15 tips for happy, healthy sex, from Tiffany Kagure Mugo’s new book Quirky Quick Guide to Having Great Sex
More about the book!
Kwela Books has shared an excerpt from Quirky Quick Guide to Having Great Sex by Tiffany Kagure Mugo!
(Warning: Adult content)
This book will answer your burning questions and tell you all you need to know, in accessible bite-sized bits.
A guide to all things sex and sexuality, busting myths and upgrading the knowledge you already have, it is the ultimate tool to help elevate your sex life!
Don’t miss the virtual book launch, featuring Tiffany in conversation with Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng!
The launch will take place in a live video stream on our Facebook and YouTube pages on Wednesday 5 August 2020 at 6pm.
Read the excerpt:
More sex? Different sex? Some sex? Tips for chatting coitus
Speaking about sex can be hard, sticky and tricky. Often people will dance around the conversation or simply avoid the conversation all together and stumble into bed/the back seat of a car/against the wall. The problem with not having the conversation is that this leads to a lot of mishaps, misunderstanding and a general dumpster fire of a sex life. It leads to a life filled with bad sex and awkward interactions where you now have to either stay in a situation with crappy sex or switch off the ‘last seen’ feature on your WhatsApp as you try to ghost the person. So in order to have the happiest healthiest sex you possibly can have it is time to communicate. Here is how:
1. Step up and speak up
Partners are not mind readers, if you want something you have to speak up. This is the important part: communicate, communicate, communicate. The conversation can feel a little bit silly, sometimes awkward, sometimes plain hard. The focus here is to be brave about what you want and vocalise it. You shall find the pleasure if you actively go looking for it.
2. Be 100 about it (the truth will set you free)
Lying or half-truthing about what you want will not get anyone anywhere. It isn’t helpful to get you to O-town and it doesn’t give your partner a map to find your pleasure palace. You need to be open and honest about what you want so that it can go from fantasy to reality. It also means if you don’t start with the truth that bringing it up later will be hard.
3. Be focused about what you want
Be specific about your wants. One of the key ways to take control of your pleasure is knowing what that entails. Do you want to be spanked? How hard? Do you want to be licked near your thigh? Do you want sexy texts in the middle of the day to get your blood racing? Do you want to be bent over the kitchen sink as the light streams in on a Sunday afternoon? Say. It. Being vague and shy is not going to help you here. Granted we do not live in a world where people can just throw out what they want sexually without being judged, so acknowledge that there are some internal and external barriers to chatting about coitus and then try and work through them.
And if you cannot be specific take the time to learn by either experimenting by yourself or with a partner and get specific. Know what the playbook says before you get in the game and then you can teach the other players.
4. Keep a sex diary
Being able to vocalise your desires before you give them to another person can be helpful. You can order your sexy thoughts before you share them with someone else. Obviously writing down (or recording them on voice notes or in images and videos) can be risky, so make sure that you keep them safe. Having them in front of you can help you see which ones you really want, which ones can stay as fantasies, which ones can be changed up to suit your partner and which ones are just plain impractical – like having sex on the beach, with the sea crashing over your ankles, when you originally live in a land-locked country.
5. Find examples of what you want
When you are bringing new ideas to a partner sometimes saying ‘just watch this thing right here/peep this article here/ check out this Instagram post’ can be a lot more effective than trying to stumble through an explanation that is full of ‘ummms’ and ‘ahhhs’ and ‘ermms’. It will also give your partner the ability to process your desires and to see that you are not alone as a couple trying something new. It allows you to process separately and then come together when you are ready. Finding examples can help with the awkward (and sometimes accusatory) ‘Where did you learn about this?’ vibe that comes up when new sex stuff is happening.
6. Speak about safe sex (even if you think it’s a yawn)
Safe sex is important. What is also important is speaking about safe sex. There are many conversations that fall under this umbrella from ‘Have you been tested?’ to ‘What sort of protection are we going to be using?’ Having the safe sex talk is an important part of having great sex.
In bed what is consensual and not consensual (e.g. Do not put a finger in my butt) is also a part of safe sex practices because emotional and mental safety is as much a part of safe sex as is physical safety. Include this as part of the convo.
7. No such thing as a ‘filthy word’
Speaking about the sex that you want can be difficult. One thing sexologists/therapists find is that people often have difficulty verbalising their sexual wants. This is where a little research can help you find the right words for what you want to say. Research can help you describe what you want or allow your partner(s) to see what you mean, without the use of awkward diagrams or hand signals (see Tip 5). In speaking about your sex, practice makes perfect.
8. Ask if you can have the sex(y) convo
Speaking about sex is not something everyone is comfortable with or can just do at a moment’s notice, even with a partner. Asking if you can speak about your sex life gives them time to prepare themselves for the convo and also gives them space to raise anything they want to raise to make your sex life poppin’! In addition, it creates a safe space where you and your partner(s) can have open and clear conversations.
9. Choose a time and place where you are not butt-naked
Unless you are on a date on a nude beach, try to have the conversation with your clothes on. The pressure to speak about sex is deep enough without it being compounded with the pressure of being in the middle of the act. Take the pressure off the physical part of the conversation (whilst also making it more focused and intentional) by picking a time and place where you are just chilling, say when doing laundry or out for dinner or even just having some Netflix without the chill. Having heightened emotions when speaking about ‘the sex’ won’t work well for either party so do it at a time when you are both relaxed (see Tip 8 for asking if you can speak about the sex).
10. Be open to what each of you has to say
The conversation about increasing sexual desires is not always going to be easy. Sometimes people will be shocked. And the fear that we are going to be judged about the things we want is what keeps us hiding our sexual wants and needs. Sometimes the other person will reveal some startling things themselves. The point of the conversation is to make sure that you are kind and honest. No shaming of desires or allowing your desires to be shamed because, as long as it does not hurt anyone or anything, it is all natural. There are so many different ways to have sex and as long as they are not harming anyone, are 100% consensual and do not involve any breaking of international human rights conventions, then you are good to go!
11. Go into the conversation with a positive mindset (it could go really well)
You want to have great sex. Your partner wants to have great sex. If you come into the space with this mindset then nothing can truly go wrong because you both want the best from the conversation and the situation. This also includes using positive language. Rather than accusatory ‘You do not do this or that’ make it ‘I love this and would love more’, ‘I am so into that and would love to try it with you … ’ This eases potential drama that is the act of ‘adding new things to your sex life’.
12. Be willing to come to an understanding that works for everyone
Listen to the other person and hear what they have to say. Even if you initiated the conversation it does not mean it is all about you. Sex is a two-way street, an interaction, and should be treated as such. If someone is not comfortable with something, then reach a joint decision on how to go forward but also be willing to be open to the wonderful sexual fantasies of others. Active consent for engaging in sexual activities together is key, so build a framework that works within this idea: we both want to be here doing this. Also know that the person may need time to digest what it is you have said, so give them that space to do so. Saying ‘I love to be spanked and have my hair pulled’ does not instantly mean they will suddenly produce a belt from behind the bed and start doing the whipping.
13. Leave your ego at the door
Remember that speaking about the sex you want is not about slamming the sex you have, but about building on it. No matter where your sex life is there is always space to grow and improve so do not take the conversation as saying ‘The sex is trash and I am so unsatisfied I could scream’ and do not present it that way either.
The collective ‘sexual ego’ can sometimes take a knocking if people bring up wants and needs because media teaches us that you can meet a random at a bar and suddenly you are having the best sex of your life against the wall. Although sometimes anonymous one-night stands can be flames, so can having sex that is unpacked and spoken about because then desires can be explored to their full extent.
14. Monitor and evaluate your cummin’ and going
Like any good group project, you need to make sure that you are doing the things right. You have put in all this time and effort and you should check that it is all working out. In light of this you should be checking in with your partner and they should be checking in with you. The act of communication and making sure everyone is in a good space (even when sex is not happening at the moment) is so important, so take time to actively sit and chat about your sex life. It can be tricky but this is circling back to the very beginning, speaking about the sex.
15. Enjoy yourself
Sex is about enjoyment. Sometimes it’s about making babies. Sometimes it’s about making money. But always try to enjoy yourself. Know that your wants and needs are valid and that pursuing them does not make you some sort of sexual deviant but a normal happy human being.