Sheryl Kingsberg, PhD
Professor Reproductive Biology and Psychiatry
Case Western Reserve University
Chief of Division of Behavioral Medicine
MacDonald Women's Hospital/University Hospitals
Cleveland Medical Center
Dr. Sheryl Kingsberg is the chief of the division of behavioral medicine at MacDonald Women's Hospital/University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center and Professor in Reproductive Biology and Psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University. Her areas of clinical specialization include sexual medicine, female sexual disorders, menopause, pregnancy and postpartum mood disorders, and psychological aspects of infertility.
Dr. Kingsberg's primary research interests are in treatments for female sexual disorders and genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). She has been the principal investigator for several clinical trials for treatments for female sexual disorders and consults for many pharmaceutical companies that are developing investigational drug treatments for sexual problems. She is an Associate Editor for Sexual Medicine Reviews and sits on the editorial boards of the journal Menopause and Climacteric.
Dr. Kingsberg is the Immediate Past President of The North American Menopause Society, and is a past president of The International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health.Full Bio
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What is the secret for a great sex life?
Well, if I knew that I would be retired on a warm tropical island sipping rum drinks, reading trashy novels and sleeping on ironed sheets!
Seriously, though, there is no secret. And there is no simple, easy answer. Having a great sex life is inextricably tied to the person with whom you want to have such life. In other words, it requires a great relationship.
Now, let me be clear: You can have great sex without having a great relationship; but that's not what you asked me. You asked me about a great sex "life," which to me means maintaining a certain level of desire, having that desire satisfied regularly and being glad that the person who is satisfying that desire is the same person every time.
To have a relationship like that requires work and trust. One "secret" is for couples not to take each other for granted.
Another "secret" to a great sex life is creativity. If you don't put some effort into changing things a little, even the most sensational activities become routine and, therefore, a bit stale and boring. It is well worth the minimal effort it takes to come up with and then act on new ways to express sensuality and sexuality with your partner. That might mean bringing some sex toys into the bedroom or having sex in a different environment (the powder room during a party; the study in your home; the backyard on a dark, moonless night). It could mean reading one another poetry while naked; watching an erotic video together; or sharing or role-playing your fantasies.
A male colleague suggested an analogy that he thought many men could understand. "A golfer might play the same course over and over. But every time he plays, it's different. The weather is different. The greens and the rough lie a different way.. Every time there are different challenges and different rewards. Sex should be the same."
Beyond the sex itself, having a great sexual relationship also means talking. Lots of talking. If you have young children, carve out alone time after they're in bed. Older children can make themselves scarce after dinner while you and your partner share your day over a final glass of wine. If you're angry about something, tell your partner; don't let the frustration simmer.
And be honest about what you like and don't like about sex. Do you love to be touched in one spot but cringe when touched in another? Do you want to have sex more often? Less often? Talk about it. Last I heard, there was no such thing as a true mind reader.