Many sex tips focus on either specific techniques or exploring kinks to improve your sex life, but that’s not what really matters. Studies have shown eight specific elements of great sex: presence, connection, intimacy, communication, authenticity, bliss, exploration, and vulnerability. This is empowering because it means literally everyone has the ability to be a great lover; it just takes time, energy, and attention.
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Presence. What does presence mean? It’s not a magnetic presence at a party; rather, it’s the act of being present and in the moment. This is when you’re not preoccupied and you’re completely focused on the person in front of you and the act that is occurring. You have only one thing in your mind, and that is the other person and how they feel.
You act like the other person is your world for the moment—and they are, aren’t they? You have to commit all the way with your time and attention and fully immerse yourself in the moment.
You can’t be a spectator, judge, critic, or passive participant. You’re not thinking about your emails, your television shows, or what you want to have for dinner. If you’re on this wavelength, then it’s no wonder your sex life is on thin ice.
You are simply there, fully present, with nothing else on your mind. The world comprises only two individuals, one bed, and passion. Everything else is put on the back burner and essentially disappears. That’s what it means to be present.
It’s easy to see how we can fall prey to not being present. We all have numerous responsibilities throughout the day. But various studies peg the average length of sexual intercourse at anywhere from seven to sixteen minutes. It should not be a tremendous struggle to shut down your brain for that amount of time and simply lose yourself. Just imagine how present you would be having sex in a cabin in the woods with no television or internet access. That’s the kind of focus and connection you want every time.
They deserve it, and so do you. How would you feel if someone prefaced sex with, “Let’s be quick. I have more work,” or if they continually looked at a clock during the act? Being present during sex, you will be more attentive, respond better to people’s signs, and care more about their satisfaction.
Connection. This is when you feel like you’re in sync with the other person mentally and emotionally. You understand things without having to say them, you know each other, and you feel an emotional pull toward them. You have electric chemistry and both of you know it.
Contrast that to a one-night stand, where you probably have very little emotional investment. The act and ensuing pleasure is minimized because there’s little at stake and it’s purely physical. With emotional connection, you create something with intimacy, and you are fusing your bodies and minds together for a brief moment in time.
Connection is feeling a spark with the other person holistically, not just physically. You like them on more than just a physical level, and you can experience feeling bonded with them. When you have a strong connection, you might say things like, “Our bodies just moved together and we didn’t have to say a word.”
Intimacy. This can be distinguished from connection because intimacy is about a deeper caring and love for the other person, whereas connection might be momentary and fleeting. When you have that type of feeling toward someone, then sex becomes more than just a physical act. It becomes an act of love and sharing.
This is also a complete acceptance of the other person and their flaws, and it involves you opening yourself to them. This happens when you respect and care for someone, and it is a byproduct of a healthy relationship. There is trust, vulnerability, and the feeling that you can bare yourself to someone else.
Communication. Communication is key in friendships and relationships, so it should be in sex as well. From another angle, sex is an activity with a partner (or multiple partners), so it only makes sense that there should be a healthy amount of communication to coordinate, discuss, direct, and request whenever appropriate. Greater satisfaction simply occurs when collaboration is possible, and collaboration is possible with better communication.
Along with communication comes a heightened attention and empathy to your partner’s needs and desires. This is important because sex should not be approached like a self-centered act—it’s an act with one goal: an orgasm for both parties. In fact, the best sex focuses on the other person’s pleasure, so communicating what those might be is paramount.
Communication should be open, there should be mutual support, and there should be an ability for both parties to express exactly what they want or dislike without the fear of judgment or rejection. This is where talking about fetishes and kinks comes in, because open and honest communication should allow those without feeling self-conscious or judged.
You should ideally be able to communicate about everything, from exactly what you hate to the tiny things you love. The point is to keep a running dialogue going because preferences can always change, and you need to be able to adapt to them.
Authenticity. Remarkable sex is honest and open. It’s authentic because you aren’t hiding anything. Not only are you making yourself completely open to the other person, but you’re trusting your body with them. If you can let go and make yourself vulnerable, it can be powerful.
You are being authentic and honest about what you like and dislike, and you are encouraging the same in the other person. You are having sex for pleasure, love, or expression, not for any nefarious reason or ulterior motives. Put another way, you feel that you can be genuine in your expression, that you aren’t hiding or inhibiting your desires, and that you can be completely transparent and honest with the other person.
You should feel free to do, touch, lick, and suck what you like without embarrassment or feelings of judgment. This works both ways, because both parties need to ensure that they don’t make the other feel judged or guilty. Truly authentic sex is liberating because you feel like you can do what you like without having to restrain yourself. Of course, that works best with communication and the other elements in this chapter.
Bliss. This is a loaded word. What does it mean here?
It means that amazing sex is more than just an act. It’s a mental state of mind, and it creates something that is more than the sum of its parts. It creates an emotion of transcendence and bliss: a peaceful state of mind characterized by happiness, transformation, introspection, and fulfillment.
It’s a state of nirvana. You’re in a world that consists of only two people, and you feel like there’s nowhere else you’d rather be at that moment. You are exchanging mental, emotional, and physical energy. You are basking in their glow and pleasure.
Bliss just means you feel fulfilled and satisfied after the act, with no regret. Your head is clear, you feel more at peace with the world, and you have gained perspective on life. Some people might have sex to calm their nerves, out of boredom, out of hatred, or out of pure lust. Blissfully remarkable sex is when sex occurs as an expression of love and fulfillment with the other person.
You can even think about bliss in religious terms. You feel a sense of peace that you may receive after praying or a particularly powerful religious service. That’s what sex can do at times. It can feel like a holy experience.
Exploration. This, of course, is also where kink and spicy sex come into play.
Sex can sometimes get boring, even with all of the other elements in this chapter, so exploration, or at least being willing to explore and indulge, is a key to remarkable sex.
It’s fun. It breaks you out of your routine, and it makes sex novel and interesting, which is necessary sometimes. It allows you to discover what you really want and to test uncharted waters. When you can explore your sexuality, you can also discover what makes you orgasm the longest and hardest. It might not be what you think, and you never would have discovered it if you didn’t open your mind.
Exploration can sometimes mean a certain amount of risk, but risk in this context isn’t really risk. It’s just stepping outside of your comfort zone, and there aren’t any negative consequences other than to say, “Well, I didn’t like that as much as I thought I would. Next!” The only risk here is that you might buy something expensive to explore a fetish and end up hating it and feel that you wasted that money.
Exploration puts the fun back into sex. It makes it an unpredictable ride that is the essence of playing. You can follow your instincts and discover new kinks you like, or you can just allow curiosity to guide you. You can play sex games to have fun during long car rides, or you can try to make the other person orgasm as many times as possible within twenty-four hours.
These are all possible with exploration and stepping outside of your comfort zone. Remarkable sex is comfortable with laughter, getting messy, and new acts for their own sake. It doesn’t restrain or judge them—it encourages them.
Vulnerability. Scary. We all know what happens when we make ourselves vulnerable. It allows us to be hurt.
However, remarkable sex requires this because of the positives and benefits it can allow. It allows us to fully embrace someone and let them into our hearts and psyches and bodies. We are physically naked during sex, but vulnerability allows us to drop our mental and emotional shields. You are trusting someone and surrendering to them. This is scary.
You are shedding your defense mechanisms, your anxieties, and your egos to the sexual encounter. You are stripping bare, putting yourself on a shelf for judgment, and trusting that the other person will celebrate you rather than reject you. You are devoted to them and trust that they are devoted to you. You say and do things that you would never do to other people, but here you aren’t embarrassed because it’s what is in your heart.
In fact, you say exactly what you want to say and do that as well. That’s vulnerability—when you don’t filter and you allow people inside your walls. Fantastic and remarkable sex is pulling others closer to you when you feel the exact opposite impulse and you want to keep someone at arm’s length.
Again, you can see that none of these elements of remarkable sex are what we usually think they are: novelty and techniques. Those are included and a part of some of these elements, but not the underlying aspect that makes it so satisfying and pleasurable.
Kleinplatz’s findings are important because they tell us that wonderful sex does not depend on flexibility, athleticism, or being choked so hard that you nearly fall unconscious. Wonderful sex is for everyone because it happens when you simply focus on the other person, give yourself freely, and have an authentic connection.
While that may be harder to find than a one-night stand, it also means that everyone in a relationship can indeed have remarkable sex. Nothing keeps you from it except yourself. If you find yourself unable to satisfy any of the elements, the problem is never in the sex itself. Nearly everyone has the mental and physical capability to fulfill Kleinplatz’s factors for great sex. It may not be easy, however, and thus it comes down to how much you care and want the sex to improve. You have the blueprint; what you do with it is up to you.
It’s never a bad thing to do a bit more exploring, however.