Disclaimer: The contents of this article are adult in nature. Reader discretion is advised.
Dr Rachael Winston, affectionately known as Dr Ray, is a sexual health practitioner and Centre Medical Director at MUC Healthcare, and she’s answering your questions!
We sat down with Dr Ray to talk through some of the burning questions we received from readers via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Look out for more articles in our Ask A Sexologist series on SAYS.
How do you deal with different sex drives with a partner? Often, my libido is lower and I’m rarely in the mood. I feel guilty that I can’t satisfy my partner frequently, and when I do give in I feel upset that my partner willingly accepts it. Any tips to boost libido?
According to Dr Ray, a woman’s sex drive goes up and down, whereas men can retain the same sex drive throughout their lives. In Dr Ray’s words, “till they are 80-90 years old, guys are still horny.”
For context, Dr Ray explains that ejaculation for men is a stress release that can relieve internal tension. “When a person ejaculates, the hormones that are released will basically give them a lot of relaxation,” she says. “You feel better, like you have a certain amount of physical tension in you released. So it gives you a little bit of clarity, and also relief when it comes to solving issues and problems.”
But this is not the case for women. Women do not need to have sex or ejaculate in order to gain a clear mind or release tension.
Understanding the difference between what men and women get out of sex is important for couples
Dr Ray advises that couples sit and talk about their needs and wants when it comes to matters of the bedroom. It’s important to set expectations and have a mutual agreement when it comes to planning a date night out, and working together to get that spark so both partners feel fulfilled.
She adds that when sex is requested by the male partner as a way to release, and the act becomes a “do it and get over with it” situation, this often turns the female partner off.
“Women have layers, it’s like peeling onions. There’s nothing at the end but you still have to take time peeling the layers.”
Image via Cody Black/Unsplash
Men need to show patience and take the time to go from process to process in satisfying their partner
The more stress a woman goes through, the harder it can be to break down the layers, in which case, men have to put in extra effort.
Dr Ray asserts that women cannot relate to men when it comes to fast release from ejaculation and are unable to get into the mood in the split second it takes men.
She goes on to say that men need to step up their game, especially with long-term partners. Increasing a person’s libido doesn’t happen just before penetration, it should be an integral part of your relationship.
From date nights and foreplay, to sexting and kissing, it’s important to show affection in your communication with one another. “Even in your conversations, the way you speak to each other, that’s where sex drive and libido start.”
Healthy discussions among couples are a must, and conversations should be approached with an open mind, making sure not to take things personally and get defensive
Be proactive in all aspects of your relationship. If you realise that you haven’t had sex for quite some time, discuss it with your partner. Both of you need to listen to each other’s side.
Why is she feeling that way? Why is he feeling that way?
“That’s the first understanding and barrier they have to break,” explains Dr Ray. “Now, the second one is discussing how to move forward and make our relationship work.”
Perhaps the female partner doesn’t always want penetrative sex and prefers oral. Or perhaps the male partner just wants to be touched and feel wanted.
Common ground and a common goal are the key to a safe and healthy intimate lifestyle. Sexual intimacy can look very different between couples. From prolonged kissing and hand jobs, to cuddling and kissing, sex doesn’t always have to be full blown penetration.
There’s no right or wrong, find what works for both of you.
Image via Nathan McBride/Unsplash
Dr Ray reminds couples that sexual relationships in movies and social media are not the benchmark for real life couples
In films, people having sex always fall nicely into different, steamy positions. Everything is hyped up, sensual, and passionate. If you set this as your expectation with sex with your partner, you will end up disappointed.
Dr Ray encourages couples to find their own sexual satisfaction with each other, and not try to emulate what they see from others.
Dr Ray is a sexologist and sex therapist. Follow her on Instagram to learn more about sexual health, and check out MUC Healthcare and Vibes Healthcare for more information.
Look out for more #sexualhealth stories and tips this month!
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