Ask The Sexpert — Dec. 11, 2008
I've been dating my boyfriend for a while now, and I like him, but I just don't seem to be able to enjoy sex with him. Ever. I'm just not getting turned on. Help!
- Dry Spell
Dear Dry Spell,
Before discussing the actual sex, my first question to you is: Do you really want to be in an intimate sexual relationship with this person? You may really like him, and he may be a great friend, but if he's not turning you on, and this has been going on for a while (it's not just performance anxiety, which usually goes away after the first few times being intimate), then maybe you just aren't sexually attracted to this person. And if you aren't sexually attracted to him, then perhaps you two shouldn't be dating.
If you really are sure that you want to be dating this person because you are sexually attracted as well as mentally attracted to him, there are steps to take to make sure that you do start enjoying sex with your partner.
First of all, progress slowly. Foreplay is a great way to not only show how much you care about your partner, but also to make sure that you're both properly aroused by the time you wish to engage in sexual intercourse. And, as is said in Monty Python's "The Meaning of Life": "Don't go straight for the Clitoris!" Foreplay should involve the whole body, and I would encourage you to engage all of your senses: touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing.
- Hearing: Tell your partner what you want, and encourage your partner when he/she does the right thing. It is equally important to listen to your partner for both explicit and non-explicit verbal cues. Listening to your partner's breathing, you will know if he/she is aroused or enjoying something if his/her breathing changes; it usually gets faster and shallower. Also, tell your partner if you have any fantasies or maybe just what you are feeling and thinking. Opening up emotionally can translate into a more intimate connection physically and sexually.
- Sight: Look at your partner. Compliment him/her. Tell him/her how attractive you find them. This is not difficult and should be the truth if you are involved intimately with someone, and it is a great confidence booster and turn on. Who doesn't want to hear that their partner finds them sexy?
- Smell: Consider wearing a perfume or cologne or using scented oils while giving your partner a relaxing massage. Smell is one of the most under-utilized senses and is one of the most powerful senses tied to memory. Smell can also convey subconscious meanings, so experiment with different perfumes and colognes and see which one seems to get a rise out of your partner. Your partner may not know why he/she is suddenly more turned on, but you will.
- Taste: Consider incorporating food into your sexual repertoire. For one, adding food will help slow down the intimate process of foreplay - who really wanted to chug a glass of wine or a bottle of champagne? - and certain foods, such as strawberries and oysters, are said to be aphrodisiacs. Also, stay hydrated: You will have a much easier time self-lubricating, which will make the eventual sexual intercourse much more comfortable and enjoyable.
- Touch: Touch is perhaps the best-known and utilized of the senses when it comes to being intimate. Touch is incredibly personal under any circumstances, but during foreplay it becomes erotic. Explore your partner's body. Use your other senses to tell where and how your partner enjoys being touched, but feel free to make new choices as well. There are plenty of very powerful erogenous zones that can help "turn on" your partner when stimulated correctly. Good places to try include the ears, neck, shoulders, back, nipples, navel area, feet, as well as the pubic region, as should be expected. If you feel uncomfortable trying this with your partner without fair warning, I suggest buying a pair of sex dice. Invite your partner to roll the dice, then each of you acts out the suggestion(s) written. This will help break the ice and extend your foreplay so as to get both you and your partner sufficiently turned on.
While I know that I said before "Don't go straight for the Clitoris!" the clitoris and penis remain very sensitive and pleasure-stimulating areas, so don't ignore them. After addressing other erogenous zones, do tend to these more specifically sexual areas. Not to be trite, but there is a reason people, both men and women, sing the praises of oral sex. It is pleasurable, and the mouth self lubricates, thus reducing pain that might come with other forms of intercourse.
With all of these suggestions now in your bag of tricks, I hope that your love life will prove stimulating and satisfactory in the future. Enjoy!