Holly Willoughby launched a New Age-inflected lifestyle platform. Named ‘WYLDE MOON’, the website shimmers with similar themes to Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP, wading deep in the waters of the more esoteric side of wellness (Saturn, you’ll be pleased to know, is coming out of retrograde, according to a recent astrology-focused piece.)
A more recent article, though, takes a more earthy approach. In a feature titled Let’s Talk About the 5 Most Common Sex Problems, typical issues linked with intimacy are explored. These include that of mis-matched sex drives between you and your partner and difficulties arriving at orgasm. Here, a sexual healing coach, (yes, that’s a thing) Amy White, shares her ‘advice on some of the most common issues women face between the sheets, and how to get around them.’
Curious? Here’s the advice, distilled.
1. Think about what turns you on
For people who find that their partner craves sex more frequently than them, White advises viewing desire as something that needs to be worked on, rather than something that should be effortless.
‘Start by thinking about the things that you respond to – perhaps it’s a certain environment,’ she says. ‘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. Don’t view orgasm as a goal
Find orgasm elusive? White advises moving away from viewing the act as a race to come, and, instead, honing in on the experience of pleasure itself. ‘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,’ she writes.
Plus, as ever, communication is key. ‘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. Focus on intimacy, rather than sex
If you find yourself pining for sleepy-town rather than a shag-a-thon, you’re one of many (‘a huge number of men and women admit to avoiding sex because they’re tired or stressed,’ writes White.)
Her advice to those in this bracket is as follows: ‘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… 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.’
4. Make time to talk
Being candid about what you want in bed can be daunting. Communicating so that your sex life is mutually enjoyable, though, is vital. If you find this hard, White suggests keeping the conversation light. Phrases like ‘I like it when you…’ or ‘I’d prefer it if we…’ are kinder than ‘You don’t do this’.
‘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,’ she says.
5. Check in with your GP
Not about the sort of sex you want, no. But if you find getting down uncomfortable or painful, it’s worth speaking to a professional, to check that you’re not dealing with a gynaecological condition. If you’re experiencing dryness due to the perimenopause, and that’s impacting you, you could raise this, too.