5 Ways to Spice up Sex in Your Marriage

Simple Tips for Overcoming a Dry Spell

couple under bed sheets
Creative RF/Getty

Every couple will go through periods when they either have less sex or have it less enthusiastically. While "dry spells" like these are perfectly normal, they can sometimes place undue stress on a couple or even bring the relationship into question.

If this happens, there are simple adjustments you can make to spice up your sex life without resorting to extreme or potentially awkward measures.

Here are 5 tips that can help:

Communicate

If the sexual intimacy in your marriage is lacking, do not ignore it. Find a quiet place and time to speak with your partner, expressing your concerns and feelings rather than pointing out specific grievances or incidents. Doing so will remove blame from the conversation and allow you to focus on improving your relationship as a couple.

By having you both onboard, willing and able to try new things, you have already planted the seed for change. In essence, you've given each other "permission" to broaden your horizons and discuss things that may have been previously off-limits.

It is equally important to acknowledge that change is a process, not an event. By removing the pressure to change things immediately, you can gradually ease into a new stage in your relationship rather than effecting changes you are unable to sustain.

Discuss Sexual Problems

Sweeping sexual problems under the rug will only make them worse.

For example, if you or your partner has erectile dysfunction (ED), hearing "it can happen to anyone" will often sound more like a platitude than a means to a solution. Similarly, if the ED persists and you decide to "work around it," it will only serve to signal that you are resigned the problem.

The same applies if intercourse causes you pain, but you decide to grin and bear it. You may think that you're doing your partner a favor by remaining silent, but he or she may read your gritted expression as a lack of interest.

The solution to this? Talk. By addressing physical problems, rather than looking the other way, you are more able to treat them. Sure, there won't always be guaranteed fixes, but there are almost always alternatives (including sex toys or oral sex) that can enhance your sex life if you keep an open mind.

Exercise

Sex is physical as well as psychological. Working out regularly will invariably increase your libido by making you stronger, reducing end-of-day fatigue, and helping you feel better about your body and appearance. Exercise also stimulates the production of the feel-good hormone dopamine, lifting both your spirits and sexual desire.

Instead of sitting in front of the TV each night, start with regular brisk walks to get your heart pumping and muscles moving. Resistance training can help build lean muscle and burn fat, while yoga or pilates can increase your flexibility in and out of bed.

Mix Things Up

If you want to truly spice up your sex life, always ensure that there is some element of surprise when having sex. It doesn't necessarily have to be a huge surprise. Instead, try mixing things up—a little here, a little there—to keep things fresh.

You can do this in several ways:

  • Try new sexual positions. You can even purchase a book on sexual poses and try them out one after the next, discovering which ones you enjoy and which ones you don't.
  • Get verbal. "Dirty talk" can be a huge turn-on for some partners. Even verbalizing that you're enjoying sex can make a huge difference if you are used to being quiet.
  • Have sex out of the bedroom. This aim here is to break with the routine by having sex in places you don't typically associate with sex, such as the living room or kitchen.
  • Change the times you have sex. As with location, mix things up and have sex at times other than bedtime. While spontaneity is great, you may need to schedule the liaison when the opportunity is most suitable. Even so, the anticipation can be arousing.
  • Use sexual enhancements. As consenting adults, don't limit yourself to the things you can bring into the bedroom. Add fantasy to your sex life by reading an erotic novel to your partner or watching porn together. There is today a wealth of sex toys you can purchase online to explore any sexual interest. So long as you are both honest about what you like and don't like, make every effort to broaden your sexual horizons.

    Seek Professional Help

    Some intimacy issues take more than just a change of scenery to resolve. If you find that you are unable to overcome these issues, seek professional help. This may include a sex therapist who can work with you to identify and overcome sexual problems or a couples counselor who can help you work through relationship problems.

    There may also be deeper seeded issues that are indirectly affecting your sex life, such as anxiety or depression. For this, you may need a psychologist or psychiatrist. Treatment may involve cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), stress-reduction techniques (like mindfulness meditation or guided imagery), or short-term drug therapy.

    If faced with emotional barriers like these, try working together as a couple to remain supportive, honest, and non-judgmental. It can make your relationship stronger and help regain the intimacy you so crave.