You're married! Congrats. Now that the glitz and excitement of the big day is over, it's time to focus on what really matters: sex. Obviously.
Having a healthy, mutually satisfying sex life is a key component of happy marriages. "After the excitement of the wedding day and settling into marriage, couples will often find that the quantity and quality of sex will take a downturn," sex expert Nikki Ransom-Alfred says.
This is clearly the last thing you want. To avoid any after-wedding downturn, check out these seven sex tips to keep newlywed sex hot for years to come.
Show plenty of affection
Affection is a very important part of a healthy sex life. When you're used to having someone around all the time, you can forget to be extra loving and tender. Be sure to kiss every day before you leave for work, never go to bed angry, and say "I love you" as often as you can.
Of course, it is often the case that couples confuse romantic intimacy with eroticism, or equate the two. While you're showing affection and being loving, be sure that you maintain a healthy balance of sexual desire. Don't think that just because you hold hands you're in the clear of hurdles. If you feel close to your partner, but are losing the sexual spark you once had—have an open and candid conversation and how you can bring that element back into the fold.
Have maintenance sex
Are you skipping out on sex? Don't do it (but do do it, literally). When you're in a long-term relationship, you have to make time for sex in your busy life. Sometimes this means scheduling sex for a certain time of day, or showing up for your partner when you might not be in the mood.
Sex is something that we often take for granted. We think we should only do it if we feel like it or if we have time. This can put sex on the back burner, taking away from overall satisfaction. Have maintenance sex, even if you're not in the mood. Sex promotes attachment and pair-bonding with your partner. It's a lot like hitting the weight room: You don't want to go, but once you do, you won't regret doing it.
Openly discuss what you want in bed
You're going to be married for, well, forever. You'd better be able to tell your partner about your fantasies. "Couples are often embarrassed to discuss sex with each other, even though they have it with each other," explains Ransom-Alfred. "Some are nervous to talk about their wants and desires for fear of being judged or turned down by the other."
Start by cultivating communication with your partner that allows not only for saying you're in the mood, but what you're in the mood for. Write down your top three sexual fantasies and have your partner do the same. Sometimes simply hearing what you're partner is into is a huge turn on. You can also try watching porn that fits into a shared fantasy. Erotic material helps get the mental juices flowing between partners.
Take risks with your sexuality
"It's common to become so comfortable in our relationship that we neglect we need to keep our sex lives new, fresh, and exciting," says Ransom-Alfred. "Marriage is forever, and you can't expect to have the same kind of sex for the rest of your lives. You will indeed get bored in the bedroom and that spells trouble for the marriage."
Don't get bogged down by monotony. If you're in a communicative, loving relationship, you should be able to challenge yourselves sexually. This will look different for different couples. Maybe you're interested in trying some light bondage or role play, maybe a sex toy could be introduced, perhaps you'd like to give anal a go. Whatever your interests are, don't be afraid to explore them.
Make foreplay, MOREplay
We have very backward ideas about what constitutes sex. We think if there isn't P in the V, it doesn't count. We somehow invalidate it. The truth is, penetrative sex is not the only kind of sex there is. You're no less intimate with your partner while engaging in oral sex or mutual masturbation than you are having penetration. Let your foreplay be an act in and of itself.
Start by agreeing that penetration does not always have to be the goal. The goal doesn't even need to be orgasm. It should be mutual satisfaction and building closeness. Sometimes you want to have a part of "sex," but are too tired or stressed for penetration. Maybe you just don't feel like having it, even if you're not stressed. That's completely fine. Taking the pressure to have penetrative sex off the table can create space for more adventurous, exciting sexual experiences.
Wear something that makes you feel sexy
If you are exhausted, stressed, and generally are not in the mood for sex—buy yourself something sexy to wear. It doesn't matter what it is as long as it makes you feel hot. For some, this might be lingerie and for others it could be a tight pair of jeans. The first step to getting yourself ready for sex is getting in the mindset. If you feel gorgeous and confident, you're going to be much more likely to want to do it.
Keep the bedroom smokin', but don't forget the rest of the house
Make your room a place you want to have sex. Keep sandalwood and lavender candles around the room, stick to soft lighting over fluorescent. Simple decor choices can make a big difference. You want your bedroom to be a tranquil, sexy place. Avoid bringing work into bed. Keep that space sacred.
That being said, don't relegate sex entirely to the bedroom. The kitchen, for instance, can be a fantastic place for erotic exploration. Need some tips? Check out our guide to getting it on around the house.