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Relationship Advice

Let's talk about sex: keeping long-term relationships sexy

When it comes to maintaining a (very) happy and healthy sex life within your long-term relationship, the key is good communication.
“Since the tongue is the most useful tool for sex, we need to use it honestly to share our attitudes, thoughts, and experiences with our partner,” says Clinical Psychologist and Sex Therapist, Dr Janet Hall.
“Timing is everything, though. Never have ‘deep and meaningfuls’ during sex or at night. You're liable to say things you'll regret.
“Also, don’t have long, exhausted discussions that go on and on and on. Big talks are only to be held when necessary to resolve problems, and if they don’t resolve easily – go see a therapist!”
Dr Hall says another practical idea is to actually schedule time for sex.
“Have a weekly meeting where you look at each other’s diaries and time commitments and make sex dates to suit,” she explains. “If you wait for sex to happen spontaneously you will be disappointed.”
Q: We both agree that we want to try new things. He is much keener than I am, though, so I do feel some pressure to please him.
A: “You should never do something that you don’t want to do in sex. Sexual pleasures are a very individual thing. Some people get turned-on by doing more risqué or “forbidden” things which other people would feel uncomfortable trying. If it hurts - don’t do it just to please him.”
Q: Am I ‘weird’ for enjoying adult movies? My husband and I used to really enjoy making love for hours! But now we have young children, so our time is mostly limited. With his complete support and encouragement, I ‘use’ soft porn DVDs to get myself aroused a little further before we’re together.
A: “You are an adult and of course you can spark up your arousal by watching adult movies. The challenge of finding time for sex with young children around does put pressure on. The main thing is that you are open and honest with your partner about what you watch.”
Q: How can I give my lover feedback if our sex isn’t that great?
A:“The hardest thing you may ever have to do, is to give negative feedback to your partner without offence being taken. Feedback and requests are typically seen as criticism and nagging and result in immediate and often angry defensiveness or shut down.
“But here’s one technique to try. Remember the ‘Hot and Cold’ game? When you were searching for the hidden object, your friend would say ‘Hot, Hot, Hot’ if you were close to it, but ‘Cold’ meant ‘No ... you’re nowhere close’.
“You can use it very subtly during sex. If your partner is doing things that are hot for you, give them a positive response! Show them that it’s great - vocalise, move, really get in to it!
“But if they stumble across something that doesn’t really please you, ‘Go cold,’ freeze, don’t talk; pause, even hold your breath. You’ll find that very soon your partner gets the message and moves on to a way of stimulating you that he or she knows really turns you on.”

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