For a while there, I was one of them.
Although I’ve mostly enjoyed my sex life, I got to a point a few years ago where I started to wonder, “Is this it?!”
It was frustrating because I didn’t know what I didn’t know. How do you enjoy sex more when you don’t even know where to start?
- Women are more likely than men to be unsatisfied with their sex lives. *
- Straight women have less orgasms than their male partners (and fewer orgasms than bisexual or lesbian women). *
- And 10% – 40% of women have difficulty reaching orgasm at all. *
It’s a plight often referred to as The Orgasm Gap.
So if you’re feeling a bit ‘meh’ about sex, or you’re keeping yourself up at night wondering how to enjoy sex more, you’re definitely not alone.
Because here’s the thing: we’re not taught how to have great sex.
Sex-ed in schools focuses on health, contraception and safety. And while those things are important, there’s next to nothing about pleasure.
Add to this the slut shaming and taboo that surrounds female sexuality, plus all the other toxic shit that stems from gender inequality and patriarchal attitudes on sex…
Well, it’s safe to say there’s a LOT getting in the way of women’s pleasure.
But the good news is, you can take matters into your own hands. (And yes, I mean that both literally and figuratively.)
If you’re curious about how to enjoy sex more, these 7 essentials will help you turn your pleasure dial aaaaaall the way up.
They’re not intended as The Complete Guide For the Best Sex of Your Life. That’s a deep-dive journey unique to each woman, and the type of personalised work I do with my 1:1 clients.
But if you’re fumbling in the dark wondering where to start, these are seven solid steps you can take to enjoy sex more and create a more pleasurable, satisfying sex life.
how to enjoy sex more #1:
Give Yourself Time to Get Aroused
Spoiler alert: Men’s and women’s bodies work differently.
Revolutionary, I know.
In reality, ALL bodies work a little differently: What turns you on and what turns you off; how your desire works; how you like to roll in the bedroom. Us humans are complex and multifaceted.
But here’s the biggest revelation that totally rocked my world (in a good way) when I first learnt how to enjoy sex more:
It’s estimated that women need around 20 minutes of sexual play to get fully aroused.
Just let that sink in: twenty whole minutes.
Truth is, arousal is difficult to study scientifically. We’re sexual beings, not machines, so times vary widely. And while there’s no official consensus on how long it takes for either men or women, the key takeaway is this:
Sexual arousal takes time. And probably more time than you’re giving yourself.
Now, there’s actually two different types of arousal: the physical arousal of your body and your subjective arousal – how aroused you FEEL. (And no, they don’t always overlap).
They’re both incredibly important for enjoying sex more. And while subjective arousal is a little more complex (more on that in a moment), simply giving your body enough time to switch on is a great place to start.
Think about it – there’s a lot that needs to happen down there:
- Extra blood needs to flow to all the intricate parts of your genitals – swelling the lips of your vulva, almost doubling the size of your clitoris and lubricating your vaginal canal.
- The nerve endings throughout your V parts need time to activate – turning on pleasure spots like your G-Spot, A-Spot and more.
- Your vagina also needs time to lengthen. It expands up to two times in size, moving your cervix deeper into your body and out of the way.
Which means one of the golden rules for how to enjoy sex more is this:
Take more time to rev those engines.
Passionate kissing. Breast play. Fingering (with LOTS of attention on the clitoris). Oral sex. Whatever floats your boat and turns you ON. But most importantly: give yourself waaaaay longer than a few minutes to get turned on and ready for sex.
➜ RELATED: How to Fix Low Libido: 7 Important Truths That’ll Blow Your Mind 🤯
how to enjoy sex more #2:
Get Your Whole Body Involved
For freakin’ amaze-balls sex, you need more than just your genitals in the game; you want your whole body and mind to be aroused too.
We’ll get to the mind part in a moment, but how do you increase arousal in your whole body?
You make the effort to get everything involved to turn it all ON:
- Run your hands and fingers across your neck, your breasts, your arms, your thighs. Ask your partner to kiss the back of your neck and shoulders. Explore every inch of your body, and invite your partner to do the same.
- Engage your senses. Drink in your partner’s body (and your own) with your eyes. Listen to all the juicy, sensual sounds. Smell the uniqueness of their skin. Get creative and find ALL the ‘on’ switches.
- You can also use breath to move pleasure throughout your body. Imagine pleasure radiating out from your genitals and into every single cell of your body.
You want your skin to feel electric, your nipples to be switched on and zinging with pleasure, and your entire body to be well and truly engaged.
Because no matter your gender, creating more time for whole-body arousal will help you enjoy sex more. All the senses = all the pleasure.
how to enjoy sex more #3:
Push the Pleasure Button
Your clitoris is one of nature’s most fabulous creations. With over 8,000 touch-sensitive nerve endings (that’s the highest concentration anywhere in the human body – male or female), it’s a red-hot pleasure button.
Which makes it your one-stop-shop for taking a so-so sex life, to mind-blowing-fabulousness.
One of the easiest tips for how to enjoy sex more is to simply keep your clit involved. As much as possible. Yes, during oral sex and fingering and all of your ‘foreplay’ type activities. And also during penetration.
Too often women get to the ‘sex’ part and forget all about their clit. But that’s where most of the nerve endings are – and hence where a lot of pleasure happens.
Unfortunately, a lot of women feel shame about touching themselves, or needing clitoral stimulation to feel pleasure during penetrative sex.
I get it – there’s a lot of BS out there that puts vaginal orgasms on some kind of pedestal and makes women feel ‘less than’ if they’ve never had one.
Yes, you can learn how to have vaginal orgasms if you want to, but they’re also rare. The vast majority of women report needing clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm.
Moral of the story? Give your clit plenty of attention. Have your partner play with it while they’re inside you. Play with it yourself. Discover all the ways it likes to be stimulated, and find the positions that rub you in just the right way.
Press that pleasure button, and press it often. That’s what it’s there for.
➜ RELATED: Self-Conscious About Receiving Oral? 9 Proven Ways to Relax & Enjoy Oral Sex
how to enjoy sex more #4:
Get Your Head in the Game
We’ve now covered much of the physical arousal stuff. But unless you start taking steps to address this one, they’ll hardly make a difference.
Because here’s the thing: arousal isn’t just physical – it also happens in the mind.
You can engage your senses and press that pleasure button all you like, but if your mind ain’t in the game, there’s a limit to how much you’ll be able to enjoy yourself:
- Sometimes your mind is still racing from a crazy-busy day and an unfinished to-do list.
- Sometimes sex isn’t working because there’s some unspoken shit going down in your relationship. (Yep, that ol’ elephant in the room will mess with your sex life more than you realise.)
- Sometimes you’re not feeling good about yourself or your body, and sex is bringing those insecurities to the surface.
It all has a massive impact on your enjoyment of sex.
Which means priority #1 is finding a way to relax, to feel safe, and to feel loved and appreciated. Whether that’s with your partner, within yourself, or both.
Easier said than done, right?
I’m not going to patronise you and pretend that a simple listicle has all the answers to the stresses and challenges of your life. (And let’s be real here – hearing “just relax” usually makes us want to punch someone.)
But I will say this:
The broader circumstances of your life have an impact in the bedroom. You can’t be living a stressful life while expecting to have an awesome sex life.
In other words – addressing the more complex issues will have a positive impact not only on your sex life, but your entire life.
At the same time, it can be as simple as starting to include some relaxation time into your ‘foreplay’ activities:
Have a bath. Go to yoga. Listen to some music. Get a massage. Work on creating a space – both physically, mentally and emotionally – where you feel safe to let go.
By taking steps to address stressors and prioritise relaxation, you give yourself the best possible chance to enjoy sex more.
how to enjoy sex more #5:
Forget About Orgasms
Orgasms are great. We’re definitely pro-orgasms.
Ironically enough though, you’ll be able to enjoy sex more if you stop focusing on them.
If you’re trying to ‘get there’ as quickly as possible (and worrying about why you’re not), you miss out on the whole experience right there in the moment.
So here comes a potentially mind-blowing reframe: Sex doesn’t have to be a race to orgasm. It can be an experience of pleasure, connection, and love. Or pretty much whatever you choose it to be.
The reasons why us humans have sex are varied and plentiful, and how you think about sex plays a huge part in your enjoyment of it.
But a simple way to put this into practice is this: try not to orgasm.
If orgasm is no longer the goal, it opens you up to whole other worlds of possibility. Which in turn opens you up to deeper satisfaction and enjoyment.
When you reframe the ‘goal’ of sex, you remove the pressure to orgasm. Which gives you permission to show up differently, to enjoy all the other gifts of your sexual experience, and to stop worrying about ‘how long you’re taking’.
This is a game-changer for men too. When the race towards orgasm and ejaculation is removed, it allows for a different in-the-moment experience of pleasure and connection.
Forgetting about orgasms might sound strange at first, but give it a try and see where it takes you.
how to enjoy sex more #6:
The Wetter the Better
Sex is like a slip and slide:
Add a lot of wetness, and you have hours of slippery fun. Go in dry, and you’ll get friction burn. Nope, no fun at all.
So much of the underwhelm women experience during sex is simply due to discomfort:
- The angle’s not right.
- You’re not relaxed enough.
- It’s starting to burn down there (and not in a good way).
We’ll address the first two in a moment, but the last one has the easiest fix around:
Unfortunately, many women feel embarrassed or ashamed of reaching for extra lubrication. Just as men have been conditioned to link the size of their genitals to their sense of masculinity, so too women have linked their femininity to their level of wetness.
We’re calling BS.
While not being wet enough might be an indication you’re not warmed up yet (see point #1) – it’s also totally normal to need some extra lubrication.
Here’s something obvious but not commonly understood: Women can be super turned on but not very wet. And, we can also get wet without being turned on at all. (Sexuality is complicated like that.)
And women of all ages (especially those in post-menopause) just won’t lubricate much. No matter how hot and turned on they are.
So let’s ditch the shame and normalise the use of lubricant (just make sure it’s the right osmolality). You can get all au-naturel and use some saliva (my personal fave). Or simply spend some extra time with your favourite wetness-inducing foreplay (oral sex anyone?).
Because when it comes to enjoying sex more, it’s a clear case of ‘the wetter the better.’
how to enjoy sex more #7:
Ask For What You Want
Want to know another way to address a lot of sexual underwhelm with one simple action?
Ask for what you want.
- Uncomfortable in that position? Ask for a pillow to support you legs.
- That angle feeling a bit weird? Pause for a moment and move around till it feels good.
- Too hard? Too deep? Too fast? Not fast enough?
You get the idea.
Asking for what you want might get a bit stop/start awkward at times – but that’s OK. Despite what we see in the mainstream media, sex is rarely a flawless, perfectly-executed dance. In fact, it can’t be – that ain’t realistic.
What IS realistic is two humans (or more if that’s how you roll) coming together to create a unique experience.
It’s OK for that to be a bit messy at times. It’s beautiful that it’s messy at times. It’s the only way for it to be real, authentic, connected, and yes, pleasurable.
So if you want to enjoy sex more, begin with a conversation.
You don’t have to focus on what’s wrong (although it’s OK to voice that too). You can frame things in a positive, growth focused way.
“I want to keep growing our sex life together and enjoy sex more…. Here are some ideas I’d like to try….”
This can be scary. Because voicing your desires and facing the possibility of judgement or rejection is super vulnerable.
But it’s this sharing of who you really are and what you really want that leads to deeper intimacy. This transparency ultimately brings you closer together and helps you enjoy sex more.
how to enjoy sex more BONUS:
If you’re learning how to enjoy sex more but none of these seem to fit, you don’t have to suffer on your own.
Maybe you’re doing all the things, but sex just isn’t working. Maybe it’s uncomfortable. Maybe it hurts. Maybe it brings up a traumatic past. Maybe you’re numb and you just don’t feel anything at all.
Sex is wonderfully complex and multifaceted. While we might try to break it down into bite-sized pieces, sometimes there’s more going on than a simple 7 step blog can cover.
I’ve worked with clients who were doing all the ‘right’ things, but there were more complicated blocks that kept them from enjoying themselves.
From a strict religious upbringing that says sexual pleasure is dirty or wrong, to unresolved conflict in a relationship. It all plays a part in how much you enjoy sex.
But that’s OK too. ‘Cause there’s lots of people who can support you, and there’s no shame in asking for help. In fact, there’s the liberation and empowerment that comes with new understandings and the right solutions.
I know this because it’s been my journey too. I’ve faced an array of sexual health problems. From bleeding during sex and pain during arousal, to complete vaginal numbness and low-desire. Not to mention all the inner work I had to do to get over my own sexual blocks.
The point is: you’ve got options. From doctors to sexologists to intimacy coaches like me, there’s a whole bunch of professionals ready and waiting to help.
Put simply – this shit is important. You deserve to feel confident in your body. You deserve pleasure and deep satisfaction. And you deserve a sex life you love.
Sources & References
At Practical Intimacy we’re committed to keeping our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. We use only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles.
Mintz, L. (2018, May 16) The orgasm gap: Picking up where the sexual revolution left off. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/the-orgasm-gap-picking-up-where-the-sexual-revolution-left-off-961
Nagoski, E. (2016, February 20) My Lying Vagina, and the Lying Liers who Lie about Her. Medium. https://enagoski.medium.com/everyone-is-lying-about-the-vaginas-77038767238d78
Nagoski, E. (2018) The truth about unwanted arousal. TED. https://www.ted.com/talks/emily_nagoski_the_truth_about_unwanted_arousal
Richters, J., Grulich, A. E., de Visser, R. O., Smith, A. M., & Rissel, C. E. (2003). Sex in Australia: sexual and emotional satisfaction in regular relationships and preferred frequency of sex among a representative sample of adults. Australian and New Zealand journal of public health, 27(2), 171–179. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-842x.2003.tb00805.x
Rowland, D. L., Cempel, L. M., & Tempel, A. R. (2018). Women’s Attributions Regarding Why They Have Difficulty Reaching Orgasm. Journal of sex & marital therapy, 44(5), 475–484. https://doi.org/10.1080/0092623X.2017.1408046
Welch, A. (2017, March 2) Study seeks answers to the “orgasm gap”. CBS News. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/orgasm-gap-sex-study-straight-women-have-fewer-orgasms-than-men/
Hi, I’m Jodie - a life, love, and sexual empowerment coach. I work with women and couples to help them create the lives, love, and sex they’ve always wanted. More love, more passion, more pleasure, and more fulfilment.
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