When we begin a new relationship, everything is fun, exciting and playful.
But as the honeymoon period fades and the realities of life creep in (hello needing to get up early for work, pay the bills, attend to the kids and stay relatively sane) things can get a little routine.
And I don’t just mean your day to day life.
Here’s what couples often describe to me when they show up for therapy for the first time:
We’re barely intimate any more. When it does happen, we’re usually tired and at least one of us tries to get it over with quickly. We’ve figured out exactly what works for us, so it tends to happen in the same way each time… We’re not even sure how to start changing things now.
Many couples hit a bit of a rut.
And they’re not sure what to do about it.
There’s no “silver bullet” to breaking your routine and bringing the fun, playfulness and ease back into your intimate life. But there are small steps you can take that, accumulated, make a big difference.
Here are science-backed ways to bring variety and playfulness back to your bedroom:
- Create a culture of open communication about sex
Most of us weren’t taught to talk about sex and there can be a lot of emotion attached to it when we’re struggling in our sex life, but we need to find the courage to start the conversation if we want to make change.
Research has repeatedly shown that couples who can talk about sex well have better sex.
A culture of open communication about sex includes understanding each other’s wants and fears. It allows you to work as a team to create intimacy that you both enjoy.
- Bring playfulness and variety back to your life
Fun, playful sex doesn’t start and end in the bedroom. Having playfulness and variety in your daily lives is essential for having it in your bedroom.
In long-term relationships, couples have often lost their sense of fun and playfulness with each other – and within themselves. In their 40+ years of research, John and Julie Gottman found this sense of fun and playfulness is essential for a happy relationship and to induce romance and passion.
- What did you use to do together that was fun?
- When do you remember laughing most together?
- How can you build more of this into your current relationship?
Consider creating date nights just for this purpose.
- Learn how to give specific feedback
Have you ever held back from giving your partner feedback about sex because you were afraid of how they’d react? Or you didn’t want to offend them?
Many of us (especially women) have.
But, the reality is, most of us want more direction in the bedroom. We all feel unsure about whether we’re pleasing our partner at times and want to feel confident that we’re doing what they like. Being able to give and receive feedback allows you to do this.
Body Mapping, one of my favourite exercises to share in coaching, is a great way to learn to do this. Download it HERE.
- Set aside time for intimacy
We need to make time for what’s important to us. That includes our relationship and intimacy.
If you’re leaving intimacy until when you fall into bed at the end of a long day, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to fully relax and enjoy yourself.
Consider making time for sexual connection when you know you won’t be too tired or be interrupted. I know this can be a challenge when you have kids, so you might need to get creative. Some couples I’ve worked with have one night a week they go to bed early, others wake up early on weekends, or choose an afternoon when their kids are out.
Make it a priority and you’ll find the time.
- Introduce a pleasure toy
Pleasure toys are a fun way to enhance sensation and pleasure in your bedroom.
There’s a whole range of pleasure toys (and ways to use them) available.
You can start with an all over massage using a vibrator like the Lelo Lily 2, gradually working your way towards the genitals.
You can use a couples toy like the We-Vibe Sync during lovemaking to increase your chances of reaching orgasm.
You can show your partner exactly how you like to be stimulated using a personalised toy like the We-Vibe Rave.