1. Where Are You On the SEX TIMELINE?
How to make the most of when it's hot and heavy, and keep it interesting when life cools things down.
Getting intimate with someone new can be awkward. "Enjoy the nervous excitement of getting to know each other's bodies and don't put too much pressure on yourselves to have amazing sex straight
up," advises sexologist Nikki Goldstein. Don't pull out your freaky moves until a bit later.
Love more than passion:
"When you're in love you should feel confident asking for what you want in bed," says Goldstein. "By this point, you're more willing to try new things to please your partner, and you're not as
worried about how you look in certain positions -so enjoy being experimental."
You're all shacked up:
Kiss this, grab that...he knows how to get you there. "You're asking yourself, 'Can I be with this person for the rest of my life?' and you're wondering the same about sex," says Goldstein. "But you have the freedom to have sex wherever you like." Tell your guy how hot he looks and test the new living room rug."
He's put a ring on it, but you still need to prioritise sex after you've said 'I do'. "Our bodies are designed for having sex, so make time and just do it," says Goldstein. Studies prove that a lot of couples are not satisfied with their sex life-and that's because they aren't expressing what they want sexually. Be open and brave in the bedroom.
So, the stork has landed. Couples with children fast become experts in the art of the quickie...and at locking doors. Top tips for keeping lovemaking alive once kids have come into
the picture? Keep to a strict 'lights out' time and make the bedroom a parents-only zone. Might we suggest a romantic 6am romp?
2. What's the one hang up keeping you from great sex?
Miss Body Conscious:
'Why don't we keep our clothes on' seems to be your idea of dirty talk. The best way to overcome a lack of confidence in the bedroom is to let your guy know. "Don't say 'I'm ugly' or 'I'm fat', but tell him you're feeling a bit insecure about your body," says Goldstein. "He's most likely to reassure you that he finds you super-sexy."
Miss One-Track Mind:
You know how the birthday girl never enjoys her party as much as her guests? When it comes
to sex, you're the eternal birthday girl. You put so much pressure on enjoying yourself and making sure he knows it, that you never quite get there. Remember, he's not expecting (or wanting) a porn star, so keep it low-key.
Miss Tight Lipped:
You're kinky in your head, but you can't say it. You're not alone: in a recent survey, 42 percent women said they've never spoken openly about what they want in bed. Take a quiz to see the kind of stuff you're into, then ask your partner to take the same quiz. Compare results and see
which acts both of you liked.
3. How does your lifestyle impact your sex life?
Your life choices could be affecting the quality of your hanky panky.
"Sex is just like any exercise: the fitter you are, the better (or at least longer) you can last," says personal trainer Timo Topp. "Being strong, flexible and fit adds enjoyment and diversity to your sex life." To maintain fitness, do 45 minutes of whole body resistance exercises and cardio three times a week.
"Feeling stressed for long periods will reduce your libido," says Topp. Excess adrenaline and cortisol interfere with your hormone levels.
"Smoking decreases the blood flow to the pelvis and clitoris," says GP Dr Penny Adams. "This causes reduced sensitivity and intensity of your orgasm-and even loss of orgasm." Yet more reason to quit (or never start).
"Both high and low BMIs can disrupt your hormones," says Adams. Significantly underweight women can also suffer from vaginal diseases.
"Pills specifically used to treat acne have an anti-male hormone effect and can decrease your
libido," says Adams. Other meds can affect your sex life too: "All Prozac-like antidepressants that work on serotonin can cause reduced libido, delayed orgasm and even anorgasmia (the inability to orgasm)," says Adams.
4. Are your sex styles in sync?
Even being slightly incompatible in bed can make things tricky. Here's how to fix it.
HE LIKES: Going for the win
YOU LIKE: Going slow
TRY: "Go for quickies when you're short on time (like in the mornings) or if you're feeling daring in terms of location," says sex expert Dr Bella Ellwood-Clayton. "Slow, sensual sex is better suited for a more intimate mood with no interruption."
HE LIKES: Taking you from behind
YOU LIKE: Being on top
TRY: "Take your lead from Fifty Shades and practise being both dominant and submissive," says Ellwood- Clayton. "Switching your positions gives each of you the chance to experience control and surrender."
HE LIKES: Grinding steady
YOU LIKE: Hard and fast
TRY: "Combine both. Let him know that you prefer sex at a more leisurely pace," says Ellwood-
Clayton. "Getting the rhythm right is an integral component of enjoying great sex, but it can involve some give and take."
HE LIKES: Getting right to the main event
YOU LIKE: Warming up
TRY: Gentlemen, there's no excuses here, says Ellwood- Clayton. He might get hard in 30 seconds, but you need time to be properly aroused-so just remind him gently. "Foreplay is a prerequisite," she stresses.