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10 Things Couples Who (Consistently) Have Great Sex Do

"The ultimate pleasure is giving pleasure."—Raheem DeVaughn

Sex

I'm in my 40s. Therefore, I remember mixtapes very well. I'm also a really big fan of music which is why, when it came to some of the guys I slept with, I preferred for there to be no music playing in the background at all. Not because music doesn't set the mood; it's actually because it does it far too well. To this day, if I hear R. Kelly's "Seems Like You're Ready", D'Angelo's "Lady" or "So Anxious" by Ginuwine, my mind immediately goes back to particular people and, umm, activities. And since I actually do want to listen to R&B for the rest of my life, I had to be careful about how songs were able to—pardon the pun—penetrate my mind and heart space during the act.

I thought about all of this as I was talking to a couple who absolutely adores the super sensual and sex-triggering slow jam "Breathe" by Raheem DeVaughn. As they shared with me some of the things that makes each time feel about as good as the first time, even 12 years later—yeah, talk about relationship goals—they told me that they create a new playlist for sex every season. That's right—four times a year. They said that putting the tracks together gets them extra hype. Then, when they play them, it feels like each song was written just for them and their love life—and that makes the intimacy that much more intense. As a bonus, whenever they listen to old playlists, it will take them back to a certain experience, position or technique and that inspires them to replay the moment all over again.

Just so I could put Raheem's song into better perspective, I went home to re-listen to it after having that convo. Apparently he agrees with where they were coming from because, peep this line—"I know your favorite love song and how you like it on repeat/I was born a patient lover, so I'll start with your feet." Wheeeeew…wheeeee.

It's one thing to have great sex moments. Hopefully, we've all had that. But after taking in the pearls of wisdom from the couple who seemed to get so hot discussing their sex life that I wondered if they were gonna strip right in front of me—again, relationship goals—it inspired me to share some of what takes for two individuals to go from having good sex every once in a while to having unbelievable sex, pretty much every single time that they do it.

1. They Really Like Sex. Like REALLY Like It.

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Something that I don't think gets talked about nearly enough is how many people actually like sex. I don't mean they're attracted to their partner or that they can get into it once the right spot is touched or kissed. What I mean is, they have a really hard time, even going a week without experiencing the act itself. That it's something they find to be enjoyable, it's something they are super fond of, and it's something that they prefer doing over…a billion other things. These are the kind of individuals who really like sex—and when you like something, you want to do it as often as you can. You also want to get better and better at it so that you can grow to like it that much more.

I can't tell you how many sessions I've sat in where a woman has said to me, "I can go months without sex and I'm good." If you mean "good" in the sense of being a single woman who isn't going to settle when it comes to choosing a partner, I'm with you. If you're a wife telling me this, that is anything but good. What many conversations have revealed is, oftentimes, it has little to do with their relationship and more to do with their views on sex overall. This why, I had to lead off with, if you want to have a consistently awesome sex life, first ask yourself how "into sex" you are to begin with. People who have great sex on a regular basis already know the answer to that question.

2. They See Sex As Being Necessary. VERY NECESSARY.

For the past few years, something that I've been trying to make a regular part of my daily practice is the art of minimalism—figuring out what I actually need while not feeling like all of my wants are something that automatically should be pursued. Since doing this, my finances have stabilized, I have less debt and honestly, I feel lighter because I'm not clouded with so much excess…so much stuff. Where exactly am I going with this? Unfortunately, if a lot of people were asked if sex was a need or not, many of them would say "no". They would probably say something along the lines of it being something that's fun to do and, with the right person, a beautiful experience. But at the same time, if someone were to ask them if they found sex to be a very necessary part of their lifestyle, they might just say "Eh" and shrug their shoulders.

This isn't the case for couples who have consistently great sex. There's food, water, shelter—and sex. And here's the thing about when you see something as being a need—you make provisions for it, you make time for it, you rely on it to provide for some aspect of your life.

The things that I want, I'll get around to those at some point. The things that I need, those are top priorities, no matter what. See the difference? Couples who have the best sex treat their sex life like Column B not Column A.

3. They Practice Sexual Mindfulness

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One of the worst things that someone can be during sex is mentally preoccupied. In other words, they aren't completely present or fully in the moment. While their body is doing one thing, their mind is thinking about the project they've got to finish, the bill that needs to be paid or even, someone other than their partner. Meanwhile, couples who have great sex on a consistent basis? Something that is important to them is practicing mindfulness.

"Mindful" is such a trendy self-help word these days but one of my favorite definitions is found in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary—"the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis." Two people who are intentional about being non-judgmental of one another's bodies or performance while sharing each other's thoughts and remaining aware of one another's emotions? Shoot, that's getting me all hot 'n bothered just thinking about it. Yep, sexual mindfulness is the dopest of the dope.

4. They Are Mad Adventurous

While checking out an article that said most women "go off of sex" at some point in a long-term relationship, guess the reason that was given? Boredom. Sheer boredom. I get why too because when we're bored, we're uninspired, creativity has gone totally out of the window and everything is pretty predictable. Hmph. When you apply all of this to sex, the phrase "tedious repetition" (a definition for being bored) comes to mind. Boring sex sometimes isn't bad…it's just…boring. It pretty much comes down to going through the motions, and when sex is like that, checking out a movie you've never seen or even painting your nails a new color can be more compelling.

For couples who have an incredible sex life, they absolutely can't relate to wanting to substitute something for sex…especially while they are having it. A part of the reason why is because of how adventurous they are. They like having sex in new places. They enjoy testing out new positions. Some even have sex-themed vision boards or bucket lists. To them, the key to improving their sex life is figuring out how to top themselves as often as possible. Yeah, their sex life is never boring. More than that, their sex life is always satisfying.

5. They Make Sure They Are Emotionally Connected

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Oftentimes, when someone hears the phrase "emotional connection", love or even being in love is what comes to mind. While this tends to be the case for a lot of sexually active couples, there are some individuals who have great sex, even if love isn't exactly on the radar (or on the radar yet). How is that possible? They listen to each other. They esteem each other. They make sure that they both feel safe in one another's presence. They feel close even when there is no physical interaction taking place. When it comes to their personal dynamic, they don't question if the other values them or appreciates having them in their lives. There is peace without drama. This is what a healthy emotional connection looks like. And when you feel secure and comfortable with your partner, it's the foundation for the kind of sexual relationship that only gets better and better with time.

6. They’ve Got a “Nasty Meter”

OK so, y'all. Our managing editor is someone that I communicate with, at least a couple of times a week. If you check for her article byline (Sheriden Chanel), you'll notice that most of her content is sex-related, so it's not like it's a secret that she's a free spirit. But after listening to the xoHappyHour Podcast episode "What My Parents Never Told Me About Sex"? Let me just say this—if you're still trying to figure out the differences in the three voices, Sheriden is going to be the one who says the most "Umm…wow" stuff when it comes to sex and sexuality. Truly, her nastiness meter knows no bounds. NO. BOUNDS. I'm willing to bet that she has had some pretty phenomenal experiences because of it too.

And why am I using the word "nasty" instead of uninhibited? Whenever I think of intense, sweaty, no holds barred sex, for some reason Janet Jackson's track to "Nasty" plays in my mind—"I don't like no nasty car, I don't like a nasty food/The only nasty thing I like is the nasty groove/Huh, will this one do?/Uh-huh, I know".

Nasty grooves. No inhibitions. Let's. Do. This…FOR REAL. If there are a list of rules for folks who consistently have great sex, those phrases would about sum it up.

7. They Are Open, Honest and Real

Anyone who is in a healthy relationship, they are going to say that communication is a main component to a satisfying and lasting connection with someone. When you're truly able to communicate, you are able to be open, honest and real. Well, when it comes to sexual activity, this means being open about what your desires are, honest about what is and isn't working for you and real—really real—about what you want your overall sexual experience to be like.

While we're on the word "open", folks who have great sex on a regular basis also tend to be open-minded. Certain things that they naturally might not have been willing to try before, because they trust their partner, they are willing to explore more than usual. This doesn't mean that they allow themselves to be forced or even manipulated into doing what they don't want to do. But what it does mean is because their relationship is so safe and authentic, certain things are definitely up for negotiation.

8. They Don’t Overthink Everything

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Does my body look good with the lights on? Will she think I'm big enough? Is my vagina ugly? What if I cum too quick? What if I can't climax at all?? Is she excited? Am I wet enough? Goodness. If there is a super underrated reason for why more couples aren't having consistently fulfilling sexual experiences, it's that one or both individuals are thinking way too hard—and for the life of me, I don't know why. The more research I do on overthinking, the more toxic I see the habit actually is. Overthinking brings forth anxiety. Overthinking tends to create negative hypothetical situations that will probably never manifest. On the sexual tip, overthinking can prevent us from relaxing, letting loose and totally enjoying our partner.

Couples who have amazing sex on a constant basis know this. That's why they don't spend a lot of time worrying about body image or even their performance. As the late great Luke Perry, as Dylan McKay on Beverly Hills, 90210, said on the night he and Brenda had sex for the first time, "We're not going to be judging each other. We're going to be enjoying each other." Words to live by. Very much so.

9. They Are More Focused on Giving than Receiving

If someone were to ask me what my favorite sex-related word was, in this season of my life, the answer would probably surprise them. Generous. There is nothing like experiencing copulation with someone who is a generous individual. When you're generous, you're liberal in how you give. When you are generous, you're unselfish. Generous people are also considerate, thoughtful, willing, ungrudging and totally free. They are the kind of lovers who enjoy giving oral sex because they like to see their partner happy. They are the type of partner who doesn't feel like sex is complete unless their partner climaxes.

Individuals who only give to get deserve all kinds of side-eye because, not only does that represent having a self-centered mentality, but it also reveals a lack of sexual maturity too. However, couples who are happiest when their partner is happy—how can the sex not totally be off-of-the-chain?

10. They Seek to Affirm and Heal with Every Experience

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This one right here is probably my favorite. The reason why I say that is because, there are some sex partners and experiences that I've had that, as far as the act itself, things were pretty cool. But when it came to the actual person, in hindsight, they ended up doing me more harm than good.

Since sex is the kind of act that involves our mind, body and spirit, it's important to share the experience with someone who affirms every aspect of your being. It's even better when you are able to walk away feeling like some part of you was even healed in some way.

This is what I try and convey with the married couples that I work with. When they took vows to commit to the "becoming one process", a part of what should come with that is using sexual intimacy as a conduit to uphold and support their partner, to remind their partner of their beauty and worth—to make them feel like if there is anyplace where they can truly be "naked and not ashamed", it's with them.

And when you know that you know…that you know that you're sharing a bed with someone who wants to even use the act of sex to improve your quality of life as well as to soothe and restore you—whew! Why wouldn't you want to be in the presence of that kind of greatness, just as much as you possibly can? Anyone reading this who has great sex on a regular basis, I am confident that they are nodding their head in total agreement because this is exactly how they feel about their partner. And you know what, y'all? It doesn't get much better than that. Do it. (Pun totally intended.)

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

What GROWN Women Consider Great Sex To Be

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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