Like puppy videos, sex is just one of those things most people can’t get enough of. Whether it’s having it, learning about it, or just thinking about it, therapist and sex expert Angela Jones, PhD, says sexual activity is pretty much the essence of human nature.
“Humans are sexual beings, so to not work on your sex life and understand your sexuality is denying yourself full understanding of who you are,” she explains. Not only does knowing what you do (and don’t) like sexually help you find pleasure—whether it’s solo or with a partner—but sex itself is a form of communication and self-care.
Now, there’s no universal definition of sex, so don’t think we’re just talking about penetration here. “Sex is anything that brings you erotic pleasure,” explains sexologist Jess O’Reilly, PhD, a global ambassador for WOW Tech. “This might include snuggling, kissing, sexting, video chatting, flirting, fingering, sucking, grinding, humping, or penetrating, but this list isn’t exhaustive.”
Some people gravitate toward vanilla penetration, whereas others prefer oral or BDSM. Some don’t prefer any type of physical intimacy—and that’s okay too. “Good sex is about the journey, not the destination,” says Dr. Jones. “If you only focus on orgasming, then you can miss the pleasure and experience of the whole intimate act.”
Other than the fact that sex usually feels actually fantastic, there are plenty of other reasons to have it as well. “Physically, sex can help improve sleep patterns, lower blood pressure, increase your immune system, count as exercise, improve bladder control, and decrease the likelihood of prostate cancer,” says Dr. Jones. “Mentally, it can improve depression and/or anxiety, boost self-esteem, and even ease stress.”
Now before diving into how to make sex better, ob-gyn Constants Adams, MD, notes that sex isn’t supposed to hurt (unless, of course, you and your partner agreed you want it to).
“Many people suffer from a condition known as dyspareunia, which is pain associated with sexual intercourse,” she says. If having penetrative sex hurts, try changing positions, switching to oral sex, or consider mutual masturbation. Additionally, let your partner and your doctor know. “Sex is meant to be enjoyable and if it is not, loop [us] in and find a solution,” suggests Dr. Adams. “We have plenty of tools available to help minimize or treat dyspareunia.”
Now that we've got the basics down, here are some of the best sex tips to get come out of Cosmo that’ll help you on your quest for pleasure and connection. Enjoy!
1. Get in the right headspace.
- Give yourself at least 45 minutes to get turned on. Seriously! Slow things down a bit and wait until you're fully turned TF on for sex that's even more mind-blowing.
- Activate your senses to make sure you’re fully turned on. Candles! Lighting! Scents! Never underestimate the importance of ambiance, people.
- Forgive and forget with some super-sultry makeup sex. All couples fight (it’s a part of a healthy relationship to have disagreements) but what better way to get into each other’s good graces again than with some vulnerable, tender makeup sex? If that’s not your vibe, there’s also must-have-you-now standing sex against a wall for an added layer of urgency. Either way, there’s a sexy way to move on after a fight.
- Make sure you come first if you just started dating. Women often focus on their partner's orgasm and treat themselves as an afterthought. Since we're all creatures of habit, doing the reverse pays off in the long run.
- Don’t be afraid to initiate. If your partner is usually the one who initiates sex, switch things up by showing them just how much they turn you on and flip the switch—everyone loves feeling like their partner just can’t resist them.
- Read a steamy book before a date. You'll feel more sensual during the deed as you visualize a hot storyline.
- Create a secret code that translates to sexytimes. Maybe "get me a dirty martini" means "let's blow this joint… and then each other."
- Keep your sexts simple. If you're having writer's block, the hottest possible thing you can send: "I need you now."
2. Do some studying.
- Read up on other real women’s masturbation habits so you can take some ~inspo~ from them.
- Take a voyeuristic gander at some of the all-time steamiest sexts ever to turn yourself on. We won't tell if you decide to reuse these on your partners in the future.
- Watch each other masturbate. Yes, it's super hot but also yes, you'll learn exactly how your partner likes to be touched.
- Touch yourself beneath your bath jets to get to know what sensations do it for you. Are you into counterclockwise clitoral strokes? Nipple stimulation? Find out—then bring your favorite moves to your next sex session.
- Do a dirty talk test to gauge their sext nastiness. Ask, "What would you like me to do to you? Details, please." And see what words they use and how risqué they're willing to get. Then follow their lead (if you're feeling it)!
- And sext what you desire. If you want more oral and less jackhammer, type "I can't stop thinking about your mouth on me tonight," throw in a kiss emoji, and hit Send. The message will be received.
- Lead with a compliment. Say "I love the way you…" before suggesting a new move ("it would turn me on so much if you used your fingers like this…"). Then ask them to return the verbal favor.
- Have your partner scribble down a "menu" of the top three moves that drive them crazy. Then do the same. Swap lists, and take turns serving up the goods à la carte or taking notes for future sex seshes.
- While giving oral cover their fingers with yours and bring their hand down to touch you. It'll arouse them to see you taking control of their movements and will help them make sure their touches are exactly what you need to climax.
3. Add in some visuals.
- Watch horny Tik Tok videos. Venture to the ~after dark~ side of it to see if it turns you on.
- Watch porn together. It could turn both of you on enough to shut it off and start some action IRL, give you inspo for new moves, or just be a bonding activity.
- Or find a woman-friendly porn site for yourself. Feeling non-icky about the porn you watch can make a huge difference in your sex life.
- Try giving a virtual BJ. Grab a toy and sext your partner that you're about to treat the toy like their penis and go forth. Not only is it hot for them, but you'll probably find it hot for you to be putting on such a sexy, exhibitionist-y show.
- Give a sexy lap dance by switching between standing above your seated partner, squatting, and sitting. Turns out that's the secret to a sexy lap dance: just alternating your stances.
- Watch a sexy show together. Turn on Witcher, Bridgerton, or Outlander and let the steamy scenes influence how you spend your night.
- Do it in front of a mirror. Doggie style intercourse in front of a full-length mirror allows you one of the best seats in the house. You can lock eyes tenderly in the mirror or go at it with carnal thrusting, all while checking each other out at the same time.
- Eye contact is the secret to amazing oral. Give a wink or some smize action, and they'll be putty in your mouth.
- Remind yourself how much you turn them on. Seeing their face as they're lost in ecstasy—and realizing you're making it happen—can be the push you need to cross the finish line.
4. Master your movements.
- When on top, focus on grinding more, instead of moving up and down. By grinding against your partner's groin, instead of just bopping on top of it, you get way more much-needed clit stimulation.
- Use your tongue even more during sex. Everything from dirty talk, kissing, licking, you name it. Get your tongue in there and watch things go va-va-voom.
- Get the balls involved. Shaft stuff is cool, but ball stuff can really spice it up a notch. Tug, tickle, and squeeze them mid-play to up the intimacy.
- Use your hips to draw the letters “W,” “M,” and “O” when on top. Letters with these dips let you and your partner feel way more stimulation during vagina-on-top style sex.
- Alternatively, try spelling out “coconut” with your hips while on top. You get all the added stimulation from working your hips and grinding as opposed to just jackhammering yourself up and down on your partner.
- Try the Amazon sex position. Or any wild sex position. Sex is just as mental as it is physical, and trying out adventurous and empowering novelty positions can do way more for you than you’d think.
- Ditch the eye contact in reverse cowgirl. While sex face-to-face certainly has its moments, change it up by getting on top and facing away from your partner
- During missionary, lie on your back, and lift your legs up and over to one side. This makes you superrrr tight, and the angle of your hips means they'll hit spots that rarely get TLC.
- Lean back instead of forward in reverse-cowgirl. It's a primo angle for you and gives your partner a phenomenal view of your fanny.
- Tighten and relax like you're Kegeling when you're close to climaxing. This alone can sometimes trigger an orgasm (and it feels amazing for someone with a penis too).
- Skip the in-and-out thrusts and stir instead. This will stimulate every inch of you, whether you're using toys, fingers, or a penis.
- Rotate from vulva-on-top into reverse-cowgirl. Take your time—you'll avoid any crazy mishaps, plus a slow-mo approach just looks that much sexier. Not only are you hitting a series of new hot spots for both of you with each different angle, but they'll dig the 360-degree view of your gorgeous bod.
5. Practice non-penetrative intimacy.
- Work on your non-sexual touch. Find a way to work in hair stroking, back rubs, hand holding, anything PG that encourages you and your partner to show physical affection for one another.
- Kiss every day for more than just a couple of seconds. It wards off the perilous roommate effect, especially if you live together and lately have been spending more time doing chores together than checking each other out.
- Make hand jobs the main event. Sex is so much more than just penetrative sex, and backing away and focusing on other variations with the same intensity as you do penetration sex can zhoosh some hotness into your routine.
- And when it comes to hand jobs, experts suggest using some light applied pressure. You want to act like your hands are creating a vagina for their penis, so a bit of snugness is good here.
- Work your nipples slowly through your shirt for a nipplegasm. Friction can be your friend here. You don't want like, chafing, of course, but light touch and patience can go a long way here.
- Prioritize oral sex. Have a few nights where the main focus isn’t penetrative sex, but only you receiving oral sex. Communicate with your partner so you can both discover what works best for you in terms of giving and receiving.
- Try kneeling beside your partner during oral instead of in front of them. Not only will you give them a great view of your ass, but you also might find it more comfortable and easier for you (or them) to stimulate your clit (also called the Kivin method).
- Use your mouth and your hands during blow jobs. Take the head in your mouth, and lick and swirl like you would a soft-serve cone. Meanwhile, use your hands to grip, squeeze, and stroke the length of their penis.
- Play with hot and cold sensations. If you're not into the old ice-cube-in-the-cheek trick, try alternating oral with drinking something cold or warm. Even easier: Lightly blow air on their genitals after having them in your mouth.
- The hole at the tip of the penis (the meatus) is sensitive during arousal. With your tongue, apply medium pressure on and off.
- Use a Tenga Egg for a quick, modified blow job sleeve. Use it with a squidge of lube for a truly out-of-this-world blow job experience that also takes a lot of the effort out of it for you.
6. Invest in the right toys.
- Know the difference between a cheap sex toy and a legit one. Feeling good about body-safe materials in the delicate ~ecosystem~ of your vulva and vagina is priceless, TBH.
- Bring a bullet vibrator to bed. The rabbit vibrator gets all the glory, but using a bullet vibe on your clit during doggy is a total game-changer.
- Try a nipple toy that isn’t just a nipple clamp. Suction toys, nipple lickers, and nipple vibrators, to name a few. Pair with some body-friendly lube or massage oil and you've got yourself a good reason to clear your schedule for the night.
- But yes, also try nipple clamps. They’re cheap, don’t take up a lot of space, and nipple clamps can be just as pleasurable with or without a partner. Slap a pair on and your hands are free to still touch around.
- Get a sex swing. It doesn’t have to be a fancy contraption that you need to hire a contractor for. Plenty of kits are designed to fit over your door!
- Try ribbed condoms. The textured nubs and ribs on these specialty condoms provide extra stimulation to your clitoris, upping your odds of orgasm.
- Use lube. Start with a dime-sized amount, put it on you and your partner’s genitals, and reapply as needed.
- Then warm yourself up with some warming lube. These lubricants have ingredients that slowly warm up, increasing blood flow to whatever area of application.
- Try a cock ring. By restricting blood flow to the penis, the ring makes erections harder and stronger (also helpful if they have issues finishing too early or staying hard). And of course, there are tons of vibrating cock rings out there that may make orgasming easier for anyone with a vagina as well.
- Invest in some secret BDSM jewelry. There's luxury, then there's luxury. If you’re just bored of spending money on the usual, ball out and get some bougie bondage jewelry that looks like a regular accessory.
- Try a remote control vibrator. Whether you’re handing the reins to your partner to drive or just over fiddling with the buttons on your vibrator right as you’re about to reach peak, remote-controlled vibes make masturbation way easier.
- Try a vibrator with sonic waves. Your clitoris is like an iceberg. The part that you can see is only a small portion of it. There are nerve endings underneath the visible part that you can’t see or touch. Using a vibrator with sonic pulses (like a loud, booming speaker that shakes your whole body at a club) can help target these nerves and put you in ~touch~ with the otherwise unexplored parts of your clit.
7. Don’t rush things.
- Don’t skip the outercourse. Whether it's dry humping or just heavy petting while clothed, take a beat before you and your partner strip each other's undies off.
- On that note, dry hump more. The stimulation is on point, it’s not too direct in case you have an overly sensitive clitoris, and the hotness of keeping your clothes on and still pawing at each other is a mental turn-on too.
- Pay more attention to your aftercare routine. “Aftercare” is a common BDSM thing, where each partner takes time to check in with each other and care for one another after sex. But that doesn’t mean you can’t also have aftercare worked into vanilla sex. Take time to check in with your partner afterward and cuddle, get a glass of water for them, and re-affirm your care for one another.
- Try sacral massage. If you’re going to experiment with anal, anal foreplay is a must. Try giving or receiving a sacral massage, aka massaging the area just above the butt crack for 15-20 minutes. It’ll help release tension and loosen the whole area up.
- Lean into your sexual tension. Just because you’ve been with your partner forever doesn’t mean you still can’t get butterflies for them. Refrain from jumping their bones at first sight like you normally do, and let the sexual tension build up so you can have an even more cathartic orgasm.
- Ramp up your desire all day by engaging in some light sexting at work. If you’ve got a date later that night, try sending a few flirty or suggestive texts your partner’s way to ensure they’re thinking about you all day.
- Take turns instead of 69ing. Multitasking is hard (and not in a hot way). One person goes to town, while the other groans and moans about how good it feels, then you switch.
8. Work on yourself.
- Try a workout designed specifically for increasing stamina during sex. Feeling strong is sexy, and trying a workout designed to make you even stronger and empowered in the bedroom can be game-changing.
- Masturbate in the shower. Taking time to focus on your pleasure when you're in the shower can get you in touch with your turn-ons and honestly even be a lil moment of self care.
- Try masturbating every morning for a month to get in touch with what turns you on and making an orgasm part of your daily self-care routine. You'll be surprised to see what it does for your sex life.
- Make a masturbation playlist. Indulging in your ~me time~ is not only fun, but it can make sex with a partner better too because you’re learning more about your own body. So, find those songs that make it hard to keep your hands to yourself...
- Don’t be afraid to spread your labia. Ensure that your partner has easy access to your clitoris by really getting in there and setting up the scene for them. Sure, light vulva licking is great, but why waste time and risk your partner getting lost down there?
- Zone in on the upper left-hand quadrant of your clitoris. Megan Andelloux, executive director at the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health, says many women find this is the most receptive part of their clit.
- Touch yourself during sex. Roughly 70 percent of women need more clitoral stimulation to orgasm during penetrative sex, so get handsy. You'll feel in control of your O, and your partner will be super turned on. Win-win.
- Stretch your legs straight out when receiving oral. This stimulates the pelvic muscles you use to climax and is a crazy-good new sensation.
9. Try the unexpected
- Period cramps? Try having period sex and see if it helps the cramping–it actually might work. Even more reason not to skip period week when it comes to sex.
- Try a sex game. You don’t necessarily need to buy one either. There are plenty of sex games you can play with a partner that’ll turn you both on that don’t require a board or separate card deck.
- Do your errands normally, only with Ben Wa balls inside you. Pop a pair in, and go about your normal routine. The extra attention you’ll be paying to each roll and wiggle of your hips will turn you on all day.
- Try a sex game where you trade off. Rachel Wright, a licensed psychotherapist, sex therapist, and sex educator, suggests “stop and start.” You set a timer on your phone for four minutes, where you have that amount of time to do anything to your partner (ranging from kissing to intercourse). Once the time’s up, you switch places and the giver becomes the receiver and vice versa.
- Try the "commercial sex" game. Start getting it on during the commercials of your favorite show, then untangle as soon as the show comes back. Sexy show? Copy their moves. As you graduate from makeouts to oral to intercourse (and back?), the teasing will be out of control.
- Perfect your striptease. Stage an entrance from another room, take a sensual walk around, and slowly shed a slip to reveal a corset. (Or a thong and nipple tassels! Whatever's your jam.) By the time you finally straddle your partner, you'll both be raring to go.
- Push your underwear aside to have sex. The immediacy of keeping clothes on is hot—like you can't wait to have each other.
- Have your partner insert a finger or two while giving you oral. Internal and external stimulation boosts your orgasm chances.
- Hold a small vibrator against the underside of their shaft or perineum (that's the super nerve-packed area that lies between his balls and his butt) while you're going down on them. Start the action off with your vibe's lowest setting and then slowly increase the intensity as their arousal grows.
- Get busy in a public place. Do it in a place where you'll hear someone coming, like in the middle of a stairwell—the footsteps on the stairs will tip you off that it's time to get moving before you get caught.
- Don't make any noise during sex. Try this for a spin: With consent, stuff your underwear or their tie into their mouth, then do dirty, dirty things to them until they're digging their nails into their palms to keep from ripping that gag out.
10. Sex up your space.
- Get some cheap accessories to make shower sex all the better. If you're worrying about whether or not you’re going to slip or you’re starting to feel cold because the water ain’t on you at that moment, you can’t really enjoy yourself to maximum capacity! Thankfully, there are easy (and mostly cheap!) solutions that can make shower sex way more enjoyable.
- Yes, the shower is made for a quickie. The ideal position is bent over, aiming the shower head at your hot spot while your partner does their thing from behind with fingers, a tongue, a toy, or a penis.
- Or after a shower, have them take you from behind while you're leaning over the bathroom sink and looking at your hot, wet self in the fogged-up mirror. You'll get a front-row view of all the seriously hot action.
- Heat things up with some at-home gym equipment. Try hanging from a pull-up bar while your partner lifts you up onto their hips for a sex position that’ll give missionary a break from the ol’ rotation.
- Put a pillow or two under your butt. This to elevate your hips during missionary sex and will 100 percent change your life, we swear.
- Sit on the edge of the washing machine. Helpful hint: The cotton cycle provides the strongest vibrations.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.
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