How to put the spark back in your bed - 5 ways to sex up your relationship Independent. The heroine, Anastasia Steele, trembles, pants, and repeatedly finds herself on the brink of climax at the slightest touch of her lover, and the chemistry between the pair is such that they reach orgasm more times than you can shake a riding crop at.
In the face of such glorious frequent earthshattering erotic antics on screen, it's impossible not to ask the inevitable question - how does your own sex life compare? Chances are, it doesn't. But even for the average couple, is cinema creating unrealistic sexpectations? How often should we be having sex? What might be causing a waning sex life? And how can you inject a bit of red hot passion? Polls regularly reveal that many couples are unhappy with their sex life - one recent survey claimed just one third of Irish people reported being 'very happy' with their life in flagrante - but it's not always easy to pinpoint what's causing this dissatisfaction.
Sexperts however are unanimous in their belief that one factor feeding into feelings of sexual frustration is the pressure to have amazing sex, and the mistaken belief that everyone else is having it. So, before deciding your sex life is sub-par, it might be wise to turn off the telly and get rid of the idea that what you see in film, is representative of the trysts you should be aiming for.
They are being taught that this is what sensuality looks like. It's changing how we think about our bodies and about sex and all this forced sensuality and sexualisation is, in my opinion, putting the 'rot' in erotic.
What really matters is that it's an intimate and connecting experience for both, that the couple feel bonded during and after, and importantly have fun. According to the Kinsey Institute of Sex, Reproduction and Gender, the 'optimum' number of times for 18 to year-olds to be having sex is times per year; for ages it's 86 times a year, and for 40 to year-olds it's 69 times a year. A separate survey found that over a quarter of those aged aren't having sex at all, while a different piece of research found that older couples reported being happier with their sex life, even if it wasn't as frequent.
Can you expect a sexual relationship to still have the same mind-blowing connection as when you first met? O'Reilly says probably not.
Ideally, we replace the mind-blowing with a calmer, deeper connection that has mind-blowing moments. We needn't panic that we haven't breathlessly wanted to rip our partner's clothes off in a while. If you've read all the above and reckon your expectations are reasonable but not being met, then there's no reason to suffer in silence. Most important to solving the problem is to pinpoint why the sexual side of your life is out of sync.
This could be any number of factors says Bergin; stress, depression, negative body image, infidelity, illness, overuse of porn, the arrival or children, menopause, and unresolved conflict. The relationship buffer zone wears away: Familiarity breeds contempt, with sex becoming predictable and boring. Work gets in the way, with children, bills, illness or even a death in the family all playing a part in putting stress in a relationship and knocking sex onto the sidelines.
The arrival of children on the scene is a common factor, with last year's Maternal Health and Maternal Morbidity in Ireland study revealing that, while 51pc of mums had reported being 'very satisfied' with their sex life pre-pregnancy, only 24pc reported the same 12 months post-partum.
The best way to pinpoint the problem, and the only way to solve it, is to talk - with your partner, a therapist, or both. Couples who are able to talk to each other about their sexual needs have more satisfaction in this area than those who don't.
To tackle sex talk sensitively and successfully, she has these key recommendations: When you're relaxed and won't be interrupted. You might have lots to say but try to listen to how your partner sees it, where they're at and how they're feeling. Use 'I' statements to own your emotions. Be gentle with your partner and realise they may find this hard to talk about.
But in most cases, the steps towards establishing a better sex life will take time. And it's worth it - the importance of a healthy, fulfilling sex life should not be underestimated. It can be seen too as exercise and has cardiovascular benefits. Sex helps us sleep better due to the hormone prolactin being released after orgasm, and it can also help if we're experiencing pain. For most of us it can be both.
We're happy to ask life coaches, personal trainers and dating apps for help with problems in other aspects of life - sex should be no different. And maybe even fun.