10 Ways to Get Sexual Satisfaction

Even if your sex life is fantastic, there's always room for increased satisfaction.
Even if your sex life is fantastic, there's always room for increased satisfaction.
Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Close your eyes. How long until your mind wanders to sex? Having regular sex, or regularly masturbating, is good for us. Most of us think about it quite a bit, and who can blame us? It feels good, it increases our sense of well-being and it's good for our health. Sex can help boost our immune system, our fertility, even our lifespan. It also decreases depression and enhances happiness [source: Doheny]. But how satisfied are we with the sex we're having, and how can we increase our satisfaction?

First, let's look at the state of sex in America. The average American has sex only about 85 times in a year, which works out to a sexual romp about every four to four-and-a-half days or so [source: UPI]. During those encounters, as many as 75 percent of men report they always have an orgasm as part of their sexual experiences. On the other hand, only 29 percent of women can say the same, and about 50 percent of women admit to faking it [source: Langer, Law]. So far, our sex lives as average Americans don't seem to be all that satisfying.

But when asked, 70 percent of men and women say they're satisfied with their sex lives. More so in new couples (about 79 percent) and less in long-term relationships (only about half of long-term couples are sexually satisfied). And despite the relative infrequency of sex, as many as 83 percent of men report they enjoy sex quite a bit (we needed a study for that?), and about 59 percent of women report the same -- and both sexes want to have more sex [source: Langer]. Who wouldn't? So let's look at how we can have more sex -- and more satisfying sex. First, let's talk about the one person who always knows what you like: you.

10

Self Stimulation and Mutual Masturbation

Masturbation won't make you desire your partner less. Nor will it make hair grow on your palms or cause you to go blind. In fact, it can help you understand how your body responds to different types of touch, increase your sexual self-awareness and help to keep you sexually healthy as you age. Even though masturbation is often a taboo issue to discuss, or the topic of raunchy jokes, it's a seriously valuable tool for increasing your sexual satisfaction.

There is no wrong way to stimulate yourself to orgasm, and no rule about how often you should or shouldn't masturbate. Mutual masturbation can be a way to enhance the intimacy of your relationship, as well as give your partner ideas about how you like to be touched -- after all, no one knows how to touch you better than you.

9

Look Sexy, Feel Sexy

When it comes to having good sex, sometimes your thoughts get in your own way. Especially when those thoughts are negative about your weight, your physical condition and about how your body looks to your partner while you're having sex. A negative body image can distract you from having satisfying sexual experiences.

What can you do? One way to help shed a negative body image while boosting your sex life is to get regular exercise. Exercise can help you not only feel better about your body but also to increase your stamina as well as improve your circulation. Good blood flow is important to sexual satisfaction because good orgasms rely on blood flow to the genitals. Try practicing yoga, walking or swimming for 30 minutes every day to see positive effects on your body and on those negative thoughts.

And ultimately, instead of focusing on what's wrong, focus on what's right. So turn the lights on for sex, and be sexy in the skin you're in.

8

Play: Role-playing and Games

The "French maid" costume is a role-play classic, but it's not everyone's cup of tea.
The "French maid" costume is a role-play classic, but it's not everyone's cup of tea.
©Getty Images/Jupiterimages

When you think about role-playing and sex games, what comes to mind? For some, it may mean acting out fantasies such as a boss and naughty secretary scenario, complete with costumes. For others, it may mean donning a blindfold or adding a little kink or bondage. For still others, it may be something as simple as pretending to be strangers and flirting with your partner during a night out. The acting can be as creative as you like -- so long as you and your partner are comfortable with it.

Whatever the flavor, the goal of role-playing is to lessen your inhibitions and spice up your experience. Stepping into a new character or situation can help boost satisfaction and fun -- especially for monogamous couples who have been together for several years. Who will you get to sleep with today? Maybe a side of your partner you've never seen before.

7

Tone Your Pelvic Muscles

Cardio is good for your heart. Resistance training is good for your bones. And kegel exercises are good for sex. Not only do they help to relieve urinary incontinence, but they also enhance orgasms (and for men they may also enhance an erection). Better orgasms, or an easier time reaching orgasm, can be an important step to being sexually satisfied. But how do you do kegel exercises?

Kegel exercises target and strengthen our pelvic floor muscles. The exercise itself is quick, and because it's discreet, it's easy to do anywhere. To begin, contract your pelvic floor muscles. Keep them tight for five to ten seconds and then release them for five to ten seconds. Repeat five times. For best results do them two to three times a day, five minutes at a time.

Trouble finding your pelvic floor muscles? While you shouldn't practice kegel exercises while relieving your bladder, you'll know you're working the correct muscles if you can stop (or slow down) and start your urine stream.

6

Not Just Missionary

Have you, like countless other couples, fallen into a sex routine? Kiss here, touch there -- you know what you like, what your partner likes, and you both know it works. But breaking out of the habit of your favorite position can bring both greater sexual satisfaction and greater intimacy with your partner. Take the lead and suggest a new position. Worried about your hips not being flexible enough? Or maybe you worry you're not strong enough to try sex while standing up? Often you can make small changes to your favorite positions to make some new sparks fly. For example, try turning around while in your go-to position or reposition your legs and see what happens. If it works, make it a new technique in your arsenal. If it doesn't, well, have a good laugh from your attempt instead.

5

Sex Toys and Erotica

While the Rabbit vibrator was made famous on "Sex and the City," it's not just the single ladies -- or the single ladies on TV -- who are turning on with toys. Sex toys can be a handy tool to enhance sexual satisfaction, alone or with a partner. Toys are a way to boost not only arousal and orgasm but may also help boost desire, lubrication and the entire sexual experience.

And in addition to toys, erotic material may also heighten your sexual experiences.

Pornographic material, from erotic stories to soft or hard core videos or photos can help some people reach orgasm during masturbation. Porn can also help individuals or couples explore fantasies and open communication about desires. On the downside, though, pornography and erotic materials have the potential to create or widen intimacy problems in relationships. Communication with your partner about your comfort level and your expectations is important.

4

Be Adventurous: Take Sex out of the Bedroom

To spice things up, take your romantic interlude to the kitchen.
To spice things up, take your romantic interlude to the kitchen.
©iStockphoto.com/ShaneKato

Looking to add a little adventure to your sex life and get rid of the routine? Take your sexual experiences outside your bedroom. Don't worry -- you don't have to go public. Even a change of scenery within the privacy of your own home can add excitement to a rendezvous.

While busy couples may try to schedule sex into their calendars to be sure they keep intimacy alive, it's important to break with routine to keep boredom away. Try sex in the shower, in the back seat of your car, or against the kitchen counter. Go skinny dipping in a secluded spot outside. Sexual spontaneity and the excitement of sex in a new place can give you an adrenaline rush, intensifying the experience.

3

The Importance of Healthy Self-esteem and Confidence

Healthy self-esteem can improve all facets of your life, from your personal health to your success at work to the satisfaction you get from your relationships. So it should be no surprise that people with good self-esteem also have healthy, satisfying sex lives. It's not just that people with healthy self-esteems are more likely to be comfortable asking for what they'd like (and they are more likely to do so), but researchers have found that they are also more sensitive to their partners needs. Open communication combined with a desire to please both oneself and one's partner? Win-win.

Want to boost your self esteem? Police your mind. Shut down any negative thoughts you have about yourself, and focus on the things that are great about you. Your sex life will thank you.

2

Lube Up

While a good dose of foreplay can help a woman become aroused, sometimes the vagina just doesn't produce enough lubricating fluid for sex to feel comfortable. Vaginal dryness is common and can happen at any age, although it's most frequently caused by hormonal changes. Falling estrogen levels after pregnancy or during and after menopause can lead to symptoms such as itching, burning and painful intercourse. The good news is, most of the time sex can become pleasurable again with a little water-based lubricant, such as Astroglide or K-Y.

Even if you don't suffer from dryness, lubricant can make sex more pleasurable by reducing friction, which helps make good sex last longer whether it's with a partner or with your favorite sex toy. Be sure to use water-based lubes, and don't be afraid to try those that offer a little extra oomph such as cooling, warming or flavored types.

1

Communication: Talk About What You Want

Like to be touched in a certain way? Tell your partner. Better yet, show your partner. If you don't ask for what you want, you might not get it. Talking about what you'd like to do and have done to you can help to increase your sexual satisfaction. The same goes for what you fantasize about. If you don't share your sexual fantasies, you may never get to experience them. Speak up and don't be surprised if your partner aims to please.

Sharing wants, needs and most torrid sexual desires can be intimidating. Only about half of us tell our partners about our sexual fantasies [source: Langer]. Men and women tend to fantasize in very different ways. Men's sexual fantasies tend to be highly visual and explicit and are more likely to include body parts or non-specific partners. Women, on the other hand, tend to fantasize about hypothetical situations that engage many senses instead of just the visual. They focus on a partner and the daydreams skew toward the romantic. Your partner isn't a mind reader, and with such differing fantasy worlds communicating desires will help build and deepen intimacy in your relationship.

UP NEXT

A Controversial Female Libido Enhancer Is Reborn

A Controversial Female Libido Enhancer Is Reborn

The female libido enhancer has been rebooted. HowStuffWorks looks at the reintroduction of Addyi.


Related Articles

More Great Links

Sources

  • Dixit, Jay. "Sex Ed: The Porn In Your Head." Psuchology Today. 2010. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201004/sex-ed-the-porn-in-your-head
  • Doheny, Kathleen. "10 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex." WebMD. (Aug. 12, 2011) http://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/10-surprising-health-benefits-of-sex
  • Downs, Martin F. "Is Pornography Addictive?" WebMD. 2007. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://men.webmd.com/guide/is-pornography-addictive
  • Dr. Laura Berman.com. 2011. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.drlauraberman.com
  • Eisenman, Russell. "Penis size: Survey of female perceptions of sexual satisfaction." BMC Women's Health. Vol. 1 no. 1. 2001. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC33342/
  • Featherstone, Liza. "You, Me and Porn Make Three." Psychology Today. 2005. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200508/you-me-and-porn-make-three
  • Freeman, David. "Masturbation: 5 Things You Didn't Know." WebMD. 2010. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://men.webmd.com/features/masturbation-5-things-you-didnt-know
  • Heiman, Julia; Long, J. Scott; Smith, Shawna N.; Fisher, William A.; Sand, Michael S.; Raymond C. Rosen. "Sexual Satisfaction and Relationship Happiness in Midlife and Older Couples in Five Countries." Archives of Sexual Behavior. Vol. 40. Pages 741-753. 2011. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/publications/PDF/Heiman%20couples%20midlife%20and%20older%205%20countries.pdf
  • Herbenick, Debra; Reece, Michael; Sanders, Stephanie; Dodge, Brian; Ghassemi, Annahita; J. Dennis Fortenberry. "Prevalence and Characteristics of Vibrator Use by Women in the United States: Results from a Nationally Representative Study." The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Vol. 6, no. 7. Pages 1857-1866. 2009. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01318.x/full
  • Kotz, Deborah. "Painful Sex: 6 Ways to Relieve Vaginal Dryness." U.S. News & World Report. 2009. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/on-women/2009/05/19/6-ways-to-relieve-vaginal-dryness
  • Langer, Gary. "POLL: American Sex Survey." ABC News. 2004. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://abcnews.go.com/Primetime/PollVault/story?id=156921&page=1
  • Law, Sally. "10 Surprising Sex Statistics." LiveScience. 2009. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.livescience.com/11387-10-surprising-sex-statistics.html
  • Mayo Clinic. "Kegel exercises: A how-to guide for women." 2010. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/kegel-exercises/WO00119
  • MedicineNet.com. "Kegel Exercises: Treating Male Urinary Incontinence." 2009. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.medicinenet.com/kegel_exercises_for_men/article.htm
  • MedlinePlus. National Institutes of Health. "Vaginal dryness alternative treatments." 2009. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002142.htm
  • Pujols, Yasisca; Meston, Cindy M.; Brooke N. Seal. "The Association Between Sexual Satisfaction and Body Image in Women." The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Vol. 7, no. 2. Pages 905-916. 2010. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01604.x/full
  • Rodriquez, Diana. "Role-Playing and More Sex Games." Everyday Health. 2009. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.everydayhealth.com/sexual-health/sex-games.aspx
  • ScienceDaily. "Couples Report Gender Differences in Relationship, Sexual Satisfaction Over Time." 2011. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110705071659.htm
  • Swanson, Janice B. "Do natural aphrodisiacs actually work?" Mayo Clinic. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/natural-aphrodisiacs/AN02085
  • The American Council on Exercise. "Studies Show Exercise Can Improve Your Sex Life." (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.acefitness.org/fitfacts/fitfacts_display.aspx?itemid=159
  • The Kinsey Institute. "Frequently Asked Sexuality Questions to The Kinsey Institute." 2010. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.kinseyinstitute.org/resources/FAQ.html
  • UPI. "U.S. adults spend less time having sex." 2007. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2007/09/25/US-adults-spend-less-time-having-sex/UPI-85411190765909/
  • Welsh, Jennifer. "Key to Better Sex Revealed in New Study." LiveScience. 2011. (Aug. 5, 2011) http://www.livescience.com/14498-emerging-adults-empathy-sexual-health-satisfaction.html