5 Traps That Sabotage Great Sex

I'm likely having more sex than you are.

This isn't meant to come across as bragging. It's meant for you to take a moment and evaluate your sex life.

Here's my story. I've been banging the same person for 13 years. Since I was 20 years old. We have two children ages five and eight. He works, I stay at home, work as a freelance writer and birth worker, and homeschool the children. These elements seem to be the perfect combination to lead to a bland, predictable sex life, right?

Nope. I'd compare it to a live wire switching and twitching in the street after a torrential rain and wind storm. It's buzzing. It's intoxicating. And I want the same for you.

Unfortunately, this type of discussion comes with caveats. If a woman has experienced sexual assault or abuse, is experiencing chronic pain or a medical condition, or is in a deep dark hole of grief, depression, or anxiety, this thought exercise isn't for you. It is not my intention to make a woman feel guilty about her lack of a sex life. But if I can add some fuel to the embers, excellent.


5 Traps That Sabotage Great Sex

1) Birth/Babies
This is a tough one. Being pregnant and giving birth can wreck your sex drive on many levels. Some women love being pregnant and feel sexy during pregnancy. For others, it is straight-up torture. The sickness, the achiness, the hormores, the weight changes, health complications...this baby-having business is heavy and not for the faint of heart.

And then there is the birth. Whoa. It can be traumatizing. It can be amazing. Likely it will be somewhere in between. But then there are leaky, sore breasts to deal with and recovery from a c-section or perineal stitches.Sometimes postpartum depression and anxiety. And the exhaustion. Oh the exhaustion. It's palpable. It's understandable that most women might not want to hop right back into the sack that got them into this predicament.

But do. Lean back into your sexual self. Hug and kiss and hold hands with the person that you made that baby with. Single? Set up an arrangement with a trusted friend and make out with them. It will help flow those loving sexy chemicals (namely oxytocin) that might be stagnating.

Bonus points if you can infuse sexy time into your birth experience. Your birth isn't only blood pressure cuffs, dinging machines, baby's heart tones, and contraction patterns. I remind my students that take my childbirth education classes to not forget what got them into this situation. Hopefully a kick-butt sexcapade. The same love that gets baby in, gets baby out.

2) Holding Sex and Love Hostage (Terms and Conditions Apply)

I was talking to a friend recently about how much my husband and I both enjoy oral sex. Her response? "I only go down on my husband if he's completed a certain number of things on the honey-do list." Are you freaking kidding me? That made me feel so sad.

Instead of locking up your love or making it transactional, do it just because. Sneak away while the kids are watching a movie downstairs for a little nookie. Play a little grab/grope as you pass each other in the living room. Think of sex and love as the long-term salve of your relationship. It's a pressure-release valve for fights, bad days, grief, insecurities, disappointments, anxieties, and uncertainties. Don't withhold and play games with it.

3) Not Knowing Your Sexual Self

Gals, please put your own sexual oxygen mask on first. You cannot properly receive a deep level of sexual and intimate satisfaction without succumbing to the exploration of yourself first. In short-get down with your bad self. Masturbate, watch some porn, work with your insecurities. Many women believe that it takes too long to orgasm when their partner is going down on them. A good partner will wait and spend the time it takes to know you, so in that case, there is plenty of time.

Other women feel self-conscious about their bodies, their fluids, their smells. Whatever it takes to help you feel more comfortable. Two shots of vodka? A Brazilian wax? A shower preceding sex? Lingerie? Whatever it is, do it. You deserve knowing what brings you the greatest level of sexual satisfaction with your partner.

4) Downplaying Your Need to Orgasm

In some cases, clinically, women just can't get there. More often though, women are electing not to orgasm. Why? It takes longer? Incorrect clitoral stimulation? Whichever the reason, focus on your orgasm, how you get there and teach your partner what feels good, what feels awful and remind them that what felt great yesterday may not cut it today! It's a moving target.

Don't forget about your orgasm. Work hard to achieve it if you can. You're worth it.

5) Communication and Expectations

Sometimes when communication is strained in a relationship, that follows into the bedroom. Instead of thinking this, "I'm worried about not having enough money to do all the things we want to do." TELL your partner this: "I'm worried about not having enough money to do all the things we want to do. Let's make a spreadsheet to reassure me. But first, let's bang. That's free as hell!"

See what I did there? You're able to tread into choppy marital waters (talking about finances) by utilizing the salve of sex. Trust me, you'll go into the financial conversation more clear-headed post-coitus.

Expectations and differences in libidos. This is tough. Some want to have sex several times a day or at least four or five times a week. Others are satisfied with just a few times a month. Look back into your sexual history. Was there a time that several times a month having sex would mortify you? If so, figure out why the sharp decrease in your desire to bang. It could be hormonal? A life event? A strain in your relationship? If you notice something, address it. Try not to be complacent or take your sex life for granted.

Hopefully this reflection will be enough to get you started. I'd love to hear how you and your partner reignited the flames, too! The list above is not exhaustive!

This post originally appeared at www.janellebrandon.com.