Being married to the same person for years and having fun in the sack don’t necessarily have to exclude one another. Desire shouldn’t have an expiration date. Sex in marriage shouldn’t have an expiration date!
However, the reality is that sex can sometimes feel repetitive in a long-term marriage . And while many people think that becoming more intimate with each other as time goes by will improve their sex life as well, that’s not always the case.
The reasons are many:
- one or two of the spouses have a low libido,
- they feel self-conscious about their bodies,
- or they want to experiment more in the bedroom but are afraid to say.
Even after a lot of years have gone by, there are plenty of things people still don’t share with their partners or consider a taboo. For some people, the responsibilities and chores of daily life are simply too overwhelming – having kids, for example, or experiencing financial issues might put a strain on the sex life as well.
But all of this doesn’t mean you have to forsake sex in your marriage even if it hasn’t been on the menu for quite some time now – or not as often as you’d like. On the contrary, rejuvenating your sex in marriage can bring a new edge to the whole experience. It can make it even more exciting than before once you and your partner figure out what you both want.
Now, I have to say, this issue is kind of a central topic on HaveSexWell because it’s a subject I feel strongly about. However, while there are many things to be said about the underlying problems that lead to lackluster married sex life, today I decided to focus on the more practical side of things. I also want to give you ideas that I’ve personally found to work for my marriage.
But first, I also think it’s a good idea to go over the basics once more.
What Ingredients Do You Need for a Healthy Sex Life in Marriage?
Investing time and effort into maintaining your relationship and keeping the spark alive is crucial. And that relies on the following:
- Love – this one sounds quite easy, right? Or pretty much implied? Of course, I don’t need to remind you that love is the glue that holds a long-term relationship together. It’s also the power that boosts the need to reinvent your sex life. If you find yourself not in love with your partner, however, then it might mean it’s time to reevaluate the type of relationship you’re currently having.
- Communication – this is another key component of a healthy marriage. Communication works as a catalyst when you want to reignite the spark. When I say communication I don’t mean talking for the sake of talking. I mean a meaningful exchange of whatever it is that’s going on in your lives. This includes your concerns, worries, desires, and needs. That’s the only way you can truly know what your partner wants – everything else is anyone’s guess.
- Attraction – I know people change in long-term relationships, both physically and psychologically. It’s perfectly normal. That’s why couples shouldn’t expect to look the same throughout the years. Accepting your spouse’s physical appearance and making them feel sexy and desired is how you both show you’re still putting an effort into your sexual relationship. Being attracted to one another is an ingredient that is sure to do magic for you in the bedroom.
- Time – making time for one another has become a rather hard thing to do nowadays. We’re often constantly overworked, tired, lacking concentration to do basic chores, let alone reinvent our sex lives. This ingredient also asks for the help of your will. It’s up to your will and willingness to set aside part of your day to spend with your partner, to have nice conversations, to dine together (date nights are always a good idea), to do stuff that you both love together, etc. All of this contributes to increasing the time you set aside for lovemaking, and its quality as well.
- Acceptance – this goes hand in hand with attraction, although at first, it might not seem like it. But accepting your partner for who they are and/or who they’ve become through the years (as long as they’re not abusive!) is definitely going to take off a lot of strain from your relationship. Everybody has a whole plethora of flaws, weird behavior, quirks and kinks, and they’re not always necessarily aware of them. That’s why acceptance is so important. Being constantly critical of your partner for every little thing they do is definitely a desire killer. And I’m talking here both short and term.
Now, since we got that out of the way, let’s go over some of the insights and tips on how to improve your sex life in marriage.
Be Open With Your Partner About Your Needs and Desires
As I mentioned earlier, communication is one of the key ingredients for a healthy marriage. The same goes for a healthy sex life in marriage.
But when I talk about talking, I don’t just mean stuff like ‘How was your day’. Or, ‘Do you want me to do the dishes today’ (which is also helluva nice, by the way). I’m talking about deeper conversations. Conversations that probe deeper into your own intimate selves, your sexual fantasies, your fears, your worries, and your needs. And that’s not that easy to talk about, but that also makes it more interesting and challenging.
What you need to remember is that these kinds of deeper conversations as a type of essential marital communication are an ongoing process. It’s not like you do the talk once and that’s it, you’re done for a lifetime. People change, marriages change, desires change, and so will your conversations – and that’s a good thing. It means you’re finding out more and more things about each other and supporting each other as you grow and your relationship matures.
Try Out Different Strategies for Igniting Desire in Your Partner
A good, healthy sex life also means trying out new stuff once in a while. After all, desire feeds on novelty. This way you’ll freshen up your approach and your partner will find it harder to anticipate your next move, which makes lovemaking a lot more exciting.
Get a Bit Kinky
Don’t be shy to try out stuff you’ve never done in the bedroom (but fantasized about), like for example some BDSM play, with or without the help of toys and paraphernalia. Getting out of your comfort zone can be an intimidating move, but it can lead you to a much more exciting place for you and your wife.
Talk with your partner about the type of sex play you want to implement in your marriage, as well as the thresholds both of you are willing to cross and the boundaries you need to establish.
Try Pleasuring Yourselves In Front of One Another
Masturbation is a great activity. It allows you to never be dependent on anybody for sexual pleasure, for starters. But, it also allows you to understand what it is you really like about sex. Through masturbation, you can learn the ways to personally achieve as much pleasure as possible. Masturbation relieves stress, it enhances your mood, it benefits the immune system and it definitely makes you a more relaxed individual, even if just for a little while.
That’s why it’s a good idea for both of you to try and pleasure yourselves in front of one another. It’s an exercise in intimacy, in vulnerability. I’s also a great way to show your partner where you want to be touched and how you want to be pleasured. And, yes, it does count as foreplay!
… And For Couples That Want to Go a Step Further
There’s a level up to this activity and it involves sex toys. So if you’re up for the challenge (and my warmest suggestion is that you should be – no pressure though!) you can use a remote-controlled sex toy and let your partner control it. This enhances sexual anticipation and gives foreplay a new edge that is bound to stimulate you even more.
Watch an Erotic Movie Together
When I say erotic movies I do mean erotic movies, but I also mean soft porn and regular, good old porn movies. Basically, whatever floats your boat!
You can also search for so-called “couple-friendly” categories of porn, female-friendly or feminist porn, if your wife’s more comfortable with it. But, of course, the most important thing is to share each other’s interests and desires. Communication really is key, I’m not just saying that. I mean, your wife’s deepest sexual fantasies might end up being gangbangs and golden showers, right?
Watching porn together helps you both find out what turns you on, and communicate those fantasies better. And who knows, just the very act of watching porn together might turn out to be a big turn-on in its own right!
… And For the Tad More Adventurous
Couples who consider themselves more adventurous can try and attend or participate in a sex convention. They usually last a couple of days, and you can find them almost everywhere throughout the country, all year-round.
Perhaps the most famous one in the USA is EXXOTICA, the largest of its kind. There you can find performances (such as pole dancing, for example), Q&A events where you can find out everything you wanted to know related to sex, exhibitions and presentations of the latest sex toys, and a whole smorgasbord of sex-related events.
What these conventions do is they give you space where you can enrich your knowledge of the various types of sex play through concrete examples. You can take classes on sex play or observe sex play in action, without participating in it of course (unless you really want to, I guess!).
So, in a short amount of time, you can have a bunch of new sex positions and ideas for pleasuring your partner that’ll make you all the more eager to return home and hit the sack immediately! Plus, there’s a good chance you’ll leave feeling frisky anyway.
It’s a known fact that stress is bad for any kind of relationship, including marriage. It’s also bad for sex, I don’t need to tell you that. Chances are, if you’re already experiencing rough or dry spells in the bedroom, stress probably has a lot to do with it.
That’s why it’s so important for you and your wife to regularly de-stress and try to vent it out in various ways. You can do it together or separately, whatever works, but as long as you both do it regularly.
You can try and de-stress in the following ways:
- Try meditation – meditation is a known way to reduce stress in your life;
- Talk about the deeper issues that concern you and learn to have hard conversations with your partner;
- Exercise regularly – this will help let all the bad energy outside while also keeping you healthy and fit;
- Talk to a therapist or psychologist;
- Set aside a time for what makes you happy – hobbies, interests, going to the movies, the theater, reading a good book, listening to music etc.
Consider Seeing a Sex Therapist
Some couples might feel reluctant to try this, I get that. But I heartily recommend it if you have trouble with intimacy and still consider sex a taboo subject. Sex therapists can also help you become more confident to openly discuss sex topics with your wife.
Now, why someone who’s reluctant to talk about sex would want to do it in front of a stranger? The truth is, sex therapists are equipped to deal with people struggling in this area. It’s their job to ask the right questions, so you and your spouse can open up and talk more about sex and intimacy-related issues in your marriage. And there are a lot of them out there that are doing it pretty well, helping lots of people along the way.
Sexuality is a really delicate subject. Even the most open and open-minded people sometimes have trouble talking about it. And this is especially true when it affects them personally (say, if there’s something wrong in their own sex life). You might be encountering low libido (low sex drive), for example. You might be having issues with premature ejaculation, or have erectile dysfunction. This is all perfectly normal. It happens to a lot of men out there and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.
A sex therapist can really help you and your partner talk it out as a couple. They’ll make sure there won’t be any blame games or saying any hurtful things in the spur of the moment.
Some well-renowned USA sex and couples therapists are Dr. Tammy Nelson, Celeste Hirschman and Danielle Harel, and the Centre for Love and Sex. I also encourage you to check out their websites, where you can find useful advice on relationships and sex.
I hope this article inspired you to try new things in the bedroom (even small changes count). But, I also have to say that there are tons more to explore on this topic! If your itch for sex-related advice has not been satisfied to the fullest, there’s plenty more where that came from! Be sure to check out the other resources on sex, intimacy, and marriage on my blog. Over and out!