Let’s face it, sex is everywhere. Adverts are often unnecessarily sexualised and there is far more sex and nudity on our screens, whether it be at home or in the cinema, than ever before. But these depictions are often misleading, setting certain unfounded standards of what sex and the people engaging in sexual activities should look like.
Imagery within the media would suggest that only lithe women with large breasts and muscle bound men are engaging in any sort of sexual activity. However, in a recent study, Professor David Speigelhalter of Cambridge University found that 64% of 55-64 year old women were having sex on average more than 25-34 year olds.
Some people assume that as you get older, you have less sex. However, people are living longer and finding that with retirement comes a lot of spare time on their hands! If you love having sex, why should age prevent you from enjoying a fulfilling sex life?
Lots of sexual imagery is heavily edited, and not all bodies are the same. Having children and ageing can affect your body in different ways. You may feel pressured to look a certain way, but it’s unfair on yourself to constantly compare your figure to that of a model in her early twenties! All bodies are beautiful, and while it may be hard to let go of your insecurities, you shouldn’t feel that you can’t have a fantastic sex life just because you wobble a bit. Shedding your inhibitions and letting go can lead to really great sex!
Lots of simulated sex scenes on TV depict sex almost like a race that gets going with a perfect start and ends with a clean finish. In porn, the actress is always ready to be penetrated by the actor’s awaiting erection.
What these scenes don’t depict is the sometimes awkward preparation for a sex session. While a woman may mentally be ready for sex, her body might not be. Lubricant is really important for both male and female sexual health, but younger people may not be aware of this if they aren’t exposed to the correct sources of information.
Sex doesn’t always go to plan, either. His penis may slip out from vigorous thrusting, or changing positions might need adjustment that isn’t as seamless as some sexual imagery would suggest. What’s most important about having good sex is communication, as sex should be enjoyable for both parties involved.
Sex isn’t just limited to intercourse, either. For some couples, penetration may not be possible due to health issues. Foreplay and oral sex are great ways to help bond as a couple, as the high levels of intimacy are still there. Giving and receiving pleasure can be incredibly creative as you explore each other’s bodies, but make sure you express your likes and dislikes, as sex should be enjoyed by the both of you.
A great example of a TV show that depicts realistic sex is HBO’s highly acclaimed series Girls, as it’s unafraid to depict natural bodies engaging in authentic sexual activity.
Fictional depictions of sex in programmes or erotica often show the woman reaching orgasm quickly, loudly and dramatically. However, while some find it easy to climax, this is not the case for all women.
Sometimes the pressure to reach an orgasm can actually prevent one from happening. If the “plateau” or second stage of orgasm is prolonged, then it can be incredibly frustrating for both parties involved. While achieving orgasm feels fantastic, some women are simply unable to climax during sex. This is a condition called “anorgasmia”.
However, just because a woman hasn’t climaxed doesn’t mean that sex for her isn’t enjoyable. Some women are able to maintain a happy sex life, finding that sex is more pleasurable when they aren’t concentrating on climaxing and being unable to do so.
People’s reactions to orgasms are different, too. While media often depicts women as having extremely vocal orgasms, some women find that they make very little noise. Some women experience spasms in their legs or hands, while others hardly move at all.
Simulated sex in TV programmes and films often just ends with whoever’s on top getting off and flopping next to their lover. In reality, there is at least some mopping up after! Most women will waddle to the loo to clean up. Urinating immediately after sex helps to prevent UTIs as it prevents any bacteria from moving near the urethra. Unfortunately, a majority of women discover this from first hand experience!
Furthermore, don’t feel bad if you can’t or don’t feel like jumping to round two straight away. Physically, a man cannot get an erection again until he has recovered from what is known as the “refractory period” after reaching orgasm. Some women might find that their clitoris has become overstimulated, and cannot be touched directly, so sometimes having a break is needed for the both of you while your bodies recover!
Sometimes people can feel like they are letting their partners down if they cannot perform regularly, or are too tired to have sex every night. However, there is an assumption that younger people are having sex on a regular basis. Speigelhalter’s survey, however, found that young Britons are having less sex than ever! People aged between 25-34 years old are reportedly on average having sex three times a month, which is more of a walk than a marathon.
Sex should be something that you look forward to having, and shouldn’t feel like a chore. If you’re worried that you’re not having enough sex in your relationship, set aside some time for some quality bonding. Making the extra effort to set the mood will make it all the more special.