5. Don’t Make It a Measure of Your Love

5. Don’t Make It a Measure of Your Love

Before you tell your partner what you like, you need to know yourself. Darnell encourages her clients to educate themselves about sex and find out what they enjoy. “If you don’t know what you like in bed, learn,” she says. “Take classes and workshops with your partner. Masturbate. Watch porn. Talk about touch. Follow sexologists on Instagram for thousands of free tips daily.” Overstreet echoes the importance of self-discovery. Take time to identify your turn-ons and turn-offs and explore what feels good to you.

4. Don’t Judge

You both need to feel safe in order to open up and keep your sex lives healthy. That means no judging (yourself or your partner!). “Sex is sex. There are hundreds of ways to have sex,” explains Darnell. “Focus on how you want to feel, not what judgment is placed upon the activities.”

Do not assign blame if your sex lives aren’t going well. Many couples struggle with intimacy, and it’s very normal.

It also has nothing to do with how much you love each other and how committed you are to the relationship. “You have to cultivate connection and pleasure,” says Darnell. “It will not fall out of the sky and love is not enough. You have to make it happen.”

6. Work Through Resentment

If lack of communication, judgment, and blame have been common in your sexual relationship, it’s possible that one, or both of you, are harboring some resentment. This can also be the case if one of you feels a sense of inequality. One partner may feel resentful of carrying the heavier load, whether that be the emotional baggage of a diminishing sex life or the physical responsibility of always being the one trying to resuscitate it. “Deal with your resentment and heal it, there’s no shortcut,” says Overstreet. “You’ve got to do the work individually and as a couple. It takes time and work but is so worth it if you want to remain in the relationship.”

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