A situation like this can feel hopeless, especially if you’re just plain afraid to broach the subject. However, a dying bedroom doesn’t have to stay dead forever. With this guide to improving your sex life, you get back into the groove of things – for good.
Change Your Attitude
Sex comes steeped with stereotypes. For example, men are expected to always ready to go in the bedroom, while women are perceived to only have sex out of obligation. While this may be the case for some people, it’s not an overarching truth that extends to the entire population.
For those living with an unsatisfying sex life, it’s not uncommon to internalize issues. A wife who struggles to seduce her husband can feel as though she’s not sexy enough to warrant attention and feel hurt by this assumption because, after all, all men want sex all the time. On the other hand, a husband can feel as if he’s not a “real” man if he can’t keep up with his partner’s appetite.
To get to the bottom of shortcomings, it’s important to throw these outdated and false assumptions out the door. There are plenty of things that can lead to a poor sex drive or an inability to meet a partner’s needs, and they’re all individual. By taking yourself out of a cycle of guilt and internalized emotions and understanding that people are just that – people, with their own individual wants and needs and abilities – it’s easier to approach problem-solving in an even-keeled and unbiased way.
Sex may feel raunchy, raw, and real – and in the moment, this can be true – but at its core, it’s really an exchange of emotion and experience between two people. For those in a committed relationship, it’s easy to fall into routines and let the same posturing and positions dominate sexual interactions and forget that there’s more out there. As such, it’s not uncommon to seethe in silence rather break through the thick ice.
Instead of harboring frustrations, start a conversation. In a level, non-accusatory way, find a quiet time without distractions and bring up how you’re feeling. Don’t point fingers; instead, use “I” statements, like “I feel like our sex life could use a little something more,” rather than, “you don’t please me.” In this vein, also be prepared to listen. Whether your partner shares your feelings or is completely blindsided, it’s important that both sides are heard and understood. Don’t take statements personally, and be prepared to create solutions, not lash out with attacks.
Communication extends to time in the bedroom, too. If you want to try something, don’t be afraid to ask. Speak up when your partner does something you enjoy, and gently provide guidance if something isn’t working for you. Without regular, ongoing and open channels of communication, it’s almost impossible to leave every sack session with both partners satisfied.
Bottom line? Everyone has kinks. Even the most demure, reserved, and conservative individuals have little things that get them going – but there’s a difference between harboring them and being willing to share them.
Speaking up about turn-ons, especially things that may feel a little taboo, can mean being extremely vulnerable, and this isn’t easy, even in marriage or long-term partnership. However, finding the courage to speak up can mean highlighting new horizons to explore that perhaps weren’t on the table before.
Not there yet? No worries. There’s an app for that – literally. We Should Try It is a website and app that allows couples to take a quiz about sexual interests in secret, with responses only revealed if couples’ answers match. This can break the ice in a wonderful way, showing where similarities lie while still masking potentially embarrassing differences.
Add Back the Romance
Romance isn’t always a part of sex, but it can be a valuable addition, particularly for those who haven’t felt as many sparks as usual. For couples looking to reignite the fire and create a passionate environment in which to come together – perhaps in more ways than one – a little romance never hurts.
It’s not uncommon for long-term couples to see sex as a process rather than a way to share love, but a romantic give and take can create a mood that automatically informs a good time. Rather than shedding clothes after a long day and hopping right into bed, switch things up. Start your night with tapas in a dark and cozy cafe, slide into the hot tub au natural, or pop a bottle of bubbly (or two – we don’t judge) after dinner to set the mood. Enjoying time together without a focus on the grand finale can deepen the experience in new and effective ways.
Some couples feel like these moments must happen naturally, but a little planning won’t spoil the sensations. In fact, planned events like romantic baths, sips of champagne by the fire and sensual massages can build anticipation, making it easier to slide into the deed when the time is right.
Open the Toy Box
For some couples, toys are always a part of sex. For others, playtime and sex time are two completely different concepts. However, for those who are comfortable, adding a toy or two into the mix can increase the fun of intercourse.
Sex toys come in countless shapes and sizes, from vibrators to cock rings to butt plugs. Ranging from routine to daring, there are many ways to gradually introduce toys into bed. Before breaking out the toy box and showing off your favorite goodies, talk to your partner. Share a want that involves toys – and there’s nothing wrong with breaking the ice with a movie scene or a magazine article – and gauge the waters. Not all partners will want to add to the process of getting lucky, but many will be open to trying something new. If you bring it up when you’re not in the heat of the moment, your partner will have time to consider the idea rather than feeling pressure to acquiesce.
Not a toy fan? Consider outfits or costumes instead. Lingerie or sexy getups that inspire role-playing can have the same effectiveness, taking a regular routine and turning the spice level up.
Prioritize Your Partner
If you want better sex, it’s important to understand that the road goes both ways. What’s good for you isn’t always your partner’s preference and vice versa. As such, consider what your partner wants in-depth before starting your usual sack routine.
It can be frustrating to feel as though your needs aren’t being met, but it’s important to understand that your partner is likely feeling the same way. So, the next time you hop into bed, consider making your partner the priority. Choose positions or activities you know are fan favorites, put more effort in foreplay if necessary, and make sure they’re where they need to be to have a good time. When everyone enjoys themselves, it’s easier to find those deep-seated turn-ons again in the future.
Communication should be a part of this process, as the concept needs to go both ways. If you plan to pamper, make sure your partner knows that this is what you’re thinking about. Putting the focus on your partner’s pleasure and failing to see reciprocation can make things worse, not better.
Sex doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It’s a messy, wonderful part of life, but the part of life aspect can’t be understated. Sometimes, circumstances just aren’t conducive to significant amounts of sex. Stress at work can kill libido, while bringing a new child home can turn life upside down. There are so many things that can play a part, from dealing with an ill parent to feeling the pressure in school, that it’s always important to keep outside circumstances in mind.
If you suspect that circumstances happening outside of the sheets are causing issues, don’t be afraid to say so – particularly if you have voiced concerns in the past. It’s not always easy for individuals to admit that they’ve hit a sexual stumbling block, so starting the conversation rather than waiting for answers can lead to quicker resolutions. It’s also important to be honest with yourself. If you’re failing to find the energy to act on urges or you’re dealing with complex issues that are clouding your day-to-day drives, there may be changes to consider on your end.
In some cases, a lack of libido can be an actual medical issue. Things like the wrong birth control or low testosterone can influence desire – but these are problems that can be fixed. When all else fails, seeing the doc may be the best way to get answers.
Regardless of what’s troubling your sex life, there are often ways to isolate the issue, get to the root of the problem, open up a line of communication, and take the steps necessary to improve your sex life overall. From adding a little extra playtime to your repertoire to bringing the romance back, a better time in bed is within your reach.