As host of LBC’s Sex & Relationships show and agony aunt on ITV’s This Morning, it’s safe to say psychotherapist Lucy Beresford is a guru when it comes to relationships. With an expertise spanning from psychological issues to sex tips, it’s no wonder the radio show has quickly become one of the UK’s most listened-to programmes. We caught up with Lucy to find out more about the show and her golden rules for a better relationship...
1. What’s the most common issue people have with their sex lives?
For straight men, it’s erectile dysfunction or being in a long-term relationship with a woman who has gone off having sex – we get these every single week. For straight women, the picture is more varied, from how to have an orgasm to frustrations in a relationship. Transgender people worry about not being able to find likeminded souls and many gay men are frustrated by ‘the scene’.
2. What’s the one question you’re asked time and again?
Quite simply, how to have a better relationship.
3. What’s the most bizarre thing you’ve ever been asked?
I’ve heard of some bizarre fetishes over the years, but without a doubt the strangest one was when a listener revealed he enjoyed asking a new partner to wear a nappy.
4. What’s the biggest mistake you see people making with relationships?
Either trying too hard or not trying hard enough – both are easily done and are all too common.
5. What’s the simplest way to improve our sex lives?
Laughter is a great connector, so start having chats about some fun new technique, like using feathers, ice cream or role-play in the bedroom, and then just giggle your way through it and remember to have fun.
6. Any tips for rekindling a lost spark?
My advice would be to pretend you’re just starting out in your relationship – send sweet texts that, over time, get increasingly flirty; carve out time for a date night each week where you don’t talk about work, or kids if you have them; and have a sex session that involves everything but penetration, just to ramp up the desire by delaying gratification.
7. Any advice for women who still haven’t found The One?
Try to fill your life with things and people you love, so that you’re already fulfilled; that way, meeting The One will be a bonus, not the sole reason for existing. Also try to be open to new ideas and different types of people.
8. Are there any ways to 'affair-proof' your relationship?
Communication is crucial – try to maintain good verbal communication between the two of you and identify early on any stresses and strains in a relationship, which can help prevent one party straying.
9. What stops people from enjoying their sex lives to the fullest?
There are two main things I see all the time – firstly, we become inhibited at the idea of being intimate, often with someone who's been our partner for a long time as we stop seeing them as sexual. Secondly, many people, whether in a relationship or not, become self-conscious at the thought of being naked with another person.
10. How can women boost their self-esteem in the bedroom?
Women need to love themselves first and that includes loving your body. Celebrating your body means being comfortable in your own skin so treat yourself to some new lingerie that you feel good in. Music can also be a powerful mood booster so create a playlist of songs that get you in the mood.
11. What's the biggest myth about sex?
The idea that everyone else has an amazing sex life. In reality, everyone's sex life has bumps in the road.
12. Any tips for speaking about your sex life with your partner?
Try to plan a proper time to have such conversations, rather than squeezing them into a car journey or on your way to work. Try to schedule in a date night and use the time to explore each other's fantasies and re-connect with your sexual history.
13. How can women learn to climax more easily with a partner?
I'm a huge fan of masturbation, not only as a relaxant but also as a way to get in touch with your body and to work out how best to climax. When you know how to bring yourself to climax you’ll be more relaxed about the whole process and will be better able to suggest tips (e.g. rhythm and pressure) to your partner.
14. We have mismatched libidos – are we doomed?
Not necessarily, but the situation will require some negotiation so that both partners’ needs are met regularly each month. However, if the mismatch is significant (e.g. once a week vs five times a day), it could be worth both of you getting your hormone levels checked, to see if balance can be regulated.
15. Any tips for those who don't like oral sex?
No-one should be forced to do something they don't want to do, so never feel forced into giving or receiving oral sex if it’s not your thing. However, if you want to do it but things like smell or pubic hair put you off, talk about a light trim. It can also help to give a blow job in the shower and flavoured condoms can also be brilliant.
16. Any advice for getting your libido back after having a baby?
Take the focus off penetration and focus more on just being intimate with kissing and massages to get you reconnected with your body as a sexual thing rather than a baby-making machine. Also encourage your partner to talk to you amorously, to remind you that you’re desired.
17. What's a ‘normal’ amount to have sex?
There is no normal. Some couples are jointly happy with once a week or even once a month – the key is that both sides are happy with the amount, and there is a willingness to keep checking both sides are happy.
18. Best relationship advice you’ve ever been given?
Make an effort to be kind to everyone, but especially to yourself.
19. Tell us about your radio show...
I’ve been hosting LBC’s Sex & Relationships show for over two years; it’s on every Saturday evening and during the two-hour session, we have grown-up conversations about sex. Topics span from cheating and masturbation to chemsex, ghosting and lesbian sex parties, with each show focusing on a different topic – recent shows include ‘Are you being used for sex?’; ‘Are men biologically engineered to cheat?’; ‘Is your body hot enough for sex?’; ‘Has the male menopause affected your sex life?’ and ‘Domination and submission: which part do you play in the bedroom?’. The first hour is focused on the topic, while the second hour is dedicated to answering listeners’ dilemmas – no subject is off limits.
20. Your listener numbers are huge, why do you think this is?
I think people assume everyone else is having a better sex life than they are, or has a perfect relationship. An increasing amount of people are tuning in to get advice, education or sex tips, but they also experience that amazing feeling of realising they’re not alone with their sexual problems, relationship crisis or dating disaster. We have people from all over the world calling in, of all ages – from 18 to 88.