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How to Have a Healthy Sex Life: 8 Tips

Kelly Brown MD, MBA

Reviewed by Kelly Brown, MD

Written by Geoffrey C. Whittaker

Published 07/13/2021

Updated 03/31/2024

What is healthy sex? The answer may be different for every person, but there are some key elements that everyone seems to agree on.

Healthy sex happens between people who trust each other, feel a connection and effectively communicate their desires with each other. It’s also about feeling comfortable with yourself, your body and what you want.

If your sex life is missing any of those elements, there are changes you can make to your lifestyle, relationship and approach to get the healthy sex life you want. Read on for our best tips. They just might change the way you think about sex. Plus they can help you start a conversation with your partner(s) about what good, healthy sex looks and feels like.

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Before we talk about achieving a healthy sex life, it’s probably important to answer the question most people want to ask: “how much sex is healthy and normal to have?”

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question. While some research pegs the average frequency between couples around once a week, you don’t need to compare your sex life to that of others to decide if it’s satisfying. And you certainly don’t have to set — or hit — a quota. Instead, focus on what you and your partner find enjoyable and manageable, without placing stress, pressure or the demand for performance on one another.

Beyond that, the criteria for a good and enjoyable sex life are simple. They can be divided into three groups:

  • A healthy relationship. A healthy relationship is key to a great sexual experience. Your self-esteem and your path to a better sex life are attached to your partner, and the trust and connection you share determines whether physical intimacy is everything you want, or coming up short.

  • A healthy body. Sexual health is hard to maintain without a functioning body, and that doesn’t just apply to the more athletically challenging sex positions you might be trying. Proper erectile function, immune system health, cardiovascular health and hormone balances are a must for great sex.

  • A healthy mind. While the health benefits of a good relationship and a great body may already be boosting your bedroom performance, mental health is at the center of it. Stress, anxiety, poor body image and a fear of rejection are all mental health traps that can stand in the way of a good sex life.

Mastering these things takes time, work and patience. Luckily, we have some tips for doing it well.

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A healthy and satisfying sex life is like a pet — you’ve got to take care of it. Even if you’d rate your intimate time highly right now, the below list of ways to improve your sex life is still an essential checklist for keeping that grade up, and keeping your partner on the same page.

Get Regular Medical Care

A checkup is an essential activity for a healthy sex life. Women may visit a healthcare provider when they experience menopause, painful sex or dryness, but erectile dysfunction (ED) is typically the number one reason men check in.

Our advice: don’t let it get there. See your primary care physician regularly, and track your blood pressure, test for heart health, keep an eye on your endocrine and nervous systems and monitor other potential canaries in the coal mine of health problems.

Blood flow is especially important for men to monitor, because high blood pressure is among the most common physical causes of erectile dysfunction. And don’t forget that your PCP can chat through any psychological and lifestyle factors that could be impacting your sex life.

Communicate Openly

Take stock of your sex life and how you feel about it. What do you like about it? Are you satisfied? Is your partner?

Do you wish you had sex more frequently or felt more sexual intimacy with your partner?

Being satisfied in the bedroom is directly connected to how well you communicate with your partner.

Of course, speaking up can be tricky. You may worry your partner will judge you, or you could be afraid you’ll hurt their feelings.

But think of it this way: wouldn’t you want to know if your sexual partner needed something different? Your partner likely feels the same way.

Still nervous? Know this: a 2018 study found that there was a significant link between orgasm frequency and communication.

Having an open line of communication between you and your partner can be really powerful when it comes to improving your intimacy and sex life.

Stay Curious

No matter how many times you’ve had sex, there’s always more to learn. Staying curious can keep things steamy.

Learning about sex with a partner you respect may allow you both to explore things you may be interested in, address issues in the bedroom and discover new ways to find pleasure.

If you are uncomfortable talking bluntly about sex with your partner, there are other ways to communicate your needs. For instance, sharing articles that resonate with you can be a way to broach different topics.

Try New Things

The same moves won’t always yield the same results, and relying on a routine can lead to boredom — even if you have an active sex life.

Trying a new sexual position can keep things interesting and unpredictable.

Not only that, different positions can help address issues you may be having. For example, entering a woman from behind can help stimulate her G-spot, which can help her orgasm.

Another way to keep your sex life healthy and interesting? Introduce sex toys. Some men are intimidated by vibrators, thinking they’ll be replaced. Instead, think of a vibrator (like this bullet vibrator or this vibrating ring) as an ally that can help you please a female partner.

One study even found that women who used a vibrator in bed reported significantly higher rates of desire and arousal.

Choose your chew

Do Kegel Exercises

Yes, you read that right — kegels aren’t just for women. In fact, they can really help with certain sex issues for men.

Kegels strengthen the pelvic floor muscles. When you’re ready to get started, flex the muscles you use to hold in pee. Your goal is to tighten them for five seconds and then release, repeating this 10 times.

Still wondering what the fuss is about? In addition to preventing urine and feces leakage (which…yes please), research has found that kegels can help alleviate premature ejaculation issues.

One study of 40 men found that 82.5 percent of them were able to gain control of their ejaculatory reflex after 12 weeks of pelvic floor exercises for PE.

They can also help if you’re dealing with erectile dysfunction. One study of 55 healthy men over the age of 20 who were experiencing ED found that after six months of consistent pelvic floor muscle exercises, 40 percent of the men had regained normal erectile function.

Even if you don’t deal with premature ejaculation or ED, kegels are a great way to maintain your sexual fitness.

Use Lubrication

Lube can help things go smoothly — literally and figuratively.

In a 2011 study, when lube was used, women reported much higher rates of sexual satisfaction.

Using a lubricant can also create a more pleasurable experience for men.

You just have to decide what type of lube you want to use. Water-based lubricant is easy to find, affordable and washes off easily — check out ours.

There’s also silicone-based lube, which lasts longer than the water-based kind. One drawback: some people find their skin gets irritated if they don’t wash it off right after sex.

Embrace Foreplay and Cuddling

Our minds tend to jump to penetration when we picture a fulfilling sex life, but a sexual relationship is about much more.

Foreplay increases lubrication, excitement and connection, while cuddling can deepen your bond and increase the impact of hormones like oxytocin and the endorphins associated with sex.

Research is still ongoing into things like postcoital dysphoria — a kind of temporary sadness that some individuals experience after sex, but certified sex therapists and other mental health professionals might recommend the physical presence of a trusted partner as part of the solution.

Get Help When You Need It

Fact: you can’t have a healthy sex life if you are dealing with any sort of sexual dysfunction.

If you suspect you may have erectile dysfunction, it can feel pretty devastating. But you should know that according to the National Institutes of Health, about 30 million men in the United States are affected by ED.

ED can be treated with medications like tadalafil and sildenafil. If you think you may be a good candidate for these ED medications, the first step is to talk to a healthcare provider.

If you suspect your emotions are impacting your erection quality more than your physical health, talking to a sex therapist is a good place to start. They can help you work through the potential causes and identify clear next steps.

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Now that you’ve read all of these tips, know this: you don’t have to do them all at once.

Start with the ones that you think will be the most helpful in creating an enjoyable, healthy sex life.

Our suggestion? Start with communication. Just about everyone can benefit from opening up. When you’re able to talk with your partner about what brings you pleasure and what doesn’t, you’ll feel the impact in the bedroom.

Want to learn more? Our latest sex report digs into Americans’ sexual perceptions, realities, fetishes, fears, and fantasies — including the latest sexual trends making waves across the country.

10 Sources

  1. Zimmer, D., (2008, January). Interaction Patterns and Communication Skills in Sexually Distressed, Maritally Distressed, and Normal Couples: Two Experimental Studies. Sex and Maritial Therapy. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00926238308410912
  2. Jones, A. C., Robinson, W. D., & Seedall, R. B. (2018). The Role of Sexual Communication in Couples Sexual Outcomes: A Dyadic Path Analysis. Journal of marital and family therapy, 44(4), 606–623. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29044661/
  3. 11 Ways to Help Yourself to a Better Sex Life. Harvard Health. (2019, September 24). https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/11-ways-to-help-yourself-to-a-better-sex-life
  4. Herbenick, D., Reece, M., Sanders, S., et al. (2009, July). Prevalence and characteristics of vibrator use by women in the United States: results from a nationally representative study. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6(7):1857-66. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19453881/
  5. Kegel Exercises For Men. UCLA Health. Retrieved from https://www.uclahealth.org/urology/prostate-cancer/kegel-exercises-for-men#HowDoIFindMyPelvicFloorMuscles
  6. Pastore, A., Palleschi, G., et al. (2014, June). Pelvic floor muscle rehabilitation for patients with lifelong premature ejaculation: a novel therapeutic approach. Therapeutic Advances in Urology, 6(3): 83-88. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4003840/
  7. Dorey, G., Speakman, M., et al. (2005, August). Pelvic floor exercises for erectile dysfunction. BJU International. Retrieved from https://bjui-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1464-410X.2005.05690.x
  8. Herbenick, D., Reece, M., Sanders, S., et al. (2011, January). Association of Lubricant Use with Womens Sexual Pleasure, Sexual Satisfaction, and Genital Symptoms: A Prospective Daily Diary Study. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, P202-212. Retrieved from https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(15)33256-2/fulltext
  9. What is Lubricant? International Society of Sexual Medicine. Retrieved from https://www.issm.info/sexual-health-qa/what-is-a-lubricant/
  10. Definition & Facts for Erectile Dysfunction. (2017, July). Retrieved from https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/urologic-diseases/erectile-dysfunction/definition-facts
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Kelly Brown MD, MBA
Kelly Brown, MD

Dr. Kelly Brown is a board certified Urologist and fellowship trained in Andrology. She is an accomplished men’s health expert with a robust background in healthcare innovation, clinical medicine, and academic research. Dr. Brown is a founding member of Posterity Health where she is Medical Director and leads strategy and design of their Digital Health Platform, an innovative education and telehealth model for delivering expert male fertility care.

She completed her undergraduate studies at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (go Heels!) with a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science and a Minor in Chemistry. She took a position at University of California Los Angeles as a radiologic technologist in the department of Interventional Cardiology, further solidifying her passion for medicine. She also pursued the unique opportunity to lead departmental design and operational development at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, sparking her passion for the business of healthcare.

Dr. Brown then went on to obtain her doctorate in medicine from the prestigious Northwestern University - Feinberg School of Medicine and Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, with a concentration in Healthcare Management. During her surgical residency in Urology at University of California San Francisco, she utilized her research year to focus on innovations in telemedicine and then served as chief resident with significant contributions to clinical quality improvement. Dr. Brown then completed her Andrology Fellowship at Medical College of Wisconsin, furthering her expertise in male fertility, microsurgery, and sexual function.

Her dedication to caring for patients with compassion, understanding, as well as a unique ability to make guys instantly comfortable discussing anything from sex to sperm makes her a renowned clinician. In addition, her passion for innovation in healthcare combined with her business acumen makes her a formidable leader in the field of men’s health.

Dr. Brown is an avid adventurer; summiting Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (twice!) and hiking the incredible Torres del Paine Trek in Patagonia, Chile. She deeply appreciates new challenges and diverse cultures on her travels. She lives in Denver with her husband, two children, and beloved Bernese Mountain Dog. You can find Dr. Brown on LinkedIn for more information.

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