Remember when weekends were off-limits for anything but laying in b ed together? When you’d maybe call it quits to get up and make some breakfast, only to fall back between the sheets? When you didn’t need toopen PornHub because you were getting so much s ex?
Well, it’s no secret that as the years go by in a relationship, our s ex lives lose steam. There’s even science behind it: the dopamine spike from s ex with the same partner decreases over time but spikes with a new one. And unless you’re a fan of polyamory or swinging, that’s rarely an option.
The good news? It is possible to maintain a healthy s ex life and strong relationship. We turned to the relationship counsellors of Reddit – and some science – for five secrets to making sure you do.
1. Never Get Complacent With The Frequency, Positions Or Quality
When you’re younger or just starting out in a relationship, you tend to be adventurous. The newness – especially of the physical part – piques your curiosity and you’re running on this massive adrenaline spike. But you can create similar excitement years later.
Many s ex therapists and authors suggest doing it anywhere but the b edroom. But if the kitchen counter isn’t a viable option (flatmates, kids…), Reddit user Bocifous suggests hiring a hotel room every once in a while: “I’ve had that problem for a long time. One thing I’ve found to be great is kind of simple, I get a hotel to every few months. For some reason just being somewhere different adds a spark. At home I would rather watch Netflix etc. But at a hotel it’s totally different.”
Additionally, don’t be afraid to bring up things you wouldn’t have thought twice about in the beginning, when you were both up for anything. In the past she may have said that she’s not into of spanking or rear entry (and fair enough) but that doesn’t mean she wants things to remain completely vanilla or doesn’t want to change things up, too.
“Just because someone doesn’t like one aspect that deviates from vanilla doesn’t mean they won’t like anything,” says Redditor mrimperfect. “Vice versa works here too. Just because someone is kinky in one way, doesn’t mean they are going to be into everything. Even if you may perceive their kinks to be extreme.”
You can even have less than comfortable conversations about s ex – what you want more of, what you’re missing – via text if it’s easier for you both to open up that way. Do whatever works for you both to communicate. “Try new things in the b edroom. My wife and I talked openly about our s ex-life and what we wanted, which was great,” says this Redditor. “Though this conversation happened through text, which in an odd way made it easier for us both to open up.”
When you find yourself settling for less than amazing, it’s time for a reality check – and some communication – because chances are she’s feeling the same way. Even if it means rocking the boat. Complacency has the danger of becoming your new normal, and neither of you want that.
2. Become A Student Of All-Day fo replay
Amazing s ex starts long before you enter the b edroom. To ar ouse your partner, start as soon as you both wake up. It can be as simple as a kiss and telling them how beautiful they are, or it can be some physical fo replay before getting out of b ed in the morning, or even literally scheduling s ex into your calendars. While that sounds like the opposite of ‘new and fun’, s ex therapist Desiree Spierings, director of counselling practice s exual Health Australia, says there is nothing wrong with this approach – in fact, when people expect s ex to happen spontaneously, it rarely does. If you both know what’s coming, you’re more likely to get excited looking forward to it throughout the day.
Build the anticipation by sending suggestive texts while you’re working, or get her a gift voucher to a luxury lingerie store and tell her to go buy something that makes her feel s exy. Do whatever it takes to make sure s ex is on both your brains when you see each other next. “When my wife sends me s exual texts while I’m at work all day, it really gets me going… so when I get home I’m ready to tear her clothes off,” reveals this Redditor. “Try teasing him via text message, tell him what you want him to do to you, send him a few s exy pics. Do this when he is at work and won’t be home for hours. He will have all day to think about it and get worked up.” It works the same way for women – don’t think you’re above taking s exy pics for her.
3. Spend Time Apart
“I don’t get butterflies every time from my SO. But when I don’t see them for awhile (like 4 days maybe) I feel butterflies again,” admits Prinsessa. “If I haven’t seen them in a bit there’s a level of anticipation to the whole thing. I feel that desire to entice them and getting a good reaction fuels that desire.”
It’s no secret that spending time apart fuels attraction. Distance makes the heart grow fonder and all that. Don’t be afraid to take a boys holidayor encourage her to spend a weekend away. Though suggesting spending every other weekend apart might be overkill…
4. Don’t Just Do Nothing Together
Research shows part of falling in love with a person is actually falling in love with how we feel when we’re with them. This is best demonstrated by the concept of ’emotional contagion’: Feeling excited, stimulated and ar oused is often associated with the people around us, even if they’re not the cause. So yes, go ride that roller coaster or even go for a run (anything where your heart rate increases) and you may just reap the benefits.
Similarly, psychologists at the University of North Carolina studying long-term relationships found that couples who overcame difficult trials that challenged their skills felt closer and more attracted to one another than those who simply spent time together. Again, the glow of satisfaction from beating a challenge gets partially misattributed to the presence of one’s partner. So challenge yourselves, together, and you’ll associate those feelings with your partner, not just the thrill of accomplishment. Marathon, anyone?
5. Commit To Being The Best Version Of Yourself
Repeated time and time again throughout our research was that good s ex in a long-term relationship is inseparable from the rest of the relationship – how you treat each other day to day, how connected or disconnected you feel from one another and, most importantly, how you each take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Because while you don’t get divorced because one of you gains weight, a lack of regard for your appearance can easily turn into a long period of self-decline that becomes more than just physical.
“Male here, I don’t know for sure, but I believe that a few years ago my wife lost her attraction to me,” writes this anonymous Redditor. “I gained weight, up to 200lbs, and lost a little confidence. Intimacy and s ex dwindled. Since then, I’ve completed college, I’m a helicopter pilot, and I go to the gym daily. I’ve dropped down to 155lbs, my body looks the best it ever has: abs, biceps, pecs…I’ve managed to get myself into great shape. I also now have confidence in spades due to my looks and my career. She sometimes can’t keep her hands off me, which feels great.
Conversely, she gained some weight herself for a time, and I didn’t realise until she started shedding the weight that I [had become] less attracted to her. Suddenly noticing that your significant other is getting s exier…well, it sure made me want to s ex my wife up constantly. I’m more attracted to her now than I ever have been.”
Another Redditor, that_how_it_be, discusses how a healthy s ex life starts outside the b edroom:
“I think our healthy and satisfying s ex life stems from more than just s ex though. A lot of it comes from stability with our living situation, taking care of ourselves, low stress, etc. We enjoy similar things and we go out of our way to spend time with each other. Overall our levels of happiness are pretty high and that has a lot to do with it.”
The best thing for your well-being and s ex life is to do whatever it takes to be the best version of you. Make healthy food choices, exercise regularly and do the inner work. Get in touch with who you are and what you want from your life. You’ll walk into the b edroom confident, and that will turn your partner on.
How do you keep the s ex hot in your long-term relationship?