Have you ever noticed that there is no Miss Manners etiquette regarding the appropriate level of sex noise?
Once while staying overnight in a hotel at about 1 a.m., I woke up to a couple zealously having sex in the next room. It then happened at 1:45 and again at 3:10. As thrilled as I am about people overtly enjoying their sexuality, I do not believe it should infringe on my sleep time.
Then again, it was in a hotel where the rules around hot and loud sex are fuzzy. It is expected for couples to let loose at a hotel, hoping the people in the next room are heavy sleepers.
Outside of a hotel, how does the average person feel about making sex noises with other people in close proximity? My observations show two camps: the first camp is too terrified to have sex because they might make the slightest noise and the second camp is turned on by the adventure.
After a hard day of skiing, a group wearily came back to their rented chalet. As it only had one bedroom, everyone slept on the living room floor in sleeping bags. Just as the group drifted off to sleep, one couple jokingly started to make loud sex noises. After a good laugh, the group once again dozed off -- all the while, the couple followed through with silent-ish sex. When I asked if they woke anyone up, they just smiled at me.
The question remains: how does one approach someone else about keeping their screaming to a minimum?
The first person I ever confronted was my university roommate who often brought loud girls home to sleep over. Between my being a light sleeper and our apartment's thin walls, I would have my very own front row seat to his goings-on.
After enough sleepless nights I challenged him, "Would you mind keeping it down when you bring guests over?"
"Huh?" was his initial response. Wholehearted laughter with, "You're joking right?" was his second. There was no way my 22-year-old roommate was going to quiet down an enthusiastic bedtime partner. I bought a pair of earplugs.
The next phase of my life came with having house guests. Granted, most of my guests have been discreet. And yet, there have been a few that were not. This is especially awkward when the guest bedroom is directly below my master bedroom, with a heating vent connecting the two rooms.
Last summer around 2 a.m., I was awoken by my guests' loud sex noises. Said couple went about their business for about an hour. All the while, I closed my eyes real tight and tried to go back to sleep. It didn't work. In fact, it took a few more hours for me to drift back into la-la land.
The next morning as I dragged my butt into the kitchen to make some blessed coffee, the couple in question came bouncing up the stairs. They were laughing, slapping and teasing one another.
I thought the black rings under my eyes and thoroughly tired demeanor would tip them off to my sleepless night. Nope. They were still in their sex-induced love haze.
Having slept through the entire performance, my husband could not understand why I was miffed. He exclaimed, "You're the sex expert. Shouldn't you of all people be open to folks having loud sex?"
"Yes," I repeat for a second time, "I am totally in favour of people having loud sex...but not when I am trying to sleep!" I then came up with the analogy, "It's the same as them going into our living room in the middle of the night and turning our TV on full blast. You just don't do it."
Yet if this couple were to come and visit again, would I mention before bedtime to keep their noise level to a minimum? I would rather stick my hand in a tank full of piranhas.
As such, I have come to the conclusion that there is no tactful way to ask rambunctious couples to keep their noise level down while having sex.
If this should happen to you, go directly to the bathroom, roll up a wad of toilet paper and stick it in your ears. Or, even better, start having loud sex (even if you are by yourself) to drown out their noise. At least you will have some fun while you're waiting for your guests to finish.
As time passes in a relationship, it’s easy to get into a rut and just go through the motions, rather than express what you really want (and need) in bed. Sex therapist <a href="http://www.hwhpr.com/williamslucenablog/wordpress/?page_id=2">Williams Lucena</a>, FMD, says it’s time to break this cycle with some frank talk. “Ask each other, ‘What do I need in bed from you?’” he suggests. “Get back to the communication you used to have.”
This doesn’t sound like a sex tip, but treating your body right with good nutrition helps the whole body, including your libido, says <a href="http://www.turnonyourinnerlight.com/page10.html">Debbie Mandel</a>, a stress management expert and author of Addicted to Stress. “Eat healthy foods to reduce cholesterol and keep your cardiovascular system humming,” she adds. “This will ensure that circulation is at peak performance for the ‘southern hemisphere.’”
Want to put your partner in the mood for better sex? “Help around the house,” says Mandel. “The best foreplay happens outside the bedroom. By helping with chores and errands, you make them feel valued.”
Few things will get you ready to satisfy women quite like getting in regular exercise each day, says Matthew N. Simmons, MD, PhD, of the <a href="http://my.clevelandclinic.org/urology/default.aspx">Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute in Cleveland</a>. “Even as little as 15 minutes of exercise daily will improve self-esteem, self-image, and libido,” he says. “Exercise makes the physical aspects of sex more enjoyable. Furthermore, making exercise a habit promotes cardiovascular health, which is necessary for normal <a href="http://www.everydayhealth.com/mens-health/erectile-dysfunction.aspx">erectile function</a>.”
But don’t overdo it. Too much exercise can have the opposite effect, says Pete McCall, MS, an exercise physiologist with the <a href="http://www.acefitness.org/">American Council on Exercise</a>. “Being in an overtraining state produces general feelings of fatigue and low energy and can disrupt sleep patterns and change mood,” he says. “This is hardly a good combination for wooing a romantic partner.”
If exercise is good, then exercising with your lover is an even better sex tip, says Mandel. “Working out together ensures that both libidos and endorphins will be up,” she says. “Since you’re both already sweating, take it to the next level. Stretching together is also a good idea.”
Abstinence as a sex tip? Believe it or not, it’s a surefire way to improve sex and make your next encounter with your lover even more exciting. “Practice abstinence for a couple of days, a weekend, or a week,” says Mandel. “Abstinence does make the heart grow fonder and makes you lust after forbidden fruit.”
It may not sound that romantic, but Dr. Simmons says it’s a great way to improve your sex life and satisfy women. Construct a plan for having sex, he suggests: “Setting aside time or arranging opportunities for sex is very important, especially for busy couples or those with children. Don’t let the frequency of sex dwindle due to fatigue or the inability to find the ‘right time.’”
Make use of technology. Want to keep her in the mood for sex later that night while you’re stuck at the office? Use your cell phone or e-mail. “Send her sexy messages throughout the day,” advises Mandel.
Want a foolproof way to drive her wild and ensure better sex? “Find a particular feature, and tell her that she is the best in this class,” says Mandel.
Men like to get excited for better sex, but women are more likely to get in the mood through relaxation. “Wash her hair in the shower or massage her scalp to relax her,” says Debbie Mandel, a stress management expert and author of Addicted to Stress. “A woman needs to be relaxed before she is ready to receive.”
Regardless of how you get revved up for better sex, Matthew N. Simmons, MD, PhD, of the Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute in Cleveland, suggests not skimping on the foreplay — no matter how long you have been together as a couple. “Foreplay contributes greatly to stronger orgasms and improved sex,” he says. “Gearing up your autonomic nervous system will increase sensitivity, excitement, and strength of orgasm. Your patience and attentiveness will pay dividends.”
Natalie Bencivenga, co-founder, editor, and writer of <a href="http://twodaymag.com/">twodaymag.com</a>, advises thinking like a woman. “To think like a woman in bed, you don’t have to be one,” she says. “Give attention to some of her most neglected areas, like her neck, her feet, her inner thighs. Tease her mercilessly. Make her want it. You will be surprised what a build-up will bring!”
Men so often take the lead in bed. Sometimes, the key to better sex is letting her be in charge. “Don’t be afraid to let your mate lead,” says Joyce Morley, EdD, a licensed counsellor in Decatur, Ga. “Allow your mate to initiate sexual pleasure on occasions, as well as taking the top position.”
According to Bencivenga, there’s no shame in using lubricant to satisfy women. “Many guys think that since women get wet, if we aren’t wet, then we aren’t into it,” she says. “That’s not true. Sometimes, whether it’s stress, certain times of the month, or fatigue, women can have a hard time getting physically aroused even when they are mentally in the game. Lubricant in the bedside drawer is your new best friend.”
If you’re experiencing a case of the “same-old, same-old,” working on adding a little variety is the key to better sex, says Simmons. “Spice things up by planning and discussing variations on your usual sexual habits,” he explains. “Lingerie, toys, new positions, and other creative additions can enhance intimacy and orgasm.”
Another way to add variety and improve sex life, suggests Mandel, is to try some place new. “Do it in different places to experience a different energy,” she says. “Take it outdoors if you are overwhelmed with technology and want to get back your natural rhythm.”
Does it feel lately like it’s just sex? “Try making love,” advises Dr. Morley. “You make love with that special someone, but you have sex with anybody.”
Even when you’re not having sex, you can still improve your sex life by using touch in an intimate, but not sexual, way. “Touching is important, but doesn't always mean sex,” says Morley. “It is important to be intimate with your mate by touching her with love and affection on a daily basis. Kiss daily, and don’t be afraid to allow her to reciprocate.”
“Take good care of your penis,” says Dr. Simmons. “Penile injury is usually sustained when your partner is on top or when the penis buckles from missed penetration. If things are getting out of hand, ask your partner to ease up. If you suspect a penile fracture due to a perceived ‘pop’ followed by bruising, see a urologist immediately.”
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