Because sexual attitudes are learned so young by teaching and modeling, the way one partner accepts or rejects the other’s attempt to emotionally and physically connect is deeply affected by these early teachings.
5) Prior Sexual Experiences
So many people tell me separately about their prior sexual experiences but do not feel comfortable sharing them with their partners. They may feel embarrassed by something they’ve done, humiliated by something they allowed to happen to them, traumatized by events that still hurt, or fearful they might not be seen in a positive light if they share them.
Particularly in the case of negative events, or times when they were perhaps naïve, selfish, or ill-equipped, they don’t trust that their partners would find them as attractive were they to know what happened in the past.
Most everyone has had some negative sexual experience at some time in his or her life. It is crucial that partners accept, support, and reciprocally share negative memories with one another if they can.
6) Romantic and/or Pure Lust Sex for its Own Sake
Romantic, in-love sex is usually the most physically and emotionally satisfying for intimate partners, but everyone I’ve ever talked to either wonder about or participates in many kinds of sexual encounters as well.
Pornographic websites are among the most searched online by both men and women. Sexual curiosity is normal and healthy and many people watch porn to virtually experience what could be too uncomfortable to actually pursue.
Yet, many couples do not share those internal interests or desires with each other if they feel the other partner would be shocked, uncomfortable, or condemning. They tell me privately that they fantasize about those thoughts and feelings while having sex with their partners but don’t necessarily reveal them.
That does not imply that people should share everything they feel internally or that there is wrong with maintaining privacy if that is what a person wants. But, the more two people can share, accept, and support those internal worlds, the closer they become.
“Sexuality is, of course, a great way of having a conversation between people.” – Tilda Swinton
7) Physical Health
Like any physical and emotional exercise, sex is always better when the participants are robust, energetic, and agile. Tired, stressed, conflicted, or emotionally distressed people cannot be at their best sexually.
New lovers tend to put anything they can on the back burner, and, making their sexual connection a high priority. They want to look and be at their best and work hard at it.
Sadly, as people are together for a while, those commitments often take a back burner and can easily fall into a predictable routine unless they prioritize their sexual connection.
There are, of course, extenuating circumstances for many. Illness, children, family problems, financial worries, etc., can put a downer on any kind of pleasure, sex often being the first thing that suffers. But, even if a couple sets aside quality time once in a while to reconnect in a meaningful way, they can still make it work when they do.
8) De-mystifying Myths
Every generation and every gender have sexual stories that are believed as facts when they simply are not. The naïve or unexamined acceptance of these myths can strongly affect sexual behavior.
For example, there are still actually young men who were told that they might go blind or lose their capacity for sexual functioning if they masturbate too often. Or that they will not be able to perform on an athletic field if they have sex that morning.
Yes, only about 30 percent of women orgasm vaginally, and the absence of being able to have an orgasm without clitoral stimulation does not signal that they are somehow lacking. And, you can get pregnant while menstruating, get an STD from oral sex, and can have an intact hymen even if you are no longer a virgin.