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How to Ask Your Partner For The Sex Life You Want

If you’ve been in a long-term sexually intimate relationship, you’ve likely had the experience of being in the mood…then realized that your partner, well, just isn’t🙁 While this can be hugely frustrating and can take a massive toll on your sex life, having mismatched libidos is more common in long-term relationships than you may think.

While we all know that effective communication is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship and fulfilling sex life—this is often easier said than done, particularly when it comes to bedroom-related matters! 

We all want to be open and able to express what we enjoy sexually, but sometimes things can get rather tricky when we factor in our partner’s feelings.

And even if we have an honest relationship, bringing up how we’d like to change up our sex lives is no easy feat. Often, we worry that our suggestions will be interpreted negatively by our partners. 

Of course, in an ideal world, we’d be able to communicate our needs to others without making them feel vulnerable or criticized, but that’s a tricky balance to strike with a subject as intimate as sex. 

But talking about sex doesn’t have to be daunting—as long as you use kind and respectful wording, there’s no reason why discussing your sex life with your partner should be a problem. 

If you both want an empowering, fulfilling sex life, it’s time to open up the conversation. Not sure how to broach the subject? 

Here’s how to be assertive about your sexuality and ask for what you want without offending your partner.

 

Less worrying & more talking

While it is crucial to be considerate when addressing sensitive topics with your partner, unequal sexual desire is a super common issue for couples. The most important thing to remember is that it can be discussed and resolved. 

There shouldn’t be any reason to be frightened or embarrassed to talk about sex with the person you’re having sex with!

Emily Morse, sexologist and host of the podcast Sex With Emily, agrees that it is imperative to express your wants and needs. “Relationships are full of compromises, and your sex life is no different,” she points out. “In fact, many couples aren’t on the same sex schedule, but there’s no reason you can’t let it be known that it’s important to you.”

Not addressing it will simply cause resentment to build, one of the most destructive factors to relationships. Who knows, your partner may reveal that they’ve been struggling with a problem that you were unaware of. The only way to find out is to bring it up in conversation!

 

Talk about the sex life you want

Try having the convo face-to-face

No matter how awkward it may seem, delivery is essential. What does that mean? For starters, bring the subject up when neither of you is in a rush, busy or stressed. The ideal time would be when you’re both relaxed and happy. There’s a time and place for everything…pick yours wisely!

 

Watch your tone

A big part of your partner’s reaction will depend on how you communicate with them. The best approach to telling your partner what you want in bed is to be straightforward and precise but also complimentary.

You may want to avoid doing it immediately after sex when they are likely to feel vulnerable. Consider bringing it up in a natural way instead of making a major statement that might make them feel threatened. Then, be kind but forthright.

 

Ease into it with the positives

Even if you don’t remember much of the advice in this article, remember this: TRY NOT to put your partner on the defensive. 

The best way to do this is to start on a positive note by sharing what you like about your sex life. In fact, recreating sexual memories may be just what the doctor prescribed to get your partner in the mood and make things much easier.

 

Speak for yourself

Again, we don’t want our partners to think we’re blaming them for anything, so try using “I” statements as an anti-defensive measure.

Rather than stating, ‘You never want to have sex’ or ‘Our sex life is stale’, explain why you both would benefit from having more sex or changing things up in the sack.

When your interests are aligned, you are more likely to achieve an outcome that you and your partner are fired up about, building a habit or routine based on this positive feedback loop.

Talk about the sex life you want

Find out what they need

Another clever strategy is to ask about what your partner wants or needs in bed that they’re not currently receiving. By making suggestions and asking questions, the conversation becomes interactive. 

And, if your spouse brings up something they’d want to try, your ideas will seem less like a lack of fulfillment and more like a shared desire to explore.

 

Make your desires clear

Since clarity is key when attempting to hash out relationship stuff, be as explicit as possible about the kind of sex you want to have (and how often!)

Remember that sex is such a significant element of our lives, and it’s important to feel fulfilled.  If it’s not a regular topic of conversation, bringing it up may help your partner feel comfortable sharing their concerns.

 

Meet them halfway

Morse urges sex-thirsting couples to act with the spirit of empathy and cooperation. “Tell them how much you love feeling close and intimate with them and how you could work together to make sure you’re both getting your needs met.”

Remember that at the end of the day, no partner “gets to win”. You can only both win or both lose.

 

You deserve a happy, fulfilling sex life

You have the potential to reinvent a sex life that is both physically and emotionally satisfying if you are willing to engage in honest, sincere dialogue. Exploring how you feel most connected to your partner is crucial in boosting sexual and relationship happiness.  

If the prospect of discussing sex openly with your partner causes you to blush, have no fear; it becomes easier with practice! Once you get used to it—sex-related talks will become way less stressful and more enjoyable for you and your partner.

 

“Just Sex” Versus “Making Love”: Is It Possible to Tell the Difference?

Although there’s nothing wrong with casual sex that comes completely string-free, sometimes you’re looking for more than that – meaningful sex that’s part of a growing connection. However, the two can look infuriatingly similar to one another, especially when you’re still in the process of getting to know someone.

Thankfully there are sexual cues that can make it easier to tell the difference. Here’s a closer look at what to look for and how best to read the signs. Some are even possible to spot before things turn sexual in the first place, especially if you’ve been spending a decent amount of time together.

Sex is an option, not a requirement.

What role does sex play in your relationship with the person in question? Does it feel like the only reason they ever want to get together, or is time with you something they genuinely seem to enjoy in other contexts?

Someone who’s into someone on a level that goes beyond sexual will undoubtedly love the sex. But they’ll love doing other things, as well. If this person seems just as eager to spend time with you when sex isn’t on the table, you’re more than just a booty call to them.

They’re attentive to your sexual needs.

It’s possible for someone only interested in sex for its own sake to genuinely enjoy pleasing their partner as part of the experience, but it’s not really the norm. When it’s all about sex, you can usually tell. They may seem focused strictly on getting off, or they may want you to do things they enjoy without ever asking what you like.

When someone sees sex as making love and it’s meaningful, they take their time. They seem to be savoring every kiss and trying to make every second in bed with their partner count. They definitely seem focused on making sure you have a good time and will likely communicate that directly.

There’s just something different about the sex lately.

It’s not uncommon for sex to start one way and gradually evolve into something else as time goes by. Plenty of people begin a connection as casual bed buddies or friends with benefits only to become something more meaningful over time. A shift in the overall vibe of the sex is a clue that this might be occurring.

Sometimes things start feeling more intense, or your lover seems to be handling you with a more loving hand than they used to. Such changes can happen all of a sudden or build slowly over time, but they’re often a sign that you, your partner, or both of you are starting to see what you’re doing as “making love” instead of just getting it on.

They stay the night when you’re done.

Sure, some people do decide to stay the night after scoring a successful booty call or enjoying a one-night stand because it’s convenient. It’s a lot more typical for the person to want to get dressed and bounce after the sex is over, though. Why hang out or chat when there’s no real connection outside of the bedroom?

When someone’s really into you, whether you’ve known each other long or not, it’s different. Not only will they want to stay the night, but they’ll welcome the chance to get to know you better and spend more time soaking up your presence. They’ll be more into the idea of cuddling and really going deep when it comes to the conversation, as well.

You feel comfortable being yourself.

Not just outside the bedroom but between the sheets, as well. Casual sex with someone when there’s no deeper connection can be a good time, but it’s not always easy to really let go and let it all hang out. Is this usually the case for you? If so, feeling a level of personal comfort you wouldn’t typically feel could signal that one lover, in particular, is more than that.

Do you find it easier to let go of your inhibitions with this person? Does asking for what you want and enjoying every second of it come naturally? And what about them? Do you get the impression they get lost in you and your connection when you’re in bed together? Are there delicate details that probably wouldn’t be there if it were just a one-night stand – like eye contact, hand-holding, or caressing?

Of course, no two people or connections are precisely alike, so signs like the above may vary from couple to couple. But the more of them you’ve noticed, the more likely it is that your sexual connection is about more than just getting down and dirty in the bedroom. Now all you need to do is decide where you’d like it to go from here.

How to Get Comfortable Talking to Your Partner About Sex

At this point, everyone knows they should be comfortable talking to their partner about sex, especially if they’re married or otherwise in a long-term committed relationship. The truth is, though, that it’s often easier to want to do it than it is to open your mouth and start a real conversation.

Some people are shy or were brought up to see sex as something you never talk about. Others just aren’t sure how to get started or bring up something difficult. But thankfully, making sex a regular conversation topic between you and your partner is definitely possible with a bit of practice and the right approach. Here’s how you can start the process.

Don’t leave talking about sex up to your partner.

Many people who want to talk to their partner about sex simply assume that their partners are on the same page. They then take a passive approach to the topic and wait for the other person to bring it up so they don’t have to. Your partner can’t read your mind in actuality, and they may well not realize you want to be more open about sex.

Even if it’s hard, it’s essential to be brave enough to start the conversation yourself. Of course, it’s best to establish a habit of talking about sex early on in a relationship, but it’s also important to realize that it’s never too late to start. Remember that you don’t have to leap headfirst into graphic discussions about your most taboo fetishes right off the bat. Start with something more approachable like consent or birth control, and take it from there.

Know what you want out of the conversation.

Before you can open a productive dialogue about sex, it’s important to be clear on what you want to come of it. That means knowing yourself and understanding yourself sexually. What triggered the desire to open up a discussion? Is there something you’re not getting from your partner that you’d like to ask for? Are you hoping to build intimacy with your partner?

Take some time to really think about what you’d like to go over when you do sit down to talk. Possible talking points include ways your sex life might not be as satisfying for you as you’d like it to be. You may want to talk about your fantasies or hear your partner talk about theirs. Maybe there’s a physical issue you’d like to talk about. Write it down beforehand if it makes it easier to get clear on a few things.

Keep things as positive as possible.

Many of the reasons people want to talk to their partner about sex have to do with wanting to pursue something they need but aren’t getting. That can make it all too easy to come at the topic from a negative angle that can put their partner on the defensive. Instead, you want to lead with a positive and be sensitive to your partner’s feelings. Think about how you’d like your partner to approach you if the shoe were on the other foot.

  • If you need to discuss something that may be taken as a criticism, open by commenting on something you adore about how your partner makes love.
  • Make “I” statements, as opposed to “you” ones. For example, say “I’d love to try this with you,” as opposed to “you never do this.” It helps avoid the implication that you blame your partner for what’s wrong.
  • Be kind, but be clear, as well. You won’t make any progress if you don’t make yourself understood.

Bring your partner in on the discussion.

Although it’s important to address whatever your concerns or desires may be, don’t forget that conversations involve two people and two points of view. Yes, you should talk, but you’ll want to listen, as well. Really listen, instead of simply thinking about what you want to say next while your partner is talking.

Then ask questions to get a better idea of where your partner is coming from. Encourage them to ask you any questions they might have, as well. The more sensitive the topic, the more critical it becomes that both of you actively listen to one another.

Take responsibility for your own sexual pleasure.

Many bedroom issues, performance anxiety included, stem from the notion that an orgasm is something you give your partner (or vice versa.) In reality, your pleasure is something you’re responsible for and choosing to share with your partner.

In the interests of knowing yourselves better, each of you should be spending some solo time where you focus solely on yourselves. Experiment with sex toys, learn what you like, and then come back together to discuss your discoveries. Don’t worry if it feels a little awkward at first. In time, it will become much more natural. Practice makes perfect!

The Dos and Don’ts of Taking a New Partner to Bed

If there’s one experience that can be nearly as terrifying as it is exhilarating, it’s going to bed with someone new. On the one hand, you’re thrilled that it’s finally time to take things to the next level. But on the other, you’re worried things won’t go as smoothly as you hope. Then, even casual sex requires a certain degree of trust that isn’t always easy to give.

Thankfully, while sex with a brand new partner isn’t always uncomplicated, it doesn’t have to be rocket science either. Here are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind the next time you’re ready to get horizontal with someone new. Your nerves will be history in no time.

DO check your expectations at the door.

When your pants are really on fire for someone, in particular, it can be hard not to get your hopes up when it’s finally time to get horizontal together. You want to keep your expectations in check, though, even if your chemistry is incredible. Sometimes sex is mind-blowing right from day one, but often, it takes time for things to click with someone new.

DON’T be overly adventurous right away.

A lot of people see a romp with someone new as a golden opportunity to really pull out all the stops, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But that needs to be an approach that feels comfortable for both of you. A first love session isn’t necessarily the best time to flex by whipping out your copy of the Kama Sutra or going from zero to hardcore BDSM in an instant. Start with the basics. If that goes well, there’s plenty of time to bust out your signature moves in the future.

DO bring a toothbrush with you.

Or a tin of mints or a travel-sized bottle of mouthwash. You get the picture. Bad breath has a way of rearing its ugly head right when it’s least convenient. If you come fully prepared, you’ll be able to take action if you’re concerned there was too much garlic in the pasta you ordered at dinner. You’ll also be ready to rock first thing in the morning if things go well enough to lead to a full-on sleepover.

DON’T forget the protection.

Contraception is everyone’s responsibility, so never assume that the other person will take care of it. Don’t assume even if they’ve told you they’d take care of it. If they don’t actually follow through, you’ll wind up having to interrupt your fun to make a condom run at best, and that’s hardly an ideal way to start a first lovemaking session. And while we’re on the topic of preparedness, it’s not a bad idea to bring along a travel bottle of condom-safe lube just in case, either.

DO keep things light and playful.

Remember, sex is supposed to be fun. However, it also happens to be a little messy and wild sometimes. Human bodies do things like making interesting noises at the worst possible times, so there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. In fact, laughing it off to show it’s no big deal is a much better reaction to a wayward fart or queef than getting nervous or trying to pretend that it never happened at all. Plus, a little laughter and playfulness often make the experience more fun, so relax, and try not to take things so seriously.

DON’T hesitate to speak up.

When you’re with someone new, you don’t yet have a road map to go by, but there’s a bright side to that. Finding out what turns someone on and watching them light up when you try it is great fun. That said, don’t be afraid to communicate, both verbally and nonverbally. Let your partner know when they’re doing something you love. Ask them how what you’re doing feels to them, as well. Everyone’s different when it comes to what does it for them, so when in doubt, ask.

DO forget about how you look.

Everyone has hang-ups about their body and looks, but don’t let yours ruin your good time with your new partner. Remember that if you’re in bed together, they’re already into what you have going on. It’s highly unlikely that they’ll notice or care about your alleged imperfections, so do yourself a favor and forget about them, too. Fixating too much on such things will only put a damper on your good time.

DON’T hyper-focus on orgasm.

No one’s saying you shouldn’t go after an orgasm or try to help your partner have one of their own. Just don’t make orgasm the be-all and end-all of your experience. Remember, it takes some time to find your rhythm and learn what gets you both there. Just relax, enjoy the ride, and embrace the orgasms with open arms if they do happen.

Is It Possible to Overcome Sexual Incompatibility?

Just about anyone’s familiar with “that feeling.” It’s the one you get when you’ve been seeing someone for a while, and everything was going perfectly… until you took things into the bedroom. Now instead of being effortlessly in sync with one another sexually the way you thought you’d be, things aren’t going so hot, and you’re left wondering what to do next.

Don’t worry. You don’t need to call it quits just yet, no matter how crucial great sex is to you. Sexual incompatibility is more common than you may realize, and it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with your partner (or with you). Here’s a closer look at some of the more common issues, as well as a few tips for handling them like champs.

One (or both) of you has trouble reaching orgasm.

Everyone’s different when it comes to their ability to have an orgasm with a partner. Some people can do so easily, while others (especially women) might struggle more. Everyone has their own pet way to be touched or stimulated which does it for them, as well. There are even people out there who never have orgasms, even by themselves. None of these things indicate a problem with the person or their partner. Ultimately, all that matters is that you’re both happy with things in this arena.

If you’re unhappy with your relationship’s orgasm situation, fixing the issue starts with honest communication. Put your heads together and come up with some ways to shake things up. For instance, toys make it much easier to have orgasms consistently, and they make incredible additions to your partnered sex life. Try using one together and seeing what happens.

One of you values sex more than the other.

No two people are alike when it comes to how important sex might be to them, either. Some people consider it vitally important, while someone else might be able to take it or leave it. Still, more people are closer to the asexual end of the spectrum and don’t much like sex at all, even if they do very much want to be in a relationship.

Again, there’s no right or wrong way to be when it comes to sex drive, so don’t jump to the conclusion that something’s wrong with one of you. Differing libidos call for compromises that work for both people, so it’s time to put your heads together and talk. Most couples deal with permanent or temporary libido differences and can settle on a mutually agreeable middle ground.

You feel compelled to do things in bed you don’t enjoy.

Everyone has things that do it for them in the bedroom and things that are total turn-offs. So, what happens when your partner’s absolute favorite sex acts are the exact same things you can’t stand doing? If you’re like a lot of people, you might feel compelled to simply go along to get along, hoping things will work themselves out, but what if that never happens?

No one should ever feel like they have to do things they’re not comfortable with just to please a partner, so it’s time to ask yourself why this is the case for you. Are you concerned that your partner will be angry if you don’t? If so, it’s time to ask yourself why you’re with them in the first place. But if you’re just eager to please them, it’s time to talk things through with your partner. They likely have no idea you feel the way you do and would be happy to change things up.

One (or both) of you are bashful about sex.

Although it might seem as if everyone is super-comfortable talking about sex almost non-stop, this is far from the case. Plenty of people are more reserved about it for any number of reasons. Some are old-fashioned and see it as a private matter not to be discussed openly. Others are merely shy and find it hard to open up on the topic, even with their partner.

Whether you have it or not, sex is an important topic when you’re in a relationship, so it’s essential to be able to discuss it comfortably with each other. Open up the lines of communication a little at a time with baby steps. In time, even the most bashful people can reach a healthy level of comfort with their sexuality. It’s their partners’ job to be patient and understanding throughout the process.

At the end of the day, compatibility issues in the bedroom are not a death sentence for a relationship. Many couples experience them at one point or another, so a solid understanding of how to work through them is a must. Communication, understanding, compromise, and compassion are the keys to getting the two of you where you’d like to be.

How to Spot and Avoid Sexual Red Flags

Ask anyone who’s survived a bad relationship or two, and they’ll tell you the same thing. They’ll say they should have seen it coming because all the red flags were there right from day one. With any luck, they go into their next relationship a little better prepared.

Not all relationship red flags have to do with the other person not supporting your goals or not wanting you to see your friends, though. Some of them make themselves apparent in the bedroom, so it pays to be aware. Here’s a look at some of the most common sexual red flags and what you should do if you spot them.

They have an unhealthy attitude toward your orgasm.

A good relationship partner understands that sex is about both people involved. They want to please you, and they care whether you’re having an orgasm as often as you wish. Avoid people who don’t care whether you get off and can’t be bothered to try to help you get there.

You’ll also want to be careful of people who seem obsessed with getting you there no matter what. A partner should be able to listen when you tell them it’s just not happening tonight without taking it personally. And no one should ever shame you or imply something’s wrong with you if you can’t orgasm through penetration alone, need a sex toy to get there consistently, and so forth.

They insult your body (or you worry they will.)

Even supermodels aren’t as perfect in real life as their flawlessly airbrushed photos might make them appear. Real people usually have flaws. They have cellulite, stretch marks, and armpit fat. Anyone lucky enough to be in bed with you should be mature enough to accept that, especially since it’s unlikely they’re perfect themselves.

It’s just as big a red flag if their actions outside of the bedroom make you feel like you can’t trust them to love your body as it is. Do they often make weird or unsettling comments about other women’s bodies? Do they practically break their neck staring at every stone goddess that walks by when you’re out together? If so, you’re probably right to wonder about their priorities.

They shame you for what you do or don’t like in bed.

While there’s nothing wrong with keeping things on the vanilla side if that’s what you prefer, there’s an entire world of sexual flavors out there to try. A particular partner may or may not be into exploring everything on your list, but they should never make you feel ashamed of what turns you on or laugh at any of your fantasies.

On the flip side, they shouldn’t pressure you to do things you’re not comfortable with, either. If your partner ever makes you feel like you can’t say “no” to something they want in the bedroom, that’s a big sexual red flag, run the other way. Their respect for you as a person should outweigh their desire to do whatever it is they have in mind.

The chemistry isn’t there on your end.

Sometimes a particular partner looks good on paper, but things never really come together when it’s time to get closer physically. Are you sometimes put off by kissing or making out with them for reasons you don’t totally understand? Maybe you don’t feel as excited as you usually would about the idea of being intimate with them or can’t get into things without pretending they’re someone else.

If not exactly a huge red flag, it’s still a subtle signal from your body that you’re not that into someone. Sex isn’t everything in a relationship, but it’s still significant. Life’s too short to spend it with someone in your bed who makes you feel lukewarm at best about the idea of having sex with them.

You can’t seem to agree when it counts.

No two people will be exactly alike when it comes to their sex drives and bedroom preferences, but you should at least feel like compromise is possible. If you’re just so darned different that the two of you are basically taking turns feeling unsatisfied, that’s a sexual red flag and it might be time to rethink some things.

Are you in the mood to get down and dirty multiple times a week (or even per day) while they’re happy with only a couple of times a month? Is their absolute favorite bedroom activity something you find barely tolerable at best? Are they good at listening when you try to open specific topics up for conversation? If not, it might be a sign you’re not that compatible after all.

Relationships may not be all about sex, but the state of your sex life and the health of the rest of your relationship often go hand in hand. If things aren’t right in the bedroom, and you can’t seem to find any common ground with your partner, it might be time to reconsider.

How to Bring Your Sex Toy and Your Partner Together

There are lots of ways to make sex with your partner even hotter than it already is, but adding a sex toy to the mix is definitely one of the most powerful. A toy brings a variety of unique sensations to the table for both of you. It also takes a lot of the guesswork out of having as many orgasms as you want, so you can focus on what really counts – each other.

However, knowing you’d like to get your partner and your favorite vibrator in the same room, making beautiful music together, is one thing. Figuring out how to do that without things getting awkward is another matter entirely. Here are a few practical things to keep in mind to make sure things go as smoothly as possible.

Overcoming Potential Fears or Reservations

For most people, the big fear when bringing up the possibility of using a sex toy in the bedroom is that their partner will feel replaced or upstaged somehow. In most cases, there’s nothing to worry about. Your partner might be more knowledgeable and open-minded than you think when it comes to sex toys and the reasons why someone might want to bring one into the bedroom.

However, if you’re still concerned, simply assure your partner that there’s no such thing as a replacement for a loving experience with a living, breathing partner. Even the fanciest vibrator can’t kiss you, touch, you, or connect with you the way another person can. A toy is merely a tool that can help enhance that connection.

Bringing Up the Subject

When you and your partner talk about sex, what’s the specific context? Ideally, sex isn’t just something you talk about when there’s a problem that needs addressing. It should be something you talk about freely, often, and in as positive a context as possible. Getting into the habit of letting your partner know when they’ve really pleased you is always worthwhile.

When it comes to making sexual requests, it helps to lead with a positive. Tell your partner how much you loved something they did the last time you were intimate. Then bring up the topic of the toy and mention how much you’d love using it with them. And simply be honest about whatever it is you’re feeling. If the topic makes you feel shy, excited, curious, or something else entirely, share that.

Choosing the Right Sex Toy for the Job

If both of you like the idea of starting with a go-to toy you already have, that’s perfectly okay. However, sex toys are far from one-size-fits-all. Take some time to discuss the types of sensations you each like best and would most enjoy exploring together via a toy. Are you guys all about oral or mutual masturbation? Is penetrative sex an absolute must when you’re intimate together?

If you, your partner, or both of you are brand new to using sex toys as a couple, you may find it most comfortable to integrate a toy into whatever you already enjoy doing together. If you’re into penetrative sex, a small, wearable toy like a cock ring might be a good choice. If you like the idea of using a toy for external stimulation, try something small and versatile that lets you thoroughly explore the possibilities – like a bullet vibrator or a vibrating egg.

Picking out a new toy together can be a great way to bond with a partner, as well as help them feel involved in what’s going on if they’re nervous about the idea. Log onto your favorite online sex shop and look through the offerings. Take turns pointing out items you think would be fun to try, pick out one or two favorites, and enjoy the anticipation that comes with waiting for your order to arrive.

Communicate, communicate, communicate.

Talking about what you’re doing together before you get started is undoubtedly essential. However, the lines of communication should stay open while you play, as well. If something feels good, let your partner know and encourage them to do the same. Spelling things out with words is fine, but sometimes moans, gasps, and other sounds of pleasure do just as well.

When you’re done, keep talking. Did you both enjoy what happened, and are you down for trying it again sometime? Go over what you each liked most about the experience. Ask each other what you’d like to try differently the next time you play with a sex toy. As you add to your collective experience, try different positions on for size. Add to your toy collection, always keep touching base with one another, and talk about what you’ve been doing.

The more you talk about sex and the more new things you try, the better and deeper your sexual relationship with your partner will become. Explore the possibilities, and enjoy the journey!

6 Expert Tips for Keeping a Casual Sexual Relationship Casual

Casual sex and friends-with-benefits relationships are fantastic for so many reasons. Not only are they great ways to keep the sizzle in your sex life, but they’re a terrific approach to sex for people who aren’t ready for a relationship but crave an intimate connection with another person. Sometimes actually keeping things casual over the long haul can be challenging, though.

Getting horizontal with someone is already intimate, but it only becomes more so with repetition. The possibility of catching feelings sooner or later, whether you’re ready for that or not, is very real. It pays to be prepared, though. Here are some tips for keeping feelings at bay so you and your FWB can keep enjoying your sexual connection without complications.

1.      Be honest with yourself.

Honesty is the key to casual sex relationships that are fun and fulfilling without crossing any emotional lines they shouldn’t. Yes, a large part of that means being honest with the other person about your needs, desires, and intentions. However, you also need to be honest with yourself.

Are you an emotional person in general? And if so, is your would-be FWB someone you already care about on a deeper level? Could either of you secretly be expecting something else to come of this? If you can’t honestly answer “no” to those questions, proceed at your own risk.

2.      Put limits on your time together.

Although there’s nothing wrong with enjoying some lively pillow talk after a delicious romp, keep in mind that this isn’t a boyfriend or girlfriend you’re in bed with. Keep proper boundaries intact by limiting your interactions to bedroom activities only.

Don’t linger in bed and have long, emotional conversations while cuddling. Don’t hang out on the couch all evening, catching up on The Mandalorian together. Don’t call them up on a Saturday so you can hit the farmer’s market or the hiking trail together. Otherwise, it’s just a matter of time before one or both of you starts feeling like you’re in a relationship.

3.      Set clear ground rules that you both agree to.

The idea of setting rules and boundaries may seem to go against the very fabric of what casual sex is all about, but this isn’t really the case. You’re not following arbitrary rules set by the rest of society. You and your FWB are developing your own rules custom-created to work for you, so both of you know where you stand.

The rules themselves are up to you, but most people pick options specifically designed to keep from catching feelings and otherwise blurring lines that need to remain nice and clear. Examples include a moratorium on spending the night, no meetups during the day, no exclusivity, and so forth.

4.      Just say “no” to gifts.

Gifts are the type of thing you exchange with people who have meaningful emotional roles in your life, so they should be off the table if you’re serious about not bringing feelings into the mix. Giving (or receiving) gifts implies your relationship is anything but casual.

The only possible exception here would be gifts of a sexual nature, so long as they’re playfully given and solely meant to enhance your sex escapades together. Examples might include adult toys, like the Ultra Wand, sex gear, and so forth.

5.      Compartmentalize your life.

You introduce a serious boyfriend or girlfriend to your friends. You invite them as your “plus one” when you’re on your way to your cousin’s wedding. You bring them along as your guest to your office holiday party and introduce them around to your coworkers. You don’t do these things with a casual sex buddy.

Introducing a casual sex partner to other people in your life is only going to confuse everyone involved. Your partner won’t know where they stand, and your other loved ones aren’t going to know what to make of this new person in your life. Don’t mix and match parts of your life that shouldn’t be merging. Compartmentalization is the key to keeping everything (and everyone) in their proper places.

6.      Keep seeing other people.

The whole point of having casual sex is to keep your options open and avoid the commitments that inevitably come when you’re exclusive. The best way to do this is to keep seeing other people and encourage your FWB to do the same.

Remember, going the casual route is about doing what feels good to you and what makes you happy. Friends-with-benefits relationships are about two people coming together to meet their own needs. The goal is to make yourselves happy, not to make each other happy.

Of course, if you both eventually decide you want more than just casual sex, it’s okay to reevaluate your relationship and switch gears. Otherwise, though, boundaries are the key to keeping things from drifting off course.

6 Powerful Ways to Deepen Your Relationship With a Partner

If you’re wired for relationships, then the chances are excellent that you’re always looking for ways to love your partners better and more deeply. No two people are the same or have the same needs, so getting things just right is an intuitive process you perfect over time. The following tips and suggestions are excellent places to start to deepen your relationship.

1.      Learn their love language (and teach them yours).

People are usually most comfortable expressing love the same way they like to receive it, so consider how your partner goes about doing this. If they tend to show love by giving gifts or showing physical affection, the chances are pretty good that’s how they like to be loved in return.

Don’t merely assume, though. Sit down and talk about your love languages and discuss the ways you might differ from one another. Then go out of your way to do more of the things you’ve been told make your partner feel most loved.

2.      Stay engaged and involved in their life.

Most couples have things they enjoy doing together, but completely different pastimes they enjoy as individuals. This is a normal, healthy way to be in a relationship. However, it’s also essential to take an active interest in your partner’s life beyond the interests and hobbies the two of you share.

Show your support for the things you know your partner loves to do. If your partner loves oil painting, ask about their latest piece, and listen attentively when they talk about colors or techniques. If they invite you to do so, consider painting with them sometime to get to know them better.

3.      Give them space when they need it.

Even the closest, most loving partners don’t necessarily want to be around one another 24/7. Love comes alongside healthy boundaries and should never feel suffocating. No one should ever feel as if they can’t have their own friends or social connections either.

Don’t stand in the way of your partner’s relationships with other people. You should each feel completely free to spend time with your respective friends and family independently of one another. Respect your partner’s need for occasional alone time, as well. Your relationship will be stronger for it.

4.      Hold yourself accountable for your actions.

Nobody’s perfect. Sooner or later, you’re going to make a mistake or do something to hurt your partner’s feelings. When that happens, own up to it and apologize. When you’re wrong, admit as much and do what you can to make things right between you. A little accountability goes a long way.

When it’s your partner’s turn to do the same, show the same love and forgiveness you’d want them to show you. Be honest about how your partner’s actions made you feel, but don’t try to make them feel even worse than they already do. People who love one another treat each other the way they would want to be treated themselves.

5.      Communicate regarding intimate matters.

Everyone knows communication is the key to making a great relationship outside of the bedroom, but it’s an integral part of maintaining a satisfying intimate life, as well. If something isn’t working for you as far as your sex life goes, let your partner know in a kind, loving way. Encourage them to do the same. You should also both feel comfortable introducing new ideas into the mix.

Spending some high-quality solo time with yourself is another great way to become the best lover you can be. Invest in a good sex toy or two and get into the habit of exploring your body regularly. When you truly understand how your body does and doesn’t like to be stimulated, you can convey that information to your partner and reap the benefits.

6.      Always be appreciative of your partner.

You don’t need to break the bank buying your partner expensive gifts to show them how appreciated they are. Just cultivate a habit of letting your partner know how grateful you are for all they do daily. If they cook you a fantastic meal, let them know how delicious it was and thank them. Verbal thanks are great, but thankful actions – like doing the dishes or being the one to handle the cooking next time – often go even further.

Praise your partner often for the things you like about them, as well. Are they an incredible parent, a hard worker, or a world-class lover? Tell them so instead of assuming they already know. Hearing that sort of thing never gets old, and it definitely helps deepen relationships.

Loving someone truly, deeply, and entirely isn’t always easy, but it’s simpler than people think. How do you and your partner like to keep things between you strong and loving?

What to Do If Quarantine Has Changed Your Relationship

The pandemic has been hard on everyone in a variety of different ways. On many levels, it’s showing people what they’re truly made of and often for the better, but the opposite has been true as well. Quarantine was especially hard on relationships for one simple reason. Voluntarily spending a lot of time with your partner because you choose to is one thing, but being compelled to be together 24 hours a day is another.

Circumstances like those are bound to put a strain on even the best relationships, so if you feel like things just aren’t the same between you and your partner now that things are a little more relaxed, you’re not alone. Here are some tips for getting things back on track as you continue to adjust to current circumstances together.

Restore Balance to Your Lives

For some couples, quarantine wasn’t just challenging. It made them question whether they should even be together at all, so it’s understandable if you and your partner are currently going through something similar. Don’t be too hasty when it comes to throwing in the towel though. Sit down together and talk things out first. If you think a moderator would help, there’s no shame in considering counseling as an option.

Don’t feel obligated to spend more time together than feels comfortable at first though. Give yourselves and each other space to get back to doing things on your own again as well. Reflect on the things that have happened and consider where you’d like things to go next with your relationship. Then bring those insights up for discussion with your partner, as well as invite them to do the same.

Acknowledge What Occurred

A global pandemic and multi-month quarantine period aren’t normal occurrences by any stretch of the imagination. They’re certainly far from the typical stresses placed on a relationship, especially if one or both of you also lost your job as so many people did. Step back for a moment and acknowledge the magnitude of what’s happened before doing anything drastic.

It’s also important to understand that change comes with the territory when you’re in a relationship. Most people’s relationships underwent a few changes and adjustments. It’s how you and your partner respond to those changes (both as a couple and as individuals) that matters in the end.

Focus on Reconnecting

Once you’ve both had a chance to let the dust settle a bit, it’s time to look for ways to reconnect and rebuild the bond you once had. Set aside some time to get back to doing the things you used to love doing together. Recreate your first date or plan an activity that you haven’t had a chance to enjoy together in a while. Alternatively, this may be a wonderful time to come up with something new to get excited about doing together. It’s up to you!

Rekindling things in the bedroom is important as well, so take advantage of opportunities to bond in that department when they present themselves. Now is the time to allow yourself those extra-indulgent Sunday mornings in bed or the naked Saturdays you used to love. This is a good time to add some new things to your sexual routine as well. Think role-playing, erotic massage, or sex toys!

See Where You Stand

Eventually, the two of you will reach a place where you’re over the shock of how quarantine affected your relationship. Hopefully, you’ve also let go of the hope that your relationship will ever be the same way it was. That’s when it’s time to take a look at what you’re working with going forward and ask yourself some questions.

How do you feel about the ways your relationship has changed? Are these changes you can accept and move forward with into the future? If not, are there additional changes that could be made that would fix the issue? Are there any changes that could be viewed as blessings in disguise? Remember, it’s all about how you handle change that makes the difference.

Check in With Your Partner

Once you’ve figured out how you feel, talk to your partner about how they feel as well. Don’t simply assume they feel the same way you do about everything that’s happened. Ask them and do your best to accept what they tell you without judgment. Then move forward from there.

Relationships are always a two-way street with two people involved. Communication is important anyway, but it’s especially so when a couple’s just been through something challenging and stressful. Such occurrences are a part of life, so quarantine likely won’t be the last one you face together. However, now that you know how you deal with outside stressors as a couple, you know what you’re working with moving forward. Use what you’ve learned to grow stronger together, as well as separately.

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