Long-term relationships are the ideal opportunity to have the best sex life you’ve ever had.
When you define sex as pleasuring each other’s genitals, and pare away any concept, attachment, meaning or connotation that conflicts with that definition, you quickly run out of excuses for being either disinterested in sex or not “good at it.”
No body doesn’t want good sex with a connected partner. “Good sex” meaning pleasurable physical stimulation of the genitals and body. Sensual contact.
Every person’s genitals can be pleasurably engaged. Including yours, and your partner’s.
Set aside every preconception about what sex is supposed to look like, and just fucking do the research together until you’re both masterful at generating pleasure in each other’s genitals.
All successful intimate relationships are 5% finding the right person and 95% what two people co-create together.¹
What we craft can, over time, far exceed what we could ever find.
But you actually have to put the time in.
(The reason we’re drawn to long-term relationship is precisely because deep down we know the potential of something that can only be built over time, something that gets progressively better and more valuable to both partners.)
You have the inside track with this person — the time, the commitment, the invitation — to become the best lover they’ll ever have. And for them to become the best lover you’ll ever have.
Here are things that get in the way of good sex:
- There was a moment when you elected not to say something to your partner that needed to be talked about. In the cascade that resulted from that decision, you now retract from them, and pleasurable genital contact feels incongruous.
(I’ll repeat that so there’s no misunderstanding— your decision to withhold or avoid an uncomfortable conversation with them eventually results in you feeling shut down toward them.)
- Your partner genuinely doesn’t know how to pleasure you.
- You have culturally or experientially conditioned shame, guilt, fear or other negative attachments to sex.
Here are things that don’t get in the way of good sex:
- You don’t have time or energy. This is backward. Good sex is incredibly generative. You know this. Regular somatosensory pleasure gives you more time and energy. It’s a necessary, health-promoting nutrient.
- Being with the same person is, eventually, boring. This is backward. Craving variety is a symptom that overstimulated brains experience. And only an over-stroked body tires of being stroked. Drop every expectation and preconception of what’s supposed to happen and find out what feels good right now. At the level of naked physical contact. Five, ten, twenty years from now your sex can be much better than it is today, just by getting good at this one thing: identifying — now, and now, and now — what feels good. I don’t care if you haven’t been touched in five years or are currently in a state of blissfully hypersensitive post-climatic refractory period, find out what kind of touch feels good.
- Putting attention on your partner feels like work. There’s a ton to say about the self-defeating sexual service providing dynamic that can take root in relationships. But it’s a telling statement about the state of the relationship when putting attention on your partner feels like work. Sex is the casualty, but it isn’t the problem. What needs to shift in the relationship as a whole for you each to be gloriously glad to do something you know will put the other in a happy state of surplus?
- Your genitals are broken. No they’re not. Genuine physiological problems are exceedingly rare, Mr./Mrs. hypochondriac. It’s more common that our thoughts and feelings affect how our machinery responds, or that we’re straight-up mistaken about how our bodies are supposed to respond. That’s the good news, because these are things that can be changed without drugs or surgery.
- You don’t feel anything down there, or it’s unpleasant. Every set of genitals can be pleasurably touched. A great sex life starts with setting aside preconceptions and finding the touch that feels good right now. Your body and in particular the clitoris is designed for enjoyment. That’s its anatomical purpose. And to repeat, it’s not broken. (Though your idea about what’s supposed to happen, might be.)
- You need testosterone. I’m 53. My testosterone is declining. I’m having literally the best sex of my life. I wouldn’t trade my current love life for any previous decade.
- You’re dry, and need lube. Assuming you’re thoroughly “warmed up,” properly stimulated and having a great time otherwise, if lube is what will make the contact more pleasurable, by all means use it. It’s not a problem. Your body’s doing the right thing.
- You need Viagra. No you don’t — not to have a fantastic, mutually enjoyable sex life. Set aside the performance anxiety. Your penis is doing exactly the right thing. Learn to give your partner ecstatic sensation, and have her learn to give you ecstatic sensation, with your completely flaccid penis. Then two things are simultaneously true. Often, the erection returns. (Based on my coaching practice I’d say usually.) And, you discovered how little it matters.
See how this goes?
Everything else that sex is — what it means, what role it plays in the relationship—is fun and useful and valuable, to the degree that it’s not at odds with the basic definition of pleasurable physical contact between connected people, inclusive of the genitals. That definition leaves you with no excuses and plenty of opportunity to have a fantastic, dare I say enviable, long-term sex life together. Regardless of where your sex life is currently at, this is the starting point for having it get progressively better over time.
© 2017 by Ken Blackman. All rights reserved.
About the author:
Ken’s passion topic these days is how women’s empowerment intersects with intimate coupledom. A former Apple software engineer turned international sex and intimacy educator turned relationship coach, Ken is in his 20th year helping couples co-create, bond, have great sex, thrive, and live happily ever after. His work has garnered mentions in Business Insider, Playboy, Cosmo, Tim Ferriss’s 4-Hour series and elsewhere. Find out more at kenblackman.com.
- OK more like 12%, according to a recent study. “When it comes to a satisfying relationship, the partnership you build is more important than the partner you pick… A person’s individual characteristics explained about 21% of their satisfaction with their relationship at the start of the study, and about 12% by the end.”