In the morning most of us tend to follow a routine: wake up, shower, eat. At work we do pretty much the same thing, too. It can be easy for our sex lives to become routine as well, one more item on our ‘to do list.’ Sex is not a job. It’s a pleasure. That’s what makes it such a unique feature of our lives, and what makes it such a joy to share with a partner or partners.
In order to keep sex lives fun, enjoyable and pleasure filled, I am dishing on all my favourite tips for restoring the sizzle in a long-term relationship.
You can’t take pleasure in your partner’s body if you don’t first take pleasure in your own. I know that’s easier said than done. We all have our issues when it comes to our bodies—things we like and don’t like, things we wish we could change. But those things should not affect our sexuality, which has nothing to do with the way we look. Just as eating a healthy food makes us feel stronger and more energetic, feeding our minds with positive thoughts about our bodies makes us feel stronger and more confident. Do not lose your sense of self in anxieties or hang-ups about your body. Instead, make it your goal to cultivate a harmonious, mutually beneficial relationship between your physical health and wellness and your sexual health and wellness.
It can be too easy to become complacent with those we love, or take all their lovable features for granted. Don’t take your partner for granted. Celebrate their achievements, their strengths and unique qualities—even their cute butt. Remind them (and yourself) why you’re together in the first place.
There’s a reason they call it makeup sex. Resolving conflict with compassion and empathy creates an environment for sparks to fly. There is nothing sexier than someone who really pays attention. So, make it a priority to enhance your emotional and physical intimacy outside of the bedroom by listening to your partner. Respond to conflict; don’t react to it or feed it. By listening with an open mind and offering solutions instead of opposition you show your partner you care enough to put your ego aside. In so doing, you deepen trust and leave the door open for greater intimacy.
Bedroom boredom is natural, but it’s only permanent if you allow it to be. Stop reflecting on your lack of libido. Shift your focus and energy into creating an environment, or state of mind, that will allow you and your partner(s) to have fun with sex and sexual intimacy again. Fantasize about what that could mean and think of a playful way to get your partner on board with those new ideas.
Remember how it felt the first time our partner touched the small of your back? Or reached for your hand in a darkened movie theatre? There is nothing more powerfully stimulating than touch, especially after an affection drought. Reignite that flame by giving your partner a sensual massage every week — no orgasms allowed. Instead of going into full sexual contact, spend the time exploring each other’s bodies and taking it slowly, without the pressure of climaxing. The point is to allow the tension to build between the erotic massage to the time of your next intimate encounter.
Explore and embrace your sexuality and sensuality. Read an erotic novel in the bath, purchase a new toy online, invest in a blindfold and/or massage oil. Read informative and educational books to expand your sexual horizons to create newness. Take the pressure off by minimizing the comparison of your current sex life to your pre-children sex life and focus on exploring and embracing your current and future sexual and sensual self.
Spend some time reflecting on your sexual response cycle and sexual fantasies. Plan a monthly romantic date outside of the bedroom to explore your wants, needs, desires in a safe and open way, through intimate communication.
Research has found that people who make the most noise during sex tend to be the most satisfied. Why? Moaning and groaning helps your partner understand what you like and it also signals appreciation for your partner’s efforts, which increases their enjoyment.
Kissing, petting, nibbling, squeezing, stroking, caressing, compassion, generosity and kindness —it’s all good. Foreplay keeps the wheels greased, so to speak and prevents rust in a sexual relationship. Keep your partner(s) well oiled by maintaining consistent and highly desirable affection, emotional intimacy and physical contact. Ask them what they like best and give them what they want. Remember, if you expect things to get hotter inside of the bedroom, it usually starts by turning up the heat outside of the actual bedroom first.
This story is part of our Parent’s Guide to Sex & Intimacy. Check it out for loads of advice—on how to manage, recharge and enjoy your sex life.