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What one couple sees as hot in marriage, points out Emily Morse, Ph.D., ex therapist and host of the podcast Sex With Emily, "might look like an arctic freeze in another relationship. However, we can all agree what's not hot in a long-term union, and that's getting stuck in a sexual routine." You can keep your marriage from going stale and steer clear of a sex rut with these six experts secrets.
1. Amp up your anticipation.
Increase your desire for one another with moves that make you anticipate the main event, such as "sending your partner a racy sext or letting your foot explore up his leg at a family dinner," suggests Kat Van Kirk, licensed marriage and sex therapist. "Sometimes just introducing the idea that you want them is enough to get both of your motors running."
2. Make a sexy bucket list.
"Communication is the key to an exciting and satisfying sex life, and sharing your fantasies and desires with your partner will directly increase intimacy, and inspire plenty of new sexual explorations," says Morse. Sit down and write our at least three things you'd each like to try. For example, Morse says, you might write, "I'd like to experiment bondage," or "I have always wanted to make love on the beach." Then, she says, "start crossing sexual experiences off each other's lists. See how many you can knock out in a week, a month or even a year."
3. Don't wait until you become aroused.
"Research has shown that female sexual desire is most often reliant on physical stimulation," points out Van Kirk. "That may seem like you are putting the cart before the horse, but women don't tend to seek out sex on their own as much as men because we are not as physiologically driven by testosterone." So rather than "waiting for lightening to strike, take responsibility for your arousal by stimulating yourself or showing your partner how to," says Van Kirk.
4. Change locations.
"Sometimes mixing things up can be as simple as a change of scenery," says Morse. "If you want to break free from your familiar sex routine, take your sex life outside the bedroom." Consider sex in the shower, on the kitchen floor, or even your backyard, Morse suggests. "Be as daring and adventurous as you'd like as long as it's acceptable to both of you," she says. "The change of location adds the elements of spontaneity and novelty, both of which are key ingredients for spicing things up.
5. View sex as a tool.
It can be a tool to relieve stress, heal an argument, or more. "I know that doesn't sound sexy but trust me, it can be incredibly helpful when you use it in these ways," Van Kirk says. "It ends up allowing you to feel closer to your partner because sex and orgasm release the body's bonding hormone, oxytocin."
6. Get dressed up.
"If you want your relationship to be as hot as it was in it's early stages," Morse says, "start putting in that early-relationship effort. I'm not saying that every night needs to be an extravagant date night or that you need to get a blow-out and manicure for a night of Netflix and chill, but there are plenty of ways to make even the most routine couple activities sexy and exciting, and many of them involve showing a little skin." If lingerie isn't your thing, "you can always ditch the clothes altogether and rock the au natural look," Morse says. "Research shows that being naked is good for your health and for your confidence, which is good for your sex life."