In the wake of COVID-19 lockdowns, many couples are looking to a Tinder-backed app for advice on how to have better sex. As the saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder. So while sheltering in place, many couples found it increasingly difficult to feel affection for their partner, let alone a desire for intimacy.
Sex is all too often a point of contention for couples, but that is especially true during periods of increased time spent together. When you add in all of the stress and anxiety that comes with a global pandemic, it's no wonder many couples are feeling particularly strained.
In a recent survey published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 2,371 recently divorced people were asked to name at least two of the primary reasons for their split. The top response was a lack of love or intimacy, which was chosen by 47% of participants.
Many relationships struggle with sexual intimacy simply because they don’t communicate their needs and desires.
Sexual intimacy and compatibility clearly play a critical role in relationships, and yet there is a societal taboo surrounding discussions of the topic. Many relationships struggle with sexual intimacy simply because they don't communicate their needs and desires. How can couples expect to have better sex if they don't discuss it?
Let's Talk About Sex
Dr. Britney Blair is a clinical psychologist and sex therapist who, while working with patients, noticed that most couples' sex lives are thwarted because they don't know their partner or themselves well enough. So to help couples understand how to have better sex, she took what she learned and created the app Lover.
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Blair discussed, "I find it shocking that in 2020 the way that most people still learn about sex is either through porn, which is highly skewed toward the male perspective and way overemphasizes penis and vagina intercourse, which is not how most women experience sexual pleasure, or it's school sex education which is about scaring the crap out of you about healthy, safe sex or pregnancy."
Sex is difficult to get right if you don't really know what turns your partner on. Understanding your partner's sex drive and desires, as well as your own, is pivotal in creating a fulfilling partnership. Yet so many people avoid talking about how to have better sex with their partner because it's uncomfortable.
"I think talking about sex is incredibly important," says Blair. "Sex for most of us is a huge part of our confidence. It's confidence in ourselves, confidence in our relationships. We need to be communicating about it more."
How to Have Better Sex? There's an App for That
The Lover app helps initiate this often uncomfortable dialogue so users can become more in tune with their sexuality and more connected to their partner. Once in the app, users are guided through 32 Myers-Briggs-type questions that help identify their sexual preferences.
This profiling tool provides insight into your sexual style and helps determine which "type" of lover you are. There are 12 types of lovers that the app identifies, such as "the Muse" who is all about new adventures and self-gratification.
The app can connect a user’s account to their partner’s and provide the two with suggestions for sexual activities.
From there, the app gives specific sex tips designed to help users adapt to their partner's preferences. This includes activities (like "Getting Hard Made Easy") that help spark intimacy and better communication.
The app can also connect a user's account to their partner's and then provide the two with suggestions for sexual activities, such as role playing. Partners can individually swipe "Yes" or "No" on activities, indicating whether they're interested in the activity or not.
If both answer "Yes," the app notifies the couple so they can try the activity out. The swiping process caught the eye of Tinder founder Sean Rad who, along with other investors, provided $5 million in seed money for Blair's start-up.
Does the Lover App Work?
To date, Blair reports, "Roughly 62% of people are reporting improvement in their sexual health after just three weeks of interacting with the interventions on the app."
The Lover app is bridging a very large communication gap between partners while creating a dialogue about something that is integral to healthy relationships. It isn't just helping people understand how to have better sex with their partner, but it's helping them discover and explore their own sexuality, too.
Dr. Britney Blair
"Roughly 62% of people are reporting improvement in their sexual health after just 3 weeks of interacting with the interventions on the app."
Many couples struggled to navigate the unchartered waters of shelter-in-place orders and increased time spent together. As Blair explains, "When we spend time away from our partners it gives us space to actually yearn for them. To spend time away from each other, you end up valuing the time that you spend together much more."
Without the necessary space to build desire and yearning, especially for couples who already struggle with sexual intimacy, sheltering in place can create a tense environment of unspoken needs and expectations.
At a time when we could all use some stress relief, though, Lover is providing a very convenient and comfortable form of sex therapy to help couples thrive. What better time to break down communication walls and improve your sex life?