A mind-blowing sex life all starts in the mind, which is exactly where sex and relationship coach and educator Rachel Maine meets you on your journey to becoming a juicier, happier, more fulfilled sexual being. Whether she's coaching you privately, in her workshops or via her podcast, the through line in her work is sexual self-confidence. Check out her Sexual Confidence Academy, her masterclasses on creating a sex life you crave or her connected couples classes to start gaining the type of bedroom mojo that gets you off (and on) again and again.
Your Sexual Confidence Academy helps women uncover who they are and how you are operate — why is this so important and what are some epiphanies you’ve seen from people finishing the courses?
Sexual confidence is a part of your overall confidence. From my own experience, when I started to make myself and my sexuality a priority that’s when I started to see confidence show up in other areas of my life as well. Confidence to leave jobs where I didn’t feel fulfilled, set boundaries with family members that were long overdue and start to treat myself the way I wanted other to treat me.
One of the main things I hear from those who’ve gone through sexual confidence academy, or even completed individual coaching with me, is their gratefulness of now having this educational information. The lack of sex education we receive is a shame to our school systems. If by some chance you did receive adequate sex ed, I’d be willing to bet it didn’t include any component of pleasure. And that’s what SCA offers women. The sexual education they’re likely lacking with all the pleasure pieces they desire to unlock in the mix.
"Wearing lingerie for sexy times means you're bringing that confidence and energy into that sexual experience. Women who wear lingerie are more likely to take action in the bedroom and also more likely to achieve an orgasm…. Need I say more?" — Rachel Maine
You’re savvy about your body, your pleasure, self-discovery… how do you keep curious (and ignited) in the bedroom, both solo and with your husband?
The good, and bad, news is your sexual desires are constantly changing. You as a person are changing so it only makes sense that your interests do to. This can become frustrating for women, men and our partners, feeling like there is something wrong with you, feeling disconnected from your body, or not knowing where to start to fix it.
When I completed my program at the University of Michigan for sex therapy and sexuality education, I remember thinking, “Wow, there is still so much to learn.” From there, I have continued my own sexual journey and explored the things that I saw intriguing. Along the way, I’ve encountered new things that I’ve learned from peers and even clients. This is a world where you will never truly learn everything, which to me, is exciting.
What are some things we need to unlearn about sex and what insights should replace them?
This is a tough question because everyone has things about sex and pleasure that we need to unlearn. What I’ve found is that these are different for everyone. I’ve created a tool for to help people create their sex timeline and this is something I have them do at the very beginning of our work. Thinking back to the time you learned about sex for the first time, or the moment you discovered your penis or vulva could feel pleasurable with certain touch or sensations. Then remember back to your first sexual encounter and masturbation session. From here you can continue to think back to each sexual experience to start creating your sex timeline. After completing this, you can start to look for themes. What things come up for you that are causing shame or guilt. What things make you feel dirty or gross. What beliefs do you currently have about sex, pleasure, etc. Ask yourself, “Are those ultimately true?”
"Other important things to know and consider is that your vagina only self-lubricates 1 to 2 inches inside itself, so lubrication gives you deeper protection. Also, penises and toys are very porous, so even if you feel like you’re so wet you don’t need a lubricant, those things are absorbing all the lubrication your body worked so hard to create." — Rachel Maine
What advice do you have for people who just don’t feel sexy? What tips do you have for shifting into that sexy flow state?
Sexy is a state of mind, shifting into that state can be difficult for many. My first tip would be to tap into your five senses. Start to get clear on the sounds, smells, tastes, etc., that feel enjoyable to you. Start incorporating these into your daily life and see what changes start to take place for you. Another tip would be to incorporate positive affirmations into your daily practice. For many, not feeling sexy is largely tied to our body and the thoughts we have toward our body. Loving yourself while you work on yourself is a powerful mantra to remember when you begin to develop your sexy.
There are a lot of myths about lube… what are some things we need to be doing with lube that we’re not doing?
Girl, don’t get me started! Lube is a MUST! With any penetration to your vagina (penis, tampon, finger, vibrator), micro-tearing occurs and it takes the body a very long time to heal from these things. Lubricant protects those micro-tears from occurring. By the age of 40, women lose about 40% of feeling in their vagina. I’d like to add that most people report that sex is more enjoyable with a lubricant. So, save your vagina and have more enjoyable sex by using lubrication. Other important things to know and consider is that your vagina only self-lubricates 1 to 2 inches inside itself, so lubrication gives you deeper protection. Also, penises and toys are very porous, so even if you feel like you’re so wet you don’t need a lubricant, those things are absorbing all the lubrication your body worked so hard to create. So grab your lubricant, do one pump to your index finger and insert vaginally. Swirl around coating all sides of your vaginal walls and now you’re ready for penetrative sex!
For people wanting to try edging, what are some tricks or secrets to doing it in a way your partner (or you, if you’re solo) love?
Edging to me is pretty simple, bring yourself or your partner to a point which is very close to orgasm and then pull back. Do this over and over again to build up anticipation and create a stronger orgasm. Solo may seem easier because you know your body better than anyone. Your biggest obstacle may be self-control and not allowing yourself to orgasm even though you may want to badly. Edging with a partner can be a fun foreplay tool. A fun tip to incorporate would be a 1-10 scale or a color scale. This is where the person receiving the pleasure gives a number or color to indicate they are close orgasm. This helps the partner delivering the pleasure know when to pull back and also helps them identify the sexual cues of their partners pleasure.
You’re a big advocate of toys… what are some off-radar or under-appreciated sex toys we should put on bucket list?
Clitoral vibrator 100%!! Over 85% of women need clitoral stimulation to achieve an orgasm yet the majority of sex toys we see out there are penis-shaped and for vaginal use. I highly recommend clitoral vibrators and wand-type toys that allow you to explore your entire body to its fullest, not just giving vaginal stimulation.
📸: Morgan Rose Photography @mrb_photographyy
Love that you’re often wearing lingerie in your posts… how do you use lingerie in and out of the bedroom?
Lingerie that we love and feels good to us can serve as an instant self-esteem boost. Wearing lingerie underneath your clothes brings that boost of confidence into your daily festivities. (All the more reason to buy lingerie that is comfortable to you!) Wearing lingerie for sexy times means you're bringing that confidence and energy into that sexual experience. Women who wear lingerie are more likely to take action in the bedroom and also more likely to achieve an orgasm…. Need I say more?
How can we juice up foreplay to make it yummier and longer-lasting?
By actually doing it. Haha! Foreplay is one of the most important things when it comes to the bedroom. A little education around this: for men to be fully erect it takes about 2 minutes. For women to be ready for sex about 15 to 20 minutes of enjoyable foreplay. Enjoyable is the key word which stresses the importance of knowing what your partner’s turn-ons are. If they aren’t into oral sex and that’s your go-to for foreplay, that’s doing nothing for them sexually. So have fun, enjoy this time together, build anticipation and see where it leads. Reminder, sex doesn’t have to include penetration. Maybe spicing up your sex life is as simple as enjoying more foreplay together, experiencing pleasure and possibly even orgasm.
How can we spice up nipple/breast play for better foreplay, orgasms and more — what are some things we’re missing and/or things we can tweak (pun intended) to up our game?
Breast play can be a fun arousal tool when done correctly. My recommendations for proper breast play are to warm up your hands and start around the bra line. Massage lightly in a sensual way. Check in with your partner on their level of pleasure and when ready, ask for permission to explore the nipples. Some women have very high nipple sensitivity and don’t necessarily enjoy them being touched, so it’s always best to ask. And remember, men have nipples, too!
So many tips from Rachel... which are you test-driving tonight?