• Ashley Rivard

How to Take Your Sex Life From Good To Great: A Chat With Ken Blackman


Have you ever wondered what’s missing in your sex life?


Ken Blackman studies exactly that. He’s a former Apple software engineer turned international sex and educator turned relationship coach. He recently celebrated his 20th year helping couples bond, cocreate, have great sex, thrive, and live happily together. His work has garnered mentions in Business Insider, Cosmo, and Tim Ferriss’ 4-Hour series, among other publications.


I met Ken a few years before I invited him to the podcast. When I asked him what he does for a living, I was intrigued as you don’t often come across male sex coaches. My gut reaction was that no man could possibly understand what a woman truly needs. Soon after he gave me some tools on how to coach the man I was dating at the time how to kiss. It was actually highly effective and lasting, and I knew I wanted to learn more about him and what he does. As we discussed in depth on the podcast, I realized that this man actually did understand what women need. He also knew what men truly wanted — but are usually too afraid to admit for fear of looking too vulnerable.


Sex coach is one of the more taboo professions out there, and as you know, one of my passions in life is to explore all things taboo. I sat down with Ken to discuss all things sex: why connection is such a huge part of having great sex, why giving pleasure is just as good (or even better) than getting pleasure, and why it’s so important for women to share what they want in bed.


I feel compelled to note that my conversation with Ken — as well as this article — is centered around heteronormative relationships.


Great sex happens when a connection is there

There is a running cliché that men want sex and women want love. In Ken’s experience, it couldn’t be more wrong.


Both men and women sometimes turn to technology as a substitute or stand-in for sex. Men typically turn to porn, will buy a sex doll, or hire a sex worker. These experiences all revolve around another person, which shows that deep down, men are looking for that connection with someone, rather than simple physical satisfaction.


On the other side of the spectrum, women also turn to tech but are more apt to spend money on vibrators. That physical simulation is more important. The part of sex that comes so easily to most men — that their bodies are handled well — is so much more difficult to harness for women.


Men have easy access to bodily pleasure. What they really hunger for deep down is a connection, or to co-experience pleasure with another human being.


How giving pleasure can make sex even better

A big part of Ken’s work as a relationship coach is showing men how pleasurable it can be for them to give pleasure. It’s about setting themselves aside for a moment and putting their entire attention on their partner, without any strings attached.


When men allow themselves to focus solely on that other person, something really interesting happens. It’s pleasurable unto itself and has nothing to do with his body. When couples do get to this point, a whole new world opens up in terms of sex and pleasure.


Having sex isn’t all about pleasing the woman in the relationship, but there is something to be said about making sure that she is thoroughly enjoying herself. Ken affirms that taking care of the man isn’t the hard part. The most difficult part of sex for most heterosexual couples is making sure that the woman is getting pleasured so that both can experience this gratifying and shared experience. It ends up being the missing ingredient that can take sex from good to great.


Communication is key

Many women feel too uncomfortable to ask for what they really want in bed. They don’t want to bruise their partner’s ego and so stay silent. As a female, if you want to make your sex life everything you’ve hoped for and more, you’ve got to speak up about your wants and needs.


Every woman’s body is different — it’s a part of what makes our anatomy different from men's. You need to tell your partner what works for you and what doesn’t. Even if it’s super uncomfortable, even if you need to tell him five, six, or ten times. Because once he gets it, the sex is going to get better for both of you. It’s not you versus him. You’re not taking anything away from him, you’re simply trying to guide him into better sex.


There are going to be moments where speaking up is going to feel interruptive — this is especially true if you’re used to being silent during sex. But, once you get used to it, it adds an entirely new level to the experience.


The first few times you ask for what you want, it’s important to choose your words wisely. Instead of saying what your partner is doing wrong, try to phrase statements by using the words “would you?” In that way, you’re affirming to your partner that you’d like them to change what they are doing without insulting them. This simple change in language can go a long way.


How to keep having great sex in long-term relationships

For many folks in long-term relationships, sex can be put on the back burner. When you’re with the same person for such a long time, sex may start to fade into the background, or can become boring or just not pleasurable.


When asked how to deal with this, Ken answers with an analogy. Say you have a standing date with your partner two times a week to make a home-cooked meal and then eat it together. You’ll eventually start to try new recipes, perfect older ones, learn new cooking techniques, and generally get into a collaborative flow.


Over time, your meals are going to get better and better. They are going to become more tailored to you and your tastes, and you’re going to get a hang of those new recipes. If you approach your sex life in the same way — by making a commitment and paying attention to one another’s wants and cravings — you’ll begin to communicate, explore, and grow in bed together.


Ken believes that monogamous long-term relationships are possible, and I tend to agree. In fact, most of the couples that he works with are monogamous. He says that the best sex you can have is with someone who you’ve been with for a long time. It goes deeper, you get to know each other’s bodies really well, and it’s easier to communicate what you want.


Whether you’re in a long-term relationship or are a new couple, Ken’s advice rings true. It all comes down to connection and communication — these are the major tenets of turning good sex into great sex.


If you’re interested in learning more about Ken, or would like to work with him, you can connect with him via his website.


For even more advice, be sure to listen to our full conversation on the podcast. Listen here.


Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash


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