4 People Who Are Sabotaging Your Sex Life

Your Ex

Almost all of us have a significant ex hovering hauntingly in the back of our mind. How this person made us feel about our body and sex often dictates how good in bed we think we are. A loving, emotionally generous ex leaves us feeling sexually secure, which means we'll most likely go on to other caring, satisfying relationships. A manipulative ex who constantly criticized us sets us up for more of the same.

Sometimes sex problems stem from an unhealthy obsession with an unfairly intoxicating ex who seemed to steal our libido along with that favorite CD. Some people still fantasize about an old lover months or years on (come on '- no one's that good), and all subsequent lovers come in a sad second place. Other exes sabotage our sex lives by acting as substitute boyfriends, stopping us from moving on. Sex with an ex is awfully tempting when you're both single, both horny and '- the clincher '- you've done it before.

Your Favorite TV Stars

There are two types of sex: manufactured and real. Manufactured sex is what you see dished up on TV and in the movies: sexual nirvana where everything and everyone is perfect. Real sex is what real people do '- and it's rarely, if ever, perfect. But we never get to witness people having real sex, so our perceptions are based on the fantasy celluloid version. Even though we intellectually know life really isn't like Wisteria Lane, if we tune in to Desperate Housewives often enough, our subconscious starts to believe it is. And we start feeling flawed because everyone on telly seems flawless.

Movie sex sets even higher ideals. Actors are chosen for their perfect bodies and faces, made up by world-famous makeup artists and then carefully positioned under millions of dollars of lighting, all meticulously designed to flatter. The perfect couple then poses, pouts, groans and moans their way to an earth-shattering simultaneous orgasm, leaving us jealous and wondering, Why can't I have that? The result is a nagging sense of sexual dissatisfaction and fear that we don't measure up.

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