Sex “My boyfriend wants more sex than I do.”

Self-con­fessed hu­man dust­bin, writer Lucy Sweet, puts con­ven­tional wis­dom to the test.

Glamour (South Africa) - - News -

… we were long distance, and now that we’re in the same city, he’d like it three times a day. I coun­tered with once on week­days and twice on week­ends, but he seemed dis­ap­pointed. Now I’m self-con­scious that my sex drive is low and that we aren’t sex­u­ally com­pat­i­ble. What can I do?” – Lacey, 28

Never sched­ule sex

“Sex should be fun and spon­ta­neous, and you can’t prom­ise that you’re go­ing to be in the mood when you’re just not. You could try sex­ting; you can have that fore­play all day, and then when you see each other, you’re ex­cited and he’s ex­cited and you can do all of the things you talked about. But don’t com­pro­mise on what you want. Some­times when we’re try­ing to please a guy, we for­get about our­selves. You can try to meet him half­way, but don’t do some­thing you’re not into. It’s not worth it.” – Am­ber Rose, cre­ator of the Am­ber Rose Slut­walk

Find a com­pro­mise

“You don’t sound sex­u­ally in­com­pat­i­ble in the least! Sex twice a day on week­ends is pretty close to three times a day. You’ve made a gen­er­ous com­pro­mise and he can meet you in the mid­dle (mas­tur­bat­ing more fre­quently is one idea). But hav­ing a ‘ how many times a day’ rule isn’t the best approach to a healthy sex life. Rather try to al­low it to hap­pen with fewer ex­pec­ta­tions.” – Dr Kris­ten Mark, sex and re­la­tion­ships re­searcher

Know the car­di­nal re­la­tion­ship rule

“A part­ner­ship should never de­pend on the other per­son chang­ing for you, and you shouldn’t feel obliged to have sex three times a day in or­der to main­tain your shared bond. (And if any­body needs to give, it’s him – he’ll have a harder time find­ing what he’s look­ing for.) If you are not able to reach an agree­able com­pro­mise, all the com­mu­ni­ca­tion and love in the world won’t change that. So you may need to move on.” – Evan Marc Katz, dat­ing coach and author of I Can’t Be­lieve I’m Buy­ing This Book: A Com­mon­sense Guide to In­ter­net Dat­ing (Ten Speed Press; R291)

Dis­tin­guish be­tween re­al­ity and fan­tasy

“Sex three times a day sounds pas­sion­ate, at least in the­ory, but it’s amus­ingly im­prac­ti­cal. Ask how of­ten your boyfriend re­ally had sex in his past re­la­tion­ships; it will help you fig­ure out whether he has a high sex drive or if this is just his fan­tasy. Ei­ther way, have sex when you want to. Women are so­cialised to see sex as a duty they per­form for their part­ners, and who wants some­thing that’s a job rather than fun? It’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that sex isn’t just about mak­ing a part­ner happy; it’s about mak­ing you happy, too.” – Rachel Hills, author of The Sex Myth: The Gap Be­tween Our Fan­tasies and Re­al­ity (Si­mon & Schus­ter; R247)

do you snack with­out re­al­is­ing? Or guz­zle down your food? I do, most days. But stud­ies, in­clud­ing re­search from ex­per­i­men­tal psy­chol­o­gist Dr Charles Spence, show that sim­ple mind tricks can help us eat more healthily. “Mind­ful eat­ing is recog­nis­ing the dif­fer­ences be­tween phys­i­cal hunger and ‘head hunger’,” adds di­eti­cian Laura Clark. But will these tricks stop us from raid­ing the fridge? I find out.

1 Con­scious eat­ing

The trick Turn off the TV and watch what you eat in­stead. Why Re­search shows we eat up to 25% more when not fo­cus­ing on our food. “Eat­ing with dis­trac­tion or speed means we don’t al­low the ap­petite cen­tre in our brain to recog­nise that we’re eat­ing,” ex­plains Laura. My ver­dict I of­ten won­der where en­tire bags of chips have gone while watch­ing Net­flix. So I turn it off while I snack and I’m soon ra­tioning my­self, eat­ing less than a third of a bag be­fore vir­tu­ously re­turn­ing it to the kitchen.

2 Sen­sory eat­ing

The trick Eat with all your senses – savour­ing smell, taste and tex­ture. Why “Feel­ing your food as you add each in­gre­di­ent, smelling it and tast­ing it, helps you ap­pre­ci­ate it more,” says Alice Mack­in­tosh, nu­tri­tional ther­a­pist and co-founder of nu­tri­tional sup­ple­ment Equi Lon­don. My ver­dict This worked, Nigel­lastyle, while cook­ing. A sniff of lemon zest here, a nose in a pan there. But not so good when you’re plung­ing your nose into a tub of re­duced-fat hum­mus. How­ever, it does make you think harder about the qual­ity of what you eat.

3 Com­plex eat­ing

The trick Eat with your non-dom­i­nant hand or even with chop­sticks. Why “The eas­ier it is to in­gest food, the more we con­sume, so the idea is to make it more dif­fi­cult to eat so we slow down,” says Dr Spence. It al­lows the brain to re­ceive mes­sages – like feel­ing full – from the stom­ach. My ver­dict Have you ever eaten spaghetti with chop­sticks? Joy­less and, af­ter a week, most of my clothes were stained. “There are bet­ter ways to cre­ate ‘pause points’,” says Laura. “Put your cut­lery down be­tween mouth­fuls and have sips of wa­ter, and don’t load your next fork­ful un­til your mouth is empty.” This is much eas­ier, and sur­pris­ingly, I en­joyed my food more.

4 Dis­trac­tion eat­ing

The trick Beat food crav­ings by check­ing emails or phon­ing your mom. Why “A sense of crav­ing for food has very lit­tle to do with hunger,” says psy­chol­o­gist Dr Jane Og­den. “This gen­er­ates a sense of ‘must-have’, but it doesn’t last and any form of dis­trac­tion will break the as­so­ci­a­tion.” My ver­dict This is a good one, es­pe­cially when in the pres­ence of the of­fice bis­cuit tin. In­stead of giv­ing in to my lunchtime Cheese Curls crav­ing, I hit In­sta­gram and within a few min­utes, I’ve for­got­ten it.

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