The new Q&A feature on Instagram is something I’ve embraced with wide open arms. So much so, that I’m thinking of making them a regular Sunday feature on Instagram Stories. I’m yet to make my mind up as I know there is such a thing as ~ too ~ much “ask me stuff about me so I can talk about me me me!”, but on the two occasions where I’ve really dived head first into a sea of personal questions, I’ve loved how many are more complex than my preference of tea or coffee (FYI - BOTH, always).
Something which I’ve noticed pops up quite a lot during these Q&As is the subject of sex in long-term relationships. Now, before I go any further, I feel I have to mention that talking about the ups and downs of long-term relationships whilst being in one isn’t an easy task. Honestly, Keiran doesn’t read every blog post I put out there, and I don’t blame him. I don’t go and watch every football match he plays, either, so we’re equals pequals. I do know, however, that as soon as he sees the title of this post appear in his Twitter feed whilst he’s - and I’m taking a stab in the dark here, but I reckon I’ll be close to spot on - catching up on social media on the toilet, he’ll click in straight away. Why? Because he’s going to want to know what a whole host of strangers now know about the intricacies of his - and our - sex life.
Here’s the thing: I’m not shy when it comes to talking about sex. In fact, I pretty much have no privacy barrier whatsoever. I enjoy talking about sex. I’m the person in the group who will always ask about your orgasms and if you’ve ever considered a threesome with another girl. I’m the girlfriend who sees her boyfriend’s mates as prime pickings for the insider scoop on sex from a lad’s perspective. I read articles about sex theory and new positions and whatever new-age toy is hitting the market just for fun. I guess, for me, I’m fascinated by how much and how often most of us are doing it (or at least want to), but also how little we then discuss it. Nearly all of my favourite bloggers are women, and yet I could count the amount of Instagram/blog posts I’ve read about sex and how to feel good about it.
For some people, sex is an intimate and private affair, and I get that. It is for me too. It’s also, however, something which I think is healthy to discuss, even more so because I have come across far too many women in my life that aren’t getting that good D. (Side note: this post centres around sex in long-term relationships from a heterosexual perspective. I’ve only ever had boyfriends, so I can’t speak for my gals out there.) I’m offended whenever I hear of a guy not wanting to go down on a girl, even more so when I know he’ll be expecting consistently strong head without any recompense. That is a crime. Maybe not an official, legal crime, but a life crime nonetheless. If talking openly about sex and encouraging other women to be more selfish (definitely be more selfish!!!!) means that one person has a better roll-around, then I’m happy.
So there’s my spiel, my introduction as to why I’m going to talk about sex in relationships and why this website, along with my Instagram and Twitter, are always safe and inviting spaces to chat about sex too. Let’s get into it, shall we?
Sex in long-term relationships can be a minefield. First off, one of you is nearly always going to want to shag more than the other. One of you is going to have a higher sex drive, and one of you is going to have a lower. PSA: if you’re a woman, it’s completely normal to be the one with the higher sex drive. I am *waves*. It’s a myth that all men are sexually aggressive, a myth that we’re sold growing up because: a) women’s sexuality and women’s sexual pleasure is still somewhat of a weird taboo (think about how open boys in high school were about how often they furiously wanked whilst hiding in their family bathroom, and now think about how many girls even had the gall to discuss masturbation); b) it’s a product of the “men naturally want to sow their seeds” bullshit; and c) not enough women talk about how much they enjoy sex, so the idea of a woman desiring it more seems ludicrous. For a long time I thought there was something wrong with me - why doesn’t my boyfriend want to have sex with me as much as I do him? Is it because of my weight? Am I not sexy enough? - but the truth is, some women just have higher sex drives. And that’s that.
Equally, do not fear if you’re the partner with the lower sex drive. I know plenty of gals in this same situation, and whilst it does get tricky at times, with healthy communication and a little motivation, you and your partner can work out a compromise which pleases you both. Much like anything else in any relationship, everything requires a little give and take (excuse the pun, and actually, prepare yourself for a lot more). As much as we love each other, we’re rarely perfectly matched on every level, so sex is just another component that you have to actively work on.
How do I keep sex interesting in a long term relationship? That’s the question I’m asked the most, and honestly, it’s quite complex to answer. First and foremost, unless you are some kind of super couple, the sex you have during the Honeymoon Period and any on-and-off make-up sex is not indicative of the day-to-day. From my experience, and from that of the women around me, the being fingered under the dinner table and shagging in a library cupboard after two weeks of seeing each other doesn’t last. That furious lust that feels so undeniable to you both does peter out, and what you’re actually left with afterwards is your sex life. Again, this is completely normal. If you’ve managed to keep up the constant banging beyond a year, then hats off to you - in fact, teach me your secrets - but for most of us mere mortals, it just simply doesn’t happen like that.
That’s when you have to start thinking about sex a little proactively. It’s all too easy to slip into the comfort of doing the same thing at the same time in the same position, and it happens to the best of us; we take for granted that good sex isn’t a given, and much like playing a game or learning an instrument (the clarinet??? the recorder??? the piccolo??? So many phallic options, so little time), it takes practice and maintenance to achieve a high score. This is especially true when you’re both busy and your only windows for bumping uglies happen to occur at the same times every week. This is a trap, and if you fall into too regular a routine, you’re both going to end up bored out of your brains and hunting for that ‘spark’.
Spontaneity and adventure are, in my opinions, the two second most important elements which keep sex in long-term relationships exciting. For the most part, I don’t want to have planned sex. I want my partner to want to have sex with me because they’re horny and I’m cute, not because they’ve scheduled me in and well, if I don’t do it now, then when will I? If you are so super limited on time that even a impromptu quicky isn’t an option, then don’t stick to the same place. Stop having sex in or on the bed at every given opportunity. Girl, do you not have a sofa? A floor? A car? A garden? What about the bath? The shower? The bathroom sink is an excellent spot if there’s a considerable height difference between you, too. Sometimes it feels like the sink is going to break and you’ll have a problem which will be horrifically awkward to try and explain, but it never does and the angles are p e r f e c t.
Even outside of the physical space within which you have sex, there are so many other things that you can do. Not all of them will be to your liking - for example, I have been filmed before and I didn’t really like it, so now I'm not game - but sometimes it does take a bit of trial and error to dig a little deeper beneath the surface of missionary. And it’s fun and connecting to do it together. Think of it as a sexual checklist, the likes of which rewards you with an orgasm after every item you tick off the list. Suspend any apprehension around what your partner or other people might think of you, and then consider what you might actually like to do. And I mean you, too - not what might please him or make him feel like he can brag to his mates. Maybe it’s a bit of rough and tumble, maybe it’s being tied up, maybe it’s getting another person involved. Who knows? Exploring those possibilities together helps to keep things spicy, and also helps you have better sex.
The most important factor in keeping sex interesting in long-term relationships, however, is communication. If you’re not talking about sex, what do you expect? Neither of you is a mind-reader, but what both of you probably are is a little horny and a little frustrated, because you’re not opening up a healthy discourse around what you do or do not want. If you’re not happy with the sex or you want more of it or you want to try something else, you have to say. And not just once, all the time. It needs to be a line of communication that you revisit and reassess, honing that perfect level of shagging like a psychic rubbing a crystal ball. Even talking about sex in an honest and unreserved way will make you feel closer, because you’re strengthening that connection with one another. It’s a lovely, healthy thing.
It goes without saying that all of the above is derived from my personal experience, and the experiences of the women around me. No two relationships are the same, so if you feel like the above doesn’t apply to you, then it probably doesn’t. There’s no harm in that! I do think, however, that communication around sex is important for any relationship, whether you’re talking about what you want to do next or why it’s not particularly important to you. Sex in long-term relationships doesn’t have to be boring, or predictable, or run-of-the-mill; you actually get to a point where you abandon self-consciousness and you can be closer than ever, but to get there, you have.to.talk. Communication really is key.