It’s the third Friday of the month, and you know the script by heart—half-hearted foreplay, missionary position, a quick (or not-so-quick) denouement, and your partner’s already snoring while you’re thinking about tomorrow’s chores. Routine is inevitable in long-term relationships. Routine can feel secure and orderly, but too much routine in the bedroom just feels boring. When you can anticipate every move, when you stay up late to avoid sex, when you wish your partner would just hurry up and get it over with, it’s time to hit “reset,” and crank up the heat with your honey. It’s worth putting the effort into a good sexual relationship for all the reasons I mentioned in the last post. You’ll probably be spending your golden years with this person, and sexual intimacy (which includes kissing and cuddling) is at the heart of a healthy relationship outside the bedroom. Regular sex is also good for your health, and it’s good for your mental frame of mind. Besides, if you’re going to have sex, you might as well make it good. But you can’t just jump in bed with sex toys in hand—lay the groundwork I discussed in the last post. Communicate. Try to understand your partner’s needs. Does he or she feel vulnerable? Uncertain? Inadequate? Bored? Share fantasies. And keep an open mind. Anything new seems awkward and weird at first, but neither your mother nor your pastor is in the bedroom. This is sacred space for just the two of you. Once you’ve both agreed to sweeten the honey pot, here are some ideas to heat things up:
- Create a boudoir. Your bedroom should be a place for sleeping and for sex. It’s not the junk room, not the den, not the family photo gallery. Take out the distractions—including the television. Create a private, comfortable, beautiful space for the two of you to be together.
- Write love letters. Leave notes for each other throughout the day. Make them more lusty as the day goes on. (We found some postcards you can use if you like.)
- Fantasize. Talk about sexual things you’ve always wanted to do. Write down three for each of you. Put them in a hat and draw one. The other has to at least try. (Not sure where to start? We found these vows when we were looking for postcards!)
- Focus on foreplay. Forget about scoring a home run. Get creative with the many ways of getting around the bases, from sexy undressing to intimate touching.
- Focus on skin. Remember that big sex organ? Use that powerful sense of touch to explore your partner’s erogenous spots. Use textured objects, such as feathers or silk, to create new sensations and to stimulate sensitive nerves.
- Swap roles. One of you is the “giver,” whose sole task is to pleasure the other. Pay attention to what feels good to your partner, how he or she responds to certain touch in certain places. Then switch roles—you get to be the receiver.
- Change places. Make love in a different room, a different house, outdoors, in front of a mirror. “[Sex] is about the stimulation of your surroundings,” said Jane Seddon, author of Daily Sex in an interview with Cosmopolitan. “Doing it somewhere out of the norm adds an element of fun and makes you feel a little deviant.”
- Stay healthy. Stress is a sex-killer, and it isn’t good for your health, either. Eat healthfully. Keep your weight under control. Exercise to maintain flexibility and to keep your joints healthy. You’ll be able to make love and do a whole lot more.
Dr. Barb DePree, M.D., has been a gynecologist and women’s health provider for almost 30 years and a menopause care specialist for the past ten.