Sex is complicated, and desires differ between every human being! Creating a situation where everyone feels comfortable, that needs are being met, and boundaries are respected requires care and attention. There are plenty of books, podcasts, films, and workshops out there that can get you started on enhancing sexual pleasure. If you feel that you and your partners may need more professional help, book and appointment with us! The HSHC can make referrals to sex therapists and specialists.
Here are some basic sex tips to get you started:
- Anticipation: Sex can be more than a penetrative act. In fact, foreplay is a huge component of arousal and desire. Try slowing things down with massages, dirty talk, and oral sex and see where they take you!
- Communication: Boundaries, needs, and desires all come into play with sex. It is always best to talk about what is okay and not okay with your body. Not only can communication be sexy, but it can outline consent and take some of the confusion out of sexual activities.
- The Senses: Sex can heighten more senses than just touch! Try and experiment with sounds, sight, and tastes.
- Masturbation: Masturbation is a key component in finding out how we like to be touched (or don’t like to be touched!) as well as our fantasies and desires. This is knowledge you can then share with your partners! Mutual masturbation (masturbating with your partner) can be as intimate as other forms of sex.
- Desires and Fantasies: Everyone’s fantasies and desires are unique. Sharing these openly with your partners is the best way to make sure that they are being met and respected.
- Cleanliness: Worrying about whether we smell bad, taste funny, or sweat too much can take away from relaxing into sex. There’s no need to be super scrubbed or use douching products (something that can actually harm vaginal health!), but keeping clean can mean our minds can focus on sexier things.
- Relax! Sex is meant to be fun. You may be surprised by the results when you’re not worrying during sex.
Sex toys can greatly increase sexual pleasure in relationships! Some kinds of sex toys are dildos, vibrators, butt plugs, masturbation sleeves, and BDSM gear. For some, sex toys can help with feelings of gender affirmation during sex. We do not currently sell sex toys at HSHC. Check out your local sex toy shop (See some of our recommendations below)!
Sometimes, medical issues impact our sex lives. Birth control, aging, mental health, pain, and menopause all impact our sexuality. The best way to deal with sexual issues is to talk openly about them, both to your partners and your doctor.
Hormonal birth control methods can greatly lower sexual desire and drive in certain people. These concerns are as valid as other medical complications from birth control. Our doctors can work with you to find a birth control method that works best for your body and lifestyle.
Erectile Dysfunction (when a person with a penis cannot maintain or achieve an erection, also known as impotence) is a very common problem. In fact, most people with penises will experience it at some point in their lifetimes. It can be caused by a range of factors including aging, poor mental health, stress, lifestyle, alcohol, drugs, heart disease, blood pressure issues, and diabetes. There are medications, such as Viagra, that can help. You can make an appointment with one of our doctors to discuss your options.
Menopause can lead to many sexual issues. Vaginal dryness, a common symptom, can be remedied with a variety of personal lubricants. You can also make an appointment with us to discuss hormone replacement therapy and other options for managing menopause.
Mental health has a huge impact on sexual desire and relationships. It can cause loss of desire, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, problems with orgasm, and relationship problems. Open discussion about mental health with your partner and doctor is one of the best ways to start working out sexual issues. Our doctors and nurses can refer you to mental health clinics and resources for individuals and couples.
Pain during sex – also called dyspareunia – can be a result of vaginismus. Vaginismus is when muscles in or around the vagina go into spasm, making sexual intercourse painful or impossible. It can occur from vaginal trauma, personal beliefs that sex is “wrong,” relationship issues, and sexual trauma. It can be treated by focusing on sex education, counselling and using vaginal trainers, also known as vaginal dilators. Pain during sex can also be caused by STIs and UTIs. If you have chronic pain, penetrative sex can be very uncomfortable. Planning ahead for sex, experimenting with different positions, and focusing on cuddling, kissing, and massaging are all options for managing pain. Our doctors and nurses are happy to help you with managing painful sex.
One of the best places in Halifax to begin your journey to enhancing your sexual pleasure is Venus Envy. They are a bookstore, sex toy store, and sexual educators. Staff are knowledgeable about a range of sexual topics and can refer you to the books and toys you need or want to try. They also put on affordable workshops with sliding scale pricing about a wide range of topics, such as exploring anal pleasure, dirty talk, and oral sex. You can also check out any local sex shop for toys, movies, and books.
There are a ton of online resources for enhancing your sexual pleasure! A quick Google search can lead you to podcasts, such as Sex Gets Real, webcomics, such as Oh Joy Sex Toy, or advice from health centres, such as the National Health Services. Give them a listen/read alone or with a partner, and talk openly about them!