Your sex life should always be a priority, at least in my opinion. But in case you've let your needs in this arena fall to the wayside this past year, 2017 is a chance for a brand new start.
I spoke with Dr. Leora Manischewitz, a clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist in New York City about how we can improve our sex lives all year round.
First off, why exactly is a healthy sex life important? We know that sex can be a phenomenal source of stress relief, but Manischewitz points out that it's also an opportunity for us to explore.
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"Good sex expresses many wonderful parts of ourselves, ranging from love to sensuality to physical release," she says.
And this kind of expression can occur regardless of your relationship status. Manischewitz explains,
"Masturbation is a fulfilling way to celebrate one's body when a partner isn't available. Partner sex includes playfulness, closeness, and creativity, elements that most of us seek, if not crave, in our lives."
Getting in tune with your sexuality, either with a partner or on your own, can be an important source of many different kinds of satisfaction.
The most crucial element in a healthy sex life according to Manischewitz comes as no surprise—communication.
"It's always important for partners to check in with each other. To express what IS and what ISN'T working in the bedroom. To ask each other for new or different things in a way that's positive rather than critical."
Conversations like this may be awkward at first, but ultimately, it's the surest way for both you and your partner to have more enjoyable sex.
I was curious to know what the most common issue is that Manischewitz sees in her patients. She told me that a reoccurring issue among couples is a discrepancy in how often each partner wants sex—one may want it once a day, the other may want it once a month.
In these situations, Manischewitz says it's important not to try and pressure or change each other.
"Recognize that this is normal and typical and workable. Have the partner who is less interested pleasure the one who is. Not regularly, not instead of a mutual encounter, but as a way to insure that both get needs met."
Here's to good sex in 2017.
Leora Manischewitz, PsyD is a clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist. She is in private practice in New York City and affiliated with NYU Langone Medical Center as a supervisor in the Sex Therapy Training Program. Her website is: drleoramanischewitz.com.