Last week I asked Lifehacker readers to share the little things that go a long way in the bedroom. I’m not talking about wild feats of flexibility or barrier-breaking new kinks — I wanted to hear your wisdom when it comes to talking dirty without feeling awkward, the power of a well-placed pillow, or the simple flexibility that comes with doing stretches beforehand. After all, as shown in this Reddit threadthe best sex tips often come down to seemingly small, low-effort hacks.
For this crowdsourcing to work, I officially gave each and every one of you the benefit of the doubt that you’re a god in bed. And now, I feel vindicated for taking this leap of faith (no offense), because you guys delivered. Also, many of you don’t believe in the concept of “TMI.” I pored over your big and small sex tips, filtering out the ones that were questionable or overtly unethical. (No, I will not endorse the “hack” of “getting a mistress.”)
The first step to improving your sex life is to admit that there’s room for improvement. Try to reflect: Is it time to spice things up? Overcome some communication hurdles? Gain some confidence, ditch your hangups, and, well, fuck around? Without further ado, here are the best sex tips submitted by Lifehacker’s own insightful readers.
Get assistance to, uh, “stand tall”
Don’t let erectile dysfunction get you down, wordplay obviously intended.
A lot of people view using pills like Viagra as a source of shame, as if ED is some kind of personal failing. This mindset is only holding you and your partner back. If you’re insecure about turning to medications for help, reader panthercougar has some words of wisdom:
“I’ve never been super happy with my ability to stand tall, this goes all the way back to my teenage years. I’m 39 and in decent health, but decided to try it about a year and a half ago. It’s made a world of difference. Now instead of having anxiety about whether or not things will work out well I can focus on our interactions. My wife and I have been together for 16 years and are having the best sex of our relationship in our late 30’s.”
Of course, this advice is not without caveats: “The biggest downside is that I need an hours notice.” Then again, panthercougar continue, “this has the unexpected benefit of forcing us to communicate when we are in the mood.”
Squeeze in some afternoon delight
One word: Quickies. A simple, effective, and rewarding approach to improving your sex life is to make it far more casual.
“We used to treat sex like an all-night thing when we were younger, which led to less sex as work and responsibilities piled on over the years, because better not to do something than do something half-assed, right?” — Captain Splendid
If you’re lucky enough to still be WFH, take advantage of the opportunities it affords: “This has been a huge benefit of working from home on quiet days when our kids are in school. By the time we go to bed most nights we are just exhausted. Having the daytime option is wonderful.” — panthercougar
Thank you, reader RinchenLBfor the following mic drop: “This is what the French do.”
Make time for date nights
This advice is well-tread territory, but for good reason. Every long-term relationship has periods where you skimp on the romance. Luckily, a little effort can go a long way:
“The best thing about date nights is they doesn’t have to be expensive or extravagant. Just setting aside the time to focus on spending quality time together is the important part.” — Captain Splendid
“We were neglecting each other when the baby came, but started making sure we dated again. Work from home helped this as we could take lunch together and on Fridays we can knock off early and get an early dinner and drinks before picking up the kid from preschool. We get a babysitter every couple of weeks and go out and set aside some time each night where we talk to each other (rather than watch TV), even if it’s only 10 minutes or so. We feel much more connected.” — EvilMonkey72
Even if you struggle to set aside time for a proper date night, try reintroducing flirting into your relationship: “We also flirt over text a lot more now, even if we’re just in separate rooms working during the day.” — EvilMonkey72
Invest in toys
Look, I get it. If you’ve never incorporated toys into your sex life, they can be intimidating. You might be thinking, What if this does a better job of pleasing my partner than I do? To that I say, duhthat’s the point.
“Finally we invested in some toys. Maybe spent a bit too much money on them but having toys (for both of us) has introduced us to things we weren’t into before.” — EvilMonkey72
Reader Dave In Dallas brings up what is currently the trendiest feature in the world of vibrators: suction.
“It’s got a little hollow nub that is perfectly sized to encase the exposed portion of the clitoris. An inch inside the hollow nub is a diaphragm that vibrates. You can adjust the depth and speed of the vibration of the diaphragm. Some of them also incorporate traditional vibrators, too. They’ve been out for a few years now, and they’re unlike any other toy in terms of the type of stimulation they impart.”
Plus, going to a sex store with your partner can be a fun way to spend time together and build anticipation. Make a night of it!
Hit the gym
The relationship between fitness and bedroom performance is no big reveal. This isn’t about “looking good naked.” Instead, the increased stamina, mobility, and overall self esteem that come with regular exercise will pay dividends in the bedroom.
“Getting in better shape has increased my stamina in the bedroom, which is good for both me and my partners.” — Listener42
“Not only that, it is a confidence-booster when you look good (and they notice you look good too!)“ — FiveLiters1
If you’re looking for specific workouts, consider your core: “Not only getting in shape, but focusing on core and ab exercises. Strengthening those muscles led to incredibly intense orgasms.” — JSinclair39
Use a kinky questionnaire
Communication is key, but communication is awkward. Maybe you’re unsure how to start the conversation about what you actually want in the bedroom. Maybe you have no clue what you actually want in the bedroom. Lifehacker comment STIKleinWagon brought to our attention a tool to spare you the fear of embarrassment while you figure out your (and your partner’s) intimate fantasies.
“mojoupgrade (or others). It’s a site where you both answer questions on various acts or things you might do in the bedroom. You can answer ‘No, Maybe, or Yes’ to each. Both partners can fill it out separately, and it only shows you the stuff where you both answered ‘Maybe’ or ‘Yes.’ This eliminates some of the awkwardness of discussing it all, and you might find some things that you didn’t realize you were both into — or at least willing to try.” — STIKleinWagon
don’t skimp on lube
Many commenters quickly dismissed lube as “obvious,” but that means it still warrants its own slide. It’s “obvious” for a reason.
As reader MrMcGeein3D brings up, invest in a high quality silicone lube like Pjur or Uberlube.
Don’t be a dry fool. Don’t overlook the power of lube.
Prep the space
If you’re expecting company, don’t kill the mood with a disorganized space.
“Having supplies handy. Having a basket of washcloths, condoms, & lube in reach of the bed is wonderful.” — David
Tidiness and having supplies at the ready can help you look more confident and make pulling off all the transitions involved in bedroom fun as seamless as possible. So if you’re expecting to incorporate toys, for example, make sure that they’re washed and somewhere easy to grab.
Learn four magic words
If there’s one takeaway from all this advice, it should be the importance of clear, direct communication. Give your partner the opportunity to tell you what they want by asking for it.
Comment JohnU suggests the four magic words are simply, “What would please you?” If that’s not in your voice, here are plenty of ways to open this door:
- “Tell me what you like/want/need.”
- “Does ____ feel good?”
- “I like it when…”
- “I’ve always wanted to try…”
The elegance here is in the balance between a question that is both open-ended and direct. More importantly, however, is the way this question places your partner front and centre. Communicating your own desires is important, but you also want to shift the focus on the other person. Then, all you need to do is pay attention to what they tell you. (Don’t worry if they don’t have a clear answer; The act of asking someone what they want can go a long way in making them feel valued and desired.)
Overcome sexual hang-ups
Apparently the comments section of Lifehacker articles is a kink-shame-free zone. Reader boobsandbacon shared a sexual awakening from a slapping scene in Mad Men. I believe that madmen-induced sexual awakenings are a fairly universal experience, but the lesson here is about overcoming internalized shame around what turns your on:
“So why care what anyone else thinks, except for you and person or persons you’re having sex with.” — boobsandbacon
Some stipulations: This assumes that what turns you on is consensual and that all participants are informed and enthusiastic.
Talk to your doctor
Thank you to every reader who shared a personal story about getting professional help, whether that meant adjusting your depression medication, or addressing mysterious hormonal changes, or what have you. Sometimes a subpar sex life is a symptom of a larger issue, one that can’t be fixed with “date nights” or “hitting the gym.” Talking about sex is uncomfortable for many of us, but it’s worth it to open up to a doctor you can trust.