From virtual toys to lube, it’s time to have the best sex of your life in 2022 0 140

THE kids are in bed, the dishwasher’s on and it’s finally the moment to have some quality time between the sheets.

But as you undress and things begin to get physical, you can’t help thinking about your never-ending to-do list.

GettyWith the rest of the year ahead of us, it’s time to gain confidence, meet your needs and get your sex life back on track…[/caption]

Sex changed for a lot of us during the pandemic – blame homeschooling and that general feeling of being overwhelmed – and it’s a shift that’s still being felt.

Tiredness, mental health issues and negative body image are among some of the main reasons why Brits report having less sex. And when we are having it, just 54% of us reach orgasm, compared to 69% when we’re going it alone, according to a recent study by sex toy brand Lelo.

However, while spicing up your sex life may seem daunting, it’s easier than you think and doesn’t have to include anything drastic, says Kate Moyle, Lelo’s sex and relationship expert.

With the rest of the year ahead of us, it’s time to gain confidence, meet your needs and get your sex life back on track…

SEXUAL HEALING

No matter your age or phase of life – whether you’ve got toddlers wearing you out, or you’re in a more mature phase and finally have the time to really consider what turns you on – sexual wellness is really important. 

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“What it looks like for each individual will be based on their personal situation, age, health, relationship status, mental health, social context and so much more,” says Kate.

“It’s important to acknowledge that our sex lives don’t stay static, but can change and adapt with us as we move through our lives,” she adds.

She says that often “narratives and expectations” can limit us to “having the sex lives we think we should be having, rather than the satisfying ones we could be enjoying.”

Sarah Louise Ryan, Relationship and Dating Expert and partner of TTRI (The Time to Raise It movement) said that working from home guidance has meant that many people assumed people would be more intimate, as they were spending more time together.

She explained: “Instead, what I’m seeing and hearing from couples is that life stresses have lowered libido and caused couples to feel less ‘up for it’ in the bedroom.

“It’s the sense of separateness that sparks the flame of desire and being locked down for long periods of time together hasn’t lent itself to the air of mystery that comes from this healthy distance to spark that flame.

“This is resulting in individuals having a lot less sex compared to their needs or expectations. Looking back, over the last couple of years, couples have really felt a harsh impact on their love lives for many reasons.”

PARENT TRAP

Having a family is full-on and constant, which means you have to actively carve out time for intimacy. “Being intentional about when you have sex is crucial,” says Kate. “Don’t leave it until the end of the day. Put the kids to bed and then go and have a shower together, lie down on the bed, or whatever works for you.

“With parenting comes a mental load. It’s about switching that off and finding a way for sex not to feel like another demand. And don’t be afraid of having a plan – sex needn’t require spontaneity.

“There are a lot of ideas around that we shouldn’t schedule sex, but the reality is, if you’re busy, this is 100% something you should be doing.”

IT TAKES TWO

Sex is different for all of us and there really is no one-size-fits-all solution. But if you’ve been with the same person for years and you’re stuck in a rut, there are ways to spice things up.

“As you get to know each other and become familiar, it’s normal to lean towards what we know works, rather than trying something different,” says Kate.

“But if you’re wanting to bring something new – like toys or roleplay – into the bedroom, the best way to approach the subject is to frame it positively. Don’t just come straight out and say: ‘I’m bored, let’s try something else,’ as your partner may question what was wrong with what they were already doing! It’s about making sure you’re on the same page.”

SWITCH IT UP

Kate says making 2022 the sexiest year of your life is all about implementing small changes in the bedroom – rather than going from zero to 100 overnight.

Her top tip is to switch one thing every time you have sex. This could be anything from changing positions to introducing lube. “It can even be as simple as just switching the lights on or off,” she says.

Sex should be inclusive for everyone, so make sure you adapt what you’re doing to what suits your body. “If you’re pregnant, spooning might be more comfortable,” says Kate.

“Or if you have a joint condition, you might need to manipulate positioning – some people may need to use a pillow under their hips, for example.”

Change can be fun, but equally, you can stay in your comfort zone and still have great sex. Sometimes it’s about reframing your expectations. 

“Desire doesn’t always have to be the desire to have sex,” says Kate. “It can be the desire to be close to someone, to feel loved and show love.”

Dr Laura Vowels, sex therapist for the Blueheart app, says you may need to redefine what sex actually is and move away from making it a “goal-orientated experience”.

She says: “Focus on other aspects aside from penetration, such as taste, touch, temperature and what you’re feeling during sex. Pay attention to what feels good, rather than focusing on when you and your partner will climax.”

SHOP FOR TOYS

Lube should be top of your list when it comes to improving your sex life, says Kate. It’s cheap, suitable if you’re postnatal, perimenopausal or menopausal, and is great for boosting sensation and arousal. 

A big trend for 2022 is the use of teledildonics – sex toys for virtual use when people are apart. These are pandemic-friendly and ideal if you don’t live with your lover.

“For example, in a heterosexual couple, the man might have a masturbator sleeve, while the woman has a dildo. These can then be simultaneously used so it feels like you’re having sex with your partner, without them actually being in the room,” explains Kate.

Sex toys for people who suffer with pain due to conditions such as endometriosis could also  come to the fore, says Kate, who highlights Ohnut, a wearable aid that allows couples to explore pain-free penetrative sex. 

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My bitter ex told lies to my friends about my ‘small manhood’ after I dumped her 0 47

DEAR DEIDRE: MY ex is so bitter about being dumped that she is spreading nasty rumours around our friendship group – saying I’m rubbish in bed and have a small todger.

She never complained when we were together, but last week she told the girls in our group that being with me was “like kissing a soggy lettuce leaf” and that she “literally didn’t feel a thing when we were having sex” because I’m so small.

My ex is so bitter about being dumped that she is spreading nasty rumours around our friendship group – saying I’m rubbish in bed and have a small todger

I’m 25 and she’s 24. I think part of it is jealousy.

She knows a couple of the other girls fancy me and I think she’s trying to sabotage any chance I have with them.

Not that I’m even planning anything.

She’s so insecure and has a vicious tongue on her.

I’m tempted to let each of her so-called friends know what she really says about them in private.

Even her best friend gets a nasty critique every time she posts anything on Instagram.

Get in touch with Deidre

Every problem gets a personal reply, usually within 24 hours weekdays.

Send an email to deardeidre@the-sun.co.uk

You can also send a private message on the DearDeidreOfficial Facebook page.

Her top is either too short, or her hair looks like wire, or her laugh is fake . . . it goes on and on.

I don’t regret splitting up with her but this last trick has really infuriated me.

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DEIDRE SAYS: Don’t let yourself stoop to her level.

You can make it clear she is lying without playing her game, which would only escalate tensions and reflect badly on you.

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You could maybe reply with: “Let’s just say she never complained when we were together and nor have any of my other exes.”

Your friends will soon see her behaviour for what it is – jealous insecurity.

My partner said he was on a work trip – but he was actually getting married and on his honeymoon 0 30

DEAR DEIDRE: MY partner said he was on a work trip two months ago, but he had actually got married and been on honeymoon.

Our relationship had become a bit predictable, but we still had regular sex and nice days out with our two young sons.

My partner lied about his work trip – he was really on his HONEYMOON

I’m 32 and he’s 37. Our sons are four and two.

When he returned from his “work trip” he blamed me for his cheating, saying I had let myself go and didn’t pay him enough attention.

He then told me he’d “traded up” for a better model. It didn’t stop there.

He said that his wife, who is 27, is absolutely stunning and makes him feel special.

Apparently this woman was a barmaid he’d met on a golf trip and they had been seeing each other for six months.

He told me all this, then marched upstairs and packed his games console and his clothes and drove off out of my life.

The thing is, we always talked about getting married but when we had kids there always seemed something better to spend our money on.

Mutual friends have told me he has moved into a new-build home on the other side of our small town and his wife has plenty of family money.

My sons are really missing him and I don’t even know how I feel.

Sometimes when he comes to visit the boys I beg him to come home.

But other times I’m so angry with him, I refuse to let him in.

Now he is accusing me of stopping him from seeing his children.

Get in touch with Deidre

Every problem gets a personal reply, usually within 24 hours weekdays.

Send an email to deardeidre@the-sun.co.uk

You can also send a private message on the DearDeidreOfficial Facebook page.

Surely he can’t just show up when he likes?

I’m a mess and need to start getting a grip for the kids’ sake.

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DEAR DEIDRE

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DEIDRE SAYS: I’m so sorry your partner ended your relationship in such a cruel way.

This man sounds selfish and immature, and quite frankly the way he has treated you is emotionally abusive.

It won’t feel like it now, but you really are better off without him.

He is behaving like he still lives in your home, by just turning up unannounced.

Tell him firmly that you would encourage a good relationship between him and your sons but he can only collect them with prior arrangement.

Start to put down your boundaries.

I’m sending you my support pack When Parents Fall Out, which you could pass to him to help explain why you need to co-operate for the future wellbeing of your children.

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Give yourself time and be kind to yourself. He put you down constantly, now you can start to build up your confidence.

I’d recommend seeing a counsellor to help you with this betrayal and am sending you my Counselling support pack.

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