How to have good sex in a long-term relationship


It was a simple quest. Having had bad sex in a seven-year marriage – I now wanted to learn everything

It was a simple quest. Having had bad sex in a seven-year marriage – I now wanted to learn everything I could about how to make sex wonderful and mutually nourishing. It was a heterosexual adventure, but any two consenting adults can play. I’m surprised that more couples don’t commit to this research, because, if you follow the ‘it all just happens naturally’ school of thought, statistics seem to show the result is often sexual estrangement, infidelity and /or separation. It need not be so. And of course learning about sex is hugely enjoyable.

It wasn’t always easy though. I started at women-only workshops. The simple exercise of getting naked in front of other women proved that most of us are a long way from loving and accepting ourselves. This isn’t a good start – either for us or for the men who want to love, admire and celebrate our bodies. Who would have thought that something as simple as enjoying being in our birthday suits is something that many women have to re-discover? Not to mention what’s between our legs. With the tragic statistic that labiaplasty is the fastest growing form of cosmetic surgery. There is an urgent need for women to realise that we are all different and all beautiful.

The magic words: No, Yes and Wait
We progressed to couples workshops. Why don’t more couples do these? There were six couples on our weekend ages 20s – 60s. And no, of course we didn’t have to have sex in front of anyone else or whatever you may be imagining… but instead a wonderful, useful weekend which was both heart warming and practical. Most men want to learn how best to please the women they love. Many women are not good at teaching them and men can’t read our minds. How can couples desire their long-term partners unless they are receiving genuine pleasure from each other?

One discovery for me was learning the use of the words, ‘No.’ ‘Yes’ and ‘Wait.’ They sound easy enough to say don’t they? But as a ‘strong, confident woman’ I had certainly not used them correctly in my seven-year marriage. It’s often the women who are keen to take their male partners on these weekends as the men are more tentative – reminding us of the word ‘gentlemen.’ But, once there, even the most hesitant men enjoy the various processes on offer. My partner loved anything and everything that he knew would lead to more sex and better sex. In one game – simply titled ‘ask for what you want’ – I wondered why I enjoyed his choices more than my own.

Learn exactly what to do with the clitoris
Then we discovered workshops that teach men the art of how to stroke a clitoris. This is being taught. Perhaps rather belatedly. Do you know the difference between a golf ball and a clitoris? The answer is that an Englishmen is prepared to spend ten minutes looking for a golf ball. And sadly even those that are interested in finding one have very little connected empathetic feeling of what to do with one when they find it. But there are groups of people out there dedicated to learning about female arousal and pleasure. It’s not about learning how to give a woman a climax – it’s learning about deep sensation in the body.

These tips for free; you need lube of the right viscosity, stroke no more firmly than you would stroke your own eyelid, use the first finger of your non-dominant hand and the upper right hand corner (1 O’clock) is the most sensitive spot. The men (woman also learn to stroke) are taught this practice with the stroker fully clothed. It is arousing for the stroker but the focus is to pay full attention to the woman’s pleasure. The only challenge for the strokee is to relax fully and learn, when the desire to do so is there, to give feedback such as, ‘a little lighter please’, ‘a little to the left,’ ‘a fraction faster / slower’ etc. For the stroker it’s difficult, like learning to play a cello – only the cello won’t love you for learning so carefully.

Stop faking orgasms
We met a tantric master & learnt that I needed to be able to speak not only about good sensation in my body but sometimes about the lack of sensation. This is notoriously difficult for many women as we want to reassure the man so are prone to exaggerating the signs of our pleasure. I don’t mean faking orgasm (although many woman do) but just exaggerating in a broader sense. This is fatal as the man then lacks authentic feedback and the woman will eventually rebel against her own deception. No matter how difficult – honesty has to be the starting point. There are many reasons why a woman may have less sensation than she would hope to have. But a) porn isn’t reality and b) no man is beyond redemption c) no woman is beyond redemption.

The pubococcygeus muscles both in men and women need a lot more attention. They support the lower half of our bodies, play important roles in our sexual response and are free and fun to exercise. Yet adult incontinence pads (for younger and younger women) are a best selling product – which tells us a lot about the sexual health of the nation. If you don’t know what I’m talking about please look them up, learn about them and find many and various ways to keep these muscles in good health. And if you have some, er, surprising results, write and thank me later.

Set challenges
Then there was the time when my partner chose to accept a challenge (not at my initiation) not to ejaculate for 30 days. Making love during that time was some of the most connected sex that we’d had. I’m not suggesting these exercises need last for ever – it was in in order to learn. Following this a new kind of ‘listening’ to sensation was possible for both of us.

Sex can be so wonderfully varied and yet so many couples give up if they are not having one particular experience that used to be enjoyable for them. This is a tragedy of epidemic proportions as it often leads to a lack of even the simple expression of tenderness and affection. So I recommend this research – that more people take learning about sexuality seriously. After all – what better investment could there be in a relationship? And it’s fun.


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