5 Ways to Spice up Sex in Your Marriage

Simple Tips for Overcoming a Dry Spell

When it comes to sex, even the most deeply committed and head-over-heels-in-love couple will go through periods when intimacy happens rarely or not at all. Usually, there's an obvious and logical reason for this—the birth of a baby, say, or a financial setback that has both partners feeling stressed.

But a lack of physical closeness can put a significant strain on a relationship, so it's important to prevent a temporary dry spell from reaching the level of a no-end-in-sight drought. Start by making sure the problem isn't due to a physical issue (erectile dysfunction, say, or vaginal pain during intercourse); if that seems to be the case, the partner who's affected should see a doctor.

Equally important, be sure you're on the same page about climbing out of your intimacy rut; if you aren't, you may want to see a sex therapist or couples counselor to figure out if there's a relationship issue that needs to be resolved. This often can be done through therapy, stress-reduction techniques, or medication to treat an issue like depression or anxiety.

But if both of you are functioning normally and both of you are unhappy about the downturn your sex life has taken, there are all sorts of things you can do together to spice things up. Here are some ideas that have worked for other couples who've found themselves in the same bedroom slippers—um, shoes. Feel free to alter any that appeal to you to fit your own the sensibilities and lifestyle.

Having the Sex Talk With Your Partner

Do Something New

This could be just about anything you and/or your partner is curious about or has always wanted to experiment with. Try different positions or have sex somewhere other than your bedroom. It could your kitchen, the shower, the hammock in your backyard (as long as you have privacy there), the back seat of your car (just be sure to park where it's legal!), or a hotel.

If your idea of experimentation means getting a little kinky, shop for some sex toys together in person or online, or play around with safe and gentle forms of bondage (blindfolds or handcuffs, for instance).

And finally, consider non-sexual pursuits. Sometimes taking up a new hobby together can fuel a renewed interest in intimacy simply by breaking your daily routine and allowing you to have different kinds of experiences together.

Turn On With Porn

There's plenty of it out there and much of it is geared toward monogamous couples both straight and gay. Watching an erotic film with your lover can help get you both into the mood in the moment. It also can be a terrific source of sexy ideas to try, so it may be worth a few solo sneak peeks if you're looking for something new to surprise your partner with. You might also consider reading erotica to each other.

Use Your Words

Of course, this can mean talking dirty if either of you is so inclined and know that you'll find it arousing to hear your loved one utter certain words or phrases during sex. But it also means speaking up about what feels good and what doesn't. Women, in particular, can be shy about giving directions to a lover during sex, and that's understandable.

At the same time, though, by not expressing how or where you want to be touched, for example, you not only cheat yourself of pleasure you also deprive your partner of the thrill of knowing that he or she has made you feel as awesome as possible. If saying words is truly too difficult, then try physically directing your partner with your hands.

Put Sex on the Calendar

Spontaneity is overrated—particularly, in these over-scheduled times. If you and your partner are always waiting around for the perfect moment or for the mood to strike, you may be waiting around a lot, so sit down together and figure out when you both have time for sex and write it into your datebooks or your electronic diary or whatever you use to keep track of appointments.

And don't just choose a date and time—make more specific plans: Choose a place, a room, even a fantasy you might want to act out. By setting the stage as much as possible beforehand you also seed anticipation that can blossom into full-on arousal by the time you come together.

Make the Most of Your Smart Phone

Your text-sending, selfie-taking electronic device has the potential to be a thousand times more arousing than the techiest vibrator if you use it right. As long as you know your lover will be able to receive them in private, start sending sexts and erotic photos of you or what you'd like to do with him or her when the two of you can be alone. And when that happens? Be sure that you both turn off your devices so that you focus on turning each other on.

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