Let’s Talk About the 5 Most Common Sex Problems

10 Nov, 2022 | Relationships

5 Minute Read

Words by WYLDE MOON staff writer

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A row of matches on fire to symbolise burnout

Talking about challenges in our love lives is something many of us find difficult.

Up to half of women will experience some kind of sexual problem at some point in our lives…

…ranging from a lack of desire, to finding sex uncomfortable or unsatisfying. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. We asked sexual healing coach Amy White, AKA www.templeofthefemine.com her advice on some of the most common issues women face between the sheets, and how to get around them. From having a low sex drive, struggling to orgasm, feeling uncomfortable or tired or not being able to communicate your needs, Amy has advice.

1. My sex drive is not the same as my partner’s…

A large number of the women I work with feel there’s disparity in terms of sexual desire between themselves and their partners. Many of us believe desire should happen ‘spontaneously’ and if it doesn’t, it’s simply not there. But that’s not the case. Desire is something we need to ‘work’ at and actively turn on, rather than just expecting to feel in the mood for sex naturally, without putting in any groundwork.

Start by thinking about the things that you respond to – perhaps it’s a certain environment. Of course, some people naturally have a higher sex drive than others, so be honest about what feels right for you and your partner. If there is a disparity, look at ways you can meet in the middle and focus on the idea of intimacy and connection rather than just sex to bring desire back. Making a commitment to time together to connect and cultivate this side of your relationship is the first step to reigniting a spark and keeping it alive.

2. I struggle to orgasm…

The number one rule is to step away from the goal of orgasm. Pressure is a massive passion killer, take the focus off an ‘end goal’ and try focusing simply on pleasure instead. I call this the ‘pleasure not pressure’ technique. Focus on sensations in your body – this could be alone at first, or with your partner – find out what you enjoy. You might find orgasm happens spontaneously when you’re able to better tune into your body.

When we pretend to feel a certain way (by faking it, for example) we’re denying ourselves the opportunity to experience real pleasure. Ask yourself who are you having sex for, and why? It’s important not to detach yourself from the experience – which is what happens when we ‘perform’ or deny ourselves authenticity. If you have a partner, talk to them about your desires and how you’re feeling. Unless your partner is told otherwise, they’ll be none the wiser and will keep repeating what they usually do, so focus on communicating and building trust together. In most cases, in order to orgasm there has to be a feeling of trust and safety. An environment where you don’t feel able to speak up is unlikely to cultivate a healthy, happy sexual relationship long-term.

3. I’m too tired for sex…

You’re not alone – a huge number of men and women admit to avoiding sex because they’re tired or stressed, which is interesting when you think about it as sex can actually be incredibly energising and a huge stress reliever. I often advise clients to restructure their idea of what sex looks like, and focus on intimacy instead (which often naturally leads to sex).

Set aside time together to energise in other ways – perhaps giving each other a massage, or heading to bed half an hour earlier to talk or lie in bed together without the expectation of anything happening. Maybe it’s taking a bath together or spending half an hour exploring the idea of touch without expectation, no phones allowed. It might sound like a small thing, but if you do this regularly, these moments have the ability to really shift your mood. Once you’re able to successfully shift from feeling like sex is a ‘chore’ to genuinely feeling interested, you’ll find the reality is much more pleasurable. Which should, in theory, lead to you doing it more often – and feeling better as a result.

stressed mind and a calm mind

Sexual healing coach Amy White, AKA www.templeofthefemine.com

4. I can’t say what I want in bed…

Vocalising your needs and desires – especially sexually – can be really difficult, whether you’re single or in a long-term relationship. It’s important to remember that it’s our responsibility to know ourselves sexually and communicate those likes and desires to a partner. The onus shouldn’t be on them to miraculously know what those turn-ons are (they’re not mind-readers!).

Sharing our intimate thoughts and feelings can make us feel incredibly vulnerable, which makes it challenging. If you’ve not been communicating your desires with your partner, it’s easy to shy away from doing so for fear of damaging the relationship.

Think about it as an opportunity to deepen intimacy and build better trust and communication. Carve out time to talk – during foreplay or as a separate conversation. Keep things light and fun (use “I like it when you…” or “I’d prefer it if we…” rather than “You don’t do this” which can feel accusatory). Perhaps sending them a fun voice-note feels most natural for you, or leaving them post-it notes telling them what you enjoy. Maintaining an element of fun and play in the conversation ensures any feelings of bruised egos or being told off are swerved – which is key. Shaming somebody into having good sex is never a good move!

5. Why is sex uncomfortable?…

As many as 75% of women experience discomfort during sex and there can be a number of reasons behind it. (I’d always suggest checking in with your GP first to rule out any medical issues, like dryness caused by the menopause). Interestingly, one of the most common reasons behind sex feeling uncomfortable or painful is stress or trauma. Science has shown us that holding onto trauma in the body can manifest in physical symptoms.

The vagina is no different which manifests in pain or tightness when intimate. In practical terms become comfortable with the idea and sensation of touch and move the focus away from arousal – if that happens, great, but it shouldn’t be the aim. Slow things down. Women don’t always understand their own arousal process and often try to match men’s, but females tend to need more time. Focus on enjoying the process.

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