How To Have More Sex (Without Getting A Divorce)

Feeling that long-term relationship slump? 

We’ve all been there: you work nine hours a day with an hour commute either way, and suddenly those long, lazy afternoons full of carefree fumblings of your early relationship have turned into discussions about how much you each owe for the council tax and a five-year plan for your interior decorations.

Before long, sex can become something to only be attempted on special occasions - like the X Factor final - or at the weekend when you’ve got another day to recover from ‘staying up late’. All of which can become as exciting and clinical as a trip to the dentists. 

It’s a national problem, too. In a survey carried out in 2014 by The Observer, it was revealed that the nation’s sex drive has dropped since 2008, with only 34% of the nation rating their sex drive above average, despite 72% of participants claiming to be in a stable relationship (for an average length of 15.8 years). Meanwhile, only 2% of those surveyed positioned sex as the most important aspect of a long-term relationship or marriage.

So what can we do to promote horizontal activities that don’t involve a laptop or a hefty paperback? How can we start getting the most out of our bed/shower/kitchen counter? In short: How can we start having more sex?

1 | Find Out Why ‘A Night In’ Started Meaning ‘A Chance To Catch Up On The Ironing’

Suzi Godson, The Times’ UK sex columnist and author of Sex Counsel, suggests there are a number of reasons why your sex life is winding down, ‘People stop having sex when they get sick, or tired, or bored, or angry, or depressed, or just plain lazy.’

Stefan Walters, a psychological therapist at Harley Therapy, is of the opinion that a dwindling sex life is almost always symptomatic of deeper issues within the relationship, with sex something that gets blamed for, rather than being the main cause of, that mild hostility you feel every time your partner suggests re-organising the lounge/ visiting their parents/ going outside.

‘A massive mistake couples often make is to think that a diminished sex life is the primary cause of all their relationship problems; rather than to recognise that it is almost always a symptom of prior issues. Sex requires such an intense level of intimacy and vulnerability that it's no surprise our sex lives start to suffer if we're feeling a bit insecure.’

2 | Book A Week Off Work, Drink White Russians And Dig Up Those Deeply Buried ‘Feelings’

According to Stefan, it’s this emotional connection that needs working on if you want to get your nocturnal activities back on track. The best way to do this is by reminding yourself and your partner that you do actually, you know, want to hang out with each other. Stefan summarises, ‘It sounds obvious, but it's easy for people to regress from an 'us' mentality to a 'me' mentality, when they're feeling a bit detached.’

As with most bedroom activities, slow and steady is a good way to start re-building that connection, ‘Don't expect things to get back on track too quickly. Start reconnecting physically with small steps. Hold hands. Offer to give your partner a relaxing massage after a hard day. This helps to foster a sense of mutual appreciation and intimacy. Once you're feeling more secure together, talk about things you'd like to experiment with,’ Stefan suggests. Maybe leave your Super Mario Bros. Princess Peach fetish for further down the line.

3 | Stockpile Any Vouchers For Baby Oil And/ Or Tea Lights

Cate McKenzie, an ‘International Love Coach’ has some suggestions for putting these sexual plans into action (it turns out that all that internet porn you may have watched when you were staying up working on that ‘presentation’ can now be classed as ‘research’) ‘Men are curious sexually, so he can go and explore and watch videos, then he can massage her and then introduce these things with sensuality. A great thing to do is ask her what she wants. Women are often scared of getting it wrong so this will help.’

4 | Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is (And One Of Those Pub Bathroom Vibrating Rings Where Your Penis Is)

Stefan suggests that if you want to make your new bedroom quirk a regular occurrence, you need to ‘find ways to make it a mutual experiment that is fun and exciting for both parties, and where you both benefit, rather than one person begrudgingly fulfilling the other's fantasy.’

As for introducing sex toys into the bedroom? ‘The more the merrier,’ Stefan enthuses, ‘Vibrating cock rings are a lot of fun for both parties, as are costumes, or playing with bondage gear. It's all about trying different things, and seeing what floats your boat as a couple.’ Warning: don’t ask the in-laws for advice and don’t accept anything your mother-in-law offers to lend you.

5 | Give Your Mates/ The Couple Next Door The Night Off

Introducing a third party into the mix, however, received a big ‘No’ from both Stefan and Suzi. Stefan is of the opinion that ‘It may look exciting in a porn film, but the reality of multiple partners is a lot more dangerous, as it involves a huge range of emotions on all sides.’ Suzi agrees, ‘for most people, there is something profoundly wrong about allowing the person with whom you share your primary emotional attachment to have sex with someone else…If the primary partner is not put first and feels neglected in any way, the relationship will not endure.’

6 | If All Else Fails, Go Commando

If porn, sex toys and role-play all sound a bit much, Suzi suggests an easy way to start turning up the heat in the bedroom could simply be, ‘Couples who sleep naked in bed and give each other a good night cuddle are more likely to be intimate.’

And remember, as Stefan points out, ‘sex is always more appealing when it feels exciting and spontaneous, rather than predictable,’ so try not to overthink it.

Stefan Walters is a psychological therapist at Harley Therapy who specialises in couples counselling and family therapy, harleytherapy.co.uk. Suzi Godson is The Times sex columnist in the UK and author of Sex Counsel (Cassell) and The Sex Book (Cassell), suzigodson.com. Cate MacKenzie is an 'international love coach' and psychosexual therapist, catemackenzie.com

 

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