No matter how much we love our partners, no couple is immune to falling into a sexual rut. In fact, research says that we’re all having less sex than most people think.
But sex can still be an important part of human life, and multiple studies have shown that sex can be good for our bodies and our brains.
So for those interested in getting out of a sexual rut, read on for easy suggestions to reignite the spark.
Get re-acquainted with your partner.
Life happens. It can be difficult to reconnect with our partners when busy schedules and the trials of everyday life take so much of our attention. It’s worth setting aside some time to get to know your partner again.
“Set your alarm 30 minutes early, or go to bed intentionally early. By segmenting time specifically for sex, you’ll never just forget, as well as give yourself a chance to look forward to it,” Stephanie Alys, chief pleasure officer at MysteryVibe previously suggested to INSIDER.
Have a discussion about sex.
Instead of treating sex as a taboo subject, set aside some time to talk about and discuss your sexual needs, what you want out of your partner, and any fantasies you may have that you’d like to explore.
“Really asking for what you want is a huge step towards having a better and more fulfilling sexual relationship. Remember, couples that have great sex do so because they have talked about it,” licensed marriage and family therapist Lisa Thomas wrote in Psychology Today.
Start being more playful.
Start flirting again. Do some fun things you don’t normally do with your partner, and see where things go from there. “Go sex toy shopping!” Dr. Agenala Gunn, a therapist, wrote for Talkspace. “Try intimate touch in new places … at a park under a blanket, under the table at a restaurant, in the car, on a secluded beach.”
Having fun with your partner in new ways can help reignite a spark.
Watch pornography together.
It might seem like a taboo subject, but experts often recommend indulging in your favourite pornography together. Whether you take in some steamy erotic fiction or find something online to watch together, there’s something out there for everyone.
Loveline host Dr. Chris Donaghue, speaking to Fatherly, said that watching porn together “allows us to learn about a partner’s sexual interests, to get creative ideas for new sexual activities, to amp up the arousal, and to keep things new and novel.”
Try different ways of having sex.
In Psychology Today, Vanessa Marin MA, MFT wrote, “One of the best ways to prevent boredom and breathe new life into the bedroom is to explore your sexual boundaries together. Most couples don’t explicitly communicate their boundaries with each other, so a lot of couples don’t actually know where they stand on the behaviours and fantasies they feel comfortable experimenting with.”
There are many ways to experiment – from different sexual acts to role play – but make sure to talk to your partner about what they feel comfortable doing.
Take a sex class.
American Sex Podcast co-host Sunny Megatron told Healthline, “Taking a couples’ sex class can open up a whole new avenue of sex play.“
Whatever you want to experiment with or learn, there’s likely a couples’ sex class for that.
Masturbation helps people get to know their own likes and dislikes.
Experts agree that masturbation is a normal human drive and can help people get to know their own likes and dislikes when it comes to sex.
Writing for Psychology Today, sex therapist Laurie J Watson says: “Masturbation usually begins in childhood and is often a part of an adult’s life even if they have a good and satisfying sexual relationship with a partner. While it may feel shameful to admit, everybody does it at some (most) point(s) in their lives and it is a natural part of being a sexual being.”
If you’re still not convinced, perhaps read up on the purported health benefits of masturbation.
Work on combating negative thoughts during sex.
It’s important to feel comfortable and confident when having sex with a partner. That being said, having negative thoughts during sex (especially about our own bodies) can make the act less enjoyable.
“If your brain is running a feedback loop of reasons you’ve picked up along the way – about how you should feel guilty about sex or maybe that your body is too fat or ugly or, well, whatever – it’s time to stop it in its tracks,” Dr. Sadaty told Everyday Health. “Recognise the thought when it appears and change it to a more helpful one.”
Create a “sex menu.”
A sex menu might sound alarming but it’s actually quite simple. Making one entails thinking about your past sexual experiences and considering what you liked and did not like about your sexual experiences.
Then, you put all the things you liked in one column (main course), the things you didn’t like in another (poison), and in the final column, you put the things you want to try (dessert).
Next, you discuss your menu with your partner and figure out which things you and your partner would like to try.
“Menus help create variety, and they also help couples expand their definition of sex,” counselor Wendi Dumbroff previously told INSIDER. “Not everything on a menu may be appealing to both partners. One member of the couple may need to find other ways to satisfy certain needs they have if their partner is not open to sampling items which are important to them.”
Try sex therapy.
Going to therapy with your partner can be incredibly beneficial to your sex life.
“Sex therapists can help you navigate uncomfortable discussions, explore what mental blocks may be affecting your sex life, and provide you with additional referrals and resources to deepen your intimacy,” relationship and sexuality expert Eliza Boquin, MA, LMFT previously told INSIDER.
Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more.