From foreplay to showering together, 12 essential rules to keep your sex lives fuelled during second lockdown

AS we prepare for a second lockdown, let’s not forget our sex lives.

During the first set of national restrictions, 41 per cent of couples reported having less sex than usual, mainly due to partners not making the effort.

Luckily, sex expert Lohani Noor has released audiobook, 12 Steps To Sexual Connection, in time to make our bedroom life “lockdown proof”.

She says: “Lockdown is a very stressful experience. Talk to your partner often, share thoughts and feelings. In life in general, many people struggle to maintain good sexual connections with a partner.

“But it doesn’t need to be that way.”

Lohani has given Natasha Harding these 12 tips on how to reconnect.

  • 12 Steps To Sexual Connection by Lohani Noor (Audible Original, £28.50) is out now.

1. Write a contract

THIS may sound scary but it is just a way for you both to commit to developing your sexual connection.

Commit to staying with each other as you explore your sexuality. Commit to showing your vulnerabilities, needs and desires and commit to not running away or shaming your partner as they reveal themselves to you.

Once the contract is written and you have both agreed to stay present, and support and nurture one another, you can get on with really exploring your sexual selves.

2. Stick to a schedule

DON’T rely on chance. Ring-fence time together to develop your sexual relationship.

I recommend you plan ahead and put dates in your diaries and, no matter what, keep to it.

Even if you are not in the mood for sex, you stay present. You don’t have to engage in sexual activity, but show commitment to your partner, even if all you do is sit on the sofa and chat.

Scheduled sessions need to be uninterrupted. Turn off all social media, put your phones on silent. Make sure the kids are asleep.

3. Take a sex quiz

TALK about what you want from sex, what you like and don’t like and what you would like to try.

Take a sex quiz – there are quite a few available online. Practise new positions with your clothes on if you feel anxious.

Watch videos and movies about sex and discuss all the crazy things you’ve heard of or are interested in.

Be honest about what turns you on. If it’s a real turn off – or turn-on – when your partner talks dirty, for example, tell them.

4. Say no to sex

LET yourself enjoy the sensual pleasure of being together. I would go as far to say avoid penetrative sex in your first few scheduled meetings.

Instead focus on all the different feelings you experience when being touched and stroked by your partner and all the things you feel when you fully allow yourself to explore your desires.

Use scented oils, dress up, let yourself be dominant or passive. As long as you both consent there is no wrong way to be sexual.

5. Make a note of any gripes

EVERY time you feel annoyed with your partner write it down.

At the end of the week have a look at all the resentments. Are you willing to let them go?

If something is lingering, discuss it with them at an agreed time. Talk about your experience, rather than accusing them. Seek solutions by asking for what you need.

6. Look after your mental health

ANXIETY and depression can significantly reduce sex drive. If you are feeling sad or anxious, see your doctor or a therapist.

But it might calm your mind to also communicate your concerns to your partner. Sometimes just being heard is enough to soothe the mind.

Many medications can impact sexual desire, and even performance. If you think your medication may be affecting your libido, speak to your GP.

7. Learn a love language

ANXIETY and depression can significantly reduce sex drive. If you are feeling sad or anxious, see your doctor or a therapist.

But it might calm your mind to also communicate your concerns to your partner. Sometimes just being heard is enough to soothe the mind.

Many medications can impact sexual desire, and even performance. If you think your medication may be affecting your libido, speak to your GP.

8. Get squeaky clean…then dirty

A FEW candles and incense can quickly transform any room. Or you might want to take a bath or shower together and lather your bodies in scented soaps.

Just being in the water will relax you both. Having your partner bathe you can be very arousing and it’s nice to be squeaky clean when engaging in sex.

Importantly, share the responsibility for creating loving spaces and don’t be afraid to think of yourself and your own needs when you are planning encounters.

9. Give tarts and vicars a try

AS well as lube, definitely explore sex toys and kink.

Role play is a great way to start exploring as you get to act out being someone else, so you can defer some of the anxiety of doing the things you secretly want to do.

Examples include being a stripper or police officer, being a vicar – where the sex is off-limits but the person can be seduced.

With all sexual activity it is important that both parties consent. Cajoling, nagging or sulking until someone agrees to sex is not OK.

10. Give each other space

IF neither you nor your partner can go out, create space inside the home. If you have a spare room use it.

Take turns at having a night off from the relationship and family.

Arrange a Zoom night with pals without your partner, and give them space to do likewise.

Being cooped up 24/7 with the same person can become tiresome, even if they are the love of your life. We can’t get everything we need from one person and neither should we try.

11. Invest in foreplay

FOREPLAY comes in all shapes and sizes and should be something you are doing most days.

All the little gestures, the pat on the bottom, the loving text, the compliments are all acts of foreplay.

These actions are like pennies you put in a jar, and when the jar is full, you can cash it in for more meaningful sexual encounters.

If you don’t invest in your partner, the chances are they will be so full of resentment, or so disconnected from you, they won’t want to be available for more loving connections.

12. If in doubt, get it checked

IF you are struggling with sexual performance, be that erectile dysfunction, performance anxiety or vaginismus (difficulty in achieving penetration) or any other functional aspect of sex, speak to your GP.

Many problems can be easily resolved with the assistance of a psychosexual therapist. The penis is also a good barometer of male health.

If there is something wrong with the function of your penis, you may be developing another, more significant, health problem. Get it checked out.

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