Top 5 tips for turning your love life around

Dec 23, 2011 at 12:00 p.m. ET

Improving your sex life might sound like a daunting task especially if things have gone cold between the sheets. But turning up the heat can be easier than you think. Before you opt for separate bedrooms, take a look at our best (and simplest) tips for revving up the romance and making this winter your steamiest one yet.

Couple having sex on bed at home

Make time for sex

Unfortunately, with so much going on, the onus is on you and your partner to make time for sex. Otherwise, it just might not happen. This means that despite whatever might be on your ever-growing to-do list, sex has to be slotted in. In other words, just do it! It's easy to forget how much fun sex is when all you're thinking about is the next load of laundry. We get it; stress hinders one's sex drive, but pushing past your need to scrub the kitchen floor and getting frisky instead will not only benefit your mood, it will instantly boost intimacy between you and your partner.

Set the mood

Dirty socks on the floor, laundry basket on the bed, kids' toys strewn on the floor – this does not sound like a romantic atmosphere. If your bedroom is a mess of clutter, no wonder you don't want to have sex in it. You don't need to redecorate, but do keep your sleeping space neat, uncluttered and conducive to intimacy. When you do want to create a more romantic atmosphere, light candles, switch the threadbare sheets for a softer, thicker set, bring in a bottle of bubbly on ice and dress the part. Put on something that makes you feel sexy to really get you (and him) in the mood.

Focus on what works

If there is something you want more of or that you're not getting in the bedroom, rather than tell your partner you don't like something, say how much you love when he does X, Y or Z and how great it makes you feel. Chances are he will start doing a lot more of it if he knows you love it. Men usually like to feel like the hero, so if you have a chance to let him know what he's doing right, he is likely to want to recreate that feeling for you. Highlighting what you enjoy in a positive way will only spur your partner on to please you further.

Make a note: April Masini, relationship expert behind the advice column, gave us an even friskier suggestion. If you find yourself awake in the middle of the night, seize the moment! "Wake him up for sex and he'll sleep like a baby until that alarm clock goes off the next morning," she says. "He may be a little tired the next day, but he's going to be very happy about the reason for it!" In addition, Masini explains, when woken, most people are more of their true sexual selves than when they've had "conscious" time to think about what they're doing. "You may find more of the tiger he truly is, in the middle of the night."

Tweak the timing

If sex at the end of a long week isn't working for you, experiment with timing until you hit on something that makes sense for both of you. Maybe it's Sunday mornings or maybe it's Friday night before dinner – the key is to find times that don't have both of you stressed, tired and frustrated from work or other regular responsibilities. Timing really is everything when it comes to finding the best time for sex.

Try something new every month

Set a goal with your partner where you agree to try one new thing in the bedroom every month. Though this might seem to take some of the spontaneity out of sex, it can actually go a long way to spice things up between the sheets. Take turns coming up with each month's "new activity." We're willing to bet you both start to get much more excited about sex when you have something unexpected to look forward to.

More about sex

Wear this to drive him wild
How to have mind-blowing halftime sex
Committed couples have better sex