Sex is one of the things that most causes people stress. It is a normal human function, but it has become complicated in the modern world. Dr Joe Kosterich talks about how to have a good sex life, being comfortable with yourself, and practising safe sex.

Video: SexThe two things that probably stress or worry people the most are finances and sex. This obviously isn’t going to be a video about finances – that’s not our department – but today we are going to talk about sex, so gather all your friends around the internet right now and we’ll have a bit of a chat.

If sex wasn’t around and if it was that difficult, none of us would be here. In fact, most species on the planet would have died out. So first and foremost, I think the thing to always remember about sex is it’s just a normal human function. It’s a bit like breathing, needing water, eating and sleeping. Reproduction is really as basic and simple as that.

Now, unfortunately in the 21st century – like a lot of things that are basic to life – it has become quite complicated. People get very stressed about what’s the right way, what’s the wrong way, how should they be doing it, what should they be doing, what do they need, are they doing it right. It’s not that difficult, seriously, it’s not that difficult and de-stressing the whole thing is probably step 1.

So what are the basics and components for a happy sex life? Fairly obvious and basic things: Being in a reasonable and good relationship. If the relationship is not good, if you’re arguing over the dinner table, chances are the sex in the bedroom may not be that good either. So a good relationship is important. Most problems for couples inside the bedroom do actually have their basis outside the bedroom. It’s just the problems are carried into the next room. So that’s a really important thing to remember.

In terms of being able to and having sex, again, it’s a bodily function, it’s a little bit like another form of exercise so all the basic things are important. If you’re really tired and you’re going to bed at 11 o’clock at night, you’ve been up since 5:00 in the morning and you’ve got lots of worries, it’s fairly unlikely you’re going to be in the mood for sex. Making sure that you’re in the right mood and that your general health is functioning – so that you are getting enough rest, you’re eating the right sorts of food and that you’re doing some regular exercise – those things will keep the body in good shape, and then you’re going to be in a better state of mind and a better situation to be wanting to have and enjoy sex.

Body image is often a big thing for probably both sexes but particularly for women. Women might worry, do I look right, am I going to be ok in the lingerie, what do I look like naked, am I too fat, am I too thin, you know am I too this, are my legs the right shape, what about my breasts? Relaxing is the key and being in a relationship where you’re comfortable with the other person is important. But first and foremost, it’s about being comfortable with yourself. It’s very difficult to be comfortable with other people if you’re not comfortable with yourself.

A simple thing for women is sometimes just about standing in front of the mirror and just have a look. But don’t have a look critically – just stand, look in the mirror and say out loud, “I’m okay.” That’s a very simple tip that a lot of the psychologists sometimes recommend and it’s really simple. It just reaffirms that yes, you are okay. If you want to lose a few kilograms or make some changes, that’s also okay, but your start point has to be “I’m okay as I am.” From there, you can make some other changes.

We are going to touch on some other aspects to do with sex very briefly. We’ve spoken about relationships and couples, but obviously sex goes on outside of that and if you’re not in that sort of relationship then it’s really important to be practising safe sex and using a condom. There are diseases that can be passed on through sexual activity and you want to avoid getting those.

Contraception: If you’re not wanting to get pregnant, then you should be thinking about that and there are a number of different options and ways to prevent pregnancy, so that’s also quite important. If you are trying to get pregnant, then there might be a separate set of issues, such as timing, when you’re trying to have intercourse.

By and large, you probably want to demystify sex. Sex as I said at the outset – like breathing, like eating, like exercising – is pretty much a normal part of life. The basics of a good sex life include being in good health; in good physical health; being in good emotional shape, meaning managing your stresses and your worries. Again, whether you’re in a relationship or not is going to depend on how you approach the whole thing. But most importantly, it is a normal part of life; it is a part of life to be enjoyed. It does not need to be made any more complicated than what it is and it actually is fairly simple.