Immanuel Kant, the great German philosopher, is oft heralded as one of the most brilliant thinkers of all-time. Even so, his Second Category Law—part of an extraordinarily-complex set of deontological ethics he put forward, and essentially stating that you can never use someone as a means to an end, and therefore never lie—continues to be hotly debated today. Sure, there are those who bring up legitimate criticisms of the Law (ie, suppose you’re housing escaped slaves, or Anne Frank, and the soldiers beating at your door ask if they’re inside…how on earth is it “ethical” to tell them?) but everyone who’s ever loved someone will cringe for a different reason—those little “white lies” you tell?
“No, that doesn’t make you look fat!”
“Honey, of course you still have a lot of hair!”
Kant says all of that lying to protect partner’s feelings—and your own backside—must go. It’s not something most people embrace readily, or correlate with “how to improve your sex life.” But, after all these years…was Kant right?
A relationship needs to be honest and open—you’ve heard that a million times before, we’re sure. That being said, can honesty really make the difference in bed, and help improve your sex life? And aren’t there just some things—maybe especially in bed—which you’d prefer not to be entirely honest about? After all, Shakespeare ends one of his more beloved sonnets with a play on the word “lie”—“Therefore I lie with her and she with me,And in our faults by lies we flatter’d be”—to mean both to lie to and with a partner, in bed. That being said, no one likes to feel used, a fact Kant’s ethics hit on quite rightly. Any “how to improve your sex life” guide has to start there.
Sexual relations are at their best when both partners are enjoying the sex, and when neither one is holding back. This is a lot easier to accomplish when both parties have a great deal of trust and regard for one another. If your partner doesn’t trust you with something as comparatively mundane as telling them the truth about their appearance, do you really think they’re going to accord to the depth of trust needed to sustain a steamy relationship? What’s more, if you routinely lie about something like their appearance, your partner may well feel as if they’re being blown off, or unappreciated—and how do you think your sex life will fair then, never mind the distress you may be causing to your partner.
And then there’s the chance that opening up to your partner can improve your sex life in other ways as well. There’s nothing wrong with a little Shakespeare-style flattery, but remember—all the truly happy endings and sexual relations in his plays occur after the lies have been sorted out and liar’s knots untangled, while the tragic endings occur when relationships begin and continue with lies. There’s nothing wrong with a little Beatrice and Benedick-style bantering, but unless you want your sex life to become Much Ado About Nothing, honesty and openness really is one of the best ways to improve your sex life.