Sex and Relationship Ambassador, Dr. Pepper Schwartz Offers Tips to Keep the Flame Alive During Sexual Health Awareness Month

SEATTLE – A declining percentage of people describe their marriage as “very happy,” according to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior (NSSHB), about 2/3 of women ages 35 – 64 say that their most recent sexual experience was “extremely pleasurable.” However, compared to men, about 2 to 10 times as many women report that their most recent sexual experience was “not at all pleasurable.”

“Most couples get together initially because they turn each other on physically, and the importance of that physical connection does not go away,” says Pepper Schwartz, PhD., AARP Love and Relationship Ambassador, and author of The Normal Bar. “Over time, having sex helps us repair rifts in a relationship and reaffirms how special we are to one another. Age and duration of a relationship are no obstacle if a couple’s norm encourages and celebrates sexual connection. General happiness, high sexual frequency, and sexual happiness seem to be a package.”

The study also reported that when vaginal sex hurts, 50% of both men and women will do nothing, while only 25% of men and women will think to add a personal lubricant.

Dr. Schwartz’s book describes how men and women want different things from their partners. While men wish for sexual diversity (new sexual acts) as their top desire, followed by less passivity (more passion) and sexual noises (more feedback), women want more foreplay, more romance, and less predictability.

Consider the following advice:

  • Kiss all over. Start from the top and kiss every bit of real estate. Tell your partner which kisses are most thrilling (“Do that again!”).
  • Learn your partner’s favorite fantasy and consider it. Just sharing that information can be fun.
  • Plan a surprise night. Try something in bed that you’ve never done or haven’t done in a long time once a month. Incorporate toys and lubricants more frequently such as Replens Silky Smooth or Trojan Lubricants for enhanced pleasure in foreplay and comfort during intercourse.

“Understanding the wants and needs of your partner will help you become a better lover, but a couple must be able to communicate,” adds Schwartz. “Most desire is unspoken, but talk is a vital form of foreplay.”