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. If that sounds familiar, read on for our favourite ways to spice up your sex life and get out of a rut
Its normal for your sex life to change over time
When you first get together, your brain unleashes a ton of lovey-dovey chemicals. These cause the butterflies in your stomach and the need to be together – in every meaning of the word – all the time.
As time goes on, those hormone levels even out. At the same time, you get more vulnerable with each other, sharing the good, bad, and ugly. Fights happen, there’s a global or personal crisis, and your beautifully full life takes over.
Intimacy and comfort aren’t the same thing
Intimacy is closeness. It’s knowing (and loving) each other’s good, bad, and ugly. It’s sex, yes, but it’s also inside jokes, just-for-you traditions, and cuddles after a stressful day.
Comfort is ease. It’s freedom from your inhibitions. It’s sleeping with your blankie or teddy bear, going makeup free, and taking care of each other after you get food poisoning. There’s nothing wrong with these but…
You can get too comfortable with your partner(s)
This looks different for every relationship. It may mean you…
- never try new things together
- only touch for sexy time
- primarily talk about upcoming plans and not the details of your day
- think quality time = being together in the same room, doing separate activities
- regularly use the bathroom with the door open or while they get ready
- take the little things they do for granted…or don’t even notice
A colleague recently called this “comfy relationship hell” and I think it’s the perfect description! If you find yourself there for a visit, or if you’ve been camped there for a while, don’t worry: there’s a lot you can do to breathe life back into your relationship.
Monogamy doesn’t have to equal monotony
Yes there are many jokes about boring sex in longterm relationships. Yes, the passion does fade over time (thanks neuroscience!). And yes, bed death is a thing – and not only reserved for marriages or lesbians thankyouverymuch.
You don’t need to go to great lengths to spice up the bedroom
Too often, sex tips require you to be double-jointed or spend hours a day on intimacy-building activities. Such choices aren’t bad but let’s be real: you and your partner(s) have beautifully full lives. You want tips that fit in your life, not ones that add to your never-ending to-do list.
With a little intention and some fun-but-practical ideas, you can find ways to spice up your sex life
Here are 9 of our favourite and simple ways to spice up your sex life.
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.
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.
Read more: How to Get in the Mood
Share fantasies together
Read more: 6 Ways Fantasising Improves Your Sex Life
Talk about sex 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 also reduces the pressure to talk about sex—it just becomes part of what you do.
- Not sure how to get the conversation started? Try this.
- 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.”0,So…You Think You’ve Tried It All?
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.
Read more: Try This for a Sexy Date Night In
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.
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.
Don’t wait for sex to just happen.
You might never be able to fully regain the lust-filled haze of your relationship’s early days, BUT with a little forethought (e.g. scheduling), the right tools (everything above), and some courage, you can have the intimate, adventurous, and fulfilling sex life you both desire.
Not sure what what you need? Hint: most people need these three general things.
Don’t shame yourself or your beau(s) for your desires
When it comes to sex, there’s no normal, only more & less common. Maybe what you like isn’t super common or maybe you’ve just never talked about it with anyone before. Ultimately, and with the exception of a few outliers, as long as you and your honey agree and talk about your sex life, it’s 1000% ok.
Remember: your sex life is one 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.