When relationships are fresh and new, sex is usually pretty easy.
Your partner is hot and novel and all you really have to do is look at each other to get aroused. It’s pretty awesome. But, guys? It typically doesn’t last. That’s just the nature of long-term, monogamous relationships. One day, all you can think about is ripping each other’s clothes off; the next thing you know, Netflix and chill actually means Netflix…and chill.
Humans are wired for novelty, and our brains aren’t always that motivated to seek pleasure in ways that aren’t instant and easy. But it’s worth the effort. Getting to know someone and learning how to turn them on and please them can be really hot. Plus, although it takes some work, it’s fun work. The kind that involves having sex with your partner.
Are you with me?
1. Just have sex
Seriously. Just do it. Sometimes, getting down is a bit like going to the gym. You get home from work, and you’re like, ehhh, should I go? Should I just hang out? I’m kind of tired …
But once you get your sweat on, you end up being glad you came. Always.
The same goes for sex: You’ll be glad you came. So, rule number one is if your partner is interested in sex, consider entertaining the option. You don’t have to. ( And don’t force yourself if your body really isn’t on board.) Just … entertain the idea that it could be fun, even if you don’t feel like it right this moment.
2. Recognize that different people have different libidos at different times
It would be great if we could all be on the same page as our partners all the time, but it isn’t realistic. And, while having a mismatched level of desire for sex can be very frustrating, it’s also totally normal.
A study released in the U.K. in September reported that 15% of men and 34% of women reported being disinterested in sex for a period of three months or more over the past year. And, you know what? They had a lot of really solid reasons for not being into to getting it on. They cited health problems, depression, STI diagnoses and not feeling emotionally close to their partners as some key reasons for their lack of libido. These are things that just about all people face at some point in their lives and at some point in their relationships.
In other words, a drop in libido can be a totally normal response to other things that are going on in your life. While it’s important to address it in a relationship, it’s also a good idea to have some compassion for your partner (or yourself) if sex isn’t a top priority.
3. Schedule it if you have to
At Kinkly, we hear from so many people who are dead-set against putting sex in their schedules or to-do lists – as though we don’t schedule just about every other fun and important thing we do in our lives! We schedule dinner with friends, phone calls to our families, time at the gym. But sex?! No! Many people insist that sex is only good if it’s spontaneous.
Well, here’s the other thing. Spontaneity can be a bit of a luxury. If you’re at a point in your life where you have plenty of free time, hopping between the sheets with your partner whenever you’re feeling frisky might be an option. Take advantage of that, ya’ll.
But if you have a hectic job, a kid or two, a lot of family obligations, volunteer work, hobbies or some crazy combination of the above, your desire and face-time with your partner might not coincide. Like, ever.
Plus, look at it more positively: Scheduling sex gives you something to anticipate and look forward to. How can that be a bad thing?
4. Stay connected to your sexual self
Humans may be sexual beings, but for most people, life isn’t that sexy. If you want to keep your sex life humming along, you have to make some room for sexy thoughts, fantasies and feelings.
For some people, that can mean reading erotica. Others masturbate and use sex toys. Or maybe just carrying out your daily obligations with some really hot lingerie under those clothes is all it takes to help you stay in touch with that side of yourself.
If you haven’t felt sexy or thought about sex in some time, it might be time to make an effort to tap into that.
5. Mix things up
It’s hard to crave boring sex … so learn some new tricks and keep it from getting boring! Whether it’s sex toys, pornography, new sex positions, new locations – whatever floats your boat. Find ways to make your sex life exciting again and sex is bound to happen more often.
6. Talk about what’s important
I run a website whose mission is to help people have more and better sex, but that doesn’t mean that everyone should be striving for more active sex lives. Sometimes, couples settle into relationships without sex or with very little sex and are quite happy with it. Some people (and couples) are even asexual.
The key is that both partners need to feel that way. If one partner is happy to never have sex again while the other is totally desperate to get laid, well, there’s going to be some seriously unsustainable tension there. So, talk to your partner about what’s ideal for you, listen to what’s ideal for your partner, and then …
7. Be willing to negotiate
Remember how I said that you won’t always be on the same page as your partner? Well, what that means is that you’ll have to do that thing you have to do in other parts of your relationship: negotiate. Talk to your partner about your needs and try to find a way to meet in the middle.
For the less interested partner, that could mean being open to the idea of sex – or sexy activities like cuddling or making out – more often, watching porn together, using sex toys on each other or whatever other sexy ideas you can come up with. The idea here is to have compassion for your partner – whether because they’re much more frisky than you are or much less so – and find something you can both live with.
Sex doesn’t have to get boring and stale over time, but it will take more effort to keep things hot and everyone happy.