Q&A with our resident sexologist and three simple ways to initiate “the talk.”
You asked, we answered. This week’s Hump Day Happy Hour covered all kinds of ground from low libidos, erectile dysfunction (ED), sex and aging, post-baby sex tips, same-sex pleasure talks, and so much more. We’re not sure how we got to it all in only thirty minutes, but our very own Clinical Sexologist, Sunny Rodgers did it and then some.
Read on for tangible tips to improve your connection and make pleasure more accessible (and products, too).
We began this Pepper Hump Day Happy Hour with three simple ways to initiate “the talk” about spicing things up in the bedroom with your partner:
- Make it fun - always remember to smile. This makes this whole conversation more comfortable, non-threatening, and loving.
- Start small - try a connection exercise, holding hands more can be a simple yet effective way to create more connection. The #1 thing that breaks down in relationships is touch. You could lightly touch your partner’s hand or knee and start with small requests, nothing threatening - work your way into bigger requests. An example of a small request would be: “I love it when you kiss my neck.”
- Close your eyes - this can make it easier to say what’s on your mind. (Pro-tip: don’t start the convo over the phone). Most of the time when you’re talking about sex, it can feel serious and uncomfortable. It’s much easier to tap into that intimate and vulnerable space when you aren’t worried about their expressions and body language in response which can be very distracting. Not seeing their facial expressions will help to keep the communication flowing more freely. Again, start with a small request like, “I like it when you nibble my earlobe or tell me how good something I’m doing feels.”
Now onto our Live questions and DMs:
We’re busy, what’s something easy we can do to spice up the bedroom?
We know you’re busy, but finding little extra pockets of time is possible.
Try switching things up by changing who initiates sex. It’s typical that in most relationships there is one partner who initiates more frequently (if not every time).
The initiator can help by planning a date. As the initiator, let your partner know that you want them to initiate sex at the end of the date. Excitement and anticipation are great aphrodisiacs.
Commit to having one date a month (Sunny prefers two), and try something new together on that date. Try a sex pillow. A cooking class. Incorporating new sensual experiences helps to bring that excitement and curiosity home (and into the bedroom).
Most importantly, start small. We know that bringing new routines into your busy lives can be daunting. But something as simple as a Vesper can add spice and sexiness into a date night. Play with it in front of them, maybe buzz the back of their knees under the table to let them know how fun playing with it will be. The chain is also long enough that it can be worn under your top, a pretty little hint of what’s to come. And, if they are distracted or on their phone, turn it on and give them a little surprise buzz to bring their attention back.
How do I tell my partner what I like in bed?
If there is something you really want them to know, SHOW them. If you like a way they are touching you, gently grab their hand and do it with them and say, “I really enjoy this.” If talking isn’t your thing, make some gentle sounds of appreciation. A sexy moan communicates a lot, but simply saying, “I like that,” or “That feels good,” is a great way to give positive feedback.
If you were too shy to tell them during the act, send them a little love note or a sext the next day to tell them what you liked. Making your partner feel good about making you feel good is a win-win.
I never feel like having sex.
Low libido is very common and can change throughout life. Maybe two years ago it was high and now it’s low, that kind of fluctuation is normal.
Adrenaline can actually raise your libido. All kinds of similar hormones are released. Adrenaline can mimic a sexual experience—flushed skin, racing heart, more blood flow. (How similar really depends on how much your own body chemistry needs to mimic the same feeling of arousal).
Adrenaline-releasing activities together can be a fun and natural way to raise your libido and have fun together. Skiing, running, paddleboarding are only a few suggestions—the options are endless. The idea is to find the right level of adrenaline that is right for you and your partner—plus, it’s a fun way to spend time together.
Topical lotions and clitoral arousal balms are also out there and are something worth exploring.
“I’m a lesbian and I feel like I should know how to please my wife, but I don’t, can you help?”
This is understandable—it’s easy to think that since you have similar anatomy, what would feel good to you, would feel good to her as well. However, this isn’t always true. Everyone’s body is different.
First things first: communication is key.
Sit down with your wife and ask her what feels good, go back to our earlier tips on how to initiate “the talk.” Smile, start small.
Taking the time to have a conversation will show her that her pleasure is important to you (a powerful message between partners). It could open up a whole new layer of connection and dynamic between the two of you.
My husband is much older than me and I feel like he doesn’t want to have sex with me.
First step would be for him to talk to his doctor and check his T-levels (there are over the counter tests, too).
There are topical testosterone creams, but there can be side effects like aggression and jitters, so start off slow.
Put yourself in his shoes - this is a great opportunity to show empathy for your partner. He’s older, his hormones are changing. He might be dealing with ED. It could be that he wants to have sex with you, but physiologically there are other things at play.
Erection rings (cock rings) worn at the base of the penis might help him stay harder longer. Start with a semi-erection—a ring can keep the blood in, but can also keep the blood out.
My wife wants to try bigger sex toys, what do you think a good toy would be?
Start with a 7” slimline vibrator, then add a few condoms, this is a simple way to add girth. You can also add a silicone sleeve for a texture.
We don’t recommend that you go out and buy a huge toy. Try playing with the size and sensation of a more standard-sized toy.
Take it slow—listen to her feedback and find out together what her body likes best.
My boyfriend has sensitivity loss and it’s causing some deep insecurities. What can I do to increase pleasure for him?
First of all, it’s important to remember that when life gets stressful, external forces can manifest internally. He may be tamping down his sensitivity in general.
Topical guarana cream can help increase sensitivity.
Vibration or sensation play can also help to stimulate sensitivity. Try temperature play with your hands or a toy. Running them under warm or cool water can lead to more sensitivity in the bedroom.
I just had a baby. How do I ease back into the sex game? What if my husband feels differently about my body?
First of all, cut yourself some slack—you just made a tiny human! For couples reintroducing intimacy back into their relationships, there is a touching practice that can be spread out over many weeks called Sensate Touch.
Weeks 1-2, kiss on your bodies, but no erogenous zones.
Weeks 3-4, include erogenous zones, but no fingers or penetration.
Weeks 5-8 external stimulation only (fingers can be included).
No penetrative sex until you are totally ready (weeks 8-9).
This practice allows for reconnection and will build sexual desire until both partners are truly lusty and ready for penetrative sex.
You can read more about Sensate Touch in an article written by Sunny Rodgers, here.
My husband wants to try new (acrobatic-style) positions and I’m not sure if I’m flexible enough. What can I do to make it work?
Talk to him and let him know what you’re comfortable with (some of the positions he’s suggesting might have to come off his list).
A sex pillow is a great way to make new angles and positions possible. He will likely enjoy trying something new and you might experience new sensations, too!
And last but not least, Sunny left us with one tip to help improve connection with your partner this week:
Talk to your partner while focusing on their left eye. The left eye connects to the cerebral cortex which stimulates connection with other people. Directing eye contact there is a simple way to send a physiological signal of interest to the one you want most.
We can’t wait to catch up more with you and all your questions next week. See you on Wednesday at 6 pm PST @peppertogether!