Focusing on having a healthy sexual relationship begins with learning to communicate our wants and needs to each other as our own sexuality develops. Sexuality develops over a long period of time; some say 30 years to get to the point of acceptance.
We live in a man’s world that’s slowly evolving as women stand up, with rules made by men and our sexual needs as women could not be explored or talked about because we were not safe. Women still need to feel safe in a world that demonstrates predatory behavior on television, and movies instilling fear in us.
Consequently, many of us have heard derogatory comments from men and women about our bodies and genital parts, and of course, this affects our perception of our bodies, our selves. When we first heard about sex, there was a rule that you didn’t talk about it, and of course, never mention the word masturbate. God help us if we get a call from our friend and she asks what you did today and you repeat: Oh, I got up fed the dog, noticed I had time to masturbate so I showered, masturbated for about 30 minutes, and then got dressed and went for a walk.
I tested this out and repeated this to a female neighbor about 50 years old and she felt appalled. Of course, I laughed, (as a therapist I talk about things more freely.) We need to learn how sensory parts can ground us, satisfy us also vitalize us. We also need to stop using the word stomach when we explain where a baby comes from. Hopefully, we now know!
When we learn how to please ourselves we can tell our partner.
Sex, Love, and Goop is a Netflix documentary that educates us on how to explore and not only relax and explore ourselves and in and out with our partner but demonstrates how to be more accepting of ourselves. Yes, it’s still about how we communicate, how we please our love, and helps us speak about our own needs. Find out whether your chosen style is Energetic, Sensory, Kink (a new definition of the unknown), or Sexual. Learning about your partner’s style helps you learn how satisfying these new ways also can be for you too. Men need to experience sex without intercourse and women need to have many options of exploratory behavior where they do not feel there is a goal and end! Another case of mindfulness, being in the present moment.
The more we learn about ourselves and what turns us on, the more we increase our awareness, develop confidence, and are able to verbalize this to our partners. We are learning to be comfortable with our bodies and in order to do that we need to be able to feel safe and slowly develop trust with each other.
As trust develops between couples the willingness for creative expression and mutual expression allows each to explore the other in caring ways.
When couples have been together a while and have experienced loss or life stresses together or other responsibilities in life, they may have created distance between themselves. Reuniting can be uncomfortable, and this distance requires patience and compassion for the other. A willingness to revitalize their relationship first requires that each work on balancing their energy and self-nurturing. Slowly as they begin to choose to take time with each other, a closer connection can begin. For example, walking and talking require both to listen and yet move and get somewhere.
As this chosen time is given, they may begin with foot massages and back rubs allowing time just to relax and not put pressure on each other. This allows them to move past the approach-avoidance maneuver and just plan the time. This discomfort with the approach can be perceived as rejection and results in the partner avoiding approaching at all. A scheduled time together focuses on caring and attention and not rushing to intercourse.
A few sessions of sex therapy may be supportive. However, sex therapy focuses on talking not touch. Couples will review their health, several techniques, and be given a lot of homework focusing on communication, planned and spontaneous times to relax and verbalize foreplay, as well as permission to not have any expectations or pressure each other to go to intercourse.
Ten Ways to Practice Increasing Connection, Intimacy, and Sexual Engagement
- Open communication requires the element of trust and feeling safe. Not only do we have to show interest in each other as we did when we were in our 20’s, in order to rekindle this in our 60’s we have to learn to discover again. So ignite discovery. Being interested in hearing your partner, says you care and gives attention to the other.
- Before we can engage willingly, we need to be aware of our own desires and our own partner’s desires. Sharing these desires in itself a turn-on and just telling each other in conversation can begin to ignite our passion for more.
- Practicing flirting or being and feeling sexy is just that. Start the morning off well with a smile, a sexy text, a message that says I’m thinking of you. A phone call that is surprising may help to assist the evening ready for more.
- It’s true many women want to talk to feel closer first, so talk to her and ask her to tell you everything about her day. Have a couple of council meetings once a week for both of you to hear each other and resolve issues, update schedules and show appreciation to each other.
- Arousal levels vary for everyone just as the number of times that each wants sex varies. So, make an agreement and have regular times and spontaneous times. Average times are about 54 times in one year. In our 20’s when we are in discovery, it’s double, and yet around 60 years, it cuts in half. This is not surprising with life responsibilities, family stresses, and just exhaustion.
- Sex isn’t just about intercourse; sexing can be any movement through engagement that one or two find pleasurable. When many women feel pressured or hurried to go to intercourse, they can feel resistant or avoid connection. When asked in therapy what would each want at the least most men say a quick blow job in the am, when both are rested. May women have agreed, simply because it avoids the pressure of intercourse and doesn’t take long in their busy day. Women when asked report more attention, cuddling, massage, foreplay, orgasm outside first before intercourse. Whatever works in releasing the pressure to perform and aids relaxing is what may lead to the next development. Also, each time the couple is together engaging in sexual activity may not be 100% terrific. It’s like each day, one is great and the next may not be.
- Showing affection in the simplest ways demonstrates acceptance and caring. Whether you are holding hands, hugging, or kissing makes sure it lasts more than 2 minutes, so you stay close a little longer. Especially upon returning home after being away all-day reconnecting should last 3 min before you move to a run or shower with a comment that you’ll talk at dinner.
- Healthy couples develop safety, have boundaries that respect themselves and mutual respect. Sexual experience advances when each partner knows what those pleasures and boundaries are and both come together willingly. If one is not willing to do one thing then the other must ask then, what are you willing to do instead.
- Creative expression in sharing and being playful can affirm our emotional expression and connection, nurturing ourselves and each other can take many forms and allows couples to bond, increase self-confidence, trust, experience passion, be spontaneous, and receive pleasure together. How wonderful it is when we can play, laugh, and enjoy together.!
- Awareness and acceptance of any hesitation may be due to plain exhaustion. And can be viewed with patience and compassion. Good sex does not have to be often and can increase our self-image, relieve stress, and help us get a good night’s sleep. We can also feel more content with our partner and have more desire. Good sex gives us a little exercise, is good for your body especially in your 50’s during menopausal fluctuations, sometimes lowers pain, increases oxygen and blood pressure.
Five Reasons To Have Sex
There are 5 healthy reasons to have sex:
- It helps to connect with our partner and feel wanted
- To be able to give love or please, or give attention and demonstrate caring
- Procreation for population growth or to make a family
- To decrease stress
- The ability to feel pleasure for its own sake in a safe and bonding way like when it happens in the tv show MASH when Hawkeye and “Hot Lips” connected while the bombs were exploding to remember their humanity.
Whether you are having sex with yourself, or another relax, enjoy, and take time, there is no reason to hurry unless you have a dog staring at you or children are screaming for you or there is a fire!