Everyone wants better sex, but many of us have the wrong idea about how to make it happen. Here are the seven secrets to achieving a spectacular sex life.
The first thing we need to understand is that, despite what television, movies and videos say, sex is an experience, not a performance. When we're too self-conscious about how we're doing it, we can't enjoy what we're doing or who we're doing it with.
We need to stop imagining that during sex we're being rated for our skills. The truth is that technique is much less important than the connection we have with the other person. The better the connection, the better the sex, regardless of our technique or lack thereof.
Two, sex is a dance in which both partners must take turns leading and following. Listening is key, as is knowing when to take the initiative and when to let go of control. The more willing we are to participate in the dance, the better the sex will be.
Three, comfort is everything. Feeling a bit vulnerable during sex can be exciting, but feeling too vulnerable can ruin an otherwise potentially good sexual experience. It's crucial that each partner make a sincere effort to put the other person at ease so that both are in the mood for great sex.
The key to comfort is mutual respect. Whether it's a one-off encounter with no strings attached or a long-term, meaningful relationship, respecting each-other and valuing each-other as human beings will make sex more comfortable, and therefore more enjoyable.
Four, like most things, sex is better with a sense of humour. When we can laugh at our awkward, clumsy moments, our missteps and ungainliness, and when we don't judge our partner for theirs, we become more endearing to each-other and sex becomes sweeter and a lot less stressful.
Five, good sex is all about communication. We need to be clear with the other person about what we like and don't like, what we want and don't want. Otherwise, we're apt to be frustrated or irritated.
Being attracted to each-other doesn't mean that we can read each-other's minds. Expressing our likes and dislikes is part of creating the connection that leads to a more enjoyable sexual experience.
Six, the best sex is a balance between being open to new experiences and true to ourselves. It's great to try new things, or at least consider them, but we're abandoning ourselves if we go along with something that feels wrong. We should never do anything in sex -- including the choice to have sex -- if it doesn't feel like the right thing to do.
It's great to be adventurous in sex. It's one of the few ways that we can abandon ourselves in the moment and let go of our "shoulds" and our inhibitions. The right partner and lots of trust and respect makes this possible. Still, even with the best partner, we need to heed our inner wisdom and know our limits. Good sex is about respecting our partner and being true to ourselves.
Finally, great sex is all about giving and receiving. The best sex involves enjoying both the pleasure our partner is giving us and the fact that we're giving our partner pleasure. Sex that's one-sided is less fun for both partners. That's not to say that on occasion one person can't simply pleasure the other, but that ultimately, in great sex, both people's needs are being met.
A happy, fulfilling sex life is available to everyone. If we simply pay attention to these seven secrets, we'll discover the sexual satisfaction that we've never previously experienced.
"9 1/2 Weeks" centers on the electric relationship between John (Mickey Rourke) and Elizabeth (Kim Basinger). Released in 1986, the film highlights the kinky sexual relationship between the two, involving ice cubes and blindfolds.
Released in 1981, "Body Heat" was called "one of the steamiest movies of all time" <a href="http://www.empireonline.com/reviews/reviewcomplete.asp?FID=16294">by a reviewer.</a> Starring William Hurt and Kathleen Turner, the film features an illicit affair and all the scandalous scenes that come with it.
The 1997 blockbuster is about a the sinking of the Titanic, but also the love affair between Rose (Kate Winslet) and Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio). "Titanic" heats up when Jack and Rose take their hidden love inside a vehicle on the ship and steam it up.
2005's "Brokeback Mountain" stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger as men living in 1960s Wyoming who become sexually involved and fall in love, producing sexy scenes and the famous line, "I wish I knew how to quit you."
Starring a young Dennis Quaid as a New Orleans detective, "The Big Easy" highlights a sexy opposites-attract relationship. Quaid's character of Remy becomes involved with Anne (Ellen Barkin), producing an intimate, memorable sex scene.
Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas star in 1992's "Basic Instinct." The film weaves a tangled web of sexual relationships as a murder trial is investigated.
1973's "Don't Look Now" features one of the most celebrated sex scenes in cinema. Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie play an arguing couple living a tumultuous life. The two connect at one point during the film, resulting in an iconic sex scene.
The 1989 thriller features Nicole Kidman, Billy Zane, and Sam Neill. Kidman plays Rae, a woman who seduces a shady character named Hughie (Zane) as a strategy to save herself.
James Spader plays the original Mr. Grey in 2002's "Secretary." E. Edward Grey is a lawyer who becomes involved in a BDSM relationship with his secretary (Maggie Gyllenhaal), resulting in boundary-pushing scenes in this Golden Globe-nominated film.
"A History of Violence" is a 2005 thriller starring Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello. The pair plays a couple who mixes up their sex life with costumes and shocking hookups on the stairs.
2001's "Mulholland Drive" stars Naomi Watts, Justin Theroux and Laura Harring. Crime, a case of amnesia, and Hollywood dreams all lead up to a famous love scene between Watts and Harring.
The 1988 adaptation of Milan Kundera's novel stars Daniel Day-Lewis and Lena Olin. The pair plays lovers who engage in some kinky sex scenes, much to the celebration of viewers.
The 2001 Oscar-nominated "Y Tu Mamá También" is a breakout film from Mexico. The drama showcases sexual relationships between teenage boys and a much older woman.
The 1978 "Coming Home" stars Jane Fonda as Sally, the wife of a Marine fighting in the Vietnam War. While he is abroad, she falls for a radical paraplegic vet.
"Unfaithful" is a 2002 drama, which stars Richard Gere, Diane Lane, and Olivier Martinez. Lane plays Connie, a married woman who engages in a steamy affair with Paul (Martinez). The couple's trysts provide a multitude of steamy scenes.
The Wachowskis' 1996 film "Bound" stars Gina Gershon as Corky, a woman with a shady past. She becomes involved with Violet (Jennifer Tilly), and the two begin an affair.
Marlon Brando stars in the 1962 "Last Tango in Paris." The NC-17 film introduced viewers to the use of butter as a lubricant in one of the most famous scenes.
Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore's 1990 film "Ghost" produced what is perhaps the most crafty of sex scenes. The famous scene takes place between the two as Molly (Moore) is sitting at a pottery wheel.
2001's "Monster's Ball" stars Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton. Berry plays Leticia, a widow, who becomes involved in a very complicated relationship with a widower, Hank (Thornton). Their mutual loneliness leads to emotionally raw sex scenes.
Tom Cruise stars in the famed "Risky Business" Cruise plays Joel, a teenager who becomes involved with a prostitue named Lana. The two end up having sex on a subway train.
Follow Marcia Sirota on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@rcinstitute