About 62 percent of women said that better communication would improve their marriages, according to the survey results. They weren’t alone, though. About half of the men surveyed also agreed.
In any relationship, if you want a satisfying, passionate sex life, you have to let your partner know what you like and you need to know what he likes, says Moushumi Ghose, a licensed marriage therapist and author of Classic Sex Positions Reinvented.
But talking about sex can feel a little awkward, even if you’ve been together for a while. If you want to get the conversation going, bring up your own desires so he knows you want to talk about it, suggests Ghose.
Try to bring it up during a relaxed time, like after you eat dinner or while you’re taking a walk alone—just be as genuine and honest as possible, says Ghose.
There’s a lot more to sex than just intercourse and orgasm, says Ghose, so it should come as no surprise that 58 percent of women wouldn’t mind if guys focused more on foreplay.
“What is typically thought of as foreplay—like kissing, sensual touching, and oral sex—are all part of sex. Intercourse and orgasm is the icing on the cake,” she says.
When he takes the time to excite you physically, your body will produce more vaginal lubrication, which plays a big role in making sex feel more comfortable and pleasurable for you, says sex researcher Debby Herbenick, Ph.D.
If you think your pregame moves could use a boost, check out these 14 imaginative ways to make foreplay more fun for the both of you.
You also don’t need to be in bed to turn her on: Anything you do that builds arousal counts as foreplay, like what you text him throughout the day, the compliments you give him, the dinner that you plan for the two of you, and the sexy pictures that you send him, says Ghose.
There are countless types to choose from, though, so take some time to pick one out together.
Sexual fantasies and fetishes are typically taboo, says Ghose, but 40 percent of women reported that acting one out would make their marriage better. Plus, 50 percent of men were into the idea, too.
This doesn’t work for everyone, says Ghose, but if you’re into exploring new things, acting out a fantasy can become an intimate bonding experience.
Fantasies don’t always include bondage and whips. Sometimes it just means you want to try something new, like talking dirty or having sex in a new place. However, bringing up your fantasy can be tough—but that’s probably why better communication was No. 1 on the women’s wish lists.
“For some, it is just a matter of building trust. People are very used to being shamed, ridiculed, and criticized for their fantasies and fetishes,” says Ghose. So if you want him to be open to your fantasies, and share his sexy thoughts with you, you've got to be open about what you want.
Thirty-five percent of women reported that sexual role-playing would improve their marriages.
“Role playing is when two people pretend to be something that they’re not,” she explains. “They may act out a scenario as two different people, or they may even dress the part. Some couples even go as far as to meet in public and do the whole thing from the start, creating an entire story around a role play.” It can be fun and empowering for couples who need to heat things up, she says.
Role play is different from acting out a sexual fantasy because sometimes fantasies or fetishes don’t require you to change your role, says Ghose.
Talk to him about a scenario you’re interested in, suggests Ghose. Ask him if he’s ever wanted to be someone else, or if the idea of playing a different role turns him on. After discussing it, you can try acting out a scenario you agree on. Consent is key here, says Ghose.
“I would stay away from just trying to do it without his knowledge,” he explains. “He might like it, but he might not. Planning it out and asking him in advance is a much better way to foster honest communication.”
Additional reporting by Andrew Daniels
This article originally appeared on Womenshealthmag.com.