Sex is often hot and heavy in the early days of a relationship. You may feel fueled by passion and excitement about getting to know a whole new person, but sex can look different for long-term couples. The more routine aspects of life start to crowd in on time that you’d set aside for each other, joint interests start shifting, and it can become harder to make intimacy a priority.
If this sounds familiar, there’s hope for you and your partner! Let’s take a look at a few tips and strategies, from spicing things up with something like natural lube to honest conversations to get you both back to your happy places.
Lack of Desire
There will be times when either partner may not be in the mood, even in healthy relationships. It’s important to acknowledge these feelings and not feel guilty about them, but also to have an open conversation so your partner can understand what’s happening.
Even if you aren’t completely sure what the problem is, talking to your partner about it can make them feel included. You may be able to come up with other ways of being intimate with each other in the meantime, such as cuddling, back rubs, or going on dates as you did earlier in your relationship. Sharing closeness of this kind may help bring you back together in the bedroom.
Fear of Intimacy or Sexual Rejection
Sex and intimacy may look different to different people. Intimacy may be emotional, physical, intellectual, or even spiritual. You can be intimate without sex and have sex without intimacy. If there is a way in which the thought of being intimate with your partner is frightening to you, try to get to the root of your fear.
A fear of sexual rejection is a fear that your partner won’t want to have sex with you because of conflicting interests or lack of attraction. This can be common for people who have a history of sexual abuse, as well.
In both of these cases, strong emotional intimacy will make these conversations much easier to manage. If you are worried about being judged or how your partner will receive your concerns, you may be better off talking to a qualified therapist. They may be able to help you navigate how to talk with your partner in a way that will feel less frightening to you.
Body Issues and Shame
There are many people who feel shame about their bodies; if you’re someone who feels insecure about their body, it’s important that you talk to your partner about it. If you feel too ashamed to take off your clothes or need to keep the lights off so your partner doesn’t see you naked, sex is going to be more challenging. It’s important to talk to your partner about your concerns.
Try a New Position or Type of Stimulation
Maybe you’ve been having sex in the same position for years, and it’s gotten stale for you. Chances are, it’s stale for your partner too. You don’t need to know dozens of positions, but it’s a good idea to have a few mutual favorites and fun variations. This can help things feel more spontaneous without having to negotiate it at an inopportune moment.
As for stimulation, it may be time to try some sex toys or branch out from the ones you have. Adding or changing up your lube may help, too; some types of natural lube contain CBD to add something extra to the experience. As always, communicate so that your partner doesn’t feel like these new developments are being forced on them.
Try Talking During Sex
It can be difficult to communicate what you want while you’re having sex; you might be afraid of ruining the mood. Developing communication skills to use in the moment may reap enormous benefits, though. It can be as simple as telling them that something feels good or that you want more of what they’re doing. Taking the lead with a positive approach may help them feel more comfortable about opening up, too.
Sex is supposed to be fun and bring you and your partner together. Peaks and valleys are a normal part of any successful long-term relationship. For many, it simply isn’t possible to replicate that “newness” every day for years on end, but that may not even be necessary to have a happy, healthy sex life. The bedroom is one of the first places a partner may notice that things are losing their “zing,” and it may be a symptom of a larger problem with boredom. If you’re concerned about deeper problems in your relationship, couples therapy may be a good option.