Welcome to Better Sex With Dr. Lexx, a monthly column where sex therapist, educator and consultant Dr. Lexx Brown-James shares expertise, advice and wisdom about sex, relationships and more. Approaching education about sex as a life-long endeavor — “from womb to tomb” — Dr. Lexx (AKA The #CouplesClinician) is your guide to the shame-free, medically accurate, inclusive and comprehensive conversations for you, your partner and your whole family.
I was walking in a store and saw back to school items. I’m talking markers, folders, and bookbags! Instantly, I felt defeated and nervous at the same time. I wondered, “Did I miss summer?” I have certainly been to the water parks and attended the kids swim birthdays but where were the romantic summer evenings and all the fun outdoor dates?
All we have been hearing about is a “Hot Girl Summer” or a “Hot Auntie Summer.” And I realized I needed to make space for a Hot Lover Summer! It’s still summer. There are so many more warm days of fun left and I want all lovers to make the best of them.
As The #CouplesClinician, I call all people I see who are in any romantic relationship “Lovers.” And for lovers, summer can be an awesome time of connection. Most couples break up in March and start to have issues as autumn sets in and weather gets colder. This makes the time between — sweet, sweet summer — a peak time for connection, fun, and pleasure.
Here are three ways to get your Hot Lovers’ Summer:
1. Embrace Me-Time
To start, engage in some fun alone time. .I know, I know. This sounds counterintuitive to a Hot Lovers’ Summer. You want to increase the heat with your lover, right? That starts with each one of you — individually. Taking time to re-fall in love with yourself, your community and things that bring you direct happiness outside of your lover supports relationship health.
By spending time alone, with friends, or community, you can generate excitement and energy that is not related to your lover. Then you can bring that energy back to share. If you spent time quarantining your lover, things could feel mundane, routine, and boring. Although breaking routine and spending time alone can be scary, it can be beneficial.
The fun thing about loverships is that each one of you enjoys seeing your lover happy and this is one way to bring happiness to each other without your lover having to help generate it. So, spend some time doing that thing (or things) you haven’t been able to do, get some joy, have some fun, and go share it with your lover who is going to love hearing and learning about it too.
2. Look Back on Good Times
While you’re exploring new things, don’t forget those old school pleasures too. Bring back the nostalgia. We have been locked up in quarantine or following strict guidelines for work for over a year. I know a lot of people are feeling like this virus is over and sadly, it’s not, especially for vulnerable populations and our first responders. When lockdown started, everyone thought that lovemaking would skyrocket and instead sex researchers have found that not to be the case. Routines, anxiety and plain old exhaustion have all stalled intimacy for many lovers during this time. So to get out of the quarantine rut and get to a Hot Lover Summer, let’s make it fun!
A Hot Lover Summer doesn’t mean you have to throw everything out and start from scratch, it does mean you can modify and change up your routine. Try doing something out of your established routines and add in some play. For example, when was the last time you were flirty with your lover or snuck in a passionate kiss when the kids weren’t looking? How are you all playful with one another around sharing your arousal for each other? Maybe sneak in a dirty text while dinner is being prepared (always ask for consent first!) If you are thinking right now and can’t come up with a few examples, you have some fun homework to start on (yes, homework in the summer!).
Here’s some other homework to help you get to Hot Lover Summer: Take three minutes and compliment your lover. All the compliments you can muster. And then take a minute to share them with you lover. This intimacy act can help build appreciation and arousal. You can even make these compliments specific to your private intimacy time if you like.
3. Embrace Fantasy
Something I always say is “Arousal Begets Arousal.” Arousing energy can be contagious, and sometimes that energy has to be manufactured. Not faked, but manufactured — meaning you’re creating this energy so that you and your lover can connect on those carnal desire levels. The fun thing about being a human is that you can define what’s steamy for you. Sex and intimacy inevitably change depending on several factors and we don’t always have control of how they change. We are, however, able to identify, explore and be curious about our own turn-ons. Engage your two most powerful sex organs to do some of this exploring.
The most powerful sex organ we have is the mind and I challenge you to tantalize yours! Reading, watching, acting or even writing out fantasy can be a way to engage your mind in arousing ways. The fun thing about fantasy is that it can always just remain a fantasy, it never has to exist in real life. Using your fantasies, you may open your lovership to trying a new technique, a new toy, or even a new erotic undertaking. Each of these could be fun to experience and even more fun to share.
If you just want to let your brain rest, try titillating your largest sexual organ: the skin. The skin provides a surface area to explore for pleasure. Try out different types of touch or temperature play, let your mind (and your lover’s consent) be the limit. Then, note what is arousing and share.
It’s never too late to have a Hot Lover Summer. So go get some alone time, bring in new energy, rekindle the good, fun and pleasurable and up the arousal with your mind and body.
Don’t forget to do your homework and enjoy!
Before you go, check out 69 (nice) sex positions to try before you die: