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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wake Forest chapter.

I think you know what I mean by…well…that.

In case you missed the memo: sex sells, and everyone has a take.

If you want to look for it, you don’t have to look very far to find it. Whether it is on the cover of a Cosmo magazine in the waiting room of the dentist, or the topic of an early morning talk show, people love to talk about sex. 

I mean, how can you not? 

It’s a raunchy topic that engages everyone. Something about comparing intimate horror stories or mind-blowing sex times brings people together. However, whether you are satisfied with your sex life, or looking for a change, everyone always has an opinion. 

People have been comparing their tips and tricks for a satisfying sex life for ages, offering guidance and manuals on how to reach the pleasure point. One of the most well-known ones is the Kama Sutra, an Indian Hindu instruction book with 64 new ways of exploring sex. A more modern example is the cover of the latest Cosmopolitan Magazine, promising tips on how to give the most mind-blowing orgasm of your partner’s life. 

Sex literature, both old and new, holds a promise of sexual satisfaction for you and your partner.

But, are there really “cheat codes” for sex?

To be completely honest, we don’t really have the answers (yet). 

To this day, the 64 different positions specified in the Kama Sutra have yet to be scientifically studied. However, there have been a lot of studies done surrounding the idea of sexual satisfaction. 

A study done in 2007 showed that people rated higher sexual satisfaction when they reached orgasm. But, that seems like a given. The same study showed that men find sexual satisfaction in making their partners reach orgasm. So men, pay attention to your partners and their needs. 

These studies highlight sexual satisfaction during the act of sex which, of course, is important. It’s the main event of the night. However, are there other factors at play that don’t involve sex?

The answer: Absolutely. 

A study done in 2017 found that sexual satisfaction was also related to the actions of their partner both before and after sex. People felt more connected and close to their partner when certain efforts were made prior to and post the sexual act. The common theme?

Enthusiasm for a sexual connection. 

Researchers asked 38,000 people about their sexual satisfaction in relation to specific actions, and these five steps were the most common:

Before Sex….
Dimming the lights
Play music Engage in “sexy talk”
After Sex….
Cuddle and create physical connection
Express affection

These five easy and simple steps had a significant positive impact on numerous sexual relationships. 

So, next time you find yourself getting caught up in the “Top Ten Sex Positions for a Thursday Night” headline in a magazine, remember: 

Sex is more than just an act. It is about the emotions and actions associated with it before, during, and after. 

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, or your partner, if that Cosmopolitan Magazine or the Kama Sutra isn’t working. Take things back to the basics and focus on the sexual connection, not just the sex. 

My name is Madeline Tallarico and I am Editor-in-Chief of the Wake Forest University Chapter. I am from Boston, MA and studying Psychology, Neuroscience, and Writing.