Have you gotten to a point where sex with your partner feels like a chore? Has sex become another stress in your marriage? You are definitely not alone; in my practice, this is one of the most common problems couples face.
Intimacy starts with emotional connection. With all the stressors in life, it is understandable how your sex life may have taken a back seat, but don’t neglect this vital part of your relationship! Here are 6 strategies to help you step it up in the bedroom:
1. Share positive time together
The first area to explore is how much time you are spending as a couple. Sex drive starts with feeling emotionally connected. A couple questions to ask yourself are: when was the last time I took my partner on a date, how often do I show physical affection towards my partner, how have I been romantic towards my partner lately?
2. Set the Mood
Yes, lighting candles and playing music can increase the frequency and quality of your sex life. Do you remember what it was like when you first started dating? The anticipation you would have as you primped and prepped for your date. You would put on perfume or cologne, try on three shirts before you felt good about one, made sure your bed sheets were clean and the dirty dishes were away. All of these behaviors build the excitement and emotional anticipation of our sex lives.
3. Clear the bedroom
Your bedroom should be sacred space for the relationship. Too often couples sabotage potential to connect with their partner by bringing technology, kids, pets, and work into the bedroom. If your nighttime routine is one partner cuddling with the dog and watching Netflix in bed while the other partner is responding to emails on their phone in bed than you are sabotaging the intimacy in your relationship. Get support from your partner to set some new rules with you about the bedroom:
- No TV, phones, tablets, or other technology
- No children or pets in the bedroom after a set time at night.
- Go to bedroom at the same time at least three nights a week.
4. Foreplay, foreplay, FOREPLAY
Another trap we fall into in relationships is skipping foreplay before intimacy. Foreplay is just as important to success of the sexual encounter as the actual act. The most important part of sexual intimacy is giving your partner pleasure. If you can keep that as your focus, sex will be so much more satisfying for both of you.
Dr. Jennifer Berman, a sexual health expert, explains that foreplay can increase emotional intimacy and even improve the duration and quality of the sexual intercourse for men just as much as women. The article Why Foreplay is Important published on Men’s Journal states, “If you are at the point where you’re looking to improve your foreplay abilities, you should recognize that foreplay amongst partners is a team effort.”
We are animals so sexuality and physical pleasure are important to all of us! There is nothing weird or demonic about masturbation as long as you are doing it in a safe way that doesn’t harm yourself or others. Recently, a website was developed called OMGyes.com that teaches and normalizes sexual techniques to please women. I find this is a great tool to explore sexuality in a new way with or without your partner.
The more we have sexual pleasure, the more we want sexual pleasure. When we masturbate or have sexual intercourse, dopamine and other endorphins are released into the brain which allows us to feel pleasure. When our bodies register pleasure, our brain craves more and thus our sex drive increases as described in the article on Low Sex Drive on the Health Guidance website.
One of the reasons I think OMGyes.com is so fantastic is that it teaches people to communicate what they like and what they want their partner to do more of. It discourages partners from communicating about what they don’t like or what is going wrong. Being married and having sex with the same partner for the rest of your life is a gift, but if that gift has the same wrapping paper and comes in the same way every… single… time… it may become a boring gift. Communicating with your partner about what you like and what you are interested in exploring is a great way to wrap the gift differently.
Hopefully the strategies above will help you and your partner improve your sex life. Talk openly with your partner about your desire to increase the frequency and improve the quality of your intimate life together. Make sure to be supportive to your partner as shaming or criticizing them will only drive them further away.
After enjoying some time to be close, setting the mood, creating space for intimacy, and increasing your own sex drive and pleasure with your partner you’ll be set for some hot and heavy nights. Enjoy!