If I told you that your sex life could get better with time, would you believe me?
We’re often fed the lie that sex only diminishes with age, and that eventually, we won’t even be interested in sex. We’re told to enjoy sex while we’re in our prime because the end of sexual desire is a given and we’re powerless over the outcome. But in my work with thousands of couples as a licensed professional counselor, I’ve seen that we have more power to influence our sex lives than we realize.
Appreciate the gift
Sex is a gift from our masterful Creator. In fact, an entire book of the Bible (Song of Solomon) is dedicated to the beautiful exchange of sexual intimacy between a husband and wife. But when we put that gift on the back burner of life as many married couples often end up doing, we miss out on the process of becoming better people just as much as we miss out on the process of becoming better lovers. That’s because I believe the two can go hand in hand.
When we have sex with our spouse, we’re given the opportunity to give and receive in the most vulnerable ways. We’re invited to love, serve, and be sensitive to and aware of our spouse’s needs. We can learn so many life lessons from the process of becoming better lovers.
And while those lessons don’t have an age limit, they do require some intentionality. A better sex life isn’t something that just happens along the way, it’s something you have to create. And know that a healthy sex life isn’t about having more sex, it’s about having better sex. Here are four ways to improve your sex life, no matter what age or stage you’re in.
1. Put effort into your relationship
The health of your relationship is the fuel that keeps your sex life burning brightly. When it comes to having better sex, what happens above the sheets in marriage is just as significant as what happens under the sheets.
Many times, your relationship problems get in the way of good sex. Do you have a conflict you haven’t resolved or a disappointment you haven’t expressed? Maybe you’re simply lacking emotional and spiritual connection with each other.
Because the fuel for your sex life comes from the effort you put into your relationship, use the status of your sex life as a relationship litmus test. Do you need to do some relational work? No amount of sexual strategy or technique can improve your sex life if the problem stems from something deeper. Take inventory of the health of your marriage, and then get to work!
2. Guide your thoughts
Did you know that your brain is one of your most powerful sexual organs? That’s because so much of what happens in the bedroom is rooted in the thoughts you have throughout the day.
There are two ways your thoughts can destroy your sex life. First, you can fill your mind with unhealthy thoughts: Lust, fantasy and pornography habits are a toxic way to erode your desire for your spouse. Second, you can fill your mind with critical thoughts. Contempt, bitterness and negativity toward your spouse can simmer in your mind, eroding your desire.
There’s power in guiding your thoughts, eliminating toxic thinking and replacing critical thoughts with thoughts of love, appreciation, gratitude and respect for your spouse. When your mind is reserved for honoring your spouse, you’ll have better sex.
3. Increase your awareness
If a good sex life was as easy as putting part A into part B, I’d be out of a job as a relationship therapist. The problem is, it’s not that simple. It saddens me to know how many couples are struggling with a status quo sex life because they’ve never put effort into learning more about sex.
There are a host of sexual obstacles that can arise in different seasons of marriage — from mismatched sexual drives (a low-drive spouse and a high-drive spouse), to pain and discomfort during sex (vaginismus), to negative outside influences (such as pornography or addictions), to the stress of life snuffing out the flame of sexual desire. But instead of being surprised by the obstacles that come our way, we can be prepared for them.
In fact, I co-authored a book with Gary Thomas called Married Sex: A Christian couple’s guide to reimagining married sex because I wanted to help couples overcome those obstacles. We wanted to provide a resource to help couples prepare for, navigate and succeed in creating the best sex life imaginable.
It’s important to increase your knowledge so you can better understand technique, anatomy and the sexual process. You can learn more about what excites your spouse and how to take ownership of your own sexual pleasure. God gave you a gift when He created sexual enjoyment, and you honor Him when you enjoy marital sex to the best of your ability.
4. Take ownership of your communication
Sometimes the biggest obstacle to better sex is our inability to communicate about the topic. Many of us come from backgrounds where sex wasn’t talked about much or was seen through a negative lens. So most couples go into marriage not knowing how to communicate about sex.
My husband and I had been married almost five years before we became comfortable with talking about our sex life. When we see sex as the great gift God made it to be, we understand why it’s important to communicate about it.
Take ownership of your communication by setting aside time to intentionally talk about your sex life. Share with each other what you love and what you’d like to change. Take turns talking about what you enjoy and what you don’t. Learning to talk about this important part of your marriage is an irreplaceable step to having better sex.
Start today to have better sex
Sex can get better with time. You can become more comfortable in your own skin and confident in your ability to pleasure your spouse. You can enjoy sex more if you put effort into your relationship, guide your thought life, increase your awareness and communicate about sex — and you can start today by taking one step in the right direction.
God created sex as a pleasing gift to be enjoyed within the safety and security of a healthy marriage. So what can you do in this season of life to enjoy this gift to the fullest?