Valentine’s Day can be a great chance to reconnect with your partner. Sometimes it puts a lot of pressure on this singular event and can take some of the sparkle out of it. If you’d like to plan the perfect V-Day date without falling foul of this problem, read on. We’ve got some advice for happier healthier sex that should help!
Popular sex and relationships columnist Dan Savage is a key proponent of the idea that a lot of the pressure on any one social situation is reduced if you simply fuck first. Which is actually great advice. If you have sex before you eat dinner. Or go out or embark on whatever else you’d like to do this Valentine’s, you’ll spend all evening with the closeness and thrill that can provide. Plus, you won’t feel so much pressure to do it again later.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you won’t! Many people find they enjoy it so much they end up really wanting to go again at bedtime regardless!
There are a few sexual therapists and relationship counselors currently advocating the practice of ‘maintenance sex’. Which refers to having sex with your partner when you’re not necessarily super horny yourself. You know it will be good for them and for your relationship, which is in turn good for you.
This is a complex issue, and one with many layers and nuances. Sometimes and for some people, it can be a happy and healthy way to keep a sexual connection alive. Many people find that even if they weren’t that enthusiastic to begin with, they get more and more turned on as they proceed. Others find that it’s still nice for them even if that doesn’t happen. They like doing things their partners appreciate.
You should absolutely not feel any pressure to have maintenance sex. Especially if it has a detrimental effect on you in any way. If it makes you feel self-conscious or violated, or awkward, or unhappy, or negative in any sense, it’s not for you. Anyone who tries to indicate you should do it anyway is absolutely wrong and at best bordering on abusive.
There are plenty of different ways to have a fantastic Valentine’s Day date. Planning every inch of your evening in advance doesn’t usually lead to them. Rather than deciding precisely what you want to happen, let it flow naturally. Try not to get too hung up on one specific idea.
Maybe you’ll jump on each other the second you get through the door and eat dinner afterwards. Maybe you’ll have a long evening and gradually building up to mind-blowing sex with teasing and tension. Or maybe you’ll have a fantastic night laughing, joking and drinking together and then go to bed afterwards. All of these things are great parts of a healthy relationship, and it’s good for you to be okay with all of them.
You also need to be okay with it if you don’t have sex at all! It doesn’t mean the date was a failure. It just means that you and your partner enjoyed each other’s company in a different way this time.
It’s happened to most of us at some point. All day you’ve been absolutely determined that tonight is going to be a hot, steamy encounter. And when you get home you find your partner dozing on the sofa in their ratty ancient PJs and really not feeling it if you wake them up.
Nobody is a mind reader. If you want your Valentine’s Day date to be special, surprising your partner with it might not be the best idea. Especially if you’ve not always made a point of celebrating the day together. Let them know what you’d like, and they’ll have a chance to get into the mood themselves in advance.
Of course, sometimes you really do want the whole nine yards - candlelight, rose petals and smooth jazz. The good news is, those things are all part of what makes such an encounter more likely to work out.
Inside the BDSM community, individual sexual encounters are sometimes called ‘scenes’. This is helpful for some kinky people. It allows them to delineate their headspaces and gives clear beginnings and endings to certain roles. Even if you’re of a more vanilla persuasion, taking some time to consciously step mentally into a place where you’re actively being sexual with each other can make all the difference.
Abi Brown is a freelance writer and general pen-for-hire devoted to sexual deviancy, far-left politics and wearing too much jewellery. Find her at her website or @see_abi_write.
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