We now have the secrets to optimal sex. It doesn’t involve Viagra, sex toys, rock hard erections, having the perfect body, or a particular position, technique or novelty.
That’s right — you don’t have to shake up your routine, buy another vibrating gadget, lose weight, pop a pill, or master Kama Sutra-style sexual gymnastics for spectacular sex.
Knowing what constitutes super sex is the first step in realizing it. It turns out we may have a lot to learn from our elders when it comes to the most satisfying sex. Those who have been “doing it” for a quarter century or more hold the eight keys to realizing memorable, fulfilling, amazing sex.
Recent research in The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality found that the best sex comes with relationships as they become more mature. Participants, namely married couples over the age 60, reported the following components as significantly contributing to rock star sex:
1. Being present, focused and embodied. Reported more than any other factor is the need for lovers to be completely absorbed in the moment, feeling completely merged in one another.
2. Connection, alignment and being in sync. The depth of connection is critical to the experience, with lovers becoming one and synchronous as their energies align.
3. Deep sexual and erotic intimacy. With intimacy the foundation of the relationship, the components of intimacy lend themselves to optimal sex. These include caring, deep mutual respect, admiration, and true acceptance of one another.
4. Extraordinary communication and heightened empathy. Lovers realizing optimal sex are able to read their partner’s bodily responses, truly feeling them. They also listen in both verbal and non-verbal ways, picking up on little things and being sensitive in every way.
5. Authenticity, being genuine and uninhibited, transparency. Participants reported the ability to become emotionally naked, share freely, and feel unselfconscious with their lover as critical to having better sex.
6. Vulnerability and surrender. Lovers have a willingness to expose themselves, to truly be seen. In putting themselves in another’s hands, they relinquish themselves, ultimately penetrating each other’s souls.
7. Bliss, transformation and healing. Optimal sex is an exalted, soulful, timeless state of awe and ecstasy.
8. Exploration, interpersonal risk-taking and fun. Sex is an adventure, with lovers becoming explorers as lovemaking becomes one of discovery. Such is complemented by unleashing one’s sense of humor and laughter.
So what does all of this mean?
— Despite reaching climax, you could still be having lousy sex. You can, on the other hand, have exceptional sex without orgasm.
— Sexual ecstasy is not about physiological functioning or technical talent. It’s about feeling fully alive and in the moment — mind, body, and soul.
— Sex gets better with sexual experience and knowing your partner, with the most desirable sex coming from within and, yes, even with age.
— You can still have optimal sex despite being elderly, chronically ill or disabled.
— Optimal sex is how you define it, with your mind set and intent important in becoming sexually gratified.
Researchers further noted that better sex comes with slower, less goal-oriented lovemaking, sex that isn’t all about “achieving” orgasm. Contrary to popular messages in the media, you can be mechanically skilled and sexually functioning, but not necessarily having super sex.
While we’ve been told that “optimal” sex involves reaching a state of sexual perfection, it’s actually a sexual experience different from your average, positive sexual liaison. Yet the unrealistic expectations we’ve been spoon-fed around factors like technique are trumping many lovers’ efforts.
If you buy into magazine headlines and articles promising quick fixes and maximum results, you will ultimately feel anxiety, shame, guilt, and insecurity in being unable to have the type of stellar sex you are “supposed” to be having.
As the study’s researchers wrote, those with fulfilling sex lives “have learned to ignore conventional performance expectations in order to listen to and take responsibility for their own hearts’ desires.” If you want satisfying sex, make sure that “those” includes you.
Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."