This is the first in a new series of articles we’re calling “Sexy Saturdays,” where we bring you straightforward (but not too serious) talk about sex—how to get creative, make it better, and most of all, enjoy it. Kids: Feel free to plug your ears and sing, “la, la, la, la!”
We seem to be thinking, talking and reading about sex a lot (Fifty Shades of Grey, anyone?), but like every learned skill, we need practice to be good at it. A positive side effect of all that practice is that sex is beneficial for your body and your emotional well-being. Sex releases antibodies and hormones (specifically, Immunoglobulin A and oxytocin, aka the “love” hormone) that boost the immune system and speed the healing process. What a brilliant way to heal cuts and bruises faster, am I right?
Further, researchers have found that having sex three times per week for one year burns the equivalent of six Big Macs. (Could it replace Zumba as the latest fitness craze? Get on it, Crunch Gyms.) Plus, the estrogen afterglow makes your skin look fresh and glowy. Who needs NARS’ “Orgasm” blush? Pish to that.
Before you hit the sheets, here are a few simple reminders to put you in a sex-positive zone:
Open and clear your heart chakra: Whether or not you run with the granola-eating, patchouli-wearing set, this is a nice intention. Feeling needy, depressed or fearful of rejection is never a good place to be, but it’s especially true in relation to sex. Prime yourself to give and receive love. According to the authors of Better Sex Through Yoga, a healthy heart chakra encourages you to feel openness and compassion, to love deeply, to be devoted and feel at peace—all really good things to be feeling when you’re not wearing clothes and someone else is near you. To tap into your heart chakra energy, bring awareness to good posture, sink your shoulder blades down your back and take a deep, cleansing breath.
Feel good about yourself: Yes, we all have our body insecurities, but ease up on any self-criticism. Remind yourself that authentic, egoless self-love creates and attracts love. Dressing up like you’re about to walk the Victoria’s Secret runway (or Renaissance faire, Star Trek convention or whatever) can be fun for some, but remember that it’s what’s underneath—your head and your heart—that’s important. Embrace your quirks because the only thing to be critical of is society’s narrow, crazy beauty standards. (Who’s setting these standards? They seem like real jerks.) Years ago, my human sexuality psychology professor said something quite profound: “Every single person in this room has been the object of a sexual fantasy.” The sentiment was so beautiful that it brought a tear to my eye.
Communication is really important: Have you noticed that sometimes people who think they know what they’re doing need the most instruction? Think of your partner as unexplored territory—what floats one person’s boat may make another recoil. Learn each other’s erogenous zones. We’re not mind readers, so get comfortable with talking openly about what you like. Whether you’re with someone new (psst, use a condom) or long-term, it serves everyone to be honest and candid. Being open helps release the emotion and ease tension. Be upfront about your emotions—if you feel nervous, it’s OK to say so. On the other hand, if you’re seeing double rainbows, express that, too. Compliment your partner. Who doesn’t love a stroke (emotionally and physically)?
Have fun and enjoy it: Hollywood seems to depict sex as either a huge letdown (think sex with a stereo salesman in a baseball dugout à la Fast Times at Ridgemont High) or preposterously beautiful with firm yet pliant bodies in a softly lit room that flatters everyone’s skin and physique. Fine. Real life can be those things and everything in-between. You or your partner might not achieve the “big O” every single time. A lot of importance is placed on orgasms. Sex is practically deemed invalid if both people don’t have one (or multiple). Sometimes, it can be just as, if not more, rewarding if you don’t have a “goal” looming ahead of you. If you like the experience as a whole, you’re on the right track. Enjoy yourself and your partner!
If it doesn’t make your face turn bright red, what are some of your favorite sexy tips? What puts you in the right frame of mind?