I recently taught a class about bringing the sizzle back into our relationships. One of the pitfalls of long-term relationships is that our sex lives can become routine and yes, even boring. Couple lose interest and start to think of their sexual relationship as a duty or obligation.
I’m here to say, your sexuality can be so much more than that. With a little planning and setting your intention, you can create a spicy, hot and sizzlin’ sex life that will take you back to when you first met. You remember those days when you just couldn’t keep your hands off of each other?!
When we first met our beloved we were giddy with hormones that fueled our passions. After about 18 months our body normalized those hormones and we had to become intentional about creating passion in our relationship. After a while, the newness wore off and our creativity fell by the wayside. We got busy raising a family and building a career.
After 20 years plus years of marriage, couples come to me and say, “I’m just not in love with him anymore.” I still love him, but I want “more.” I miss the passion we had when we first started dating, how I can I rekindle that spark?
It is possible to rekindle or even reignite the fires that once burned. Allow me to share three simple tips that will increase the romance and intimacy in your relationship.
Express Gratitude: Use your journal to reminisce about your relationship. Write down all of the good things your partner brings to your life. Reliving those moments will increase your appreciation for your loved one and it will flood your system with hormones like dopamine and norepinephrine. These hormones will actually increase your receptivity to intimacy. These hormones flooded your system when you fell in love for the first time.
Our brains like routine and predictability. Changing up your thoughts and creating new habits that focus on your relationship will create new neural pathways that will trigger the reward center of your brain. Take note that it’s a normal cycle to fall in and out of the “feelings” of love. Normally when one partner is steeped in feelings, their partner is falling out of the cycle. This is a natural rise and fall of hormones that keep one partner chasing the other.
When you do things that make your brain feel pleasure, your subconscious mind will help you make choices that will create the results you are seeking. Look for trends in your journaling that reflect those warm sensual feelings for your partner.
Schedule a regular date night: Couples bond by trying new things. Commit to a regular time to get together and share experiences. Instead of going to dinner as you have for the past decade, mix it up, take dance lessons, go to a rock climbing wall, or take skydiving lessons. Be intentional about finding new things to do to broaden your horizons.
The most important aspect of this exercise is to schedule time to spend together that is non-negotiable. Put it on your calendar so you don’t accidentally double book your time. Place a high value on the time you have set aside to invest in each other and strengthen your relationship. Include time for you to talk and share personal stories. Never stop getting to know your partner on a deeper level.
You’re never too old to find new experiences to share. Be bold and adventurous. Create a bucket list if you don’t have one. Discover exhilarating and adventurous activities to try together. Do something that scares you, pushing through the fear will strengthen existing bonds.
Initiate Sex: Men initiate sex more frequently than women. Create a system for initiating. Try a love candle, when one partner wants to be intimate that evening, he lights the candle in the morning. It’s an easy and non-threatening way to let your partner now you’re feeling amorous. You both will have all day to think about it and get your brains involved in the activity.
Over time sex can become a tool for releasing sexual tension and not an experience that fosters romance and passion. Mix things up. Make love in a different room, try new positions, or introduce role play into the equation. Learn new techniques for providing pleasure to your partner.
There are myriads of ways to increase the pleasure you share together. Many couples find it difficult, awkward or embarrassing to ask for what they want to desire. Try love coupons with activities that might be out of the norm for you. Send one to your partner in a card and select a date to redeem them.
Many menopausal women have difficulty feeling aroused or achieving orgasm. Try tantric practices where you focus on one partner at a time to bring them to climax. Learning to allow your brain to relax and focus on one thing can help a woman’s body respond to sexual stimulation. There are many techniques that can help produce new sensations and open up new desires that may have been lying dormant. Oxytocin is often referred to as the “love hormone” because it compels us to be physically close and cuddle, especially after sex. Oxytocin helps us bond during certain types of human connection like hugging or sexual activity.
If you haven’t been intimate in a while, start by scheduling a make-out session. Just hugging, kissing and caressing can start to rebuild connection and passion. Pretend you’re in the backseat at the drive-in as a teenager. Remember how exciting that was?
As humans one of our basic needs is to feel connected and have a sense of belonging. Those feelings should be strongest with our life partner. Connection doesn’t just happen, it takes intention and action. What is it that you want more of in your relationship?
Create a plan with your partner to get out of your comfort zone and talk about intimacy issues. What is standing in your way? There is always a solution to intimacy issues, but you have to be willing to get uncomfortable and talk it through. Find a coach, a mentor, a clergyman to talk to if you don’t feel confident enough to discuss it on your own.