If you’ve ever spent time watching television or movies, you’ve probably seen your fair share of sex scenes—two attractive people begin kissing and fall into bed. In the next scene, the same couple appears out of breath, cuddling, and happy.

Although romantic movies are fun to watch, these types of sex scenes can create unrealistic expectations about sex. Sex therapists and relationship coaches Danielle Harel and Celeste Hirschman believe that for some people, those sex scenes give a warped vision of the steps it takes to experience an ideal sexual encounter.

Sometimes, sex cinematically flows; other times, you just miss each other. Most real-life sexual relationships have moments of satisfaction and moments of frustration and awkwardness.

Perfect, movie-style sex doesn’t always happen, but here are a few ways to improve the experience for you and your partner:

Get to know each other. Regardless of how long you and your partner have been together, it’s important that you talk about each other’s needs and desires. These can change in an instant or over time, so it’s important to keep those lines of communication open.

Set it up. Leave your partner notes or send text messages about how much you are looking forward to spending the night with them. Let your partner know just how excited you are; remind them of an intimate moment you spent together, and why it was so amazing for you.

Get out of your head. Sometimes, your mind is your worst enemy. To get more in the moment, sex therapist Ian Kerner suggests redirecting your thoughts to what’s going on. Tune into the sensory experiences happening to you; this will help prevent the overthinking.

Enjoy the simple act of holding each other after sex. In those moments, let your partner know just how important he or she is to you. Focus on being present with your partner and enjoying each other’s company.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to be in the moment when you’re being intimate. Some people have such unrealistic expectations about sex that their partners can’t fulfill their needs. If that’s the case for you and your partner, it could be time to seek help from a therapist. While it might seem scary to talk with a stranger about your most intimate moments, a therapist can help you and your partner discuss sexual issues in an open and healthy way—the real keys to the best possible sexual relationship.

If you’d like to set up a time to meet up with Reka, you can contact her by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at reka@omaha-counseling.com, or via Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: Room, The Park Pod Chennai via photopin (license)