…even if you don’t know where the magic has gone
As a Sex and Relationship Counsellor, I often hear couples complaining that the spark in their sex has diminished. They’re functional in other areas of their relationship, claim they get on well and manage daily life together very happily. But they’ve noticed frequency of sex has reduced and it’s become mechanical and routine. They worry they’re not as close as they used to be and wonder if they’re falling out of love.
It’s true that the heady first flush of romance can seem elusive once a relationship has settled and it can be tricky to tap into the sexual magnetism that meant you couldn’t keep your hands off each other when you first met. You don’t have to settle for this! Longer term relationships can be overflowing with passion and erotic charge if that’s what you really want.
What lots of us forget is that we have to prioritise our sexual lives in order to keep the flame burning. Even the best sexual connections need to be nurtured and fed. If you’re wondering how to keep the birds singing and the bees buzzing in your relationship, here are a few simple tried and tested strategies that can make all the difference.
Forget Spontaneity (for a while)
Waiting for the perfect moment when you’re both brimming with sexual energy and ready to come together like thunder and lightening might be rather like waiting for Christmas. Let’s be realistic, when sexual spontaneity has become a distant memory, the magic isn’t going to happen effortlessly. Perhaps you have busy jobs, a growing family or other commitments that zap your libido. Many couples I meet have allowed mundane ‘stuff’ to eat into the time they used to spend together, yet can’t fathom out why they’ve lost their mojo.
If you want sex back on the agenda, making time for regular ‘sex dates’ can help. Clearing your diary to show up for each other is a gesture you’ll both appreciate. It’s a bonus to know you’ll be meeting for a sizzling hot sex session – this builds the anticipation that’ll reignite your spark. You’ll find yourself consciously preparing for your date, feeling hornier and more available as the moment approaches. Strangely enough, when you’re thinking about and anticipating sex more often than before, the knock on effect is that spontaneity may well return.
Maintain the Mystery
Once you’re comfortable together, there’s a risk you’ll lose the air of mystery that drove you wild right at the start. Your relationship can feel kind of platonic and you may miss the sexy buzz of unpredictability that accompanies a new partner. Imagine it’s your birthday – there’s something about receiving an exquisitely wrapped mystery gift complete with ribbons that triumphs over the items you’d already pre-selected, presented in a boring, branded carrier bag. The excitement is in the packaging, unwrapping and surprise.
It’s important you find ways of maintaining the mystery that don’t undermine your sense of mutual trust. This could be about establishing just a little more personal privacy than you’ve become used to, not revealing that new underwear you’ve bought until you’re peeling off each other’s clothes or planning something naughty for each other without discussing it much in advance. You’ll begin to recall the first flush feelings you had for each other and this can feel more seductive than ever before.
Work Yourselves Up
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – masturbation is like a sexual health-food. The more you treat yourself, the easier it will be for your body to access its arousal circuit and partnered sex will more readily flow. Masturbation isn’t just about tending to your own needs, although this is important. You’ll be limbering up your sexual creativity as well as your love-muscles which means you’ll be far better prepared for the marathon when it comes to partnered sex.
Stop hiding your masturbation. If you’re not keen to engage in mutual self-pleasure, at least talk about it openly with each other. Seeing yourselves as sexual beings who crave sexual expression is going to remind you of what it’s like to enjoy a piece of the action together.
Variety is the Spice
When routine, mechanical sex is no longer hitting the spot, it’s time to open your mind and mix things up a bit. There’s never any obligation to engage in sex that doesn’t turn you on, but experimenting with different sexual positions, taking it in turns to initiate or lead, exploring role play and sex games or having sex outside the bedroom can help your sex feel fresh and new.
Challenge yourselves to spend more time on foreplay, indulge in different styles of kissing and touching or new ways of stimulating sensation like using sensual massage oil, massage rollers or investing in new sex toys. Toys you can use on each other can be especially erotic. Spending time choosing what you’d like to try and exploring how it might happen will build charge and have you both eagerly anticipating that knock on the door when the delivery arrives.
Depriving yourselves of penetration for a while (if that’s an aspect sex that’s become mechanical) encourages you to focus on other ways of achieving pleasure. When you do decide to re-introduce penetration, you’ll be craving each other once again.
If this post has whet your appetite for more information, you’d like some tips on tantalising techniques or have a specific question about sex, love or relationships, drop me a line via our Ask a Sexpert service!