Sex is one of those topics that everyone Googles, even though it's the last thing you want in your browser history. (Hello, incognito window.) Need some positions for when you're feeling lazy AF? Or don't know how to tell your partner exactly what you want? Whatever you've wanted to ask, there's an answer that exists for it somewhere on the World Wide Web.
You'll find plenty of the answers you're after right here. Or you might find them in a Reddit AMA thread with a sexologist.
Dr. Jess, a sex and relationship expert who's appeared on Playboy TV and written a book called The New Sex Bible, hosted a Reddit AMA session a few months ago, inviting everyone to ask their burning sex-related questions. From how to get turned on, to how to slow things down, to how to get back in the mood after having a baby, she pretty much covered it all.
And thankfully, most of the questions were super-relatable. Save yourself another Google and just keep reading.
How to have good sex
The question: "Dr. Jess what makes good sex?"
The answer: "Pleasure and passion!
"You can make sex pleasurable by simply asking your partner what they like. More here? Faster? Slower? Harder? Use your hands, lips, tongue, breath and every other body part you can think of. And make sure you learn to both give and take.
"You can make sex more passionate by making it part of an escape from reality. Whisper in your partner's ear. Let them play a role they wouldn't normally play. Weave a fantasy for them and stroke their ego. Tell them just how badly you want them (and how intensely they're desired by others too).
"Ultimately, each person's definition of good sex differs, but most people like orgasms and connection! Your question is, in fact, a great one to ask your partner! Instead of talking about kids, money and work over dinner, ask your partner: what makes good sex, in your opinion?"
How to make sex less painful
The question: "Hello Dr. Jess, whenever I engage in intercourse it hurts a lot. In spite of enough lubrication. I have been fortunate to have a very patient and understanding husband but I want to find a solution to this problem. Could there be something physically wrong with me?"
The answer: "It's possible that it's a physical issue. I have to emphasise that I'm a PhD – not a medical doctor. Have you seen your healthcare provider? I would recommend that you visit your doctor, but also visit a Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist. They get right 'in there' and give you exercises that are specific to your issue (it's not just about doing kegels – in fact, you may be hypertonic, in which case kegels can do more harm than good).
"It's also possible that you're not turned on/relaxed. Mindfulness and CBT can help with this. Some people experience vaginismus – the muscles clamp up so tightly that it feels like you can't even insert a Q-tip. There are some online resources to help with this and you can work on breathing and relaxation while working with dilators. But the first stop is a good healthcare practitioner. And I can help you to find a pelvic floor therapist too if you let me know where you're located."
How to get the most out of oral sex
The question: "Dr. Jess, you seem like the perfect person to ask. Please, in your words, what is the best way to lead our partner to orgasm during cunnilingus? Any tips leading up to it and during?"
The answer: Dr. Jess' response was very long, so here's a summary: "Slow down. When we're excited, our minds race and our bodies stumble to keep pace. In the heat of the moment, our caresses often become slovenly gropes and our lustful kisses deteriorate into something from a bad romance novel.
"Though the wanton passion may represent your carnal desire, bear in mind that your partner may be moving at a different pace. If she has suggested that she'd like you to slow down or ease up, try touching her with only the backs of your hands for the first few minutes for a change of pressure and tempo.
"Try a new position. Most couples engage in oral with the receiving partner on their back. This not only limits their sexual repertoire, but the repetition can render even the hottest techniques boring."
For her full, detailed response, go here.
Clitoral stimulation vs. vaginal stimulation
The question: "How does clitoral stimulation differ from vaginal stimulation?"
The answer: "Great question! They can be one in the same in some cases.
"The clitoris has several parts – inside and outside of the body.
"The head of the clitoris is located at the top of the vulva (where the lips meet). It's attached to a shaft (which gets erections) and is covered by the hood.
"Inside of the body, the clitoris has legs and bulbs which can be stimulated through the lips, but also via the vagina (the legs 'wrap around' the vaginal canal).
"More women report reaching orgasm from 'clitoral' stimulation that from vaginal stimulation alone, but because you can stimulate the inner clitoris through the vagina, sometimes it's difficult to differentiate between the two."
How to get creative in the bedroom
The question: "Dr. Jess, what do you think is the best way to ask your partner to try something new in bed?"
The answer: "I really like using pop culture references – if you see something on TV or in a movie that piques your interest, use the scene as a conversation-starter. It often feels less threatening when you use this approach.
"You can also frame it as a dream. 'Oh I had this dream about __. What do you think about that?'
"It's okay to have a laugh over sexual conversations – it doesn't always have to be serious."
How to have multiple orgasms
The question: "Hi doc. This may be a silly question. But I want to know (from a male perspective) is possible to go from a 'one and done guy' to being able to have multiple orgasm? I find that as soon as I ejaculate all emotion is gone in a heartbeat."
The answer: As Dr. Jess' response was quite long, here's the summary: "Some men do learn to have multiple orgasms - but many of them learn to have orgasms (high intensity pleasure and pelvic floor contractions) without ejaculating. The first step is strengthening your pelvic floor… While most orgasms are accompanied by ejaculation in men, it is not the sensation of fluid expulsion via spinal reflex that produces the wave of pleasure and release of sexual tension associated with orgasm. These gratifying sensations can actually be enjoyed without ejaculation in an experience often referred to as a dry orgasm… If you'd like to explore the possibility of having dry orgasms, the first step is to tone your PC muscle."
How to deal with erectile dysfunction
The question: "Hi Doc, I've been mad stressed because of work and life in general, I've a lot on my plate currently, and I find it's affecting my ability to stay focused during intercourse and at times causing ED. It's not every time but often enough to be annoying and embarrassing. I'm 34 and healthy. What tips do you have to help focus and maintain even during tiring and stressful life situations?"
The answer: "Your issue is so common! Don't worry - you'll get over it. Have you ever taken a mindfulness class/webinar? Learning to be 'present' outside of the bedroom (even just one class) can be helpful. If you find the problem persists (I don't think it will), you might also consider CBT (you can see a therapist or just use an app – the goal is for you to become your own therapist).
"You might also consider a cock ring - it's more of a 'band-aid' solution, but it's also fun and can make sex hotter!"
How to be interested in sex again
The question: "Maybe you can give me direction. About 6 years ago I lost all interest in sex. My husband and I had only been married about a year and had had a really healthy sex life until then… My husband tries to be understanding, but after 6 years it's hard. It's really starting to take a toll on our marriage. What would you suggest?"
The answer: "Loss of interest in sex is very common. You're not alone.
"Did something change a year into marriage? Were you trying to have kids? Did your lifestyle change (e.g. exercise, sleep, diet)?
"I'm not sure why birth control would be recommended to boost libido… Most of the women I work see a decline in sexual desire when they go on the pill.
"Are you exercising regularly? Even just 7 minutes a day can have a huge impact on your libido."
How to get your distracted partner in the mood
The question: "Hey Dr. Jess, My wife has always struggled with getting 'pulled out of the mood' during sex by something that distracts her. It could be a sound I make or that is made by what we are doing, a sudden discomfort from the position, something I say or anything, really. She gets easily distracted and then loses interest completely in the sex act. I can almost feel it happening her whole body movement changes and she tenses up. The only time it doesn't happen is when she's drunk! Is this common? Any tips?"
The answer: "Yes. It's common. Some of us are easily distracted. Sensory overload can help to keep her in the moment:
- Blindfold her or make sure the room is pitch black.
- Play loud music to drown out any sounds from next door.
- Talk in her ear – find out what she likes to hear and tease out a fantasy to help her to escape from reality.
- Read a sexy story or watch couples porn together. Just like watching a TV show or movie (e.g. horror film) evokes real emotion, so too can sexy storylines."