If you’re looking for ways to improve your sex life and spice things up in the bedroom with your partner, “taking a break” may not be the first thing that comes to mind.
From a relationship standpoint, it’s not uncommon to hear about the benefits of time away from your significant other. After all, it’s a good opportunity to take stock of your own life, spend some time putting yourself first and allow for absence to make the heart grow fonder (or something like that).
But these perks can translate to your sex life as well. In order to have a healthy relationship, it’s crucial that we know ourselves well — and the same goes for a healthy sex life. Some time away from your partner is the ideal opportunity to get in touch with your own body and its needs.
Rhonda Milrad, a certified clinical sexologist and relationship therapist, tells SheKnows that a period of abstinence is the perfect time to explore self-pleasure. “It allows you to take time to experiment with sexual toys and masturbation techniques and to get to know your body more,” Milrad says, noting that research shows people are more willing to use vibrators for pleasure and practice edging, peaking or surfing during time away from their partners.
As Milrad points out, there are vibrators for all types of stimulation. You can find a new bedroom companion that focuses on clitoral stimulation, G-spot stimulation, oral sex stimulation and anal massage. Many vibrators are also made with glass that can be warmed or cooled.
Time away from your partner definitely doesn’t mean you’ll be deprived of pleasure. Instead, you’ll have the opportunity to experiment on your own and discover what gives you the most pleasure. After a period of self-discovery, you’ll be better equipped to tell your partner exactly what gives you the most satisfaction in bed.
Edging (reaching a high level of arousal without orgasming) is practiced by many couples during sex. “Learning how to control one’s level of arousal allows for greater sexual pleasure and an ability to increase the duration of sexual activity,” Milrad says.
Avi Klein, a licensed clinical social worker, tells SheKnows that edging is “the ultimate form of delayed gratification” and explained that it’s not solely a way to attain more powerful orgasms in the heat of the moment. It can also form a strong sexual connection with your partner.
“The more you can stay connected without that release, the more powerful you will feel the urge for them,” Klein says. “This can be stretched out both over hours [or over] the course of a day or days… but be careful to start small and don’t overdo it or it can lead to burnout or frustration.”
Klein also explained that approaching sex for the wrong reasons is a common cause for sex lives that feel disappointing and unsatisfactory. When a roll in the hay becomes merely a box to check, a strategy to manage stress or a way to fall asleep more easily, things can begin to feel decidedly unsexy in the bedroom.
“Creating more distance from your partner can be a way to refocus your attention on them with more of an erotic charge, allowing you both to approach your sexual connection with new energy and curiosity,” Klein says.