Satisfying sex is not a given in all relationships, and there are certain factors that can predict a more positive and sustainable sex life.
If enough of the conditions for enjoyable sex are met and prioritised, it is much easier to manage desire discrepancies, to add novelty into your sex life, and to remain open and receptive to sexual experiences over a long-term relationship.
These factors can be grouped into 3 main categories: Healthy Body & Mind; Healthy Relationship; and Sexy Sex. Realistic Expectations are also needed.
Healthy Body & Mind
These factors are all related to us as individuals and what we bring into the sexual relationship.
Positive individual factors include:
- good physical and mental health;
- positive attitudes about sex and masturbation;
- a positive view of yourself and your body;
- stress and anxiety management; and
- realistic expectations about different life stages (pregnancy, childbirth, infertility, menopause, retirement).
These factors relate to the “relational context” of your sex life – that is, the quality of your relationship and how much it supports positive sexual expression.
Positive relationship factors include:
- constructive communication skills;
- conflict management;
- fondness and interest in each other;
- attraction to your partner;
- trust and respect;
- quality couple time;
- shared values and goals; and
- a good sense of humour.
It is also very important to have a good ratio of non-sexual intimacy, sexual affection and sexual intimacy. Go here to read more about this.
Note: In a more casual sexual relationship or a one-off encounter, not all of these factors may be present. But, a more positive casual encounter is likely to occur if the casual relationship still holds respect, receptiveness, attraction, friendliness and humour. Plus, openness to discussing and respecting safer sex practices.
Lastly, these are sex-specific factors that help sex to feel sensual and sexy.
These sex-specific factors include:
- privacy (especially for parents);
- setting the scene (e.g. de-cluttering the bedroom, mood lighting, music);
- allowing sufficient time to build arousal;
- being sexually responsive to each others needs;
- discussing sexual preferences;
- letting go and being present in the moment (mindfulness);
- pleasurable sexual techniques; and
- building a broad menu of enjoyable sexual activities.
As you read through this list of Conditions for Good Sex, you may have thought “Oh no, I’m missing a factor!”
Luckily, not all stars have to be aligned in order to create and sustain a good loving relationship and an enjoyable sex life.
There may be some factors that you want to work on over time, but if you have a reasonable amount of positive factors in each area, then this is a wonderful platform for enjoyable sexuality.
To read more about realistic expectation of sex, go here.
Dr. Alice Hucker