10 Tips to increase eroticism and desire in your relationship

Jul 10, 2014 at 7:05 p.m. ET

Never in the mood? Faking it? or just doing "it" out of obligation? If this sounds familiar, here are some tips to get your groove back.

Photo credit: B2M Productions/Photodisc/Getty Images

Never in the mood? Faking it? or just doing it out of obligation? If this sounds familiar, low desire may have entered your relationship. It is completely normal for desire discrepancy to occur between partners who are engaged in a long-term relationship. Just like every other enjoyable thing in life, sex takes time and effort, but the good news is that with some practice, you can absolutely get your groove back.

Here are 10 tips to cultivate eroticism and increase desire in your sex life.

1. Get healthy

  • Practice self-care: Have a bath, get to the gym, enjoy a book for leisure or whatever gives you energy and is for you, by you.
  • Love your body: Having a positive body image, confidence and feeling attractive all play into one's sexual and sensual self. Cultivate a good and healthy relationship with your body in order for all other relationships to function at an optimum.

2. Dispel misconceptions around what is "normal"

  • Only you and your partner(s) can determine what is normal for your sex life.
  • The formula for normal within a sexual relationship is: What you want, plus what your partner wants/what makes you both happy, minus what's not feasible equals your normal. Embrace your individuality, wants and needs and be open to having fun and exploring your partner(s) as well.

3. Enhance the emotional intimacy

  • Work on your relationship. If things are not going well outside of the bedroom, it will absolutely impact the health of your sex life.
  • Try new things together to continue the growth in your partnership. Cultivating new experiences together can re-ignite the spark.
  • Start responding to conflict differently. Learn how to self-soothe and be responsible for validating your own feelings.
  • When you are on the same page with one another, outside of the bedroom, communicate about what you want inside the bedroom.
  • Try going on a "reveal" date where you can cozy up and share your ideas, desires and something new you would like to try; this can be an enticing experience in itself.

4. Get your mind and body aligned

  • Start thinking about sex as important. If you think about how much you do not want to engage in a sexual encounter it will lessen your chances for increasing your desire and enhancing your relationship with your sexual self.

5. Focus on pleasure sharing

  • Be okay with taking the focus off of the big O (orgasm). If you are feeling guilt, shame, pressure or stress around orgasming, then that in itself is conditioning to have a negative response to sex.
  • Open your eyes; making eye contact while being intimate can enhance your emotional connection. Completely letting go and allowing yourself to lose yourself in the presence of another is a feeling like no other. Free yourself from societal "norms,' let go and lose yourself in the moment, in the experience.
  • Once in a while, try giving each other an erotic massage excluding touching one another’s genitals. Focus on being sensual and intimate, not sexual.

Photo credit: Pixland/Pixland/360/Getty Images

6. Set the scene

  • Be aware of the context that leads to your sexual encounters. Pay attention to your aphrodisiacs: When are you in the mood, and why? What did you or did you not like about sex? Where are your erogenous zones? Knowing your triggers can help you to recondition your sexual response.
  • Create an environment that helps you to relax and feel sexy. Invest in some erotic literature, or take a bath and fantasize.

7. Change it up and create novelty... sometimes

  • Read and research the topic of sex/sexuality in order to broaden your horizons.This may help to excite you with either A) fantasies or B) possibilities or C) both.
  • Have some fun by creating a fantasy box to explore your sexual wants, likes and dislikes. Here is how it works: Each partner puts one (or more) fantasies in the box every week. Monthly, choose one fantasy (or more) to act out or explore through conversation together. A word of caution: Set boundaries within your partnership. If you would be uncomfortable hearing certain things, make sure your partner knows that ahead of time.
  • Go on vacation. Get away from the stress and responsibility of everyday life. Can’t afford one? Start a vacation savings account.
  • Read a new erotic or educational book together or research and try a new sex toy... a vibrator can be a girl's best friend when trying to have a quickie.
  • Be creative. Try dressing up and heading to a bar and pretend you are perfect strangers meeting for the first time. Use your creative side and come up with a fun, different and exciting date.

8. Look at your partner through the eyes of another

  • It's common for partners to stop appreciating and seeing all the reasons they fell for one another. Next time your partner gets checked out, or you are able to see them doing something they are good at or discussing something they are passionate about, take a moment to reflect and appreciate what others are seeing for the first time. Allow and capitalize on your shift in perception.
  • Compliment and appreciate what you have in your partner(s) versus what you think is missing, or could be better.

9. Don't lose your sense of self or playfulness

  • It's important to stay connected to your sense of self in order to stay alive and passionate within your relationships. Be sure to nurture your individuality and personal development.
  • It's important to have some independence and take responsibility for your own happiness.
  • Solely relying on your partner(s) to feel good or better about something can be an added stress and pressure on your relationship and an erotic killer.

10. Be open... literally

  • When desire is not at the forefront, I would encourage you be open to the idea and willing to receive and share pleasure. Desire is not always necessary to start or engage in a sexual encounter; being open and positive to having an experience can create desire and arousal. Knowing you can stop at any time can help with being more open more often. Again, taking the focus off the end result and putting the emphasize on being close, intimate, playful and open to the idea of being sexual.

If you are still not confident in increasing your desire, research the female sexual response cycle, educate and empower yourself! Consider talking to a sexologist or sex therapist. They are trained professionals who support clients in rediscovering their sexual and sensual selves.