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5 Solutions To Your Biggest Sex Problems

Your sack sessions may not always be spectacular, but you CAN do something, in case your sex life starts getting problematic.

As a young, red-blooded couple, you should be having scorching sex on a regular basis, right? Well, the reality is, even the most solid couples reveal that they’ve had sexual trouble. “Being in a long-term relationship doesn’t mean you’d have wild sex all the time,” says Lisa, 29, a teacher who’s been in a relationship for six years.

The most common reason: Couples don’t communicate with each other about their dissatisfaction in the sack. “Embarrassment and a fear that something’s wrong with them keep most young people from bringing up complaints,” says sexologist Yvonne K. Fulbright, PhD, author of Touch Me There! “But you can’t solve the problem if you won’t even acknowledge you have it.”

It doesn’t mean that you need to have lengthy, uncomfortable conversations either—there are other ways to convey your needs. Here, experts identify the five most common carnal crises young couples face and offer their best advice on how to deal.

1. He’s Not Pleasing You... But Thinks He Is

Oh, he tries, but if he’s still not hitting your high notes—because he’s too fast, too slow, or too far off the mark—speak up. “Probably, it isn’t that he’s bad in bed; it’s that you haven’t let him know what he’s doing right or wrong,” says sex therapist Gloria Brame, PhD. “Men tend to stick with techniques that worked with other women, so unless you tell him otherwise, he’ll assume you like it, too.”

Clearly, announcing “Hey, sweetie, those moans of pleasure? Fake!” is not an option. You’ll want to broach the issue delicately. One way is to make him think he’s discovered your hot spots on his own. While you’re having sex, simply react as if he did something different by saying, “Wow! That felt great!” When he asks you to explain, instruct him on a move that you know you like, assuming it’s close enough to what he was doing. For example, if he’s on top, ask him to swivel his hips like he just did (wink, wink), says Fulbright.

Or, show him what feels good by taking his hands and bringing them to your hot spots without saying a word. Then, guide his fingers, silently instructing on rhythm, pace, and technique. “Men pick up on this nonverbal form of communication fairly quickly, especially if you reinforce how great it feels by making noise,” says Fulbright. But, only introduce one tiny tweak at a time so you don’t send an obvious message that he’s been off base since forever.

Finally, if those tricks don’t work, you’re going to have to be a little more straightforward. To soften the blow, start off with a compliment like “I love being on top, but maybe if you touched me here while we were having sex, it would be even more amazing!”

2. Your Libido Is Higher Than His

The occasional “I’m not up for it” night happens. But, some couples suffer from completely disparate sex drives. And when it’s the man who’s lacking in the lust department, it’s an even bigger issue.
“A large number of men have lower libidos than their girlfriends do but can’t admit it,” says Bob Berkowitz, PhD, co-author of He’s Just Not Up For It Anymore. “Not being able to keep up can make some guys feel emasculated. Meanwhile, a woman with a higher libido is embarrassed by her sexuality or wonders why he’s not attracted to her.”

First step:Rule out physical conditions,” says Berkowitz. “Certain medications (such as antidepressants) and health issues (such as high blood pressure) can dampen a man’s libido.”
If your guy is healthy, he might just be overloaded. “Men react to stress in two ways—they either become hypersexual because it’s the only thing that relieves their anxiety or they don’t feel like having sex at all,” explains Berkowitz. So, if he has a lot of work or family pressure right now, cut him some slack and wait for things to settle.

However, if it’s been like this from the very beginning, then you and your guy need to figure out why you’re at different speeds. There is a whole variety of reasons why he might not be as amped up as you are, from conservative parents to a bad sexual experience to simply the way he’s wired.

“For some people, achieving orgasm once a day is the norm; for others, once a week is enough,” says Brame, “If you and your guy are just mismatched, you should try to accept the libidos biology dealt you.” Then, take matters into your own hands and ask your partner to sometimes pleasure you manually when you’re in the mood and he’s not.

3. Technical Difficulties

When his machinery malfunctions, the last thing you want to do is, gulp, talk about it. But, you can reassure him with this: Erectile issues—from premature ejaculation to losing erections to not being able to come—are common, even in young, strapping guys. “For men, sexual-performance issues are psychological or physiological,” says Ian Kerner, PhD, author of He Comes Next. “He might have a fear of intimacy or a troubled sexual past, but more often than not, stress, poor diet, or lack of exercise is to blame.” Those kinds of temporary factors fade over time. However, if the problems are ongoing, consider seeing a sex therapist.

In the meantime, the next time something arises—or rather, doesn’t—don’t freak out. Instead, keep the momentum going. “A lot of couples think that once the erection disappears, everything has to stop, but he can still pleasure you manually or orally,” says Brame. Showing him he’s capable of turning you on in other ways will make him feel better about the situation—plus, the less attention (read: pressure) you place on his penis, the more likely it is to spring back into action.

If you’re the one having problems, like vaginal dryness, tightness, or an inability to climax, you might want to see a doctor. “There are a number of hormonal and reproductive health issues—yeast infections, urinary-tract infections, vaginitis—that could be the source of the issue,” says Brame. “But if you enjoy masturbating, your problem is most likely mental.”

A few possible roadblocks: performance anxiety, body-confidence issues, or a lack of interest in getting it on with your partner. “If the idea of having sex with your guy makes you uncomfortable, you need to reevaluate if your needs are being met or if you’re even still attracted to him,” says Brame. “The solution might be seeing a couples therapist or deciding that you’ve become more like friends.” Most sexual issues can be fixed, but it’s difficult to overcome incompatibility as a couple.

4. You’ve Gotten Into A Rut

No, sex is never going to be like it was in the beginning. That’s because when couples first start dating, they can’t wait to try out every position and tongue trick in the book. A few years later, “most long-term couples have figured out which buttons to push to make their partners feel good, so they stick with what works,” says Kerner. “They may be having orgasms, but relying on the same moves can make most couples lazy about exploring.”

Without indicating that your sex life is putting you to sleep, suggest that you try to revive that once-adventurous attitude. “Excitement breeds excitement, so anything new will get you inspired,” says Brame. That might mean trading in the comfy tee shirt you always wear to bed for something skimpier, having sex in different rooms, or adding a position into the rotation.

Even something like rock climbing or going hiking or jogging might not seem like an aphrodisiac, but it shakes up your usual routine, raises your endorphin levels, and gets the relationship adrenaline running on high again.

5. Initiating Sex Falls On You

When you first start dating a guy, it seems like all he wants to do is get into your panties. But, once you’re in a committed relationship, many guys simply stop being as assertive, either because they’ve gotten bored with your sexual routine or because they don’t feel like they have to try as hard to get sex.

Unfortunately, though, that might not work for you. “Most women prefer it when a man takes control during sex,” says Brame. “That’s why it can be really annoying—and less satisfying—if you’re always the one initiating.”

Men are taking full advantage of women’s assertive attitudes as well. “They don’t have to be aggressive, because they realize that their girlfriends will ask for sex when they want it,” Brame adds.

Look back at your sexual history together. “If he used to initiate all the time and now he barely does, it may be that he’s tired of the sex you’re having or he’s gotten lazy,” says Berkowitz. If so, hint that you’re up for trying new moves.

And, toy with him a bit. If he’s become a slacker, teasing him with sexy innuendos, then playing hard-to-get will put him back into the pursuer role, which often motivates a man, says Kerner.

On the other hand, has he always been a little shy with sex? It could be his upbringing. “It’s especially difficult for men to be aggressive who have been taught to respect women,” says Fulbright. “They may want sex but feel as if they’re pressuring their partner.” In that case, use sexy visual cues to send the message that he has the green light to go for it.

Some suggestions: Get into a hot bath where you’ll be naked for an extended period of time or lie in bed naked, the sheets strategically placed over your naughty parts. Just see if he can resist making a move.