Watch these world-leading sex and relationship experts share their best tips
I just LOVE this video that contains a couple of my favourite sex and relationship experts answering the biggest questions people have about sex and relationships.
Here’s a summary of some of the best tips shared by these experts:
What’s key insight you think everyone should know about sex and relationships?
Marisa Peer: Don’t wait to be in the mood for sex. It’s like waiting to want to exercise. If you just do it, the desire rises up. It’s a big mistake for women to wait to be in the mood—who has that much time? Nature wants you to have orgasms. It fights depressions, makes your skin look younger.
Dan Savage: What is the price of admission—what are you willing to pay to be with someone? You’re not going to get everything you want. There are certain things about the other person that will annoy you. If you accept the price of admission, don’t bitch for the whole ride. At a certain point you have to stop trying to change things that you can’t change, and either accept them or leave.
Esther Perel: Change your own reaction to your partner’s behavior; this allows them space to change theirs. You have to meet some of your needs yourself. If you wait for someone to meet all of your needs you’ll be disappointed. Appreciate all the things they do for you, so won’t have to. There are 3 doors to sex: desire, arousal, and willingness. Willingness is the ability to be curious. Go with the experience, don’t check yourself.
If there were a new vow of marriage what should be in it?
MP: Try harder, expect less.
DS: We will be whores for each other.
EP: I don’t have to want what you want to do something for you—you are a valid enough reason.
How do I deal with phone-addicted people?
EP: Treat me like you’d treat your clients. You’re present, you look them in the eye. Don’t take me for granted. Enter their system, be playful, subvert it—text your phone addicted partner.
What issues are happening in your relationship now/how do you keep yours healthy?
MP: Be playful with your partner to keep the sexual chemistry going. Every strong relationship has best friend and relationship chemistry. It’s hard to stay hot and heavy for very long—nature doesn’t want you to.
DS: But everyone has to decide what works for them, in their own relationship.
EP: I will never call my husband my best friend. You can’t contract everything into one person. We need more than one person—don’t go to your spouse for everything. Emotional infidelity is a new concept. There are many more people we can love than people we can make a life with.
Every one person’s biography is another person’s betrayal.
There’s evidence that 10,000 years ago we did our relationships between polyamorous tribes, then we went to extended families, then nuclear monogamous families. I’m wondering if the container we’ve created is making a lot of the problems we have today, and should we go back to where we started?
MP: You really have to pick…you can have the marriage you want nowadays. It’s up to you to choose what works for you.
DS: How we define success or failure in a marriage is flawed. 50 years of misery together that ended with one person dying is considered a success. Think about having a successful short-term relationship. We’re not a sexually monogamous species, but we are a pair-bonding one.
EP: We’ve always had extended families as humans—we had tribal communities, now we have sexual promiscuity. But the needs are the same, the means of attaining them shift.
MP: And don’t let your old story define you…”My dad cheated, all men cheat. My dad was secretly gay, so I can’t trust men.”
How do you communicate with someone when you are multi-lingual, and their language is not your main language?
EP: I’ll tell you one of the most useful and underused modes—writing. It slows things down, it allows you to put down words, let them sit, thinking about us—it stops you from blurting out. Toss out the first draft.
What’s your best relationship tip?
EP: Leave the phone out of the bedroom. Get an alarm clock. Have a minute of checking in with each other first thing in the morning. Say thank you. Acknowledge the other person’s effort.
DS: Do things freely for the other person. Do for each other, take care of each other, and then you can rely on the relationship. It lays out an infrastructure
MP: When you’re annoyed with your partner, imagine your life without them. It helps you stay grateful.
Whenever you’re fighting, try to say which need is more important. Fights should never be a history lesson. Make it about now. They should be over in five minutes. It’s a great way to strengthen the relationship.
What tips do you have for attractive, ready, and single people?
MP: Stop fearing rejection. We’re driven by two needs—acceptance and rejection. Nobody can reject you unless you give them your permission. Don’t worry about being perfect, just be you. Flawed people have great relationships.
DS: Don’t withhold your true self in a sexual relationship for fear of rejection. It will come eventually, with more and greater repercussions. A sex-negative culture tells you you’re dirty if prioritise sex over other needs.
Why do I keep picking the same wrong type over and over?
MP: The mind likes what is familiar. Don’t go with drama and abuse just because it’s familiar to you. Make things that you want familiar, it works. You have to make a choice. The mind likes to create the scene you grew up with and then change the ending. Life is too short to change the ending—change the beginning. Go for a different type; make it familiar.
Is it okay to choose that being in a partnered relationship is not for me?
DS: It’s absolutely okay to be happy without relationships, or without monogamy. If it makes you happy, that’s great and you don’t have to feel bad about it. You have to look inside yourself and find what makes you whole. Don’t allow someone outside of you assign that to you.
What would you say to people who aren’t learning from their last relationship?
EP: At the end of a relationship, ask what you take with you from this relationship? What makes you smile? What do you want to remember about your ex? How do you want to be remembered? Too many people take on a victim mentality, dooming their relationship pattern to continue. Ask, “Who do I want to be in this next relationship, instead of who I was before?” And the second piece is around trust. Betrayal comes in many forms—what was yours?
What’s your one closing piece of advice?
MP: Fuck the part you “have” to play. Go out and find your own part. At any point in your life, you can say, “I’m ready for a new script now.” It’s never too late to play a new part. And your life will change wonderfully.
DS: You’re always alone, even in a relationship. You have to carve out autonomous zones to preserve your sense of self. You have to give each other freedom and zones of autonomy, including erotic autonomy. Then you don’t waste time policing each other’s wants and desires.
EP: Trust is an active engagement with the unknown. Trust in itself is risk-taking. Much of what I see is people who let their relationships drift, they became lazy instead of intentional. People who have good relationships know what to do to get themselves back in gear when it drifts.
Do you need relationship help?
If you need relationship help, contact Clinton Power + Associates for a FREE 15-minute phone inquiry call to discuss your situation and find out how we can help. Call us now on (02) 8968 9323 or book your free phone inquiry online.
Since 2003, Clinton Power has helped thousands of couples and individuals as a counsellor and psychotherapist in private practice in Sydney and online in Australia. Clinton regularly comments in the media on issues of relationships and has appeared on Channel 7, The Sydney Morning Herald, and ABC Radio. Clinton’s eBook, 31 Days to Build a Better Relationship is available through his website or Amazon. Click here to take Clinton’s relationship checkup quiz to find out how well you know your partner.