Whether you live in different places or either of you travels extensively for business (or pleasure solo!), keeping a relationship strong and stimulating long-distance isn’t easy. And then there’s your sex life.
‘What sex life?’ I can hear you groan from here.
Granted, it is pretty difficult keeping things steamy when you’re not even physically in the same place.
But with forethought, a little imagination and a lot of naughtiness, it can be done.
WHILE YOU'RE APART
Keep your libido topped up
Stop having sex and you stop wanting sex. The more you masturbate (with fingers or a vibrator) while your partner's gone, the more you'll feel like sex when you're together.
Remember when you were a kid and tried to touch a rainbow? Orgasms can be just as elusive.
Reach just a little higher, you think, and you'll have one but the next minute, it's slipped through your (or his) fingers. Men rarely have problems reaching orgasm - women usually do.
The good news is there's lots you can do to increase your orgasm potential.
Use different stimulation for each orgasm
You've got more chance of having more than one orgasm if it's via a different means. Alternate oral sex with intercourse with digital stimulation (that's his fingers rather than digital telly, but while we're on the topic, a bit of porn playing in the background could be just what you need!)
If he's too close to coming, change activities. Get him to give you oral sex until he feels more in control.
Sex isn't about the destination, it's the means of travelling. A nice sentiment, but if it takes five buses, two trains and a plane to get you to Destination Orgasm, the journey can get a tad tedious!
Up the number and intensity of your orgasms by trying any (and all) of the following:
Prime yourself for sex by turning yourself on beforehand
You're out to dinner with friends? As he's talking, think about what that tongue will do to you later, how much better his fingers would feel inside you rather than wrapped around a beer glass...
Read erotica before you're about to have sex, to get yourself in the mood. (There are plenty of sexy stories in my fantasy book Dare: What happens when fantasies come true.)
Because you're giving and receiving pleasure simultaneously, some claim a 69er is the ultimate erotic sensation.
Others find it's the ultimate in frustration because it's all too easy to get lazy on your end!
If your partner's working their magic and you're about to climax, most of us have a tendency to forget about their pleasure and instead try to get away with a few lacklustre licks.
It's for this reason that lots of couples have 69ers in the can't-get-enough honeymoon stage then decide it's all too difficult later on.
Sixty-niners are a great way to add naughtiness and variety to a stale sex life and with a few simple adjustments, are easy to master.
Here, the ups and downs of head-to-toe sex - and how to make your 69 even better!
You want what the rest of the world is having but can’t seem to push yourself over the edge?
There are two facts you need to accept straight up if you’re going to get anywhere at all.
First up, it’s unlikely your partner is going to give you an orgasm.
Secondly, you need to work at it.
Your first orgasm will almost certainly be achieved solo - I have actually never met a woman who didn't have her first orgasm solo through masturbation. This is pivotal - not just for having your first orgasm but for keeping them (and you) coming.
You have to learn how to orgasm - it's not an automatic process for women. Practice makes perfect: the more you masturbate, the easier orgasm becomes.
With those two rules firmly ensconced in your head, let's move on to a practical action plan:
Want to make her Valentine’s Day really special?
Start by showing her you understand that women often have less incentive to have sex than men do.
It takes longer for us to get aroused, and orgasms aren't guaranteed so there’s less motivation to make the effort if we’re not gagging for it.
(Could you be bothered if you didn’t think there would be a happy ending?)
So, contrary to public perception, it’s actually more in our interest to mix things up and make sex more appealing than it is men’s.
Yet women are still very good at saying, “Oh no, I couldn’t possibly do that!’ when we’re secretly thinking, “God, that’s so hot! Please let him make me!”
So you know about the 'V' (making a V with your fingers and licking between), you've drawn the alphabet on her clitoris (to ensure you're covering the whole thing) and know you have to settle in for a good twenty minutes (the time it takes most women to climax)? Now it's time to add a few more strings to your bow!
1. Discover new hot spots
Sure, you know where the clitoris is, but what about the fourchette or her frenulum?
The fourchette is an area of mucous membrane where the outer lips of the labia meet, at the bottom of the vaginal entrance. 'Fourchette' means 'little fork' in French. Don't just focus on the glans during oral sex, explore all of these quirky areas with a soft, lapping tongue.
Men aren't the only ones with a frenulum, women have them too! (Well, we all have lots of them on our body, actually, including the little flap under our tongues!). Her frenulum is just below the clitoris, where the tops of the inside edges of the inner labia lips meet.
All hail the hand-job! It might run second to oral sex on those 'What men love most' lists but it's still his favourite thing to do to himself and (sorry!) but even the tightest vagina is still no match for a firm hand-hold.
It's a technique worth perfecting - and reinventing!
That's why it's worth investing in each and every one of these must-have hand-job props.
No self-respecting hand-job master would even think about masturbating without lube. A good-quality personal lubricant like Tracey Cox Edge water-based lubricant means just about anything you do is going to feel great his end. Even the most predictable stroke feels fantastic when everything is slippery, so squeeze it on and don't be stingy!
Most of us rush through our solo sex sessions, seeing them more as scratching an itch rather than time to relax and explore our own bodies. But having sex solo is the perfect time to let your wicked side emerge, without fear of being judged. Trying a new technique can lead to more intense orgasms - and more of them. The more ways you can climax, the more orgasms you’ll have.
The next time you’re in the mood for a little self-indulgence...
Watch yourself in a mirror:
Why: You’ll see how you look when you’re turned on and the sexy expressions you make when you orgasm. Plus you see exactly what you’re doing with your fingers or sex toy so it’s easier to give instructions to a partner. Often what we think we’re doing is different to what we’re actually doing.
In an ideal world, all the people with high sex drives would go out with correspondingly high sex drive people, and all those with low sex drives would do the same.
Sex would be a lot simpler if we did: studies suggest one in three marriages in Britain and the US struggle with problems associated with mismatched desire.
Why do we insist on pairing up with people who don’t feel the same way about sex that we do?
Well, one reason is relationships and love aren’t based entirely on sex. We fall in love and decide to settle down for lots of reasons, not just sexual compatibility.
The other reason is it’s really hard to tell in the beginning what sort of sex drive your partner has, because in the beginning infatuation hormones push a naturally low sex drive much higher than its true level.
It's only when those hormones wear off that you both get a good idea of what each of your 'resting' libidos are.