How to Improve Your Sex Life

Sex is more than a physical release, it is a way to intimately connect with another human. But sometimes distractions can interfere with your ability to connect with your partner. Maybe it's work, school, or kids that dominate your time. Whatever your distraction is, sex is often the thing that gets kicked to the curb in your relationship. You don't have to let life get in the way of having the sex that you want to have, though. Keeping your sex life fresh and exciting is easy if you communicate and make an effort as partners to spice things up and have fun with each other in the bedroom (and elsewhere).

Spicing it Up

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    Explore your own body. To feel comfortable and intimate with a partner, feel comfortable and intimate with yourself. This includes being connected to your body and your feelings.[1] Feel free to experience and express the way you feel. Learn how you like to be touched, what turns you on, and how your body reacts to different stimulus. You can explore your body with your partner, too.
    • Using a vibrator can help a woman explore her own sexual responses, and can show her partner what she enjoys.[2]
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    Relax before sex. Use some relaxation techniques before becoming intimate with your partner. This will help take the focus off of performance. Strive to enjoy every moment of the experience. Take some deep breaths and consciously relax tight muscles.[3]
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    Concentrate on foreplay. Sometimes sex can start to feel scripted, like you're moving quickly from A to B to C. Slow down and focus on sensuality before diving into sex. Foreplay is about exciting both partners equally.[4]
    • Trade massages before you have sex, and spend a particular length of time exploring each other's bodies before you're allowed to move on. Make the touching part of sex as long and luxurious as possible. Put on soft music and make an evening of it. Take your time.
    • Focus on pleasuring your partner and giving excitement. Then, revel in pleasure when it’s returned to you.
    • Many women benefit most from clitoral stimulation during foreplay.[5]
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    Take your time. Don’t approach sex as something to do and then get done. Slow down and enjoy every aspect of sex. Experience the pleasure of being touched, and return the touch to your partner. Enjoy touching and being touched. Engage in non-sexual touching before moving onto sexual touch. Enjoy the feeling of your partner’s body and take it slow.[6]
    • Practice sensate focus. This exercise helps build trust and intimacy over a gradual period of time (20–40 minutes), and helps relieve performance anxiety. Taking turns, engage in increasing touch with your partner. First start with non-sexual touch to your partner, touching the torso, arms, legs. Then include increasing sexual touch, around the breasts/nipples and groin area, but not touching genitals. Finally, engage in more sexual touch, including genital touch or light stimulation. You can choose to engage in sex afterward.
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    Be spontaneous. One of the most common ways a sex life can become mundane is that it becomes a routine. Maybe you only ever have sex in the mornings, or on particular days when you get a break from work, school, or kids. Spice things up by having sex at unexpected times, in unexpected ways, or in unexpected places. Further, don’t be afraid to masturbate; masturbation can be a healthy part of a relationship.[7] (This includes both solo sex and mutual masturbation.)
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    Explore your kinky side. If introducing toys and costumes into the bedroom seems exciting and fun for both of you, go for it. Be as kinky as you want to be. As long as your relationship puts honesty and communication first, there's no wrong way to have sex.[8]
    • Add to the fantasy with role-playing. You both could dress up in costumes and call each other by different names.
    • Blindfolds are easy ways to make sex suddenly touch-focused and different. If you're into it, go the sensory-deprivation route.
    • Some couples in long term relationships like to relive the early stages of their dating, when they couldn't get enough of one another. Plan to meet separately at a bar you used to frequent and pretend like you don't know each other. Go through all the motions of the first blind date, and pretend you don't know anything about the other's sexual likes. Go from there.

Talking to Your Partner

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    Tell your partner what you like. The safest, smartest, and quickest way to improve your sex life is to communicate openly with your partner. Tell your partner what turns you on and what turns you off. Discuss your limitations and your ambitions for your sex life. Tell your partner anything they need to know to make your sex life as pleasurable as possible.[9]
    • Don’t focus on what your partner is doing wrong, instead, focus on expressing your desires. Use "I" statements, such as "I like it when you touch me like this" or "I’d feel more comfortable waiting for that."[10]
    • If you find it difficult or embarrassing to talk about sex with your partner, do simultaneous free-writes and share your writing with each other, or turn off the lights and talk in the dark.
    • Talking builds trust and intimacy. While it may seem hotter to cut to the chase, talking in the early stages of your relationship will help you avoid awkwardness and build the trust necessary to facilitate a healthy sex life.
    • Don't do anything you're not ready for. Talk about it first.
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    Be specific. When talking about sex, we often get sheepish and fall somewhat short of talking as specifically as would be helpful. Try to be as specific as possible so your partner doesn't have to work to decode your messages.[11]
    • Instead of saying, "I wish we'd have more sex" or "I wish we'd have different sex," tell your partner how much you love being with them and how you want to work on building your intimacy with each other. Then discuss specific things you'd like to do together, or specific things you'd like to change.
    • Don’t fake anything. This damages trust and intimacy in the relationship. Instead, make your desires known and be honest of what is and isn’t working.[12]
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    Be honest about changes in your body. Both men and women experience physical changes that can affect their sex lives.[13]
    • If menopause is changing your libido, say something. It’s better than your partner thinking you are uninterested.
    • If you are experiencing erectile dysfunction, talk with your partner and your doctor. The condition is often easily treated and is nothing to be embarrassed about.[14]
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    Engage in mutually pleasurable activities. Maybe you shrug off having a higher sex drive than your partner, but perhaps you are not engaging in the most interesting sex for your partner. Discuss what each of you likes that the other partner does. Then, discuss things you’d like to introduce that may be new or different. The goal is to ensure the happiness of both partners in mutual pleasure.[15]
    • Approach this discussion with a non-judgmental attitude and do not be afraid of shame; feel safe discussing sexuality with your partner.
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    Share fantasies. Talk about the things you fantasize about, the things that turn you on. Write them down if you feel sheepish and then discuss them with your partner. If something comes up in conversation, like when you're watching television or reading a magazine, ask "What do you think of that?" Be honest and be open with your partner. Sharing fantasies can be refreshing in your sex life.[16]
    • The brain is your most sensitive sexual organ. Discussing fantasies doesn't necessarily mean you're going to act them out in real life, but in a trusting and open relationship, discussing fantasies of all sorts can be an open door to explore your sexual side and keep your sex life fresh, spontaneous, and fun.
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    Connect with your partner. Before sexually connecting, try connecting in different ways. These ways may differ from couple to couple, so it’s important to connect in meaningful ways as a couple. Find the ways you meaningfully connect, then engage these interactions before sex. Intimacy can include intellectual, experiential, and emotional connection. You want to build a sense of intimacy and trust as a foundation.
    • Emotionally connect through heart-filled conversation, sharing your feelings and practicing empathy.
    • Intellectually connect by discussing a topic you both care about.
    • Connect physically with your partner by sitting across from each other and staring into each other’s eyes. It may feel silly or you might start to feel vulnerable, but keep with it and maintain this intimacy until you are ready to move forward.

Making Time for Intimacy

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    Make time for sex. You may think scheduling time for sex is not romantic, or that sex is better when it’s spontaneous, but give it a chance. If you are always "too busy," this is one way to nail down your priorities.[17]
    • Plan one day each week that you commit to having sex with your partner. Throughout the day, build up the excitement and build the tension. Make it something you and your partner look forward to doing.
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    Take a vacation together. Even a short weekend away can alleviate the burden of daily life. Sometimes work, school, or kids present too many distractions that interfere with your sex drive.[18] Break away from routine by eliminating distractions and allow your focus to be on your partner and your relationship.
    • If need be, find a babysitter (or pet sitter) and take a mini-vacation. It can be as simple as camping in the woods or going to a little motel down the road.
    • Your budget won't allow for travel? Take a vacation at home by shutting off the computer and cell phones, turning off the TV, and making a point to connect with your partner.
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    Create a beautiful space. Light some candles, invest in some silky sheets, and make your bedroom a sanctuary for the two of you. Create positive associations in the bedroom and get rid of anything that doesn’t appear inviting: piles of laundry, work papers, or children’s toys.[19]
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    Initiate sex with your partner. If you've been passive leading up to your intimate sessions, take the lead for a change. If you feel like you're always the one to initiate sex, talk to your partner about it and tell them that you don't want to feel like the sex hound in the relationship. Make sure everything is out on the table and that you're both satisfied with the way things progress.[20]
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    Practice emotional intimacy as well as physical intimacy. Your sex life is about more than what happens between the sheets. If you're not close emotionally, if you're not spending time together and understanding each other, the sex will suffer and so will your relationship. You have to talk and you have to spend time with each other, taking care of every aspect of your relationship.
    • Feel comfortable enough with your partner to share your hopes, fears, dreams, and desires. Experience vulnerability by opening up and being accepted by your partner.
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    See a counselor. If your fears of intimacy or anxiety greatly impact your relationship, consider seeing a therapist. A therapist can help you explore ways to experience intimacy with your partner, work through anxiety, and communicate more effectively. You can see a counselor as a couple or individually, or both.[21]
    • A therapist can help work through problems that may interfere with intimacy, such as past sexual abuse, emotional problems, and can help foster safe and positive attitudes toward sex.
    • For more information, check out How to Find a Sex Therapist.
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio Hey, I am founder of Bhaskar Health and completed my Graduation in Physiotherapy from Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences. My clinical interests are in Chest Physiotherapy, stroke rehab, parkinson’s and head injury rehab.

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