It always seems like sex is the first thing to go. Somehow, the laundry gets your attention. The grocery shopping gets your attention. Your kids (and/or pets) get your attention. Your boss, your mother-in-law, the PTA, even the lawn seems to manage to get a piece of you. But your sex life? Nope. It seems like you’re too tired or too disconnected from your partner or too stressed out or too busy or, perhaps saddest of all, too overwhelmed to even care.
But you need to care. For your sake, for your partner’s sake, for your marriage’s sake, having sex is generally a very good thing. I know. I know. I’m a terrible, bossy person. But you’ll have to trust me on this one. Enjoying a happy, healthy sex life is really important for the majority of marriages and other committed romantic relationships. So here are seven ways to amp up your sex life.
Court your partner
Remember when you were trying to win your partner’s affections? The flirting. The love notes. The dates. The dancing in the kitchen when the only music was in your heads. The lingering looks. The sexting… I know you’re busy. But this is about intention and attention more than time. Look at your partner. Remember those first feelings of wanting to jump his or her bones. Keep those thoughts in your mind as you move through the day and seduce your partner all over again, even if it’s simply with lingering looks and subtle, naughty whispers.
Plan ahead and be spontaneous (yes, you can do both!)
It may seem contradictory, but you’ll be well-served to do both. It may not feel romantic to plan when you’re going to have sex and how you’re going to have it. But it’s certainly more romantic than not having it at all. Pick a day and time and commit to it. That doesn’t mean you have to always plan, of course. Taking advantage of any chance to devour your partner is always a good idea. Suddenly have the house to yourself? Afternoon meeting get canceled? Both wake up surprisingly early and surprisingly refreshed? Take advantage of the moment. Long, lingering sex is great. But there’s nothing wrong with a quickie now and again.
Bring on the toys
Sports have equipment. Hobbies have equipment. Outfits have accessories. Heck, even cars have accessories. There’s nothing wrong with having a few things — or more — in the bedroom to help you and your partner have the best sex possible. If you want to keep it to the essentials, think vibrator, lube and a massage oil candle. Want to take it to the next level? How about handcuffs, a blindfold and a feather tickler? Having toys, including vibrators, does not mean there’s anything wrong with you or your partner. The only thing it means is that you’re both committed to having great sex!
Farm out the kids
It can be hard — maybe even impossible — to have sex with kids underfoot. Kids are great. They are amazing. They can also be a sex-life killer. There is no reason to feel guilty for handing them off once in a while. Give them to Grandma; hire a sitter and get thee to a local hotel; do a kid swap with friends once a week.
Sex in a marriage is important. Really important. It deserves your attention. You are your best you when all of your needs are attended to, including your sexual needs — which you have and are allowed to have. So allow yourself to do what you need to do to take care of yourself and your marriage. Besides, your kids will love the time away too!
When did sex get so serious? Great sex is often filled with laughter. And why not? So take it outside or role-play or bring out the whipped cream and chocolate sauce or try out some body finger painting. You get to be your whole self with your partner. And nearly everyone has a playful part of themselves that deserves to be let out. Playing takes the pressure off sex. So take a deep breath, relax and enjoy your partner. There’s nothing wrong with giggling and goofing off, especially in the bedroom.
You can find sex-life inventory worksheets — also known as yes/no/maybe lists — in lots of places, including in my own book, O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm. The sheet challenges you and your partner to each sit down and take a look at all kinds of activities and see what you would definitely love to do, what you might be interested in trying and what’s a hard no for you. Then you compare lists and see where you meet and where you miss. You just might be surprised at what new things your partner is game to try…
Meet for the first time… again
If you really want to have some fun, pick up your partner — or have him/her pick you up — as if you’ve never met before. A few minutes apart, both go to the same bar or museum or restaurant as if you’re strangers. Then you can “meet” as if you’ve never met before. Eyes catching from across the room; sending over a drink; asking one another to dance.
It can be really fun — and eye-opening — to look at your partner anew and to flirt and be flirted with as if you’ve never fought over burned dinners and late arrivals. See your partner in a fresh new light and relight the fire all over again.
Jenny Block is an expert in women’s sexuality and author of the books O Wow: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm and Open: Love, Sex and Life in an Open Marriage.
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