Spice Up Your Sex Life

This blog is a spinoff from my Spice Up Your Date Night blog. For all kinds of reasons, any couple can get into a sexual rut. If allowed to persist, these ruts can lead to mixed signals in the bedroom, less frequent sex, sometimes even no sex at all! Here are few tips that have helped my clients revive their sexually struggling relationships.

 

Go to Bed Angry AND Get It On!

Angry sex is acceptable and enjoyable! Most people believe we “can’t go to bed angry” or “sex will make him/her think all forgiven.” False! Sex is a natural behavior for humans. The part of the brain that is triggered by anger is the same part triggered during sex. Therefore, it’s natural to want sex when angry even if you haven’t made up. Another benefit of angry sex is focusing a bit more on your own needs than your partner’s needs. As I discuss with many clients, it’s all right to be a little selfish in bed at times! Plus, during this moment, you might focus a little more on yourself, which is also acceptable.

 

That Old Trunk Holds WHAT?   handcuffs-1503841_1920

No one likes eating the same thing every night!  Wink wink.  One way to add variety and spice to your sexual diet is to be adventurous with different toys or activities. For example, create an adult toy box with your partner. Regularly add to the toy box, and replace when things get worn out. And no adult toy is pleasurable with dust all over it: don’t forget to use the toy box on a regular basis. Do you find yourself ‘forgetting’ about using those toys or feeling embarrassed talking about using the toys? Create a code word or system to let your partner know you’re excited to use a certain toy. I suggest clients put the toy on top of the toy box, on the bed, or another place to indicate to your partner you want to play!

 

Not Your Average Romantic Getaway

Not tantra-389099_1920into toys or curious about a more advanced activity? Find an adult workshop in your area such as a couple’s retreat to build more intimacy and closeness, a tantra workshop to tap into your inner sexuality, or a kink workshop to learn ‘the ropes’ of bondage.

Many of my clients have also had success planning a sexcation: a vacation centered around sex and intimacy! Book a nice cabin in the woods or a ritzy hotel room for the weekend. Pack your favorite toys and sexy outfits (or no outfits at all!), leave your phone(s) and other devices off, and enjoy the time with your partner. To spice things up even more, plan your own spa times giving and receiving massages or facials! Who says you need to leave the room on vacation?

 

Kick Aging in the Butt!

You and your partner aren’t as young as you once were though that doesn’t mean your sex life has to suffer. Don’t let aging get in the way of your sex life! Talk to your doctor or sex therapist if there are changes in erectile functioning or if vaginal pain occurs. Yes, I know it’s embarrassing talking about these issues with your doctor, but it’s important! Although many causes of male and female sexual dysfunction are harmless, some sources could cause more long-term damage or chronic medical conditions. Especially as we age, it’s vital to stay on top of all medical issues, not just sexual ones, because we have a more difficult time recovering. Have you started a new medication and noticed a decline in sexual desire or function? Talk to your doctor as well. Making a small adjustment to a medication or trying a different medication is all it takes to resume a great sex life.

I work with many clients on embracing the present and learning a “new normal” for sexual functioning. Our bodies might not work like they did 10 or 20 years ago – but they still work! Embrace your age and change. Sometimes, it’s easier to accept the present than to try to replicate the past. After accepting the body’s new normal, many clients create a new and satisfying sex life with their partners and themselves!

 

Make Sex a Priority

Let the house stay dirty! Who wants to waste time and energy on boring chores when couple-731890_1920you can have sex?! We often get caught up in our daily routine that puts sex on the back burner. Before you know it, a month has gone by without sex! Of course, we need to take care of ourselves and our households, but sex is as important a part of a household being ‘whole’ as buying groceries, cleaning the kitchen, mowing the lawn. Indeed, sex is more important, because the intimacy that sex is part of is the whole reason we choose to have partners, to live and grow with them, in the first place. The chores will always be there, but time for sex may be limited, by schedules, children, medical conditions, or work. Even better, make a sexy game or reward out of the chores! The guests won’t know what really happened in the bathroom!

The Rules in a Relationship: Building a Foundation for Success

The other morning, I was driving to the gym flipping through morning talk show stories to find actual music. Yes, I’m THAT person who doesn’t care about the talk, but just wants music to wake me up. On this particular morning, one segment caught my ear. A female listener was recently engaged. Her best friend, who lives out-of-town, was coming to visit and had never met her new fiancé. Apparently, an idea was concocted to have the best friend flirt or hit on the fiancé to test his reaction. My disclosure is that I only heard ten minutes of this segment and that I may not have received all the details of the story, nor do I actually know this woman or her family. What I gathered, from the part of the segment I heard, is that the majority of listeners did not agree with or condone this plan, and people wanted to know WHY one would test their partner in such a way.

couple back to back

The question now is not WHY would one want to test a partner, but what is the STORY behind this behavior? As a relationship and couple therapist, I don’t just look at the two people sitting in front of me. I look at the two people and the two different families that created each person. I also look at each person as a unique individual that (hopefully) developed his/her OWN beliefs in life. My question would be, “Does this relationship work for you both?” If so, you don’t have a problem. If not, then let’s look at how to make the relationship work for both of you. Couples can create rules in their relationship that others might not agree with or support. This is not a problem. The problem is when both people in the partnership do not agree. Continued use of behaviors that create tension can lead to many problems in a relationship, including but not limited to, loss or decrease of:

1. Sexual desire

2. Communication

3. Time spent together

4. Shared decision-making

5. Intimacy (not to be confused with sexual desire). The list could go on.

What one should take from this radio segment is not judging this couple before knowing the rules of their own relationship, whether you would incorporate this into your relationship or not. What one should think about is “Am I happy in MY relationship?”

holding.hands

 

Photo 1 Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net from the portfolio of “David Castillo Dominici”
Photo 2 Credit:  FreeDigitalPhotos.net from the portfolio of “arztsamui”

Spice Up Your Date Night! Part 2

In Part 1, we talked about reasons to spice up your date nigh with tips to start making your sex/dating/love life better. Part 2 will gives you ideas to create your own “Spice Up Your Date Night Bucket List.”

  • Couples Massage:    If you enjoy massages alone, why not get them as a couple? There are no rules to couples massages! You can choose to talk or not talk, sleep or not sleep, partially clothed or nude.  It’s up to you and your partner!  From my experience, great massage therapists will discuss with you (and your partner) your expectations of the experience.  Want to make this time together MORE hands on?  Find a massage therapist who offers classes on giving massages to others and do it at home with your partner!
  •  Boudoir Photo Shoot:    Who says sexy photos are just for Victoria Secret models?  Don’t tell me your body is not “right” for lingerie or photos.  Your body is what you want it to be and what your partner likes!  Why not show it off for you and that special person in your life? Make it a date and go together for a session or go solo and surprise your special someone with a portfolio!  Again, communicate your needs and wants with your partner and the photographer!  Tell them what YOU are comfortable with doing and what you are not comfortable doing. You don’t want to show too much skin? Then, DON’T!  Make the time enjoyable for you BOTH.
  • Park Picnic:    A spiced up date doesn’t always have to be at night, right?  Plan a day in the park!  Do you like to eat?  Take a picnic!  Do you like to be active? Plan some games or activities.  Looking for something more romantic? Plan an evening picnic dinner with wine, candles, blankets; whatever gets you in the mood.
  • Teach your partner a skill:    I’m an advocate that partners can have differing interests and hobbies, but why not teach each other something you’re good at and enjoy?  This suggestion also comes from blog reader too!  Do you enjoy cooking, woodwork, gardening, shooting guns, playing a sport/game, etc? Take a day or half a day to teach your partner. There is nothing wrong with sharing your hobbies; just communicate your expectations and boundaries with your partner.  If you have regular time with a group doing your hobby, state your need to keep that time without your partner. If your partner ends up enjoying the hobby, negotiate time for him/her to join or time for you both to enjoy together.
  • Learn something new together:    Have you always wanted to learn or try and new skill or hobby?  Grab your partner and go! Like the above suggestion, you might find a hobby you both enjoy or that you enjoy separately!
  • Erotic Workshop:    Want to explore your more sensual side together?  Check out an erotic class or workshop.  Explore adult stores or dance studios for classes and workshops. As with many of the suggestions in this blog, communication is the key!  Communicate with your partner your interests and comfort level as well as respect each others opinions and comfort levels.

Interested in any of the above?  Add them to your own “Spice Up Your Date Night Bucket List” as well as check out local area resources! Have suggestions?  Go to the contact page and email me!  You never know if you’ll see them in a future blog!

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Spice Up Your Date Night! Part 1

I don’t care what anyonmedium_5984718411e says, but you are never too old to add a little spice to your life!

A common concern I hear from many couples (and individuals too!) is their romantic and intimate life has become boring.  After hearing story after story, the common pattern for relationships is falling into the “same old” routine. Here are just a few reasons I’m told:

  •  “We only go to the movies for dates.”
  • “We can’t go out during the week!  We have kids!”
  • “We just stopped doing the things we did when we were dating.”
  • “Only attractive and sexy people/couples do those things!”
  • “We just don’t have time during the day.”

When was there a law created that said couples, after a certain time together, can only sleep, work, run errands, clean house, and maybe go to dinner or a movie once a week?  Who said that parents aren’t allowed to go out during the week?  Again, who created a law that only “attractive” people can have “spicy” lives together?

This is my two cents (ok, maybe three cents…),

First, MAKE TIME FOR SPICE!  Before you can actually ADD spice to your life, YOU MUST MAKE TIME FOR IT!  Schedule a date night and make it just as important as your cardiology workup, afternoon gym session, or holiday dinner with the family!  Put it on your schedule and in your budget if you must.

Second, think about what USED to excite you or what you looked forward to on a date with your partner.  Think about activities you never tried, but WANTED to try. Create a list of activities or dates. Call it your “Date Night Spice Bucket List.”  Put that list in a place you will remember and see often so it is a constant reminder of what you need and deserve.

Third, forget about what others will think!  This is for YOU and your partner (or just you if you so choose!).  If we were talking about paying your bills or fixing dinner or your next vacation, would it matter what your best friend/cousin/sister/mother in-law thought?  Right.  Then why are your intimate Spice up date night imageor romantic activities any different?

In Part 2 of this blog, Courtney will give you ideas to create your own “Date Night Spice Bucket List!”

 

 

 

 

photo credit (photo 1):  PhotoPin.com