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Even if you love sex, it’s usual to have one or two things you’re not so thrilled about.
Whether it’s giving oral sex that makes you gag or being bored rigid by intercourse that seems to last for days, we all have our pet sex peeves.
Thing is, most can be easily fixed with a few practical tricks and tweaks.
Here’s my solutions to the most commonly complained about sex situations – and what to do if you simply can’t bear to go there.
British sex expert Tracey Cox reveals how you can make your least favourite sex acts less tedious and the swaps you can turn to if you really cannot hack it. Stock picture
GIVING HIM ORAL SEX
Usually, it’s the smell, swallowing or gagging that people dislike and all are fixable.
Turn a shower into foreplay: If he’s not scrupulously clean use the soap as a lubricant to masturbate his penis. If he’s uncircumcised, pull the foreskin back very gently and wash underneath.
If a shower isn’t doable, make it a ‘thing’ that you both wash your bits with a warm flannel before you give each other oral sex.
It’s what you do before your mouth touches him that counts. The more foreplay and teasing, the quicker he’ll usually orgasm.
Focus on the head, not the length of the penis. ‘Deep-throating’ is a head game more than anything else: most of the nerve endings are in the head of the penis not the shaft. Don’t just concentrate on his penis, either. His anus, perineum, testicles – all are erogenous zones you should pay attention to.
Always use two hands: Use one to stimulate him elsewhere (nipples, testicles, anus), the other to give you more control so he can’t gag you. Keep one hand at the bottom of the shaft, then it’s up to you to control how deeply you take him into your mouth.
Tracey reveals how you can make oral sex and sex marathon sessions more enjoyable if they are not your thing
Fix gagging problems: Place his penis to one side of your mouth rather than dead centre. Breathe in and out through your nose to help you stay calm – and slow down.
The fast bobbing up and down you see on porn isn’t terribly effective; regular and smooth-paced feels better for both of you. Keep your head relatively still and let your mouth follow your hand; it’s impossible to gag if your hand stops him going in too far.
Choose a position where you’re in control. Him standing in front of you, while you sit on the bed, makes it easy to use two hands and control how deeply he thrusts into your mouth. Tell him it’s fine to put his hands on the back of your head but it’s hands-OFF if he starts pushing.
You don’t have to swallow to give outstanding oral sex. Just let him know beforehand that it’s not something you want to do – and reassure that you won’t leave him (ahem) hanging. Either take the semen in your mouth then disappear to the bathroom to (discreetly) spit it out.
Or withdraw when he’s in the throes of orgasm and continue stimulating him with your hand. A sexier alternative is to allow him to ejaculate elsewhere on your body.
You just can’t bear to go there? Swap giving oral sex for a hand job like no other. Go online and buy a ‘stroker’ or male masturbatory sleeve.
They’re silicone sleeves, often ribbed, that slide over the penis (put lots of lube inside it and on him first) to turn ordinary hand stimulation into something that feels out of this world. It’s incredibly low-effort – you simply pump the stroker up and down over the length and head of the penis – but super high intensity his end.
GIVING HER ORAL SEX
Smell can also be an issue when giving women oral, along with fears you’re not in the ‘right’ place. Having to do it for so long you get a sore neck and tired tongue is another common complaint. If smell is the issue, do as advised above.
Take a shower together: Or make disappearing off to the bathroom with a warm facecloth to refresh, all part of pre-sex-play.
Find the clitoris by making sure there’s enough light to see what you’re doing. The tip of the clitoris (the bit you can see) is positioned at the ‘top’ of the vulva (the bit closest to her belly button). It looks like a tiny marble.
Coax out the clitoris: The clitoris emerges only when aroused and will stay hidden under its protective hood until then. Coax it out by gentle, indirect licks. If it disappears while you’re giving her oral, chances are you’re being too rough, and it’s dived for cover.
Avoid a stiff neck: Put pillows under your neck before getting her to straddle your face. Make sure there’s enough so you aren’t straining to reach her. Or get her to sit on the kitchen worktop and slide forward so her crotch is near the edge.
Put a comfy stack of pillows under your knees to get the height right, the settle in. It makes it easier on your neck and you can use your fingers and see exactly what you’re doing. The position guaranteed to hurt your neck, if you intend to stay there for any length of time, is lying between her legs on the bed.
If you’re often too tired to have sex or not in the mood, Tracey revealed you can schedule intimacy time with your partner to motivate yourself. Stock picture
Consciously relax your tongue, neck and facial muscles. Don’t point your tongue: it feels better if you use the whole surface of the flat of your tongue, not just the tip. Use slow, lapping licks rather than fast, darting licks with a tense tongue tip and it won’t get tired. If it does and you need to take a break, stop licking but hold your tongue in place and let her wriggle against you.
To speed things up, add extra stimulation. Insert your fingers inside her and (to really speed things up and with her permission) a thumb inside her anus.
You just can’t bear to go there? Reach into her bedroom drawer and ask her to let you use her vibrator on her. Tell her you want to watch her orgasm and this way you get a front row seat.
MARATHON INTERCOURSE SESSIONS
Several studies report that most people want intercourse to last between seven and 13 minutes. If you’re heading up to 30 minutes or longer, you’re tipping into the ‘too long’ category.
Long intercourse sessions don’t work for her because penetrative sex provides no direct clitoral stimulation: it’s not how most women have their orgasms.
If he’s going on and on (and on), it’s usually because he thinks women prefer long sessions (not true) or feels he needs to wait for her to orgasm (and is under the illusion intercourse is what will give her one). The other common reason is too much to drink: alcohol desensitises the nerve endings.
Choose a position that allows deep penetration and fast thrusting: Both are likely to make him climax quicker. If you’ve been at it in the same position for ages, changing position will reinvigorate and reduce desensitisation.
Up the stimulation generally. Tweak his nipples, play with his testicles, bite his neck. Add visual excitement by playing with your own nipples, touching your own genitals or putting their fingers in your mouth and sucking on them. Maintain intense eye contact throughout.
Watch porn together. Men are used to masturbating quickly to porn. Watch it with him as you’re having intercourse and he’s likely to have an orgasm much earlier than usual.
Make noise. The more you moan and groan, the more excited he will feel – and the closer he thinks you are to an orgasm.
Add clitoral stimulation to make that a reality. Hold a slim vibrator on the clitoris during penetration or use your or his fingers to work on the clitoris.
Use lube to stop yourself feeling sore. Don’t be scared to stop and add more (or use saliva to reactivate it) during the session.
When you’re ready for him to orgasm. a well-lubed finger or thumb excites different nerve endings and adds a ‘forbidden’ element to push him over the edge. If you’re not into anal play, try putting pressure on his perineum.
Depending on what position you’re in, press firmly with your thumb or hold your hand in an ‘L’ shape and push up firmly between his legs.
You just can’t bear to go there? Offer to masturbate yourself to orgasm in front of him while he stimulates himself. Way more exciting than yet another intercourse session…and he might learn a thing or two on how you really orgasm.
SPENDING AGES ON FOREPLAY
It’s a rare woman who will make this complaint but it’s something straight men frequently moan about.
Accept it’s necessary. Foreplay isn’t a luxury, it’s necessary to prepare the vagina for intercourse. She needs to be aroused for the vagina to lubricate and ‘tent’ (expand to allow the penis to penetrate comfortably). If you don’t arouse her enough, intercourse can feel painful. It’s not her fault the female response system is built this way.
Master the technique. The better you are at delivering killer oral sex or hand stimulation, the less time you’ll need to spend on doing it. Ineffective technique is the most common reason why some women do take a long time to get aroused.
You’ll find step-by-step guides in all my books and on my blog (traceycox.com) as well as a wealth of information online. There is no excuse for poor sex skills.
Ask for feedback. Encourage her to tell you what she likes and doesn’t like and to be specific. Ask her to show you how she likes to be licked by demonstrating on your palm or using her fingers on herself to show you what she likes.
Use vibration: It’s one of the most effective ways to stimulate the clitoris. If you want to arouse her – fast – use a vibrator to buzz around her nipples, up her thighs, on the perineum and (eventually) on and around her clitoris.
You just can’t bear to go there? Make foreplay start long before you touch her. Send erotic texts during day, telling her what you intend doing to her that night. Send her links to some female-friendly audio porn (try Girl on the Net, Quinn or Emjoy) and ask her to listen just before you get home.
Pour her a bath with bubbles (both kinds) and let her luxuriate solo or with you to put her in the mood. If she can turn herself on before you start sex, she’ll need less warming up.
HAVING SEX WHEN YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE IT
Too tired, too stressed or just not in the mood?
Change your mindset. Feeling like sex isn’t the only motivation to have it. In long-term relationships, it’s unrealistic and naïve to think every time you have sex, both of you will want to do it. Making your partner happy, feeling connected, giving pleasure – these are just a few of the other good reasons to have sex.
Couples who have regular sex say about 20 to 25 per cent of their sex sessions are done to please their partners, rather than themselves. Some therapists say only half of all sex encounters in long-term relationships are mutually satisfying for both partners. It’s not something you expect will happen when you first fall in love.
But ask anyone who has been in a healthy, long-term relationship, and they’ll tell you it’s all part of the real-life tapestry of two people trying to keep each other happy.
Have sex at a different time of day. Is it really a case of mismatched libidos or a morning person matched with a night-time one? If they hate it first thing and you hate it last thing, do it in the afternoon instead. Try it midday and mid-morning as well.
Agree on a sex schedule. If one of you does have a much higher drive than the other, agree on a compromise.
How much sex will it take to keep the high libido person happy and what’s the maximum number of sex sessions the lower sex drive person is willing to commit to? People poo-poo scheduled sex, but it works well in this situation. You both know what’s expected and when and can relax the rest of the time.
Sex doesn’t not equal intercourse. If you don’t fancy penetrative sex, what about having oral sex?
Have low effort sex. Would you be up for satisfying them with some oral or a hand-job? How about a mutual masturbation session?
Or no-effort sex. Offer to watch them masturbate to orgasm. You don’t have to lift a finger, they get to scratch their itch.
Get enough sleep. Impaired sleep doesn’t just make you too tired to have sex, it leads to a reduction in testosterone, the hormone that makes you want to do it.
Know what you need to be satisfied sexually. If you never feel like having sex, figure out why. Is it ineffective technique on your partner’s side? Have you never really been interested?
Address your issues. Tackle any body image issues, challenge a childhood where sex was seen as ‘dirty’, experiment to find out the techniques that work for you and then show your partner what you enjoy.
You just can’t bear to go there? Don’t say no, say when. Most people are happy to postpone sex if they know it’s going to happen another time.
Instead of saying ‘I don’t feel like it’, say, ‘I’m too tired for sex right now but would love to have it on the weekend when there’s more time’. It stops you both lying there feeling guilty or resentful.
You’ll find great new products in both of Tracey’s product ranges with Lovehoney, designed to keep sex fresh and exciting for both of you. Find them on traceycox.com and lovehoney.co.uk.