Studies into female sexual problems have revealed just how unhappy ladies are with their love lives. Here, sex expert Tracey Cox gives tips on how to beat the most common passion killers that couples encounter.
Saying Ã¢â‚¬ËœI doÃ¢â‚¬â„¢
The line Ã¢â‚¬Å“Not tonight dear, weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re marriedÃ¢â‚¬Â may get laughs in TV sitcoms, but for many couples it is the sobering reality.
Cox says: Ã¢â‚¬Å“A common perception is that itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the wives who start saying no. But itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s actually more often men saying Ã¢â‚¬ËœI donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢tÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ after Ã¢â‚¬ËœI doÃ¢â‚¬â„¢.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Familiarity is a desire dampener for both sexes because it strips away the three top turn-ons – unavailability, adventure and mystery. A natural reaction when all this happens is to feel angry and cheated.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“But you both need to stop making pre-marriage comparisons and replace the old hot, urgent sex with something equally satisfying – sex where you each know the otherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s triggers so well orgasms are guaranteed.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Anticipatory sex, where youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re both in a sexy fluster all day at work because youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re going to try something new and naughty that night, is also a good stand-in.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Anger and resentment
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ChronicÃ‚Â Ã‚Â anger poisons your relationship and sex life,Ã¢â‚¬Â warns Cox.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If the person youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re living with is no longer your friend, theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re the enemy. Why would you want to open your heart – or legs – to them?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“They canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t be trusted to do the right thing by you. Feeling attacked isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sexy. Attacking someone youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re meant to love isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t sexy either.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Bad sex is usually the symptom rather than the cause of tensions. So to get things back on track in the bedroom, you need to work out what made you angry in the first place – then deal with it.
Cox says: Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s unlikely to be sex problems that got you to this point. Think back to when it all started and youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll find the original cause, all the other grievances are lumped on top.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Great sex can cure a lot of things but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s impossible to have if anger and resentment are standing by the door watching you and sneering.Ã¢â‚¬Â
IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m not sexy anymore
Keeeping your partner attracted to you is a two-way process.
First, try to maintain what attracted them to you in the first place – a sexy body or an infectious laugh.
Cox says: Ã¢â‚¬Å“There are plenty of ways to turn your partner off you physically. Heavy smoking, hygiene habits, slobbing around in hideous clothes. But the biggest turn-off of all, in surveys worldwide and cross-gender, is putting on weight.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Love is kind but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not blind.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s you thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s tipping the scales, think about why youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re over-eating. Food is a source of pleasure. Are there other things to give you that?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If your partner is getting Ã¢â‚¬ËœbiggerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢, encourage them to go on a health kick with you.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The second way is for people to recognise new attractions – you being supportive, nurturing, a whizz at the finances, a great mum or dad.
Cox advises: Ã¢â‚¬Å“ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not always possible to maintain all the initial attractions. You should rely on both.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Bad or boring technique
Cox says: Ã¢â‚¬Å“The better sex is, the more youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll want it. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s that simple.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“While technique can be easily learnt with self-education and feedback from a partner, if you didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t speak up at the start it seems both cruel and unthinkable to turn around and say, Ã¢â‚¬ËœHoney, everything you do in bed doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t do a thing for meÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ 15 years in.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The main reason why women donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t orgasm with their partners is because they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t speak up about what they need to make it happen. According to Cox, Ã¢â‚¬Å“If you need 20 minutes of uninterrupted oral sex, ask for it.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the clue to having them with your partner.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Turn things around, be the one who is deciding who does what where and when. You can also think back to experiences youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve enjoyed the most. What made them stand out?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Identify the key elements and work to recreate them.Ã¢â‚¬Â
And the hottest sex tip of the lot? Get granny to have the kids for a sleepover so you can relax and properly enjoy intimate time together.