When I was a hormonal teenager with a ridiculous amount of interest in the opposite gender, my mother impressed upon me and my sisters that sex alone wasn’t a good reason for having a relationship with someone.
Of course we thought she was being a puritan. But in fact, she was sharing the important fact that when you have four children and run your own business – which my folks have, successfully for nearly 30 years – there’s not a lot left over for sex. And if that is what your relationship is based on, when the going gets tough your partnership may not survive.
That said, sex and intimacy are an incredibly important part of our lives. Over the years I’ve worked with women who often are far more frustrated by a failure in their sexual relationships than their partners.
The old cliché of having it all…
We’re bombarded with unrealistic images of women in the media, like Beyoncé in leather leotards and fetish shoes. So it’s easy to jump to the conclusion we aren’t measuring up.
Magazines like Cosmopolitan and Elle talk about how we can ‘have it all’. But who feels like swinging from the light fittings after a 6am start with two toddlers and the daycare run, or a working day firefighting and building relationships followed by cooking and maybe more paperwork?
And come to think of it who says that swinging from the light fittings is what we want from our sex lives anyway? Sometimes even a cuddle and a good old-fashioned snog is enough to keep the home fires burning.
It’s time that women stopped trying to measure up and wondering whether a rubber dress might make things more exciting. Let’s be honest: it’ll be difficult to get on, make us sweat and ultimately smell bad. Without expensive silicone spray it’ll never shine enticingly like you see in the magazines and if you do get it shiny it’ll show up the lumps and bumps.
I have a corset. It’s very pretty and I thoroughly enjoy looking at its satiny greenness in the drawer. I have worn it. I may have regretted it just an eensy weensy bit when I tried to bend, dance, breath…any of those pesky activities. Having said that my dear husband thought it looked enchanting.
Be happy… be yourself
A satisfying sex life is a sex life that makes you happy. It doesn’t have to measure up to anyone else’s expectations. If sitting on the sofa holding hands then quietly cuddling in your in your PJs with the light off makes you feel loved and attractive and womanly then that’s so much better than feeling you have to be waxed within an inch of your life in order to assume Karma Sutra position 93.
However if, as Tracey Ullman once said, doing it standing up in a hammock covered in mayonnaise floats your boat, I’m not going to criticise.
If your sex life isn’t meeting your needs then there are lots of relationship and sex counsellors out there. There are manuals and there are websites – though watch what search terms you use, the internet can be an unexpected education at times.
But don’t ever feel your sex life doesn’t match up because you think everyone else is doing it more or better. Do it your way… and you’ll be the one with the amazing sex life.
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