As sex and relationship coach Charlie Glickman, PhD puts it, “Sex is a lot like a buffet

Let go of goals – focus on pleasure. We have so many different choices for pleasure and intimacy. Intercourse is a popular dish and naughtydate it’s a favorite for many people. But there’s no reason to skip past all the other options or consider them only as appetizers. When you do that, you miss out on discovering lots of other delicious possibilities!”

Take Your Time

You’re learning new skills, plus your arousal is slower than it used to be, so be patient with yourself and your partner. “Slower arousal can honestly be a blessing in disguise, as it can be a great way to incorporate toys, more foreplay, and build communication and intimacy with a partner,” says Sarah Elizabeth Mueller, Lead Education and Research developer at The Smitten Kitten. “Pretty much all folks who are aging experience changes in their sexual function, desire, and therefore in their sexual and/or romantic relationships. Change is inevitable, but embracing change and discovering new ways to experience pleasure can be amazing and as exciting as first sexual experiences were.”

Sexual Expression Without Penetration: Getting Comfortable

Let’s look at some ways to prepare before we even get naked. Make some of these intimate activities a habit – they’ll nurture intimacy and improve your sexual responsiveness:

How Do We Talk About This?

If you’re in a relationship that has been focused on intercourse, it may be awkward at first to try to switch or expand your repertoire to these other means of sexual expression. You might like to start this way:

  1. First talk honestly about why you feel it’s important to explore new modes of physical intimacy. Ask to hear your partner’s feelings and really listen, without interrupting or judging.
  2. Schedule two dates that you agree will be sexual pleasure dates without intercourse:
  1. Talk later about what you both experienced. What was it like? What did you learn as the receiver? What did you learn as the giver? What did you enjoy enough to keep in your repertoire? What would you like to try next?

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