A previous version of this article on how to spice up sex appeared in Blood + Milk.
It’s a truth universally acknowledged that living together impacts your sex life. From being stuck in a rut to “bed death,” to feeling turned off by your partner’s habit of clipping their toenails in the kitchen, to forsaking privacy for efficiency (if you’ve ever brushed your teeth while your partner poops: we’re talking about you), there are a lot of factors that can lead to boredom and turn off.
Thankfully that doesn’t have to be the case. With a little intention and some fun but practical actions, you can create a more pleasure-filled sex life and relationship. Here are 9 ideas to spice up your sex life when you live together.
Know Yourself Better
Discovering your patterns, habits, and tendencies isn’t always the most fun process; however, deeper knowledge of yourself allows you to not only work towards accepting yourself but also show up with more compassion and love in your relationship. Here are four relationship tests that increase intimacy.
Know What Turns You On
There are two approaches to the role that intimacy—closeness, connection—plays in a sex life.
One theory says that intimacy is the enemy of sexual desire. That you need adventure, mystery, and distance to get turned on.
The other theory says that intimacy is the key to desire. That you need to turn towards each other, deepening and getting closer.
Which is right? Neither. And Both. What it really comes down to is the context that turns you on.
Share Fantasies Together
Talk About It Regularly
Many people struggle with conversations about sex and intimacy and, when it comes to conflict, do not know how to fight fairly. But having a regular “State of Our Union” chat helps you to address issues as they arise instead of letting resentment build up. Having these chats regularly reduces the pressure to talk about sex—it just becomes part of what you do.
Prefer to have the conversation post-coitally? Check out A Sex Journal.
Try a Yes/No/Maybe List
Yes/No/Maybe lists include a variety of sexy fun things you can try in the bedroom. Have you and your beau(s) fill one out and then sit down—ideally during your SOTU chat!—and go page by page together. Choose one thing to try, ideally something you’ve both marked as a “hell yes.”
Want to explore a A Yes/No/Maybe list to help you discover and uncover your desires? Check out So…You Think You’ve Tried It All?
Keep Sex on Your Brain
Your brain determines what’s important through a mix of primal signals—omg, stress!—and conscious decisions. By keeping sex on your mind, you let your brain know that this is a priority. Doing so makes it easier to transition from work/parent/doing mode to sexy times.
Give Sensate Focus a Shot
If you find your brain wandering during sex, tune into your senses instead. Look for five things you feel, four things you see, three things you hear, two things you smell, and one thing you taste.
Explore Sex Coaching
Sex coaching isn’t just for individuals and couples who are on the verge of breaking up. In fact, most people could benefit from having a space to discover and embrace their desires, explore their value around sex, and learn the specifics tips, tricks, and tools that will help them find freedom in pleasure.
Remember: Your Sex Life is Just Another Part of Your Life
Treat it with the same level of importance as you do your work, friendship, hobbies, health, etc. That is, your relationship is bigger than just sex, but it’s also super important—just as your career doesn’t define you, but you likely spend a lot of time and energy thinking about it. Your pleasure is worth devoting time, energy, and money to.