How long is good sex?

Here is an age-old question: how long does sex (on average) last? Well… at least for heterosexual couples, it seems the answer is a (quite short) 5.4 minutes – or a little longer than your average porn clip (around 4 minutes if it shows a “full sex scene”). Long? Short? What do you think? In fact…, apart from making headline news, how meaningful is such a number?

Giving such a number implies that the duration of sex is somehow an indication of how good sex is: the longer the better? Indeed, it implies that sex is somehow measurable – from “start” to “ejaculation”, and that this is all there is to it. But is it? Maybe ask yourself: what is hot sex? And I’m sure you’ll quickly come to the conclusion that time really is the least important factor in sex.

For a start, some sex can be amazingly hot when it is short: think of a maybe risky quicky somewhere. It can be super hot, but probably also often very short indeed. Does it make it bad? Not at all. In fact, the excitement of a risky situation, maybe even other people around, can make it incredibly hot.

On the other hand, how would you “measure” long sex? Or indeed, what is (long) “sex”? The porn industry nearly always gives us a pretty clear example what is sex: short foreplay, some penetration, everyone ejaculates. Definitely measurable in terms of time, as it has a clear beginning and a clear and, but… Is that hot for you?

Think of a perfect afternoon spend with your lover(s). Do you really want to reduce this to a five minute fuck? Isn’t it much more fun – and also much more real, if rather than reducing it all to “suck, fuck, cum”, if it becomes an afternoon where you are enjoying each others bodies all the time? In other words, where you do different things, one after the other, with breaks in the middle? Bringing each other close to ecstasy, then gently bring each other to a point of relaxation – maybe just feeling the other for a few minutes, before resuming what could be described as “sex”? Surely, that is much hotter than six minutes of penetration… after all, if sex is one of the most enjoyable things in life, we don’t want it to last just six minutes?

For good sex, focus on the journey not the destination. Click To Tweet

I’m not talking about tantra here: I’m talking about focusing on enjoying each other, no matter if this counts as “sex” or not. Of course, this isn’t really what the sexual role models of porn movies teach, but something that we have to discover for ourselves: sex is, after all, not a five minute job. It’s not something that has a definite beginning or end – and it certainly shouldn’t be something that focuses simply on “cuming”. We really need to learn to see sex as more than a finite activity: something that starts maybe even before we are naked, where there is no real end, and where the focus is more on the journey than the destination. If we manage that, we can really enjoy sex: from quick to long, in all it’s forms.

Let’s talk Vintage Porn

Porn? Tricky subject. I don’t know about you… but I really feel very unsure about porn these days. On the one side, it is great stuff. Educational, liberating and it has a lot of positives. But on the other hand, porn seems to cause a lot of problems. From body image problems to ideas about what sex should be like. I certainly had a fair share of lovers and people I spoke to over the years, who seemed to reenact, sometimes unwillingly, porn scenes – and were usually disappointed with the real thing. Some guys I spoke to even went as far as thinking they totally failed at sex because it didn’t compare to the 5 minute snippet they saw on Tumblr… not everyone came at the same time, not everyone looked like Adonis, sex on the beach was sandy… and actually, sometimes the boring stuff was (and is!) more sexy than the visually appealing stuff (Hint: imagine watching a few hours of tantra sex … I challenge you not to fall asleep no matter how much you fancy what you are seeing!).

So, is the best way to avoid porn altogether? Mhhh… well, some people seem to think so. But a friend of mine recently came up with a much better idea, something I hadn’t thought of: try vintage porn. 1970s or before.

Obviously I was curious about this, so I googled a bit – and presto. There are some really cool sites which have it (either specialising in it, … or they have a few videos/pictures). The amazing thing that porn from that area has: despite the often completely hilarious story lines (they themselves are worth half the search), actually the men and the sex seems much more “real”. And with real I mean really sexy: instead of the usual well trimmed, shaved and hairless bodies, you see all types of shapes and sizes. Sometimes guys are hard, sometimes they are not. Far from body perfect and some sterilised sexual “fantasy”, it mostly seems as if the guys really had sex without a script – and enjoyed what they were doing. And rather than being in bed in an anonymous hotel room, they do it… well anywhere. You can find awkward undressing scenes at home, discussing what they are going to do, … all the stuff you never see in modern porn. Actually, it was seriously sexy watching these guys going for it, and even the not so occasionally cheesy music couldn’t distract from it…

So, if you want to treat yourself to some real men (or real boys) having real fun – try and give vintage a try – it may just be the sexiest fun ever. If you fancy one of my favourites: Try searching for “Wonder Men” which makes my porn-superhero list easily. But don’t let my taste influence you… explore and have fun!

And don’t forget to share what you think about Vintage porn: do you like the bad story lines? Or the natural men? The sex? What do you like? Share it below!

Tantra vs “normal” sex: What is the difference?

One of the most common questions I have been asked about Tantra is if it isn’t just a very drawn out and long sexual encounter, which is a common misconception. In fact, Tantra is a completely different idea than “normal” sex, largely because the “focus” and “objective” is different, which makes it a very different experience altogether.

It is true that both forms of sex have some similarities – and in fact, start in very similar ways: e.g. by some sort of mutual attraction and stimulation. However, from the departure point onward, things get quite different. For “normal” sex, the idea is to have a slow (or sometimes fast) rise of sexual energy, leading to an eventual climax in the form of an orgasm. In other words, the focus is largely on achieving orgasm, and while it could take longer or be more quickly done, there is only a fairly limited attention to how you get there.

In Tantric sex, the focus isn’t on the orgasm at all. In fact, some people (though by no means everyone!) suggest that any form of orgasm should be avoided – as it releases all the sexual energy, and that could lead to an abrupt end of the intercourse.
Instead, the focus is shifted towards the “now”: during tantric sex, the participants don’t try to focus on orgasm or work towards a climax, but focus on the feelings they have at this very moment. I.e. how does it feel to be touched in a particular area, how the feeling changes with repeated touching etc. As you are not working towards orgasm, tantric sex can sometimes feel a bit more like (intimate forms of) massage – although clearly the focus during a massage is again very different. For two males, this can mean that erection is lost at times, which is perfectly fine during tantric sex, as the focus is not the climax itself. In fact, much more, tantric sex in an ideal form can be playing out in waves of higher excitement and lower stimulation. The trick here is that each time the next wave is coming, the wave can often be a little “higher” in terms of sensation than the previous one. This sometimes gets described as “endless orgasms” – although generally it isn’t about achieving several orgasm during one particular session, but rather coming fairly close to climax, relaxing again, before again coming close etc..

Because there is no identifiable climax (or release) in tantric sex, sessions can take a very long time: moving from wave to wave. Some tantrists will even almost stop… relax, chant, drink, eat etc.. between waves. While the latter may be extreme, the main point is to remember that the focus is not on any form of climax – but simply on enjoying the very moment of “now”, focusing on the togetherness, connectedness and intimacy at this moment. Simply put: a sort of “mindfullness” idea of the sexual experience.

Both forms of sex are therefore completely different in the outcome: the main outcome of tantric sex is a series of (prolongued) moments of intimacy. Climax is not directly relevant to the tantric mindset. For normal sex, on the other hand, generally the orgasm is in focus, i.e. it is much more goal oriented and focused on achieving a specific outcome. Of course, you can combine the two: for example, through an extended period of tantric experiences first, with the ultimate wave directed towards achieving orgasm. In that case, it wouldn’t be a true form of either – but possibly a very enjoyable experience for everyone.

Surviving (not just the holidays) on hook-up apps

Home for the holidays and in need of a quick getaway from the family? Luckily there is an app for that… Grindr, Scruff and co can be great fun and add some variety to your sex life  but it can be also be frustrating experience. So here are 3 tips to make the best of it:

  1. Know what you want
    This should determine the app you use. Go with the reputation of the app: Grinder is mostly for casual sex – apps like Tinder, OKCupid etc are more for dates. Yes, there are people who find love on Grindr, but that is probably despite of the app and not because of it. Equally, on Tinder it is possible to find quick hook ups – but generally they tend to be more chats and dates.
  2. Use it when you have the time
    Especially for hook up apps, remember often things happen quickly. For dating apps, you may go for a drink in a few days. So make sure you connect to the right app when you actually have time – either fairly quickly to meet for a hook up, or when you are staying a few days, why not try a local date?
  3. Don’t be nice to bad guys
    Yes, the truth is, all of these apps have quite a few annoying weirdos hanging around (here are some annoying examples). Remember: their problem isn’t yours, and a hook up app isn’t a replacement for personal counseling (and you’re not their therapist). Shrug them off and move on … or block them… It’s self-care – and you are home to enjoy the holidays!

With these three tips in mind: Have a great holiday season wherever you are … and whatever you are looking for may you find it! Happy hunting!

Let’s talk about Sex (and create a Sex Wish List!)

Holiday season is just upon us… So this week I’ll give you some tips for how to talk to your partner about sex – and create a sex wish list – for not just a holiday season to remember.

Wish lists are great things – from the old fashioned list of things to do to Amazon wish lists, lists help us stay focused and organised. However, when it comes to sex, few people have a wish list outside of their head. So why not use this holiday season to create a sex wish list for you and your partner?

Many people have real issues when it comes to talking about their fantasies, what they want – and what they would like more or less of. And while it is often easy to speak to random strangers about sex, many people totally freeze up when it comes to talking about sex with their regular partner. So here are a few tips how to make that awkward conversation less awkward… and create a sex wish list for you both (or more).

The goal of this exercise is to create a “sex wish list“… It is a great way to keep new ideas flowing and bring some variety into your sex life. The list can contain anything from simple positions to scenarios or whatever else you both want to try out. Of course, the ultimate goal is not to simply have a list – but to work through the list…

To get over the original hurdle, think about how and when you can approach the subject – but don’t overthink. Of course, lots depends on how open your partner is at this stage. One tip: don’t talk to him immediately after sex. A better moment might be when he comes home and you are about to have dinner together – or a similarly “everyday” situation.

Think about a non-threatening opening to ease the conversation. The worst conversations start with “I really don’t like when you do XYZ”. Rather think approach the subject from a positive angle: think along the lines of “Hey, do you remember the time we did abc in xyz. I really loved that.”

Focus on things you like at the beginning – and then move on to things you’d like more of. Remember to keep it positive! Don’t talk about “our sex life has become boring, and that’s why I want this and that now”… focus on bringing you both closer together and sharing what you both want to do (and recording it, so it doesn’t get lost!).

Once you are talking about your fantasies, wishes and ideas, suggest putting them down on a list. That could be a secret list you keep in the bedside table, or you could use a To Do List software where you can share your list with each other.

Remember though that whatever goes on the list should be something you both want to try. This means, of course, negotiating… and not everything that you want or he wants may end up on the list.

Don’t get too upset if the list isn’t much more than a few items – depending how you handled sex in your relationship before, and how you and your partner are coping with discussing ideas and committing to them, small steps may lead to bigger steps.

Remember – the list should be a “living list” of things you want to do. Don’t take the list to seriously, but gently stick to it for the coming weeks. Also, it is important to revisit the list after some time for two reasons: Firstly, to “check in” how it went (did you do what was on the list? Was it good for both of you?) and, secondly, to add to the list.

After a few revisiting sessions, you will notice that sitting down and talking about sex will become much more natural. You’ll probably also both feel more secure in talking about your fantasies and wishes then, and doing things from the list – or just something more spontaneous should become much more ‘normal’.

This week was particularly focused on talking about sex in a partnership… next weeks topic which will focus on how to survive when you are home alone – and horny: How to survive hookup apps!
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6 Reasons to try Tantric Sex

Last week I wrote about the benefits regular meditation has on your sex life. This week I’ll expand this to write about the benefits that combining elements of meditation and sex has, in the form of tantric sex – not just for gay guys, of course.

Tantra is to sex what slow is to fast food: a totally different experience Click To Tweet
  1. Expand your sexual repertoire
    We live in a fast world: fast food, fast sex. Sadly, when it comes to sex, we are constantly exposed to forms of quick and rapid hookups and sex: just think of the average porn scene – from undressing to orgasm in five minutes. No wonder we have become “fast sex junkies”. But just as no person can (or at least should not!) live from fast food alone, having only fast sex simply is a bad idea. Try to slow down and go slow food … or tantric sex once in a while.
  2. Share real connection with someone
    Much of today’s sex is also focused on the orgasm itself: whatever way you get there, the main act is often cumming. Of course, it is a great feeling… but focusing so much on orgasm (both in the sense of getting to it – or sometimes avoiding it for a while) takes your attention away from the real purpose of sex: the actual connection with someone else.
  3. Move beyond sexual small talk
    Have you ever been to a networking party? How did you feel afterwards? Excited maybe? Wanted to know more about one or two people you met? Disappointed at the superficiality of the talking? Fast sex really has a lot in coming with networking parties: you connect for a few minutes on a sexual level and then move on. Don’t get me wrong – networking parties are great (so is fast sex, thank you!). But they can’t ever be as emotionally satisfactory as a long dinner or spending a day together. In the same way, tantric sex allows you to move beyond the sexual small talk – and have sexual conversation.
  4. Learn a whole new language
    Learning new languages is a great thing, isn’t it? It expands your horizons, lets you see the world in different words… what if I tell you there is a language out there that is universal, but most people have forgotten how to speak it? Enter the language of sexual communication: no words, based on breathing – and offering pure erotic and sexual connection. Sounds like a mouthful? That’s because it is… it’s not easy when you do it for the first time – but imagine the benefits a whole new language can bring when you master it.
  5. Learn to give and receive love
    Traditional sex is mostly focused on giving and receiving satisfaction. Of course, that can be great – and good if you both get it (or annoying if you end up with a hook up who cums and then doesn’t reciprocate). Naturally, giving and receiving satisfaction is great. But in tantric sex you can actually move beyond the satisfaction focus, and through the more intimate connection learn to give a real feeling of love with your partner or loved one. [If you are into the spiritual side of it, you talk about the heart chakra opening here…]
  6. More than sexual satisfaction
    Sex is great, it’s satisfying. Cumming is a great stress reliever. It makes people happy – and there are many good physiological reasons for that. The problem is, that in traditional sex, you get a quick hit of the satisfaction (physiologically for example through a massive hit of oxytocin) and then you crash a bit like coming down from a sugar high. With tantric sex, things are slower, longer – like a low GI food: it will keep you satisfied longer.

Of course, all of these benefits don’t come in one go. When starting out, I remember going to a tantra workshop and nearly falling asleep… I had become so unaccustomed to this form of sex. I couldn’t understand the language, I kept thinking about cumming and the idea of just touching the other guy for even ten minutes without ‘real sex’ felt like a total foreign territory. I’m also not exactly someone who goes for all the spiritual stuff – at least not as long as there isn’t a reasonable explanation (like the importance of oxytocin!). Luckily though I persisted with myself a bit, and after a few times I discovered how much more interesting I can make sex with people I really care about when I move beyond the quick and satisfaction-focused “fun only” approach. So, I totally get you if you find tantric sex weird or even confusing at first – or totally don’t get the benefits of it. But persist a bit, and I guarantee you, you’ll learn not just to cum – but give and receive satisfaction, love and real inner connection on a whole new level.

Meditation… and Sex

Last week I wrote about the benefits of exercise for sex. And while moderate exercise will make your sex more fun,  meditation can add even more enjoyment to your sex life… Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. Being in the moment
    this is probably the biggest benefit: meditation teaches you to focus on the moment. During mediation that is usually the breathing or the voice if you follow guided mediation…  Once you master the technique, you can obviously use it in other scenarios: really feel the sexual contact that you have – rather than thinking what you need to do tomorrow. In other words, you learn to focus on the here and there – and that in itself is a major boost for sex.
  2. Meditation increases energy
    If you read last weeks article, you’ll know this one: More energy makes for better, longer, more frequent sex… and possible for more fun filled sex as well (try sleeping with someone when you’re really tired!). Well.. meditation increases energy levels similar to – if not more then – sleeping. So, you can imagine the benefits!
  3. Meditation decreases stress
    Stress is simply put a massive sex-zapper… basically it kills your testosterone, you’re less like to enjoy sex and even if you have sex, you’re likely to rush and not be in the moment. So, with meditation busting stress equal to, if not more so then exercise… give your sex life a boost by switching off for a few minutes every day.
  4. Meditation makes you appreciate slow, sensual sex
    This is a bit of a person thing maybe… Don’t get me wrong, quick sex can be great and thrilling. But only quick sex, or the sort of mechanical sex so often shown in porn, should be just one option on the menu. I mean, after all, would you choose the same dish at lunch every day, even if it was really good? There you go… so doing things in different ways, including slow, long and sensual broadens your sexual repertoire and makes you enjoy sex much more.
  5. Maybe… Mirror Neurons
    Mirror Neurons are the love affair and envogue item of many holistic gurus. Basically, they are assumed to be neurons traveling between persons to make both persons feel how the other is feeling. Meditation is supposed to increase the functioning of mirror neurons. I’m not trying to get into the debate – some people say they exist and work, others seem to claim this is all more or less a placebo effect. Either way, being close together and and sensual (tantra anyone?) should give the other person a good feeling – neurons here or there.

I haven’t found a “big bang” study to support a link between meditation and sex per se…(there are many though that talk about indirect links – or links specifically for females). Anyway… why not try it for yourself and see? Meditate, alone – or with your partner. And while you’re getting into a meditation routine, why not try and complement it all with some tantra?

Benefits of exercise for more and better sex…

Of course, most people know that sex can be a good form of exercise (in case you want brush up on why, have a look here)… however, while sex can be a good workout, a few good workouts can also mean better sex: so here are the good reasons not to skip the workout.

Sex can be a good workout, but a few good workouts mean better sex - here is why! Click To Tweet
  1. Exercise increases energy
    If you exercise regularly, you are more likely to have higher energy levels than someone who prefers to slouch on the couch (and yes, probably also someone whose only exercise happens in bed!). Of course, most people won’t feel highly energetic after completing a marathon,… so, for a more fun sex life – some moderate exercise is the key.
  2. Exercise improves your mood
    Exercise is a pretty good anti-depressant,  by increasing endorphins in the body, which are a natural form of happy-pill cum painkiller – free of side-effects. The good news: you don’t have to be feeling down to feel their effect either – they will make your mood better anyhow. And if you feel good, that generally leads to better sex.
  3. Exercise enhances stress response
    Cortisol is the culprit here: the stress hormone kills sex drive (if you have ever worked a 60 hour week, I’m sure you’ll know what I’m talking about!). Regular exercise reduces the effect of cortisol – so effectively reducing the damage stress does to your sex drive (sorry, it does not reduce your stress at work though!). However, with a better defense against the libido-zapper hormone, stress can take less of a tole on a fantastically destressing activity…
  4. Exercise improves the body
    This should really go without saying that exercise improves how you look – it tones your body. Of course, great sex isn’t all about having a great body, but it is all about feeling good. And most people feel pretty good in a toned body… and if you feel good, why not share it?
  5. Exercise increases testosterone
    Moderate exercise increases testosterone – at least for a short while. Especially good are muscle building exercises, but all exercise seems to have a positive effect. Again, don’t overdo it, but maybe have a warm-up in the gym or along the river front, and a grand(er) finale between the sheets afterwards.

Of course, you don’t have to trust me on this: way back in 1990, this academic study looked at sex and exercise. Particularly the effect of moderate exercise on men… the result: Guys had more sex, better sexual function and found their orgasms more satisfactory.

So… next Sunday morning, maybe don’t just put off your workout in favour of being with your partner. Rather: get some exercise together – and reap the rewards afterwards!

Let’s talk about Sex … Sex Positivity

PNI recently had an interesting debate with a friend: Does having a lot of sex mean you are sex positive? To cut a pretty long discussion short: His view was (or is) that gay men in particular are pretty sex positive, because generally spoken, they have a lot of [opportinities for] sex. I tried to defend the point that some gay men may be promiscuous – and may have a lot of sex, but … that much of gay dating life is actually pretty sex negative. How come? Continue reading “Let’s talk about Sex … Sex Positivity”