Show of hands: How many of you have faked headaches or pleaded exhaustion to get out of having sex when you were married? Yeah, me too. How many of you made grocery lists in your mind, worried sex was interfering with your to-do list, or generally just wanted the whole thing done and over? Yep, same here.
For those lucky people who don't have a clue what I'm talking about -- good for you!
Sex doesn't have to be unsatisfying or boring. It shouldn't be a chore or something to dread. Sex is fun. Sex is relaxing. Sex helps you sleep better. And it's an excellent way to connect with yourself and any future partner.
For those of us with less-than-great sex lives during our marriage, you can make over your sex life post-divorce. It takes a little effort, a willingness to stretch your boundaries a bit, and a healthy curiosity.
1. Get in touch with yourself.
If it wasn't part of your sex life before, make masturbation part of it now. Orgasms are a great way to reduce stress and fall asleep easier. But that's just the bonus. Touching yourself in a sexual way will help you learn exactly what you like and don't like.
2. Learn from reading or watching.
Not all porn is created equal, and not all of it is damaging to the psyche. Read erotica or romance novels. Watch real people making their own porn online. (Yes, that's really a thing. It's also hotter than you might imagine.)
Read blogs by people who write about their sex lives. The more you learn about the different ways people have sex, the more you can improve your own sex life.
3. Be honest with yourself.
Curious about a kink or fetish? Don't deny it. Find out more and then decide. Have a definite preference in men -- height, weight, age, size (you know what I mean, wink-wink)? Own it. Don't let yourself become blind to great partners who don't meet every requirement, but decide what you like and go for it. This is a brand new day in your sex life. You don't have to settle for anything.
4. Get comfortable in your own skin.
Raise of hands -- who hated getting naked in front of their spouse? Yeah, me too. This is the time to get over it. Confidence is sexy and the best sex happens when you're comfortable and confident.
Look at yourself naked as often as possible. (Make sure the kids are in bed or the cat's in another room.) Give yourself a mantra to say each day: "I am beautiful. I am sexy. I deserve great sex." Yes, it sounds hokey, but it really does work.
5. Communicate more.
When you find someone to get naked with, talk to them. Share what you like, what you don't like, and what you're curious about. Yes, it's awkward and difficult at first. But it's also worth it. The best relationships, even purely sexual ones, are built on a solid foundation of communication. How can you have great sex if your partner is flying blind -- in a manner of speaking?
6. Experiment more.
Buy a sex toy -- vibrators, dildos, oh my! Try a new position. Test out a possible fetish or kink. There are excellent resources on the web to help you. If it doesn't work for you, laugh a little with your partner (or yourself) and move on to something else. Just because you try something doesn't mean you're required to keep doing it.
7. Learn from your past.
What turned you off when you were married? What turned you on? What made you fake a headache or claim to be too tired? These are all triggers -- good or bad. Go back to the step on communication and make sure any new partners understand how you feel and what you want.
8. Don't take sex too seriously.
Okay, so protections against disease and pregnancy are very serious. Finding a good partner who respects you and cares about your pleasure is definitely serious. But sex, as a general rule, is meant to be fun. It shouldn't feel like a chore or a job. And it's not something that has to be done with your game face on.
You might start out all serious and sensual but then someone's body makes a funny noise or one of you gets a leg cramp. Those things are unexpected and often hilarious. Learn how to laugh during sex, and you're almost guaranteed to automatically have a better sex life without doing anything else.
Making over your sex life doesn't just help you have better and more satisfying sex. Post-divorce, it can give you a much-needed boost of confidence, too.
Knowing what you want and what you like will also help you find more compatible sexual partners. A whole new world opens up once you realize sex can be fun, funny, and exciting. After your divorce, you deserve a fresh start in every part of your life -- including sex.