5 Hacks To Keep Sex Interesting in a Long-Term Relationship
Sex changes a lot over the course of a long-term relationship, sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse.
When couples first get together, sex typically happens more frequently than at any other time in a relationship. As the relationship progresses, sometimes sex does not. In the beginning, everything is carefree and wonderful and it’s easy to have loving and sexual feelings towards your partner.
But when you have been married for 10 years, have 3 screaming children under the age of 5, and are tens of thousands of dollars in debt, things are not so carefree and wonderful anymore.
Things like pregnancy and having small children at home can definitely put a damper on a couple’s’ sex life but so can the everyday routine of life. The increase in stress and frustration with life, in general, can lead to decreased satisfaction in your relationship and decreased sexual feelings towards your partner.
Many couples describe being too exhausted to even think about sex let alone initiate it. Their schedule is so packed, they can never fully unwind enough to even get in the mood. Other couples report being bored with the same sexual routine and unsure how to approach the topic with their partner or how to make sex interesting.
Problems arising in the relationship can be another reason sex sometimes decreases (or even stops entirely) in long-term relationships. If you are constantly fighting with your partner, you probably aren’t going to be in the mood to sleep with them very often. It’s challenging to feel attracted to the person who just screamed at you about some trivial issue.
This is especially true for women. When things aren’t great in the relationship, men are more likely to want to continue having sex whereas women are not. Men may actually see sex as a way to connect and repair the relationship whereas women may see it as a perk of a happy, healthy relationship rather than a solution. This is actually a common challenge I hear from couples I work with – men see sex as a way to connect and regain closeness whereas women need closeness and connection to want to have sex. Of course, this is a generalization and not true in all cases but it may resonate for you.
Another issue that couples often address in therapy is how to keep sex exciting in a long-term relationship. After several years, many couples find themselves in a rut sexually. Foreplay always starts the same way, they have sex in the same positions, say and do the same things to each other, and then roll over and go to sleep afterward. While there is some comfort in familiarity and it’s nice to have a partner who knows exactly what you like, it’s also nice to have some mystery and switch it up a bit.
5 tips on how to keep sex interesting in a long-term relationship:
1. Switch it up
Get creative with your sex. Try new positions, bring sex toys into the bedroom, initiate sex at different times of the day, try role-playing, watch pornography together, read an erotic novel together, go to a Tantra workshop together or look at a Kama Sutra book and pick something new to try at least 1x/month. In other words, do anything that is different from your normal routine. This will probably require some conversation ahead of time to make sure your partner is on the same page as you and willing to explore. Just remember that trying new and novel experiences as a couple is bonding. So even if you try a role play and end up finding it more awkward and funny than sexy, you’re still doing something great for your relationship by sharing a new experience together. Try to go into each new sexual experience with no expectations of how it will go and no attachment to the outcome. Just focus on having fun and being in your body and see what happens.
2. Commit to making sex a priority
As your lives get busier, it becomes easy to put sex on the back burner. The problem is, when you do that for too long, you may find yourself or your partner feeling disconnected and suddenly realize you have some major relationship issues to work out. Many couples find it awkward to initiate sex after going a long time without having it. If you’re at that point, you may find yourself holding back even if you do feel like initiating. Rather than allow the awkwardness to continue, address it. Ask your partner how they would feel if you were to initiate sex sometime and how they feel about the fact that you two haven’t been having sex as often as before.
If your partner also wants to increase sexual activity in the relationship, suggest that you both commit to having sex a certain number of times per week or per month and rotate who is responsible for initiating. Often, the partner who has the higher sex drive is the one initiating (and getting rejected) all the time. This is a lot of responsibility for one person to carry in the relationship and it’s not fair for them to have to carry the weight of maintaining your sex life as a couple. Once you have agreed on how many times per week or month you will have sex, follow through with it, no matter how busy or how tired you are.
3. Realize that sex is not just about sex.
As I mentioned earlier, especially for men, sex is about feeling connected to their partner and being intimate. Many men in long-term relationships say they feel most connected to their wives during and after sex. Unfortunately, many women have to feel connected emotionally before they want to have sex. Herein lies the difficulty; men need sex to feel connected and women need to feel connected to want sex.
What’s the solution? Make sure you set aside time to connect in both ways. Men; do the dishes after dinner, pour your wife or girlfriend a glass of wine and have a conversation with her, making sure you really listen to everything she is saying. Ask questions, make eye contact, hold her hand as she talks. In fact, here are 82 fun questions you can ask your partner to get this party started. Connecting with your partner in this way is the real foreplay. Next, bring her to the bedroom, light some candles, put on some sexy music and offer to give her a massage. By the time you are halfway through the massage, she will be fully relaxed and focused on how good it feels to be seduced by you.
Women, when your husband initiates sex, even if you aren’t in the mood, realize that this is his way of saying “I want to be close to you” and see if you can figure out a way to get in the mood rather than just shutting him down. Most people find that once they are actually in it, they enjoy sex. You can even make getting you in the mood a game by saying something like “I’m not in the mood but I bet you could change that 😉 I’m at a 2 on the arousal scale right now. Think you can get me to a 10?” Most men love a good challenge.
4. Jumpstart your sex life with your partner
If you’ve been in a rut and not as sexually active as you would like to be, a great way to get back into the swing of things is with the 7 Days of Sex Challenge. Commit to having sex for 7 days in a row no matter what. No is not an option for these 7 days (barring extenuating circumstances like sickness or an emergency). You’ll probably find out that it’s easier than you think to make sex happen when you are both committed to it. You also might find that it’s easier than you think to get in the mood when you don’t allow yourself an out. You may even get a little more creative with when and how you do it over the course of the 7 days. The best part of the challenge is committing to reaching a goal as a couple and following through with it.
5. Communicate Properly With Your Partner!
This one may seem obvious but it is so important to talk to your partner if you are dissatisfied with your sex life. There are ways to have this conversation without hurting your partner’s feelings. He or she might be feeling the same way but is afraid to bring it up too. It’s normal to get in a sexual rut during a long-term relationship. There are many ways to overcome this and they all start with a conversation. To help you get the conversation started, I created these 29 questions to rekindle your sex life.
I hope this gives you a great start to adding some spice back into your sex life. For more personalized support in this area, schedule a free 30 minute consultation with me today!