Tried-And-True Remedies For Bad Sex

Bad sex. Unfulfilled sex. Miserable sex. It is a subject that most people don't want to think about, not to mention talk about--not in public, not at home, not in their bedrooms. But it is a problem that afflicts a great number of Americans. In fact, a recent University of Chicago study indicates that at any given time four in 10 American women and three in 10 American men suffer from some kind of sexual dysfunction.

The situation is worse in Black America. In general, African-Americans experience more sexual dysfunction than Whites, and Hispanics experience fewer sexual problems. Black women are much more likely to experience low sexual desire, and to report less pleasure from sex, than White women. Hispanic women consistently reported the most satisfying lives.

Many were shocked to learn that so many people are suffering from the bedroom blues. It is hard to believe that hundreds of thousands of men and women in this land of free sex and liberal love--where couples in bed area staple on daytime and evening television shows, where the average age of first-time sex is sinking lower and lower, where music and movies seem to be stuck on the same theme of sex, sex and more sex--that so many people are not enjoying what they spend so much time talking, reading, dreaming, bragging and lying about.

Sexual dysfunctions, according to the study, are "characterized by disturbances in sexual desire and in the psychophysiological changes associated with the sexual response cycle in men and women." The dysfunctions covered by the survey include lack of sexual desire, arousal difficulties, inability to achieve climax or ejaculation, anxiety about performance, premature orgasms, pain during intercourse and not finding sex pleasurable. In addition, the university study indicates that sex problems are more common among young women and older men.

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There are many factors that affect the quality of a couple's sex life. They include the stresses that consume so many of us--job, family, social obligations, as well as economic pressures --in addition to psychological and physiological factors. At the same time, many people don't acknowledge that they have problems and don't seek help. Consequently, sexual problems that can be treated often go unmentioned.

hp-good-sex-08Author Audrey B. Chapman, a couples therapist and radio show host in the Washington, D. C., area, says she finds that for many Black people, the sheer stress of everyday life leaves little time and energy for quality sex. "These days, people are living racy and hectic lives," she says. "Everyone is stressed out trying to achieve so much with so little time and, for most Black people, with not enough resources. People are stressed, pressed and frustrated, and all that takes energy. By the time you get to the end of the day or the week, you are wiped out. It takes energy to be sexual, and that means physical and emotional energy."

Chapman and other relationship experts also emphasize that financial stress is major factor affecting the sex lives of Black Americans. When a man is unemployed, it affects his ego and consequently his sex life. When a woman is concerned about how to feed her children, she has little interest in sex. An interesting conclusion from the University of Chicago sex study is that more highly educated men and women seem to have greater sexual satisfaction. On the other hand, declining finances appear to contribute to sexual dysfunction, for women in particular. Financial and devastating life events such as job loss, death of a spouse and divorce all affect sexual desire and performance.

Dr. Paris M. Finner-Williams, a psychologist and attorney who operates a relationship counseling practice in Detroit with her husband, Robert D. Williams, a clinical psychiatric social worker and marriage and family therapist, agrees with Chapman that busy, hectic schedules interfere with quality sex lives. "There are performance issues and there are quality issues," she says. "Because we live very busy, demanding lives, we just don't seem to have the available time that we used to have for relaxing with our mates.

"We don't have energy for any foreplay, and if we do make love, the quality is that of stress-reduction lovemaking rather than the romantic kind. People are just trying to get physical release, which is quite different from the beauty, excitement and arousal you get from the old-fashioned, on-vacation, romantic type of lovemaking."

Another social factor that affects the sex lives of African-Americans is the fact that spouses don't make or take time to relax and enjoy each other intimately. "People don't take enough time to communicate with their partners, to have fun, to connect spiritually," says Chapman. "There is not enough communication and spiritual union among Black men and women. It is not a priority anymore. Getting a car is a priority, getting a house, getting clothes, getting hair done."

Marriage therapist Robert Williams says that couples who want to improve their sex lives must recognize that what and how you think rather than what you do is essential to eliminating sexual dysfunction. "Healthy sexuality and satisfying sexual encounters among African-Americans will enhance their self-esteem and self-worth, and improve their intrapersonal communication skills on all levels," he emphasizes.

There area number of physiological reasons that people don't enjoy sex. One is the inability of the man to get an erection; another is the pain that women sometimes experience. Individuals who experience these or other physical problems should seek advice from their physicians.


1 Be More Creative In Sexual Thoughts And Performance. Husbands and wives should explore each other's bodies to discover their mates' erogenous zones. Unfortunately, many men as well as women do not discuss their sexual preferences, and the only way to find out what really turns your partner on is the art of exploration.

2 Share Fantasies. "Verbally sharing rich sexual fantasies with your spouse can greatly enhance your sex life," says therapist Williams. "We all need to have a complete sexual performance package with each other, and that includes intellectual stimulation." His wife, Dr. Finner-Williams, says couples should share and act out their fantasies. "They become the couple's secret and are very sacred between them," she explains. "Intellectual sharing can improve the performance and quality of the relationship."

Finner-Williams adds that new research indicates that African-Americans "seem to be more homogenous to our own race and culture" when it comes to fantasies. That is, we fantasize about Black men and women rather than about other ethnic groups. "We're now having fantasies within the realm of reality for us. Though some fantasies may be bizarre, they are feasible fantasies," she says.

3 Don't Criticize Your Partner's Performance. Relationship therapists say they are hearing from many female clients who say their husbands are experiencing premature ejaculation and other sex problems. At the same time, say the therapists, women are quick to express their displeasure. "Women are no longer holding back their opinions," says Finner-Williams. "They don't boost their husbands' egos the way women used to, like we were taught by out grandmothers and aunts. If a man didn't find the G-spot, the man will know it. The man's ego becomes defensive concerning performance." And when there is that kind of anxiety and tension, affects sexual performance.

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4 Show Your Partner How To Please You. Instead of complaining about what your partner is not doing show him or her what turns you on. Dr. Finner-Williams says men are not taught to be romantic. They are not taught how to explore a woman's body to find out where her erogenous zones are. Women should take responsibility for their sexual pleasure. "A man has to be taught how to perform and how to satisfy his woman," she says.

At the same time, women must learn to express their sexual needs. Audrey Chapman says she notices that Black women don't tell their men what they want. "Some women tend to let the man do all the talking, make all the suggestions," Chapman explains. "They are very reluctant to let men know how they feel, what they want sexually. While we are said to be the most sexual, the most liberated, in fact, Black women are the most inhibited when it comes to expressing what we want and need."

5 Delete Distractions. When couples finally get in the mood and find time for love, that is not the time to focus on other issues or problems, no matter how pressing. While in bed, don't discuss paying bills, household chores, issues concerning children, what extended-family members might have said. Good sex is dependent on a relaxed state of mind.

6 Get Re-educated About Sex. Relationship therapists say that personal views on sex can greatly diminish the pleasure. Dr. Finner-Williams points out that while some women feel that sex can and should be pleasurable, other women learn that sex should not be enjoyable. She tells of counseling one Christian newlywed who had conflicting feelings about sex with her husband. "It's okay to enjoy making love to your husband; sex and orgasms are okay," says Finner-Williams. "Many women grew up learning that their bodies were there to serve their husbands rather than for a woman also to be satisfied. We should enjoy making love to out husbands and stop having all those inhibitions, all that miseducation."

Chapman also has found that many African-Americans hold religious views that inhibit sexual sure. "They feel that if you love God, you can't love sex," says Chapman. "That's a problem. Where did that come from? Some believe that sex is dirty, even with your mate. And then there are those who feel that it's okay to have sex with your mate, but it's just another duty, like household chores. In fact, sex should be pleasurable."

7 Put That Ego In The Closet. Marriage counselors say that some Black men are victims of the myth that all Black men are superb lovers. "Black men can be very [macho]," says Chapman. "They believe they are throwing down, but in fact they are not satisfying the women. Even when they are not in the mood, they feel the pressure to perform because they have been told that they are superstuds." Instead, says Chapman, men should put that ego away and talk to their women about their sexual anxieties and problems.

8 Medical Alert. Many men and women do not realize that their medications might affect their sexual appetite and performance. Some medications for hypertension, ulcers and certain heart conditions cause impotence in men. At the same time, the libido of men and women is affected by common ailments such as diabetes and clogged arteries. In addition, smoking as well as alcohol and substance abuse affect sex. Dr. Terry Mason, chief of urology at Mercy Hospital in Chicago, points out that many women who have been termed as "frigid" in fact have physiological reasons for their lack of sexual response. He and other specialists recommend that individuals experiencing sex problems check with their physicians

9 Fight Depression. Men and women both should be aware that depression greatly affects one's sexual appetite. "When you are stressed and depressed, you have no interest in sex," says Chapman. "Depression could be related to the job, to your sick parents, to your children. When men lose a job, they are depressed. Many women suffer from postpartum depression after having a baby. Some medications make you depressed. Sometimes it is just our complicated lives." Clinical depression affects at least 17 million Americans, and many of the medications prescribed as treatment cause sexual dysfunction. So don't downplay the effect that the blues might have on your sex life. Check with your doctor. If depression is the culprit, seek counseling to resolve the problem and reclaim your sex file.

10 Don't Have Unrealistic Expectations. Just because your coworker has sex every day or the character in a novel has incredible orgasms does not mean that your sex life is abnormal. Every individual is unique; every couple has its own rhythm. If you and your partner have a great sex life that is satisfactory for both of you, you are among the more fortunate.

next: Aphrodisiacs

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, December 10). Tried-And-True Remedies For Bad Sex, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 15 from

Last Updated: August 25, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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