Let’s talk about sex and love
A good chunk of Canadians aren’t happy with their love or sex life. According to a new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of Global News, 41% of men and women in Canada think their love or sex life was bad.
The poll looked at Canadians between the ages of 18-34. They were the most satisfied with their love and sex lives with 68%. Canadians 55+ were the least satisfied at 47%.
Samantha Bitty, a Sexual health educator and relationship expert says our sex lives are often treated as a separate entity from the rest of our lives. “Shift towards less mental compartmentalizing of our sex life from the rest of our life,” she said.
“The same way sexual health is not separate from overall health, what’s going on in our work or home life [affects] our sex life and vice versa.”
Get your sex life on track in 2020
There’s always pressure that you’re having enough sex. Don’t, it’s unhealthy. Heather Kent, a registered psychotherapist and author, says there is no “right” amount of sex for anyone. “Each [person] is unique and has a different synergy, but checking in with your partner on whether they feel satisfied with the current frequency is a good barometer,” she said.
“If one partner is not in agreement, then this is something that should be explored together, non-judgmentally.”
When we consider sex or good sex is also worth the conversation, Bitty explains. “Even if people are having sex together that is mutually dissatisfying, it is still socially regarded as being a more successful sex life than someone having fantastic solo sex or sexting even,” she said.
“Further, the ‘rules’ are different across genders … the ‘right’ amount of sex for men is different than for women.”
Spice up your sex life in 2020
Kent recommends if you’re going through a dry spell in your relationship, try dating your partner again.
“Like you used to when you first started to spend time together,” she said. “Getting dressed up [or] making an effort to look your best when you go out together can reunite the spark that was initially there at the beginning of dating.”
Change things up in the bedroom or try kinky adult games.
“If time is lacking, ask yourself which resources you do have in abundance that can go towards making sex more of a reality. Is it sexual desire, money, energy?” she said.
“For partnered people, multitask … maybe it’s more sexting/mutual masturbation, sex while showering, quickies … For singles, what are you seeking? Do you have that which you want to receive, to give to someone else?”
And most importantly, adjust your expectations.
“If you’re not making time for sex then you may have to accept it is not a priority to you right now, and that’s OK.”
And here’s a biggie: Sex shouldn’t be stressful. “A lot of people find sex stressful due to a lack of self-confidence or self-worth,” she said. “They have very negative self-talk about their bodies, and if you don’t feel sexy, you’re not going to be super pumped to engage in a weekly striptease.”
This is when you should take a step back and address these underlying issues, Kent says.
“Maybe it’s feeling a lack of communication or connection in other ways from your partner, maybe it’s a body image or personal health issue, maybe it’s a mental health issue, such as depression, anxiety or PTSD.”
So, how important is our sexual health?
The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center looked at this:
“Sexual function changes are normal, but sometimes these changes can negatively affect personal health and relationships. Claire Postl, a sex therapist at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, helps patients and couples who are experiencing sexual difficulties learn to improve their sexual health.”