Sex Talk, Better Foreplay… What Else Can Make Sex Fun?

If your sex life isn't what it was in early days, it doesn’t mean we love our partners any less or that the fire that burned within us has gone out.

February is upon us and predictably love is in the air. It’s been 31 years since Dr Gary Chapman’s The 5 Love Languages became the Bible of lovelorn masses. More than three decades later, this book is still relevant, though only slightly.

But there’s a large and less talked about aspect of love that usually gets swept under the carpet, so to speak. When young love steps forward into a union, or any form of commitment, be it live-in relationships or engagement or marriage, something we do not take into consideration is the passing of time.

Relationships are entities that grow and solidify over time. The fervour with which we love in our twenties does not remain unchanged as we mature. The burning passion of young or new love simmers down to an unassuming and oft under-appreciated form of togetherness.

It doesn’t mean we love our partners any less or that the fire that burned within us has gone out. No, it’s just that life takes precedence over most things. Work, kids, loans, everyday household chores and the ‘n’ number of tasks on our daily ‘To-do’ list declare their priority over our expressions and experiences of love with our partners.

So, how do we ensure this doesn’t happen? Or, in the more likely scenario, if this has already happened, how do we break out of the circle?

Note: This article does not presume to speak for individuals who identify as Aro/Ace (asexual) as their experiences could be very different.

Our sex language is an important part of our love language

This is where our sex language comes into the picture; a variation of the 5 love languages.

The first step is to embrace this as a golden rule—physical and emotional intimacy are a cornerstone in any form of romantic relationship. Sex is important! Let no-one tell you otherwise. 

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In Indian households, marital sex or even sex between two consensual, long-term, loving partners is something that never gets talked about as much as it should. How did we go from heartfelt verbal and even written expressions of love to this twinkling, synthetic culture of consumerism that masquerades as love today?

Ladies and gentlemen, how about we take advantage of this festival of love, this Valentine’s Day, and rekindle this spark of sex in our lives?

Here are some tried and tested (by yours truly), 100% practical tips on how you can enhance your sex-expression with your partner.

Communicate; talk about it all

Why is it so hard for us to ask to be loved? Since Day 1 of our existence, the most significant lesson they teach us is to communicate. And yet, as we grow, this is the one superpower we squish into a ball, thrust it inside a lead-lined box, lock it, swallow the key and settle down to constipate.

Often, in new marriages, or even arranged marriages, it is this lack of communication that turns partners off sex. It is a known fact that the first few times, when we are learning the ropes, sex doesn’t live up to the hype. These occasions force us to reconsider nature’s proclivity towards intimacy. Why would anyone want to deliberately put themselves under so much pain (for women)?

What we do not deliberate upon are the reasons behind the pain. This is something I figured out after a couple of gynaecologist visits and many (MANY) Google visits.

When two people engage in sex, it demands the attention of our physical and psychological beings. Pain during sex results from a variety of factors—inexperience, ignorance or limited knowledge about our own bodies and how they work, low lubrication, physical or psychological distress or illness.

There’s a solution! Yes, there is. Let us become aware of everything that needs to be said and say it. It is not easy as we have grown up witnessing the cloak and daggers approach to sex in our society, it feels weird to talk about it openly. But talk we must. Mind reading is a much sought after art that unfortunately (or fortunately) nobody has mastered.

Scared to have sex—talk.

Hurts to have sex—talk.

Don’t want to have sex—talk.

Not pleasurable enough—talk.

Too pleasurable—spread the knowledge around!

Let us talk to our partners about our needs, our concerns and our inhibitions. More often than not, better communication results in better sex. Because only when we are present ‘in the moment’ with our complete selves can we comprehend the magnitude of the pleasure.

Make time for sex or create habits that facilitate this

Strange, yes?

Like everything else in our modern-day fast lives, we need to make time for sex. If you are anything like me, and like the other 1 billion plus humans on this planet, I am sure there are days when 24 hours is just not enough. There are about a hundred different things we need to do (yes, need to do) in a day and so, much like ‘family quality time’ and ‘me time’, we need ‘sex time’.

I can’t today because I’m—Too busy, too exhausted, too distracted, too frustrated, too distressed, too enraged.

Sounds familiar?

In this abundance of ‘too many xyzs’ where is our time for love?

Where is intimacy? On the back burner, lost and forgotten. Then one day we wake up and we realise it’s been months since we cuddled in bed with our partners. Or even held them for longer than a second or two.

How do we change this? By allowing ourselves to be open to the eventuality of sex. By making time. Weekly or monthly date nights, couple spas, weekend outings are a great way to keep aside time for yourselves. Though this requires some planning and scheduling.

So, what’s something that can be done immediately?

Fix one day a week when you will be intimate with your partner in a way that’s comfortable for both of you. Wait, I know this sounds way too clinical. Bear with me. Fix a day a week, and then engage in a bit of sexting. Make creative and enticing use of those chat platforms.

Type out quick messages to one another at random.

Thinking of you.

Can’t wait till Wednesday! (Wednesday seems like a good enough day, right? Mid-week sex motivation is much needed.)

I love you.

In a seminar for Road Safety and Protection. That reminds me- restock!

It’s fun! Trust me. Like I said, tried and tested tips.

If this seems like a very timetable-y method, another way is to create habits that facilitate spontaneous intimacy.

Keep flat surfaces clean and clutter free—sofas, beds, perhaps sturdy dining tables? Who knows when the Gods smile down upon you. Trying to ‘get down’ on unfolded laundry or a murder of kids’ toys is a recipe for disaster.

A truly wonderful ‘hack’ is to lock your bedroom doors and sleep naked. I am not kidding, several scientific studies have been conducted and have proven to enhance sensuousness amidst couples who sleep naked.

If this seems like too much, try sleeping in loose fitting nightdresses. Bras or briefs strictly not allowed.

Allow your bodies to flow and merge into each other. Skin to skin contact can do wonders for your physical and emotional well-being.

Men, better foreplay please – but how to do this?

Okay, I will admit this one is a little biased towards the ladies. Unlike men, women thrive on foreplay. The longer it is, the higher the chances of a good ‘ending’! Remember these 5 Cs of facilitating womanly satisfaction—comfort, compliments, caresses, cuddles and clitoris.

How can we enhance foreplay? One sure-fire way is sexting (as discussed above). Another guaranteed avenue is setting the scene. Believe it or not, even good food made by our partners, mood lighting, music and heartfelt conversations make up foreplay for women.

You know how they say—treat your woman like a queen and she’ll treat you like her king. It’s true! We like to be serenaded. We like to be made feel special.

And while our partners are busy prepping for all the above, women, make sure to communicate what’s working and what doesn’t. Tell your partners about your preferences in sex. Demand it. You have a right to. Encourage and guide wherever necessary. Be gentle and kind, and it will work out great for both parties.

Self-care and Self-love

I read this somewhere and it has stayed with me throughout my years. “So many years of education and nobody ever taught us how to love ourselves.”

Read it again. Let the words sink in and embrace their truth.

We spend so much of our lives neglecting and even despising our bodies. We are not pretty enough, we are not thin enough, not feminine enough or not man enough. We are too tall or too short, too fair or too dark, too thin or too fat.

When this sinkhole of self-loathing thrives within us, how can we be completely open and present to be loved by another person? Expecting others (be it boyfriends or husbands or partners) to love us when we don’t even love ourselves is a road that leads to disappointment and heartbreak.

The others in our lives will love us in their own way. Let them. That’s what love languages are for. But at the very least, we can love ourselves the way we want to be loved.

I speak from personal experience. The days when I feel like shit about myself are the days I expect my partner to feel like shit about me, too. For a long time, I lived in a constant state of warfare with my body. Hated my hair, hated my nose, my lips, my teeth, my belly, my breasts, my thighs.

And as this battle raged, I forsook intimacy. I assumed my partner would hate my body, too. I assumed my partner would be as disgusted by me as I was with myself. I wrapped myself up inside the intangible aura of self-hatred and, in the process, denied my partner the quiet fortitude of shared divinity.

Can you see the pattern here? Because of no fault of their own, my partner shouldered the brunt of my misgivings about myself.

So, what do we do? This one is at once more simple and more difficult that all the rest put together.

We take care of ourselves

Follow basic hygiene and health practices. Adopt a healthier lifestyle in sleeping habits, food, or exercise. Go for morning or evening walks. If you can, indulge a little. Book that long overdue Salon appointment. Get your hair done. Set aside ‘me time’ where you do things that excite you, like reading or writing or singing or dancing. Also, set aside time you spend with your partner and do things you enjoy together.

Things as simple as having coffee together or disconnecting from the online world and talking to your partner for a full, undivided five to ten minutes.

The great thing about self-care and self-love is, when you do it for yourself, your partner also gets encouraged to take care of themselves. Leading by example in a couple’s life is a key to achieving couplet bliss!

As Stephen Chbosky says in the book, ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower,’ “We accept the love we think we deserve.”

Let us allow ourselves to deserve more. Deserve better.

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About the Author

Monica Singh

Scientist and Storyteller. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool bibliophile. My love of reading has led to my passion for writing. I write so others can find comfort and acceptance in my words, just read more...

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