Endurance is the ability to exert oneself over a long period of time without fatigue, as well as recover from the exertion without injury or trauma. Endurance is important in all areas of life; it also benefits our sexual activity by allowing us to engage in longer, injury free sexual acts or “running out of steam” before we choose to end sexual activity. When we can’t endure a longer sexual session with our partner, we could develop feelings of guilt or shame from thoughts such as “I am not good enough,” “Other people are better than me,” or “I’ll never be able to last longer.”
How Much vs. How Often
Before we talk about “lasting longer in bed,” we first need to understand and feel satisfied with “quality over quantity.” As a sex positive therapist, I help clients reframe negative thoughts to promote positive feelings and self esteem. There are times when a “wham bam thank you ma’am (or sir)” is all we need to get a boost of enery or relaxation. Understanding “do I want to last long?” versus “do I want to get off quickly” h
elps create a positive mindset going into the bedroom. We also need to communicate this to our partner so we’re both in agreement about expectations.
The Green Light to GO and How to Get There!
Secondly, I encourage collaboration with other healthcare providers to ensure individuals are healthy enough to increase any physical activity including sex. Sexual activity falls into the category of exercise including cardio and strength training movements. Therefore, changing current physical activity could create or exacerbate current medical conditions including pulled muscles or heart conditions. Allowing communication between all of your healthcare providers improves your chances of progressing instead of regressing in your goal to increase endurance.
Since sexual activity is physical exercise, we also need to prep our muscles before sex and allow recovery time after sexual activity. In other words, we need to warm up our whole body including the vagina and penis. A sensual massage that will help blood flow in the muscles is a great warm up activity and also builds intimacy between partners. Orgasms and vaginal stimulation also decreases tightness and helps relax muscles before penetration. This is particularly important for women with a history of vaginismus. Finally, make sure you have a great lube on hand! Lack of lubrication can cause pain or injury resulting in possible future vaginal pain or longer periods of healing time between sexual activity sessions. Courtney recommends a variety of lubes including AloeCadabra, which is also safe for toys. Check out the product at www.AloeCadabra.com and enter AFGETER at checkout to save 25% and get free shipping!
Cool down or recovery time is also important for muscle recovery. Your sexual positions will determine the type of stretches used after sex. I recommend talking to your physical therapist or personal trainer to create a routine for you and your partner. This is another great time to build intimacy and communicate with your partner about the sex while. Skipping the warm-up and cool down parts could create injury during sexual activity and delay increasing endurance.
A final tip is rest and sleep. When one is already fatigued from a busy day or lack of sleep, longer endurance may be an unreasonable expectation. Due to busy lives and unexpected events, we can’t predict when we might loose energy. However, we can understand that longer sexual activity may not occur or be a reasonable expectation after a 10-hour work day plus taking care of children though it may be more reasonable after 8 hours of sleep and before getting ready for your day. In regards to rest and recovery for your body, if you go to the gym after work, a long sex session that night may be unreasonable and potentially unhealthy as you’ve already exerted energy and fatigued your muscles. Plan longer sex sessions during times you are physically and emotionally well rested.
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