A Sex Guide for Couples Who Are Looking for More Than a No-Frills Quickie

The latest installment of our series The ‘Normal’ Couples’ Guide to Sex.

A Sex Guide for Couples Who Are Looking for More Than a No-Frills Quickie

Not ecstatic about your current sex life? Don’t have hours every day attempting to decipher all the Sanskrit in the Kama Sutra? Unable to afford a suitcase full of sex toys? Here’s a sex help guide for you, fellow regular human who wants to be better in bed.

The Person

Veronica, Brooklyn
Age: 33
Goal: To bring sensuality back to her sex life.
The Sex Situation: “I’ve been in a long-term relationship with my man for about five years,” says Veronica. “We make a great team. We’re somewhat open — we’ve had threesomes with a few trusted friends, and it’s always been fun. Overall, we’re doing pretty well!”

The Obstacle: “Here’s the thing: We don’t have a lot of sex these days. We’re both really busy, and when we do have free time, we’re both exhausted. But when we do manage to get busy, it often feels rushed and goal-oriented. He’s really good at bringing me to orgasm, but it feels like he wants to get me there as quickly as possible so that we can get to him penetrating me so that he can have his orgasm and we can get on with our lives. There’s no sensuality to it anymore, no exploration or experimentation or even making out.”

What She’s Tried: “I feel like when I try to take it slow with him, he gets bored and takes control of the situation so we’re still racing toward orgasms.”

The Goal: “I want to take our time, linger, play and enjoy. I want make-out sessions, heart flutters, anticipation! But I don’t know where to start, what to say or how to carve out more time to make it happen. I feel awkward and vulnerable when I try to talk about it, so I usually just don’t.”

The Plan

Expand Your Definition of Sex: “I want you to think about ‘sex’ not simply as S-E-X, but about all the things you talked about: kissing, foreplay and lingering,” advises Rachel Kramer Bussel, erotica author and editor of the Best Women’s Erotica of the Year series. “Those are all parts of our sex life that many of us pay less attention to or don’t value as highly, because they don’t seem as intense as ‘Doing It.’ But they’re crucial to how you feel about your sexuality and your partner. Sex isn’t just what we do in the bedroom but about all the things that make us feel aroused, sensual and full of desire.”

Take the Initiative: “Since it sounds like your partner isn’t going to take the lead on exploring these other avenues to erotic excitement, you can be the one to kick things off. That may not be your preferred way of doing things — and it’s definitely natural to want him to spontaneously sweep you off your feet for a lusty makeout session — but it doesn’t mean he won’t appreciate it when you do these things. And in the end, hopefully, he’ll learn that there’s a lot of enjoyment to be had even if it doesn’t immediately result in an orgasm.”

Get Sexting!: “You can start when you two are apart, either in separate rooms in your home or in different places. Send him a sexy email or text, but keep it short and sweet. Maybe it’s a sexy photo of you that gets your point across. Maybe it’s just a sentence or two to let him know what’s on your mind, like, ‘I’m having trouble concentrating because I keep thinking about that time we…’ The idea is to plant the seed in his mind that you’re thinking about sex, and to get him thinking about it too.

“You might want to mention one of your threesomes, not so that you can arrange another one, but to put the image in his mind of a shared erotic experience. The idea is to get him intrigued and turned on when he can’t rush to the ‘good parts.’”

Withholding Isn’t Always Bad: “You can up the ante by not having sex when you’re together. If he’s been thinking racy thoughts about you all day, he’ll probably be eager to get busy. Tell him that you want to wait: Not indefinitely, but for a day or two. You can even make it a game. If you know he’s turned on, ask him what he wants to do with you when he does get you into bed and tell him you’re eager to do that soon. You don’t have to ignore your arousal, but instead play with it. Tease him.”

Get Aurally Stimulated: “If you’re comfortable taking control, the next time you’re in bed together, tell him you have a surprise for him, but that he has to let you set the pace. Then you can either read him some erotica or listen to some audio erotica together. Select something that turns you on and that you think will arouse him. You two can make out and tease each other while you’re listening if you want to, but make it clear that you aren’t looking for a quick bang. If he gets impatient, share some of the things you want to do with him — next time.

“If he’s up for it, you can restrain his arms. Then it’ll be your turn to kiss his neck, to stroke parts of his body that may get short shrift other times or to have him watch you touch yourself. If he starts begging you to have sex, rather than giving a yes or no answer, promise him that you do want to have sex with him — once you get what you want, too.”

Live Sexy: “You also can bring eroticism into your everyday lives in ways that remind him that you’re still sensual and desirable even when you’re not getting it on. If you normally wear a robe in the morning, walk around topless. Or wear some of your sexiest underwear and offer him a glimpse. Yes, this all requires a little work on your part, but once you start showing him that there’s nothing ‘boring’ about being aroused, I have a feeling he’ll change his tune.”

The Reaction

Are You Comfortable Taking the Lead?: “I like the idea of being more assertive about what I want, but it’s difficult because we’re both naturally submissive,” says Veronica. “Then again, since we’re evenly matched, maybe that means he’ll react well when I take control. Either way, I’ll work up my courage and give it a try.”

Will You Take Up Sexting Him at Work?: “I love this idea. It’s low-pressure since the whole point is to get him interested for later, and that means there’s less embarrassment if he’s not into it for some reason. Plus, like Rachel said, we’ve had some really fun times that are super-sexy to think about, so I’ve got a lot to fall back on!”

What About Erotica to Turn Yourselves On?: “This might take some time to work up to. We’ve tried watching porn together a few times, but it always felt way more awkward than sexy. I don’t know if reading or listening to erotica will be any better, so I’m going to spend some time working on the sexting first.”