closer emotional bond. Here are some tips for tackling this sensitive subject.

Find the right time to talk

Find the right time to talk
Find the right time to talk

There are two types of sexual conversations: the ones you have in the bedroom and the ones you have elsewhere. It’s perfectly appropriate to tell your partner what feels good in the middle love making it’s best to wait until you’re in a more neutral setting to discuss larger issues, such as mismatched sexual desire or orgasm troubles.

Avoid criticizing

Avoid criticizing
Avoid criticizing

Couch suggestions in positive terms, such as, “I really love it when you touch my hair lightly that way,” rather than focusing on the negatives. Approach a sexual issue as a problem to be solved together rather than an exercise in assigning blame.

Confide in your partner about changes in your body

If hot flashes are keeping you up at night or menopause has made your vagina dry, talk to your partner about these things. It’s much better that he know what’s really going on rather than interpret these physical changes as lack of interest. Likewise, if you’re a man and you no longer get an erection just from the thought of sex, show your partner how to stimulate you rather than let her believe she isn’t attractive enough to arouse you anymore.

Confide in your partner about changes in your body
Confide in your partner about changes in your body

Be honest

You may think you’re protecting your partner’s feelings by faking an orgasm, but in reality you’re starting down a slippery slope. As challenging as it is to talk about any sexual problem, the difficulty level skyrockets once the issue is buried under years of lies, hurt, and resentment.