July 02, 2020
Sex is everywhere – online, offline, in music, fashion, advertising, movies, books and TV. With this 24/7 exposure, you’d think sex is really no big deal and we’d all be open and relaxed talking about it. Not necessarily so.
Lets Talk About Sex, Baby: All The Awkward Topics Between The Sheets
So why do many of us find it difficult to talk about sex? It’s all too often a sensitive and awkward topic that can make us feel embarrassed, inadequate or ashamed. Maybe we didn’t have the most positive messages or information about sex when we were younger; maybe we feel that talking about our innermost fantasies will make us vulnerable to criticism, judgement or rejection.
It’s the hot topic of conversation in our second episode of new podcast Deal With It, brought to you by Corsodyl Toothpaste who are on a mission to get us talking about those uncomfortable issues we choose to ignore – whether that’s sex, or bleeding gums and oral health!Gigi Engle chats to host Ellie Taylor on Deal With It. Also listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.
Tackling those sexual issues we’re all curious for but too embarrassed to speak about, Ellie Taylor explored the subject with certified sex coach Gigi Engle, who shared her knowledge and some practical advice.
The benefits of sex
First, It’s worth talking about why sex is so good for us. Sex raises heart rate, and counts as a form of light aerobic exercise. Conversely, if our blood pressure and heart rate are too high, a loving hug can help reduce them. Full sex can also help us cope better with everyday stress, may strengthen our immune system, and many people who are regularly sexually active say that it makes them feel healthier too.The trouble with sex
We’re less inclined to talk about sex when it’s not ideal. It’s easy to feel that everyone else is having loads of fantastic between-the-sheets action when we’re struggling with embarrassing sexual issues. Do we even know how much sex we should be having? Gigi explains: “A normal amount of sex is when both people in a relationship are having sex the amount that they want to be having… as long as both people are happy.”
Libido
Take libido; this fluctuates throughout our life because, well, life gets in the way, let alone a Coronavirus pandemic. When your libidos fall out of synch, you need to talk and agree to some compromises on frequency to get your sex life back on track. It’s important that the person with the lower libido doesn’t get to call all the shots all the time. Figure out when you both have the most energy and are in the best mood for intimacy – and this doesn’t always have to lead to full sex.
“Gear away from this idea that intercourse is the most important form of sexual expression… and everything else is not sex,” says Gigi. Even take your focus off orgasm as the ultimate goal, and onto developing more intimacy, playfulness and passion during sex.
The orgasm gap
Many Women silently worry that there’s something wrong with them because they don’t climax during intercourse. A Dutch study showed that 75% of women as opposed to 28% of men don’t reach orgasm – a complex phenomenon that’s referred to as ‘the orgasm gap’.Gigi explains, “The orgasm gap exists, and boils down to one simple fact, which is that we know absolutely nothing about the clitoris. We have horrible sex education and we don’t talk about the clitoris; we don’t talk about pleasure. Without external clitoral stimulation the official stats say about 70% of women will not have orgasms, but truthfully it’s between 85-95%.”
Porn, often encountered before sex education, does the orgasm gap no favours either, with its staged depictions of women ‘climaxing’ through vigorous penetration alone. “It’s like looking at The Fast and the Furious and thinking “Oh I get it, I can drive a car now,”’ says Gigi.
Being stressed, tired, distracted or insufficiently relaxed can block orgasms as well; it’s vital to make sure the environment and mood turn you on before getting down to the clitoris.
Erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation
Men worry about erectile dysfunction (ED) and premature ejaculation but are reluctant to talk about them. Again, unrealistic depictions of sex and a lack of education may play a part, according to Gigi: “men have all this pressure upon them so they don’t get to enjoy sex either because it is so based on this performative model of sexuality – how long your erection lasts, how hard it is…” It’s possible, though, that ED may have an underlying medical cause, and it’s worth speaking to your pharmacist or doctor if you’re worried.
Rekindling an erotic spark
It may be that you’ve been having sex all along, but it’s just got a bit stale. One of you needs to broach the subject.  The first thing to do is acknowledge the fact that it is awkward, and if it continues being awkward, there’s plenty of advice out there, from self-help books – Gigi recommends She Comes First and Come As You Are – to sex therapy. The key to reconnecting is to rediscover intimacy gradually, rather like you did when you were first attracted to each other. If you haven’t had great sex for a while, focus on kissing, cuddling and foreplay to begin with without the pressure of expecting full intercourse.
What about the kinky stuff?
This is a tricky one. One partner may feel nervous even suggesting something other than vanilla sex, and there’s the risk that the other partner might be shocked or feel vulnerable. The solution, says Gigi, is to: “Come from a place of love with them… it’s not just a desire to get weird, you want to get weird with this person; you’re excited to try stuff with them.” You could turn it into a game of ‘Sexual Bucket List’ – each of you writes a list of things they’d like to try, you swap lists and circle the things you’d consider doing. Not only can you give the mutual choices a go, you could try things you may not have considered before. It removes the passion-killing embarrassment of one person asking for something and the other refusing.    
You can check out this latest episode of the Deal With It podcast on Spotify or Apple PodcastsAnd while we’re being all open and talking about sensitive subjects, when was the last time you showed your gums some love? Gum disease affects nearly 50% of adults, it can cause bad breath and bleeding gums and if left untreated can lead to receding gums and eventually tooth loss. Two thirds of sufferers ignore this serious problem but Corsodyl toothpaste is here to help. When used twice daily it is clinically proven to help stop and prevent bleeding gums, so get on with it and deal with it. Find out more…
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