Learn the truth about other people's sex lives...
Pillow talk is a new weekly series which explores what goes on behind closed doors and answers the question of what other people are getting up to between the sheets... This week we meet Cath*, 27 who lives with her long term boyfriend Jamie*, 31, in West London. They've been together for six years. They met through mutual friends in 2010 and have been living together since 2013.
The sex changed when we moved in together, three years ago. Not overnight, obviously, but looking back it's definitely different. I think that's because before we spent 3 or 4 nights together each week before we lived together, and I felt like we were almost supposed to have sex on those nights. Now it's more driven by whether we want to or not. It's quite strongly affected by the cycle of my periods - in the first couple of weeks after my period I'm usually up for it, but the week before I don't have much of a sex drive. In an average week we have sex two or three times, depending on how busy we are.
We were dating for about six weeks before we slept together for the first time. I usually slept with guys quite quickly after we met, but I wanted to take things slowly with Jamie because we had a lot of mutual friends, and if it had ended badly it would have been really awkward. Our first time wasn't bad, but I think first time sex is usually quite awkward. We took a couple of weeks to hit our stride. I don't orgasm from penetration on its own so we had to work on that. Now Jamie knows how to touch me during sex so I can orgasm. I like it when we both orgasm at the same time.'
We both sleep naked which I think is really nice. It means we have a lot of skin contact which isn't about sex, just about being close to each other even if we're not actually having sex. I used to go to bed wearing a big t-shirt and pyjama bottoms, which didn't feel very sexy. Jamie gently persuaded me to sleep naked and I think it's been good for my self esteem.'
Changing it up is part of what keeps things fresh between the pair. 'Sometimes we can fall into a routine, usually having sex in the missionary position and finishing with me on top. There's nothing wrong with it but it gets same-y so when we notice it happening we'll make an effort to do something else. I don't like doggy style, though Jamie does.'
Extreme or raunchy sex isn't something either of us are into. We've experimented with handcuffs and blindfolds but it didn't do much for either of us to be honest. There's an excitement in doing something new, but actually being restrained wasn't a turn-on. I think I'm quite open minded. If Jamie wanted to try something I'd probably be up for giving it a go, as long as it wasn't anything crazy.
If I was going to change anything about the way that we have sex, I'd like Jamie to give me oral sex more often, and I feel I should do the same for him. When we were first dating we went down on each other a lot and it was really great. I can be very self conscious about it, I think I could stand to relax a bit more.
I feel satisfied by our sex life at the moment, it works for us. Sometimes I look back to the early days of our relationship and feel a bit sad about how passionate we were, but I don't think many couples maintain that after years together. We might have a bit less passion in the bedroom than we did back at the beginning, but we've got other stuff instead now, like knowing each other really well and being able to trust each other.
*Names have been changed
Marie Claire Newsletter
Celebrity news, beauty, fashion advice, and fascinating features, delivered straight to your inbox!
The leading destination for fashion, beauty, shopping and finger-on-the-pulse views on the latest issues. Marie Claire's travel content helps you delight in discovering new destinations around the globe, offering a unique – and sometimes unchartered – travel experience. From new hotel openings to the destinations tipped to take over our travel calendars, this iconic name has it covered.
Taylor Swift reveals when she actually started dating Travis Kelce - and why she's refusing to hide their relationship
She's opening up about it *all*
By Jadie Troy-Pryde
Forget the South of France in summer, winter’s the time to go
By Penny Goldstone
The biggest dating trends for 2024 might just get you back on the apps
Feeling jaded by modern dating? Take a look at this
By Lauren Hughes