Let’s face it; sex can get a little boring sometimes. Once the oxytocin and pheromones wear off the things we were once doing as a couple are no longer as exciting as they were in the past. That or we’re not feeling as connected and not having as much sex. It happens to the best of us. Some people embrace a sexual routine, while others would prefer some variety. I believe that both can even be true at the same time.
However, if you feel like you and your partner are in a sexual rut here are five things you can do to improve your sex life.
1) Talk about it
Many times couples have trouble communicating about their feelings around sex. It can also be hard to be directive and tell our partner what we like. We all know that our partners are not mind readers at the same time we often assume they know how we’re feeling or when something is or isn’t working for us. Whatever your concern (frequency, routine, performance anxiety, etc.) it could be helpful to share this with your partner.
At the very least, they will have a better understanding of where you’re at and what you’re experiencing. It’s hard to get what you want if your partner doesn’t know what that is.
Remember that communication is a two-way street. You both need to talk as well as listen. People often tell me how they avoid necessary conversations with people because they “don’t want to hurt their feelings”. Keep in mind avoiding addressing important issues that are affecting your relationship can be more damaging than being honest about it.
In reality, we are avoiding the discomfort of having to sit with our loved one’s reaction. This is not an easy thing to do. That being said, silence does a great deal of damage as well and the issue never gets resolved.
2) Work together
I believe that the healthiest couples do things well together and also autonomously. That being said, after you talk about what the sexual concern/issue/goal is, working as a team to address it is beneficial.
This step goes hand in hand with the last step. Typically, when one person is putting in all the effort while the other partner is winging it or just going with the flow you get poor results. This also leaves room for resentment to grow. Come up with ideas and share them with each other. Try to bring some playfulness into the process. Sex should be enjoyable.
It should also be acknowledged that some couples might hit an impasse when trying to find ways to tackle important issues (or even talk about them). This does not always indicate negative results but the process can be assisted if you seek out a couple or sex therapist.
This can help you find some common ground and address any resistance to the process that’s coming up. Even when we aren’t happy it can be hard to start making the changes that are necessary to feel better. Extra support can be beneficial at these moments.
3) Accept willingness
Sometimes it happens that both partners’ sexual engines are not revving at quite the same horsepower. If this is the case for your relationship it’s important to remember that you don’t have to be all fired up to have a positive sexual experience with your partner. You only have to be willing. People don’t always start at the same place. One partner might always be ready to go while the other takes more time to their engine warmed up.
As a couple, you can come up with different codes to signify the willingness to be intimate. You can come up with your own system together, one that reflects your own style. Some examples could be as simple as a dry erase board that you can write “on” or “off” on or you can get more creative. It could also be useful to give your partner some ideas about how to get you more turned on and ready to engage with them.
Maybe you need to be talked to a certain way or you want to feel desired by your partner. If you can tell them some ways you would like this to be expressed it could help them meet your needs better.
At the same time, if your partner communicates they not interested in being intimate it’s important that you respect this and avoid trying to pressure them. Pressing them often adds to the divide rather than bridging it. Even if you are married or have been together for ages, consent is a necessary component of a healthy sex life.
4) Go on a field trip
This heading might sound odd but I do recommend going on a trip to get your sex brains going. Whether you go for a weekend getaway or spend a few hours in a fancy hotel room sometimes a change of scenery can spark some excitement. It’s not always an option to get away but even changing the place you’re having sex could make a difference.
Try a different room in the house. If you have kids, consider getting a babysitter for an evening so you can have more privacy and take time to explore different parts of your home that might be uncharted territory in your sexual repertoire.
Another idea would be to utilize apps that allow you to get a nice hotel room for a few hours. This gives you a new venue and will make that time intentional but won’t kill your wallet. You could incorporate some role-playing by starting in the hotel bar and acting like the two of you are meeting for the first time.
This could provide some momentum to be more creative about how you’re imagining your sex life with your partner. We often have trouble thinking outside the box when we’re so used to staying in it. You might need to do some research to tailor your field trip to suit your needs.
5) Get some tools
It could be helpful to go to the local sex shop and check out different toys they have there. This could be a valuable way to explore new things you would like to try you might not have considered. Another option is to subscribe to a service that sends you a smattering of adult-themed products. This can keep things exciting by adding new twists and you can both choose what you want to incorporate into your evening (or morning or afternoon).
Crafting sexual menus is also a good tool. This would involve a set number of things you want to try. You could do this in a couple of different ways. Each person comes up with categories like appetizers, entrees, and desserts. These would correspond with foreplay, the main event, and after play. As a couple, share your menu and choose items off of each to try or surprise your partner with something off their menu.
Another version of this is to go by green, yellow and red activities. Green would be things you really want to try, yellow would be things you are open to trying, and red would be reserved for adventures you do not wish to participate in. Again you would share your menus and choose things in green or yellow off of each.
This can also be illuminating for couples. You might have some preconceived ideas about what would be on your partner’s list. These activities can help clarify things. If your menus are very different it can be helpful take turns choosing off of one another’s list. You don’t have to do all at once. The goal is to feel more connected to one another. Keep in mind that feeling connected might mean different things to different people.
Revamp your sex life and build the intimacy your relationship deserves
We all need a little revamping in our sex scripts from time to time as our sexual needs and wants change. Make sure to check in with each other along the way. It’s an important part of the process of relationship growth. Remember to reach out for help from a couple or sex therapist if you get stuck or hit a snag. That’s another tool to keep in your toolbox. I hope these steps help guide you towards getting the love, affection and intimacy you deserve!