Sex. What once was a taboo subject is now considered a topic of conversation for many. On the flip side, it's now also much easier to compare your sex life to your neighbors, best friends, or even that person you follow on Instagram.
That might have you wondering; Do I have a healthy sex life? Are my partner and I having sex enough?
5 ways to tell if you have a healthy sex life
What does a normal sex life look like? It's important to remember we are all different. We have various needs, wants, and desires. So what's normal to one person might be out of the ordinary for another.
You and your partner have open communication
It's ok not to want the same things in the bedroom or be with someone whose sexual desires are more/less than yours. But you both have a continuous open line of communication to be able to talk through your likes, dislikes, and feelings.
You are comfortable with your body
Body image can be sex's best friend or worse enemy. With that being said, the confidence you feel about yourself will ultimately affect your sexual desire.
How so? When you have a positive outlook on your body image, you aren't focused on things like your thighs or your stomach during sex. Without these distractions, you can concentrate on the pleasurable aspects of the moments.
You understand the importance of intimacy
Research has shown a strong link between sexual satisfaction and intimacy in a relationship. When you and your partner prioritize each other's intimacy needs, you're showing that you're committed to listening and acting on those needs. That creates a stronger connection in and out of the bedroom.
Sex has spontaneity
Healthy sex involves mixing things up (occasionally or often). Maybe you recognize things are getting a little repetitive. Or that sex with your partner is becoming more spaced out. You aren't afraid of being adventurous and trying something new to spice things up.
You aren't afraid of being vulnerable
We can't stress how essential communication is. In fact, it might be the most important thing on this list. But with good communication comes vulnerability. The trust you have with your partner allows you to express exactly what feels good for you and what doesn't.
5 ways to improve your sex life
No one has the perfect sex life. But if you can't relate to any of the below, be honest with yourself and see what you can improve on.
Your stress level
Stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues can tank your sex drive. If you are feeling overwhelmed, there are some steps you can take to help your libido and overall well being.
Meditation- Practicing meditation just ten minutes a day can help lower stress, increase relaxation, and bring you more satisfaction in the bedroom.
Therapy- Talking to someone can help you unpack what's on your mind while finding ways to cope with stress in a healthy, productive way. Some healthcare providers may recommend an antidepressant to manage anxiety or depression. (Be sure to ask your physician about possible side effects, as some may affect your sex drive.)
Your physical health
Many medical conditions, including diabetes, cancer, arthritis, cirrhosis of the liver, heart disease, high blood pressure, and hormonal imbalances, can affect your libido and lead to issues like erectile dysfunction(ED).
Properly managing any physical or mental condition is always a priority for your overall health, but can benefit your sex life as well. However, if you do suffer from sexual function issues, there are prescription medications available, such as:
vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn)
Always speak to your physician before starting any medication, and never take a drug not prescribed to you.
If communication between you and your partner is lacking, chances are that it will cause issues in the bedroom. So ask yourself: could communication about sex and intimacy with my partner use a revamp? If you answered "yes," you might want to try:
Starting the conversation outside of the bedroom, preferably not right after being intimate. Hormones and emotions are high after sex, so bringing up the subject might make matters worse.
Phrasing your desires and dislikes differently. Instead of "don't touch me like that," try "I like it when you touch me like that."
Seeing a couple's therapist. Getting an outside, third-party prescriptive can help you identify where there are breakdowns in your communication.
Make your partner and sex a priority
Life can get in the way between work, kids, pets, and everything else, often causing sex to take a back seat. Being married or in a long-term relationship isn't a reason for your sex life not to be healthy.
Sure, everyone has a slow stretch. But if your slow stretch has come to a complete standstill, it's time to put sex back at the top of the list. Schedule a date night, cuddle together watching a movie, or plan an overnight getaway to help you both reconnect.
There is nothing wrong with scheduling sex sessions on the calendar, as long as you both don't look at it as a chore or task that needs to be checked off.
Helpful tip! Want to make scheduled sex more sexy and less meeting-like? Send racy/flirty texts or emails to your partner throughout the day leading up to your night.
Those passionate lovemaking scenes on TV aren't real life. Neither is that influencer's picture-perfect marriage they spend so much time promoting. Stop comparing your life to everyone else's.
Instead, focus your time on understanding your partner's needs and being vulnerable enough to share yours with them, as well.
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to having a healthy sex life. However, communication, flexibility, and compromise can play a big part in sexual satisfaction and frequency.
Is something lacking or holding you back from enjoying a healthy sex life? The good news is there are changes you can make to improve it. But remember, "normal" at the end of the day, is whatever fulfills you and your partner.