A couple learning how to have better sex by being more affectionate and touching each other's faces in bed.

Have better sex by connecting with yourself and your partner 

Good sex is one of life’s great pleasures—pun intended. Having good sex doesn’t necessarily have to be difficult, and yet there’s a lot that can get in the way of a truly pleasurable experience for both partners.

Making those connections matters

Maybe you’re not communicating clearly, you’re really worried about what you look like from that one angle, or you’re not sure how to ask for what you want in bed. Here are a few tips that can help you connect better with yourself and your partner so that you can both have a really phenomenal experience together.

Make communication a priority

You and your partner should let each other know your likes and dislikes, your desires and boundaries, what you liked three weeks ago and what you’d like to try tonight. Being clear about all of this—before you hit the sheets, during middle-of-the-action check-ins, and when you’re basking in the afterglow of great sex—helps you really get on the same page about your pleasure. And be super-specific. Saying, “I really love when you kiss my neck and my shoulders,” is much more helpful for a partner than “I like when you kiss me.” Ask each other questions, answer honestly, and let both of your honest answers guide your way.

Get to know your own body

It’s great to experiment and try new things with a partner—and communicate as you go to let them know if you like or don’t like things—but it’s super meaningful to explore pleasure on your own terms too. Knowing how to touch yourself in a way that you like is important. Everyone deserves to enjoy this form of self-love. But learning what you like when getting intimate with yourself can also help you better understand what you might like with someone else. This, in turn, can help you better communicate those preferences when with a sexual partner.

Know that your body is awesome

All bodies are beautiful, especially because each one is so unique. Different sizes, shapes, colors, freckles and scars, dimples and stretch marks, rogue hairs and surprising moles, and crooked smiles are absolutely perfect in their own way. This shouldn’t seem like a radical idea, but in the airbrushed and Instagram-filtered world we live in, sometimes it seems like it is. Many people go through periods of time where they might wish the body they’re in was different somehow. But no matter what any one body looks like, there are so many amazing things about each individual body. Your body is unique and awesome and beautiful in how it looks and what it can do. When you’re in bed, try to embrace this idea and really believe it. Doing so can lessen the ways in which many of us can sometimes feel self-conscious in bed and make sex more fun and more pleasurable. (And, by the way, your partner probably already believes your body is amazing in all these ways too.) Remember that it’s all about connection and the experience of figuring out all the awesome things you and your partner’s bodies can do together.

Try something new, if you want to

When you want to try something new in bed with a partner—whether it’s someone you’ve just started getting intimate with or someone you’ve been having sex with for a long time—you might be unsure of how to bring things up. Certainly, you can tell them outright—before fooling around, while in bed, after the fact when you’re already thinking about your next romp—but if this feels uncomfortable, you can also write it down. Sometimes this can actually be really sexy. You could go old school and write a little note or keep it contemporary and send a text. You can even work with your partner to make a list of sexual stuff that you’d both say “yes,” “no,” or “maybe” to, see where you overlap, and figure out what you’d like to try together.

Don’t be embarrassed

If you do try something new and it doesn’t go so hot – maybe one of you didn’t like how something felt or, oops, tumbled out of bed—no worries. Just stop what’s not great and get back into the good stuff. Move on to something else that is pleasurable for you and your partner, no bruised feelings or embarrassment necessary. And if one of you does fall out of bed, make sure you laugh about it together later.

Get excited, stay curious, and have fun

There are few things better than when you’re as excited about sex as your partner is. Being enthusiastic about sexual activity with someone who’s enthusiastic about sexual activity with you is really and truly awesome. Approaching a sexual experience with curiosity and attunement to what you like and what your partner likes, being open to asking questions and listening as you go, communicating your desires and boundaries to each other, and being excited to see where things go can all make for a really incredible experience. And it can make things pretty darn fun too.

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