I am a teenager of the 90s. I have the photos of bad perms, red lipstick, waistcoats and enormous glasses to prove it. Aged 13 I was a cross between Deidre Barlow and Napoleon Dynamite much to my friends and family's amusement. I grew up with New Kids on the Block, a Nintendo GameBoy and rubbish Australian soap operas.
I also grew up with girl's mags such as Just 17 and More. I remember being quite into More magazine mainly because of the rude bit at the back. Position of the Fortnight and Sex Tips kept me rather entertained (even though at 15 the only way I spiced up my bedroom was putting up a new poster of Christian Slater.) This was my first introduction to sex and it was the closest thing I had to a 'how to' guide. I read it religiously.
Fast forward 18 years, a load of failed relationships and a divorce, it's only now that I'm finally starting to understand the true power of sex.
Just for fun I visited the More magazine website to see if anything has changed since my youth. It would appear not.
Advice for a good sex life include a knicker strip (practice lowering your lingerie beforehand because heaven forbid you mess it up), a lube boob rub or, my absolute favourite, watching porn and copying the actors. All the advice is focused on the physical act of having a good bonk, not one mention of emotional connection. I believe girls mags are missing a huge trick here.
Firstly for anyone to deeply enjoy sex they must unconditionally love their naked bodies and sexual organs. To be able to look in the mirror without a stitch on and say 'ooh yes gorgeous'. Thanks to the millions of photoshopped images in the media and a distorted societal view of beauty many of us do not think we're up to much. There is not one reference to embracing ones nakedness in any of the rubbish magazine sex tips.
I cannot speak for the men out there but I know for a woman to really enjoy lovemaking she needs to be able to trust. Not only trust the man she is with but also trust herself.
Women often give themselves away in sex when they don't really want it - it's a hard thing to admit but many of us have done this. Maybe because there was too much alcohol, maybe because foreplay has started and changing our mind doesn't feel like an option, maybe because we don't feel like it but do it anyway to please the man we are with. The difficulty comes when we make this decision to railroad over our true feelings our body can no longer trust us and sexual desire can fade.
If you are lucky enough to be with a loving partner would you be able to say no to sex? How about saying no DURING sex? It's a big ask. It brings up feelings of worry from the communicator and rejection and confusion from the receiver. However if we are not able to say 'no' than we are not able to fully say 'yes'. I can guarantee that if you take the risk and express your 'no' when you feel it, even if it is at the most inopportune moment, then your 'yes' will take on a whole new power and energy. (Read more on saying no)
Having a great sex life is a bit like the Holy Grail and despite what More magazine says it's got absolutely nothing to do with vibrators, lube or lingerie. Great sex comes from real connection, communication, love, trust and listening to your body at all times. Only then will your body trust you enough to surrender and truly open to a magical experience.