Did you know that you can start preparing for a fulfilling sexual relationship today? No matter how old you are and no matter your relationship status, you can take steps to improve yourself in ways that will help you to have a more whole and satisfying sex life in marriage. Most messages out there will tell you that you need to change your body and learn new skills in order to have good sex, but research has shown that good sex doesn’t involve any of those things. Good sex comes from virtuous personal attributes that you can start developing right now! Here’s a few:
Most messages about sex in our world today give you advice on how to hook up with the hottest person in the room or how to increase your personal physical pleasure. No one talks about the truth: “True intimacy can be experienced only when spouses interact with each other in ways that meet each other’s personal needs” (Busby et al., 2013). Sex isn’t always about pleasing yourself, and many have reported that their sexual relationship is much more fulfilling when they are focusing on their partner’s needs in a selfless way.
Start by doing one more thing every day to make someone’s life a little easier. Look for the little signs people show that say that they need help. Reach out to those who need your compassion and love. Put someone else’s needs before your own. If you start developing selflessness now, it will become a pattern in your life that will carry into your sex life in marriage and bring you and your spouse greater joy.
As you begin your journey to become more selfless, remember that you should never ever compromise your standards or give up your values. You can serve others without giving up who you are and what you believe in.
Sometimes it seems that the true art of connection is being lost in a world full of screens that take our attention away from the people right in front of us. It’s so easy to look at your phone to avoid an interaction that you think might be awkward, or refuse to get to know the stranger sitting next to you. But in order to have a fulfilling sex life, we have to develop a deep connection with our partner that involves so much more than the physical. True connection has been reported as one of the key aspects of optimal sexual relationships (Kleinpatz et al., 2009).
We have to learn to share our fears, our dreams, our worries, our past, our joys, everything with a partner and truly trust them. This type of relationship requires time, but you can start now by developing deep and meaningful relationships with those you trust to prepare you for the even deeper connection with a sexual partner. Start by sharing your life dreams with your mom, sharing your deep religious beliefs with a friend, sharing an inner struggle with a church leader, etc. Simply do things to build deeper connection with those that you already trust in your life. Remember to only share these deep parts of you with those you feel safe with.
A truly satisfying relationship requires each partner to be authentic about his/her attitudes about sex. It requires a deep kind of honesty where each partner can express their sexual feelings in a safe way. If you can’t be honest about your feelings now, the good and the bad, how do you expect to communicate how you feel about sex?
Start now by being honest about your negative emotions. Don’t be afraid to cry in front of others, be sincere about how you feel even when others may disagree, and don’t shy away from disagreements. Learn how to stick with your emotions and beliefs and assert them rather than hiding them. This will be invaluable when you’re in a sexual relationship where you have to talk about the most vulnerable parts of you.
Brene Brown said that “empathy is feeling WITH people”. It’s really putting yourself in someone’s shoes and letting them know that you understand what they are feeling. In one study, empathy was reported to be one of the top qualities you need to have meaningful and satisfying sex (Kleinpatz et al., 2009). If you can learn now to understand what others are truly experiencing, you will then in the future be able to understand how your partner feels in sexual encounters and understand their needs and emotions in sex.
You can start developing empathy now by paying attention to the emotions and feelings of others. If you particularly struggle with this, you can start asking people “How does that make you feel?” to start getting a better idea. Stop judging people and really try to get into their heads. Why would they be feeling that way? What would contribute to those feelings? Where are those feelings coming from? This will be prepare you to be more empathetic to a sexual partner in marriage.
Lastly, our sexual relationships can only be truly happy if we are acting in line with God’s wishes for us. If we are close to Him, He will tell us what will bring us the most joy in our intimate relationships. No one knows us better than Our Heavenly Father, so wouldn’t it make sense to turn to Him to help us in the most vulnerable and personal aspect of any relationship? Also, God created our bodies and sex, so shouldn’t we try to find out what his will for all of that is? What is His vision when it comes to sex? How does He want us to use our bodies? He will send us His guidance if we ask Him.
So start by doing little things to come closer to God. Maybe you need to pray more, spend more time serving, get rid of distractions, read the word of God, listen to hymns and sermons, go to church more regularly, etc. Whatever it may be for you, choose now to make the change! This relationship with God will help you in all aspects of your life and can be a lifeline when you have questions or concerns about sex.
Remember that good sex comes from a happy, healthy marriage where both partners are selfless, connected, authentic, empathic, and faithful. It’s never too early (or too late) to start developing these skills. You can have an amazing, loving sexual relationship with your spouse and it all starts here. Choose to make the change today.
Brené Brown on Empathy vs Sympathy. (2016, April 01). Retrieved November 18, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZBTYViDPlQ
Busby, D. M., Carroll, J. S., & Leavitt, C. E. (2013). Sexual wholeness in marriage: an LDS perspective on integrating sexuality and spirituality in our marriages. United States: Publisher not identified.
Kleinplatz, P. J., Ménard, A. D., Paquet, M. P., Paradis, N., Campbell, M., Zuccarino, D., & Mehak, L. (2009). The components of optimal sexuality: A portrait of” great sex”. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 18(1/2), 1.