Whether it’s the honeymoon phase or you’ve been together for five years, people expect us to all have our sex lives on lock. We’re all having sex every other night, and our partner always satisfies us. No problems, no questions — everything is peachy keen.Wrong.
Being unhappy with your sex life is an issue many of us face, regardless of where you are in your relationship. It’s hard enough to talk about sex in general, but how do we deal with it when we’re not happy? Sex is such a personal part of our lives, but it can help us bond and better understand our partners. (Not to mention, it’s a real blast, huh?) When sex isn’t the booming, exciting part of our relationship everyone says it’s supposed to be, what do we do? We’re here to help with that! We’re going over everything you can try to make sexy time better than ever, from what to try in the bedroom to how you can talk to your partner about it.
Talk to each other
They’re not making stuff up when they say communication is key! You and your partner might be having issues not talking to each other in your day-to-day (when was the last time you really asked each other how your day was?), or you might not be discussing what exactly you need from them sexually.
If the relationship itself is struggling beyond your sex life, this might call for a little different conversation. Understand your own needs and what is working for you and what isn’t before talking with them about what is going on.
Ask for what you want
Simply put, they won’t know that something is wrong if you don’t tell them. If you want more foreplay, more dirty talk, more touching (or less of something!), let your partner know. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for what you want. Sex is a two-way street, so always remember your pleasure is 50 percent of the fun too.
Keep finances and family out of the bedroom
When there’s something weighing on our minds (money and family or friend issues especially), it can be difficult to get in the mood, let alone to have sex and not worry about those other things. Do your best to leave those thoughts out of the bedroom. This can be done by not doing work in your bed or using your phone in bed. You can also try to talk to your partner about these issues, so they’re not taking up so much space in your head.
Don’t focus on the length of time
You can have great sex in as little as 10 minutes, but sometimes, worrying about going too quickly isn’t helping you get anywhere. Take things slowly or let them come as they go (no pun intended!). It’s okay to take your time.
Stop focusing so much on routine
When sex gets routine (having sex on the same day every month/week, only doing the same positions, focusing on the end goal too much, etc.), it’s hard to get excited for the same thing over and over. Instead of trying to keep up with what you normally do, change things up a little bit. Have sex in a different location of your house (or go full nostalgia and get freaky in your car!), change up the time (in the morning, perhaps?!), or try a new position you’ve never done before.
Try sex toys
I’ll say it when I’m in my grave: sex toys aren’t just meant for alone time! Bringing a sex toy in the bedroom might be able to help you explain to your partner more easily what it is you like or help you learn what that is. It can also be an easy way to spice things up from your norm. Whether it’s a vibe, handcuffs, or something with a remote, there are so many options.
Couples sometimes think that once they’re together, the flirtation doesn’t need to continue. Flirt with your partner just like you did on your first date or even kick it up a notch from the norm. Of course, you’re still attracted to your partner, but pretending you’re not totally dating bumps up the attraction just a little bit. More
While I never want to yuck anyone’s yum, I’ll fight it to my death that foreplay can be the best part of sex if you get creative. Penetration (or however you define sex) is great and all, but foreplay is what gets you excited for the main event in the first place. There’s no time limit, you can make it entirely catered to your own experience, and it requires you to think outside of the box. If you’re looking to spice things up in the bedroom this year (add that to your New Year’s resolutions!) and try new things, the first place to start is going to be with your foreplay game. To make this foray into foreplay (I’d love to trademark that phrase if anyone knows a lawyer) this year, we’re making it extra easy by giving you a bunch of new ideas you can seriously start this weekend. Whatever you don’t do this weekend, add it to your sex bucket list!
1. Watch each other undress
With sex, we often go on autopilot, and we forget to take in every moment, especially if you’ve been together for a long time. Instead, make a note to actually watch each other undress. Don’t touch each other while it’s happening either; make it all about the experience of looking at each other and getting excited just at the thought of how hot you both are.
2. Talk dirty
Instead of actually touching each other, simply tell each other what you want to do. Don’t be afraid to go into detail! To make it extra sexy, don’t wait until you’re in the bedroom. Simply talking about all the dirty, sexy, crazy things you want to do to each other while you’re sitting on the couch keeps things fun and flirty.
3. Listen to music
If you don’t already turn up your speakers while you’re having sex, now might be the time to start. Whatever kind of music turns you both on, whether it’s R&B, country, slow songs, or even show tunes (hey, Brittany in Glee singing Britney is beyond sexy), turn it up and use the music as the rhythm of all of your moves. Dance around the kitchen and sing along. Having fun together is sexy! Making a playlist together of your favorite songs to get down to can also be a form of foreplay on its own.
4. Play with ice
Ice is quite possibly the highest ROI on any sex toy. It’s entirely free and has benefits for both partners. It’s a different and unique sensation to play with temperature during sex. Some ideas for adding ice into your foreplay includes in your mouth during kissing, in your mouth during oral sex, rubbing it down your partner’s body, or on you or your partner’s nipples. If ice is too much for you and you don’t mind getting a little messy, dripping ice cream down your partner’s body (or yours!) can do the trick (and it tastes freaking good!). Be careful of using any foods near the vagina in the penis to avoid infections.
5. Go somewhere that reminds you of your relationship
Go back to your first date spot, where you got engaged, where you said “I love you” for the first time, and more. Being in those special places again can bring you back, mentally and physically, to earlier parts of your relationship. It’ll remind you how far you’ve come as a couple … and if that isn’t just a little sexy to you, I don’t know what is.
6. Make a bucket list together
Sitting down together to come up with everything you want to do this year sexually is the perfect foreplay for the adventurous couple. The items can be as crazy or as tame as you want them (we recommend ideas like having a threesome, talking about sex more, using sex toys, and having multiple orgasms!). Keep this list somewhere where you can go back to it, such as your nightstand, and make it a goal to do one new thing every week. You won’t even know how to choose what to do first!
7. Send a text
Although our phones can make us a little less present for sex, they can also be a great tool to arouse both partners. Text your partner exactly what you want to do to them when they get home — and just like the dirty talking exercise, don’t be too afraid of details. You can send it in the morning or just before you know they’re about to come over. They’ll be on their way immediately! Other ideas include texting your partner that you want to have sex (simple, but effective!), all about your favorite sexual experience with them, or something you’re excited to try. If you’re both 18 or older, sending photos in your favorite lingerie can be a fun way to show off exactly what they’re coming home to. (Just make sure this is someone you absolutely trust!)
8. Take a shower together
While your partner’s in the shower, feel free to hop in! Shower sex doesn’t have to be the end goal of this either. Having fun in the water and getting excited for whatever’s to happen outside of the shower is exciting all in itself. However, we’re not against trying to make shower sex work — just don’t hurt yourself! More
For some couples (I call them the “unicorn couples”), staying at home together 24/7 with nothing to do means doing the nasty more than you did when you were first dating. But for most couples, staying at home means a lack of motivation, an abundance of takeout, and a disregard for basic hygiene. In other words, your sex drive (and overall intimacy in the relationship) has been on the lower side these days.But with chilly temperatures outside and a stay-at-home order still in effect, you’ve got nowhere to go. It’s the perfect time to reignite that spark with a little cozy night at home. Whether you’re newly dating or have been together for decades, consider this the comprehensive checklist of everything you need for the romantic night you deserve (BTW, the same rules apply if you’re indulging in a night of self-love too). Get in the mood, light a candle (more on that below), and have a romantic night in, thanks to these spark-igniting must-haves.
1. The right scent
Candles not only set a romantic ambiance thanks to dim lighting and flickering fire (there’s a reason the sex scenes in every rom-com include candles), but sensuality is about awakening each of the senses, and that includes smell. While some scents might be arousing based on a personal memory (like rose from the perfume you wore on your wedding night or vanilla from a lotion you used on your first trip away together), other scents might act as aphrodisiacs. Look for candles with spicy notes like cinnamon and sandalwood, luxurious scents like vanilla and ylang-ylang, or relaxing scents like lavender and sage.
2. Bath (or shower) essentials
Getting “in the mood” is not just about the 10-30 minutes leading up to sex; it’s about building the anticipation throughout the entire day. Set yourself up for feeling your best by indulging in some self-care in the bath or shower. Try dry brushing, exfoliating with bath salts or body scrubs, and massaging in an oil. Oh, and don’t forget to check yourself out in the mirror (confidence is the #1 best sex hack!). Plus, a relaxing bath or steamy shower can be part of the romantic night if you want to bring your significant other with you. After all, sex is self-care.
3. Luxurious beauty products
Speaking of confidence, how much pleasure you feel is not determined by how you look to your partner, but it can be determined by how you feel about yourself (your partner is going to think you’re smokin’, no matter what). Invest in products that make you feel good, whether it’s a full face of makeup, a brightening facial treatment, a spritz of perfume, or a texture spray to DIY bedhead. After all, beauty is not about what we think we have to do to look good; it’s about indulging in ourselves (because we’re worth it) and remembering how attractive we are (from the inside out). Get your glow on with the beauty products that make you feel your very best.
4. Music to set the mood
It’s no surprise that music dictates the mood. How else would we know to feel hopeful and excited if the rom-com didn’t include Why Can’t I by Liz Phair, and would we even burst into tears if My Heart Will Go On didn’t play at the end of Titanic? Would Jaws be so scary without the daunting theme song, or would the rose ceremonies on The Bachelorette feel as dramatic without the suspenseful soundtrack? Music tells us how to feel, and that goes for getting in the mood too. Make a playlist of the songs that make you feel confident, sexy, and romantic, or turn on our “Get Sexy” playlist, filled with all the songs 13-year-old you were scandalized by (in the best way).
At The Everygirl, we are big advocates for the fact that everyone (yes, everyone) should at least try lube. Our editor, Beth, even went so far as to say, “Personal lubricant is not a choice in my book; it is a necessary tool for sexual pleasure and health. Lube is the best sex toy you could ever add to the bedroom.” If that’s not convincing enough, I don’t know what is. Pick a lube that will not only increase pleasure, but will be good for your vagina, thanks to non-toxic ingredients, nourishing formulas, and treatment-like benefits.
6. Something pretty to wear
Disclaimer: if you feel your very best in your birthday suit, you go, girl. Feel free to skip this point and go on with your bad self. However, if wearing some pretty lingerie or wrapping yourself in a silky robe gets you in the mood, you deserve to treat yourself to something indulgent and luxe. If full-on lingerie isn’t your thing, even a pair of new underwear or a pajama set that makes you feel sexy can completely revamp your sex life (yes, really). After all, remember that your pleasure directly correlates to your confidence, and if a lacy bra helps you feel like the badass you are, it’s well worth any price tag.
7. An activity
You may not think you need another activity than the activity, but experimenting with conversation-starters like a couple’s journal or question cards could not only break you out of your routine but could also help you learn new things about your partner and even inspire you to try new things (yes, even if you’ve been together ~forever~). Especially if communication in the bedroom is not your strong suit or if you’re still figuring out what you like and don’t like, prompted questions can be a fun, relaxing way to open up communication.
8. Vibrator or sex toy
If you feel stuck in a sex rut or have trouble orgasming with your partner (AKA 75 percent of women), the answer might be incorporating a vibrator or sex toy. Experimenting and trying new things is always important, but it’s also a good idea to have a go-to vibrator or sex toy that you both enjoy using (and that you also enjoy using alone). If you haven’t found a favorite or are interested in exploring, we have many helpful guides on vibrators and sex toys for partners (hint: there are lots of options). Bottom line: talk it out together, explore some options, and figure out what you would both like.
9. Luxurious bedding
Sex is better on vacation, right? Sure, maybe it’s thanks to the stress-free attitude, exciting new experiences, and the lack of kids/long to-do lists/daily chores you would normally have at home, but I also wouldn’t discount hotel bedding. Whether crisp pillows and clean sheets are turn-ons to you or not, upgrading your bedding can switch up your environment, and just a small change can make sex feel new. Some couples even switch out their bedding just for special occasions (a cozy night in counts as special), but you can also try a few simple upgrades like satin pillowcases, a linen duvet cover, or fur throw pillows.
What are your essentials for a romantic night in? More
Whenever I think about my identity, one of the characteristics that always pop up first is “plus-size.” That’s not necessarily a bad thing—I’m used to describing myself as such when looking for clothes, posting on Instagram, or talking about body positivity. I’m so used to being a plus-size woman, it’s become engrained in my daily routines and conversations. The only time I do cringe about being plus-size? When I’m talking about having sex.Society has come pretty far in terms of the body positivity movement, which, believe me, I’m grateful for. Women are more empowered, fat bodies are being normalized, the fashion industry is finally catching up with extended sizing options and plus-size clothing lines. But when it comes to sex, I feel like those “taboo” lights start flashing in everyone’s heads and the conversation becomes a minefield of sidestepping judgmental comments and potential hurt feelings. Sex can already be a tricky topic to navigate, but add in a body type deemed “less-than-desirable?” Yeah, it’s a recipe for discomfort.
But despite it being uncomfortable to talk about, it still needs to be. I’m not going to get up on my soapbox and demand that all conversations about sex need to include fat bodies (hello, I’m an introvert), but sometimes I feel like a second-class citizen whenever I bring up my own experiences. Could that be completely based on my own self-confidence and body image issues? Absolutely. But that’s probably just more reason I need to do it more often. If there’s anything going to therapy for five years has taught me, it’s exposure therapy rarely fails. The more I talk about my own sexual experiences, the more comfortable I’ll be, the more confidence I’ll have, and, hopefully, the better the sex will be. And what better way to do it than to share my unfiltered thoughts?
First things first: I’m not comfortable with my body, but what does my partner think of it?
With all the guys I’ve dated, I’m usually one of the biggest women they’ve had sex with. (Not that I’ve collected data on this—God, could you imagine?! He’s mid-thrust, and I’m like, “So, have you slept with anyone else who’s fat?” Real nice.) So, I’m automatically going to compare myself to the other women my partners have slept with.
I have big thighs, flabby arms, and I carry a lot of weight in my belly. (I also have a fairly big butt, but that’s never really been a concern.) Usually, when I match with a guy on a dating app (as many of my experiences go), I post several photos of my entire body. And unfortunately, this is a direct response to an evening where I did meet up for a date with a guy and he left after half an hour because I looked different than my photos and he just “wasn’t attracted to me.” So after that charming memory, you bet I make sure I look identical to my photos. But even with that insurance of “OK, he knows what I look like and he finds me attractive,” I still never know what my partner’s initial reaction will be when we start having sex. Or how he’ll navigate my body.
For the love of God, don’t make me get on top
I am aware of my weight 24/7: putting on clothes, going on planes, sitting down at a restaurant, etc. So, why would having sex be any different? As much as I’d like to, I can’t just shut off my brain and lose myself to the throes of passion. (Kudos to anyone who can do that though—tips are welcome!) Sex is so not like romantic comedies where everything is easy and passionate and women have freakish pretzel bodies that can bend into every trendy position. I also worry about hurting my partner. Simply because I am a bigger woman with a bigger body, I want to be considerate of my partner and how comfortable they are in certain positions.
Another thing romantic comedies forget to mention? Stamina. My preferred exercise is walking, sometimes swimming. Executing a perfect reverse cowgirl is not a form of cardio that my core can easily withstand. So, I dread the times when my partner asks me to get on top. Marathon breathing techniques and worrying about my knees don’t exactly inspire lust in me. I’d much rather be in a position that I know works for me and lets me get out of my head and enjoy the experience.
Bring on the vibe
Listen, I’m happy for everyone who can orgasm without the aid of vibrators or toys—I’m just not one of them. Being a bigger woman, there’s simply more of me, which means more skin and body to navigate when I’m having sex. I have what is called a FUPA (fat upper pubic area), or “panniculus,” if you want the medical term for it. I’ve come to terms with my FUPA (Queen Bey has one, so we’re basically the same person), and being with my body all the time, I’ve figured out how to work with it and work around it when I’m engaging in a little self-love. But if my partner isn’t as familiar with my body (hello, one night stand), then I see it as my job to focus on my pleasure. And that means bringing out my trusty vibrator.
I’m not exaggerating when I say vibrators are responsible for 90 percent of my orgasms. (If I could take a quick commercial break to share a PSA, it’d be this: people, regardless of your size, body type, sexual orientation, or dating status, get yourself a vibrator and thank me later.) Because I have a little extra fat around my clitoris and vulva, it’s not as easy for my partner to find. So while I make sure to communicate openly during sex, using a B.O.B. (battery-operated boyfriend) is super helpful as an aid for ensuring plenty of orgasms. And in all my sexual experiences, I’ve never had a partner complain when I bring out my vibrator. More often than not, it’s a total turn-on.
Time to talk
I wouldn’t call myself particularly dominant in the bedroom (just let me be a delicate maiden in a Regency romance, thank you very much!), but I do think it’s important to talk while having sex. Having an open dialogue about what feels good, where to touch, what turns me on, etc. is the clearest way to build intimacy and grow my confidence. Even if I’m having sex with a partner I’m familiar with, I’m still the teensiest bit nervous every time. Communicating, even if it’s just joking about how a position isn’t working (anyone else fall off the bed while on top of their partner? Nope? Just me?) can break the tension, get me out of my head, and make me more comfortable.
Remember, they are there because they want to be
I’m not going to lie and claim that I can shut off all the negative self-talk my brain seems hell-bent on sending me during sex. But at the end of the day, I know that my partner is with me in that bed (or on that couch, or in that shower) because he is attracted to me and he wants to share this experience with me. Sex should be fun and sensual and pleasurable—let it be!
This isn’t an “I’ve overcome my body image issues and have great sex” statement though. I still have unsatisfactory sex all the time, and when I do, I’m quick to blame myself and my body. But over time, I’ve learned that I can’t let those thoughts rule me. Otherwise, I could be preventing myself from having some really great, hot, steamy sex in my future. I’m talking Bridgerton Season 1 Episode 6 sex. (You’re welcome!) More
The last thing I’ve felt in 2020 is sexy. Run-down, frustrated, annoyed, terrified, and bored are eons higher on the list of emotions I’ve felt the most this year, and I’m sure plenty can relate. Having a thriving and exciting sex life (even if it’s just with yourself) was likely one of the first things to go out the window, and now that we’ve loosely figured out work-from-home, staying in nonstop, and virtual happy hours, it’s high-time we all give our sex lives and our confidence a boost. And I’ve got the perfect, inexpensive way to do it. When was the last time you replenished your underwear stash? If it wasn’t in the last year, listen up: buying underwear doesn’t have to be a cumbersome process anymore, and it never has to come in a pack of 10 from the grocery store (nor a store that makes you feel blah about your appearance) because BootayBag is the adult, super simple way to get cute underwear you’ll love.
BootayBag is the underwear subscription service our editors use and love because it’s easy, affordable, and the options are truly cute. Sign up, and you can choose one or two pairs of underwear each month, plus the option to add on a matching bralette (who wouldn’t?! Not like bras with wires exist anymore!). They have thongs, cheeky undies, hipsters, and more in all different styles, colors, and prints that are brand new every single month—so you won’t even have to think about buying new underwear basically ever (which is something we can all rejoice to!). Just choose your size and style, and it’s shipped right to your door. Easy, peasy. Plus, you can swap your style, skip the month, or cancel at any time, meaning the process is super transparent and easy to use.
Source: @higuysitsana for Bootay Bag
Feeling sexy isn’t just about having a partner, it’s about feeling good in the skin you’re in, and owning it. And dare I say it, putting on some cute lingerie, whether it’s to wear under your leggings and T-shirt all day or to lay on the couch and watch TV, is a ritualistic way to set the mood and feel sexy no matter which way you take it. We might be spending our days sitting at the same desk, staring at a computer, and ignoring all the cute clothes in our closets, but that’s all the more reason to do what you can to feel hot—all by yourself.
It’ll boost your sex life
Want to boost your sex life and sexual confidence this year? Trust me: adding cute undies from BootayBag to your routine is the simplest way. When you feel confident and comfortable in yourself, you just feel sexier, and we all know what happens to our sex lives when we feel in the mood. 😉
It encourages you to keep up
Plus, BootayBag makes it so easy and gets you excited every month to keep it up. No more of those February blues when you realize you’ve already abandoned your resolutions. This is a habit you’ll want to keep up, and getting to try a new pair every month makes it simple to try new designs, cuts, and styles you maybe wouldn’t buy for yourself.
It’s beyond affordable
Unlike sex toys and other lingerie, BootayBag is so affordable. Your first month is 50 percent off, and it still only starts at $10 a month. Who wouldn’t spend $10 a month to feel more confident?!
Source: @higuysitsana for Bootay Bag
No matter what your relationship status is right now, we all deserve to feel hot and sexy all by ourselves, and a feisty new pair of panties is just the way if you ask me. Try your first month of BootayBag for 50% off!
This post is sponsored by Bootay Bag, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More
I’ve always been a little bummed about spending the holidays without a significant other. (Why yes, I have been single for every holiday since birth, let’s not discuss.) I’m so lucky to be with my family every year, and I have friends to boot to share the holiday joy with. But there are enough Christmas rom-coms out there to make me wish I had someone to introduce to my family in a chaotic way or worry about what to get them. However, not once have I ever wished that I’d have someone to have sex with, because frankly, my vibrator is better. Listen: it packs so neatly into my luggage, doesn’t require any talks about what to say when my mom asks, “When are you getting married?” and it shuts up the second I click off the off button. Whether you also don’t have a partner or you’re not seeing each other this year, these five vibrators are the next best thing—we might even argue they’re a little better.
Deluxe Rechargeable Mini Massage Wand Vibrator
If you’ve never tried a wand vibrator, now’s the time. These magical vibes are entirely for clitoral stimulation, but the large head makes it extra powerful. With seven patterns and 10 intensity levels, you’re bound to find the exact combo you need to have amazing orgasms on your own. It’s available in four colors and USB rechargeable (unlike the original wands you might recognize that plug into the wall—very ‘90s).
This is the first truly gender neutral vibrator on the market, aptly named the Enby (which is a short term used to describe non-binary). It can be used in a number of ways, making it one of the most versatile vibes I’ve ever seen (and I’m a sex writer—I see a lot of vibrators). You can rub on it, tuck into a harness, place it between you and a partner, and mold it to fit almost any need. It has three speeds and five patterns of vibration and is USB rechargeable—which, if you can’t tell, is a major selling point (who wants to buy batteries?).
Womanizer Starlet USB Rechargeable Clitoral Stimulator
This vibrator is a best-seller on The Everygirl, and I can’t even count all the reasons why on one hand. From personal experience, these suction vibrators are the most unique sex toys on the market in recent years because they truly mimic oral sex in a way that makes me worry that finding a partner could become obsolete. This one is special because it’s petite, has four levels of intensity, and is USB rechargeable.
Fifty Shades of Grey Greedy Girl G-Spot Rabbit Vibrator
Everyone needs a classic rabbit vibrator in their collection if they receive orgasms from both oral and vaginal stimulation. They can all be pretty similar, but this one caught my eye because it’s luxe and high-quality without an outrageous price tag (sex toys can be astronomically expensive!). This one has two motors for each side, giving you 36 different combinations to achieve your best orgasm.
Dame Zee Vibrator
No matter what you’re doing this holiday season, a classic bullet vibrator is nothing short of a good time. This tiny vibe is made from ABS plastic instead of silicone, so it’s really easy to clean, ultra-soft on the body, and can be used with water and silicone-based lube. It’s water-resistant (happy bath season!), and—you guessed it—USB rechargeable. With three speeds, this is all the company you need. More