Your instincts may tell you that sex isn’t the same as training for a race. And while it’s true that sexual encounters carry more emotional weight and physical intimacy than, say, interval running, you can still take a beginner’s approach to pleasure. If you’re trying to figure out how to get better at sex, sexologist Shan Boodram, author of The Game of Desire, says that a simple shift in perspective can revolutionize the way we think about our sex lives.
“The thing about sex in relationships and intimacy is that we other it from every other skill in life. If we substituted sex with sewing or archery, there’d be a really easy path to mastery,” she said at a self-love panel at The Wing in New York City. “There’s no real magic to [getting better at sex]. If you want to get better at something, it’s time plus effort plus humility and enthusiasm.” These three components come together in a steamy sexual equation.
Lucky for you, the first part of the equation is easy. If you’re willing to put in the effort, there’s no shortage of resources for making yourself a student of sexuality. Podcasts on the topic abound, sexy self-help is in your local bookstore, and—not to toot our own horn here—but we talk about sex at Well+Good a lot.
“You enlist the help of experts, you learn from the best, you research, you practice in low risk environments where it’s okay to make mistakes and come back to the table and say let’s try this again. You put yourself out there and you try to fail. I think that’s essentially it,” says Boodram.
Once you’ve nailed down your list of resources for sexual intel, all that’s left is to approach your experimentation with a humble yet playful attitude, says Boodram. “We all have this ideal of ‘I want to be this sexual vixen,’ or ‘I don’t want to be too out there,’ or ‘I’m a prude so I want to be this.’ Healthy intimacy is taking one tiny step and that’s in relationships, that’s with yourself. Through that slow exploration, you’ll never traumatize yourself and you’ll enjoy it so much more,” says Boodram.
So pour yourself a cup of tea and summon your studious college self to brush up on all things intimacy. “Life is not a rom-com,” says the sexologist. “You don’t have to get to the conclusion of anything in an hour and a half. You’ve got the time to play and explore all throughout it.”
The “Kivin Method” could help you orgasm in 3 minutes flat. And (for research purposes), try a sex coach’s 4 favorite things to do in the bedroom.