Five tips for spicing up your sex life

In the beginning of a relationship the new connection is usually filled sparks and intensity. The opening months, or even years, of a relationship are often filled with sexual fireworks, fiery nights of passion, and burning desires. After a while though the newness, the sense of urgency, can fade. It's not a sign of a lack of love or caring, but sex has a tendency to become predictable, familiar; it's less fireworks and more firecrackers - still good, but not amazing. Over time sex tends to happen less frequently as more pressing matters fill up our lives and relationships.

While there are more important things in a relationship than sex, for most of us sex is a significant factor in our happiness and connection with our partner. With that in mind, I'd like to share five tips for keeping the passion burning in the bedroom.

Hi, I'm Jay, and I'm a kinky, sex-positive fellow from Nova Scotia. I hope you'll join me in this exploration of ways to keep things spicy in long-term relationships.

Stress is the anti-sex

Often times when a couple's sex life slows down it's because so many other things are getting in the way. In particular, feeling tired or stressed can kill a person's sex drive. Are you pulling long hours at work? Overwhelmed from looking after the kids at home? Is your partner swamped with tasks around the home? Are you and your partner worried about money or feeling depressed? These sorts of concerns will tank a person's sex life faster than a speeding bullet.

So how do you counteract all this stress? If you're the one feeling worn down, try to find ways to clear space in your life for some quiet time. Take a little vacation, ask a friend to look after the kids, ask your partner for help with chores around the house. Try to find a way to give yourself a few hours off each week when you can unwind and recover. The more you feel rested and the less you are worried about, the better you'll feel and the more you'll be in the mood for sexy shenanigans.

On the other hand, if your partner is feeling overwhelmed, then see how you can help them get stuff off their plate. Offer to take the kids for a drive, suggest a weekend get away, try to help them create quiet time when they can rest or pursue hobbies. Once your partner feels more relaxed they are likely to be more interested in performing the horizontal tango.
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Plan for naughtiness

In the early stages of a relationship a new couple is often driven to explore each other, learn about each other, and bang each other's brains out. When we first start dating a person setting aside time to be with them is a deliberate act - you need to call or text them to make plans. You specifically set aside time to date, to talk, and to play Hide The Pickle.
No, not a literal pickle 

As time goes by we tend to fall into patterns. When a couple lives together you don't need to specifically set aside time to see each other, talk, bond, or be intimate. You see each other virtually every day, you eat together, you sleep together, you watch Netflix together every evening so it feels like we don't need to deliberately set aside time for dates or sex. Why plan a date with someone you eat dinner with every night?

This sense of routine, this casualness when it comes to spending time together, is comfortable, but not at all sexy. If you're both cuddled on the couch in sweat pants to watch TV then you're spending time together, but you're not engaging with each other. You're not focused on each other or actively connecting. In a completely understandable, non-malicious way, coulpes start to take each other for granted.

If you find yourself wondering how you can spend so much time in the same house together while not tearing each other's clothes off, it's probably because neither of you are making plans to date or have sex. It may happen occasionally, but often as more of a happy accident than a deliberate action.

Perhaps the best advice I can offer to any long-term couple who feel like the spark is fading in their relationship is to plan a date. Ask your partner out. Get someone else to watch the kids or pets, make reservations at a restaurant, go shopping for lingerie together, light some candles around the bedroom. Basically, treat your partner like you're still courting them, make it clear you put thought into spending time with them, make it clear you're setting aside time speifically to be with them.

Some people claim that planning for sex kills the sense of being spontanious. I'm not saying you and your partner should get out your calendars and decide specifically to have sex at 2:30pm on Saturday. I am saying that you should ask your parnter on a date and make a plan. Maybe sex grows out of that and maybe it doesn't. However, I'm fairly certain sex is more likely to happen during that date than if you both crash on the couch that afternoon and debate what to stream on Disney+.

Variety is the spice of life

You know what's hot? Being blindfolded and not knowing where your partner is going to touch you next. Being tied to a tree in the woods while your partner goes down on you. Having your partner move you into a new position you haven't experienced before. Quickly making love somewhere you might get caught. Wondering if the buzz of your descreet vibrator can be heard over the background hum of the restaurant while you are trying to focus on eating. Seeing your partner in new lingerie.

What is less hot is routine, predictability. Having sex at the same time in the same way with the same toys (or lack of) every week will take the excitement out of sex. When the excitement, the newness, the sense of anticipation fades, then so does desire.

If you find yourself getting into a routine, if you find yourself knowing how sex is going to go this weekend before it even begins, then it's time to change things up a little. I'm not suggesting anything overly wild. I'm not saying you need to install a trapeze in the bedroom or invite supporting guest stars into your love making. But you should consider what you could be going differently, what new element you could surprise your partner with.
Oh it's already installed? 

Do they have a fantasy they want to try, did you see a new vibrator you think they might like? Have you tried adding a little kink to your bedroom activities or taking naughty pictures of each other? Sex with a new partner is intoxicating, in part, because it's new and exciting. Introduce new elements with your long-term partner. Have sex in a new location, try a new position, buy a new toy together, find a way to introduce new sensory play, incorporate a blindfold or light bondage into your sex life.

Communication is sexy

The previous two suggestions I made (planning dates and incorporating variety) both require good communication with your partner to make things run smoothly. You can't just set a date for Saturday night without making sure your partner is available at that time. Likewise, you shouldn't try to introduce new toys or kinky activities into your sex life without talking them out with your partner first.

Good communication - sharing your ideas and fantasie with your partner and really listening to their thoughts - is hot. Learning about each other, hearing what desires you both have, figuring out what fantasies you might have in common is sexy.
I'm excited already and I can't even hear what she is saying! 

When it comes to your desires - your interest in sex toys, what you want to have done to you in the bedroom, or have done to you - my policy is to communicate early and communicate often. Let your partner know you want to take them on a date, let them know you're thinking about them. Tell them what you want to do with them. Text them your fantasies, message them to tell them you saw new lingerie you want to buy, ask them what they want to do to you tonight.

Communicating your wants, inviting your partner to share theirs, making sure you're on the same page, letting them know you're thinking of them, desiring them all day will keep sex on both of your minds and make it easier to ingnite passion when your date happens.

Engage all the senses

A chef once told me that "People eat with their eyes first." By which he meant taste is not the first sense you use when experiencing food. Before the first bite touches your tongue you get to see what your food looks like. You also get to smell it, breathe it in. Depending on which restaurant you are in, you might hear your meal sizziling in the pan before it even gets within your eyesight. In short, despite taste being one of the key components of any meal, it is one of the last senses to be engaged when you're sitting down to eat.

As a result, my chef friend believes you should already be craving your food before you get your hands on it. You should already be excited to take that first bite, long before having any idea what the food tastes like.
I already want it! 

I recommend approaching sex the same way as the chef approches preparing a meal. Before you hop into bed, before you tear off each other's clothes, try to engage more of your (and your partner's) senses. Plan out a scene and tell your partner about it, engaging their imagination. Try on some lingerie to engage the eyes. Tell your partner about your fantasies or how you're feeling about the sexy play you're about to enjoy together to engage their ears. Shower ahead of time so you smell nice before you're even in the same room together. Consider having some ice or warmed objects on hand to engage their sense of hot and cold.

The idea here is to get their minds and bodies excited for your touch long before you lay a finger on their skin. Before you tangled yourself in the sheets, try to have yourself looking, smelling, and sounding like someone they want to make love with. The more senses you can entice prior to touching them, the more eagerly they will be anticipating, perhaps even craving, feeling your hands and lips on their body.

In summary, help your partner relax, make a plan to spend time together being intimate, talk about what fantasies you both have, explore new activities together, and try to engage as many of your lover's senses as possible during foreplay. This will make sex less routine, more varied, and more exciting - hopefully for both of you.