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How to Really Improve Your Sex Life: Part II

Despite how important sex is to our well-being, many people are unhappy about their sex lives. A landmark 2008 study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 43% of American women and 31% percent of men admitted they had a sexual problem.  And usually these studies under-report the actual percentages because, let’s face it: who wants to admit they can’t get it up or they can’t have an orgasm through intercourse?


   Researchers have found that there are four primary ways in which couples can really enhance their sex life: novelty, sexual trance, partner engagement, and role play.  In Part I we looked at how novelty and sexual trance make for oh so much fun. In Part II we’ll look at how partner engagement and role play turn ho-hum sex into fireworks.

Partner Engagement

  Partner engagement is interactive sex and sex play.  Your partner is seen as a separate person whose happiness and satisfaction are as important as one’s own.  At the highest level of partner engagement there is rapture, bliss, plus a feeling of oneness with each other.


  • In partner engagement you each are dedicated to the fullest sexual expression and fulfillment of the other.  This is the arena where you stretch to accommodate what the other wants to do.  But never go to the point of intolerable pain or trauma. 
  • Be adventurous and take the initiative at times with pleasing each other.  A spontaneous ambush for a quickie is a great idea.  There’s nothing like “surprise sex” to amp up your pleasure centers.

Role Play

  The last type of sexual intimacy comes from role play.  The couple creates a kind of magic theatre where sex is a stage for each partner to share and enact fantasies with each other.  About 95% of people report that they have sexual fantasies so you’re not alone.  Fantasies help each of you to explore all the different aspects of self which frees up energy and loosens you up.  Plus it helps reduce the urge to cheat because you both are already having the novelty of a “different” partner.


  • The excitement and newness of role play keeps the dopamine flowing, which keeps the passion going.
  •  Role plays often emerge from fantasies.  The most common fantasies involve an imaginary romantic lover, being overpowered or forced to surrender, reliving a sexual experience or pretending they are doing something wicked or forbidden.
  • Most common roles include, naughty doctor and patient, naughty cop and lawbreaker, master and slave, fantasy forced submission.


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A Final Word on Sexual Issues

     If you or your partner has sexual issues first use some of the techniques I have described to try breaking through the barriers on your own. If he has erectile dysfunction there are medications available that have been very effective for men. They’re still working on approving meds for arousal problems in women. But other physical problems could be affecting you, like anemia in women or hormone abnormalities. For men, low testosterone levels have become very common and can have very negative consequences on both libido and erections. Medications you are taking can have libido-depressing side-effects.  For example, tranquilizers are notorious for interfering with your sex drive.


      Don’t let a physical problem prevent you from having sex so check with your doctor.   If your issues are not simply physical then by all means seek out a sex therapist or a couples’ therapist who specializes in sexual dysfunction. Treat this problem as you would diabetes or any other serious illness. It will be well worth it. 


And don’t forget to take advantage of my free ongoing support: You can learn EXACTLY how to improve your relationship, fight fairly, keep the passion going and deepen commitment by subscribing to my Dating Tips & Relationship Advice Newsletter, absolutely FREE!  Click Here to get started now.


Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. is a frequent guest psychologist on The Today Show & author of the highly acclaimed new book, “Sealing the Deal: The Love Mentor’s Guide to Lasting Love” as well as the best-selling author of “Love in 90 Days.” Dr. Diana’s revolutionary work is the basis of her PBS Special on love. Connect with Dr. Diana through her FREE Dating and Relationship Advice Newsletter.

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