It seems pretty obvious that 2020 will go down in history as a, ahem, complicated time for all the reasons—and sex is almost certainly one of them. Libidos are dropping and then surging on a loop, on the regular. Furthermore, the Groundhog Day-esque effect of quarantine life can make the scenario of tiring of your partner and/or tiring of your go-to vibrator super-likely. The truth, though, is that there are so many common sexual hang-ups and roadblocks specific to life right now and life always.

But there are a number of expert-approved strategies worth trying to stop issues—like poor communication with a partner, mismatched sex drives in a relationship, being in your head, and more—from getting in the way of your pleasure experience. So why wait to start treating your sexual hang-ups and roadblocks—especially if you’re someone who has time and space right now to sexplore?

Sexual wellness coach and Lora DiCarlo WellSx coach Amy Weissfeld, for one, doesn’t think you should. She’s here to help with her top seven favorite tips for hanging up on your sexual hang-ups and getting on with the pleasure program.

Below, find 7 sex coach-approved tips that can help you say bye to your sexual hang-ups and roadblocks.

1. Get to know yourself

“Masturbate. Pay attention to what you like and what you don’t—notice the small things,” says Weissfeld. “Are you holding your breath? How does your belly or your vagina or your head feel when you consider X or Y? Find your ‘hell yes,’ know your ‘hell no,’ and learn how to set and defend your boundaries.”

And during this self-audit of your preferences, be sure to be compassionate with yourself. Don’t judge what turns you on—just notice.

2. Set the stage

While everyone certainly has different preferences, the most erotic place imaginable is almost certainly not one where there’s an overflow of dirty laundry on the floor and a bedspread all askew. Furthermore, Weissfeld suggests that curating a space that feels like a personal sanctuary can be helpful for relieving sexual hang-ups. That sanctuary can come to fruition, she says, with the help of a sense of order. “Create a sacred space and schedule time—passion plan, date night, and so on,” she says.

3. Connect with yourself

“Breathe, awaken the hands, notice and savor pleasure, and treat yourself as an honored guest at a dinner party,” Weissfeld says. “Buy yourself special foods, light candles, dress in whatever makes you feel sexy, or put on music you love.”

Whatever helps you celebrate what makes you special and amazing, indulge in it. Doing so will help you be able to take on sexual experiences (solo or partnered) with confidence.

4. Build up your connection with your partner

Sometimes in practice, this task can feel intimidating, no matter how long you’ve been in a relationship or have been sharing space with someone. Even if your partner has seen all of your intimate behaviors, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re aware of how you’d most like to engage sexually. That miscommunication, or, often is the case, lack of communication, can foster sexual hang-ups and roadblocks. If this is the case, first take a step back and analyze your preferences for initiating intimacy in the first place.

“If you’re shy about initiating, come up with non-verbal sign to let your partner know you’re open to engaging tonight. This could be leaving a special scarf over a chair, or wearing a particular bracelet, or writing an ‘I Love You’ note on the bathroom mirror.” —sexual wellness coach Amy Weissfeld

“Try sexting with each other,” Weissfeld says. “If you’re shy about initiating, come up with non-verbal sign to let your partner know you’re open to engaging tonight. This could be leaving a special scarf over a chair, or wearing a particular bracelet, or writing an ‘I Love You’ note on the bathroom mirror.”

5. Clear your mind, ground your body, connect

“There are lots of ways to do this; do whatever works for you,” says Weissfeld, who stresses that what’s key is to make sure you do something so you don’t put yourself at risk for mentally running through your to-do list in your head in the heat of the moment.

If you’re looking for a new simple strategy, try this breathing technique that can work for whatever erotic experience you’re trying to enjoy.

6. Touch, be touched, and stay embodied

“Be playful, kiss and cuddle, and expand your definition of sex,” Weissfeld says. “[Incorporate] variety to stay interested and engaged, [whether solo or] in a long-term relationship.”

7. Stay curious and engage with your partner, if you have one

If you’re in a partnered relationship structure and you think you’ve learned everything there is to know about your partner, first open your mind and remember that preferences can change. Second, make sure to do a sexual check-in every once in a while—no matter how much you think you know.

“Couples who stay curious about each other, engaged in learning about their partners, and open to growing together fare better long-term,” Weissfeld says. “They’re able to adapt to changes and navigate bumps in the road with resilience. And they maintain passion and intimacy by fueling a sense of discovery and space for fascination, mystery, and surprise.”

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