A better love life is not about roses and a fancy dinner on Valentine’s Day. Because this attempt on achieving a better love life may only last as long as the New Year’s resolutions you abandoned the month before. A few weeks later, the sexy nightie will be languishing in the sock drawer, the massage oil will be gathering dust next to the athlete’s foot powder in the medicine cabinet, and you and your partner would have returned to what feels like a humdrum sexual life.
So what is the secret to a better love life that lasts? HER has researched far and wide to give the most insightful tips on this near sacred topic. Read on…..
- Make dates:
Couples that have been together for a while need to plan time for sex. Make a date for sex; don’t let it be an afterthought. Do whatever you like to do beforehand, go to a movie or dinner, take a walk, have a glass of wine by candlelight, but set aside that time.
But, you might cry; isn’t scheduling unromantic? Isn’t sex supposed to be spontaneous? Rare is the lover with a daily planner fetish, after all. Our answer is; what’s the problem with making a date for sex? People make plans for other things they enjoy, like camping trips and dinners. So why not a sex date?
Most people, especially couples with kids, have to plan ahead because they already have so much jammed into their schedules. Sure there are times when things spontaneously fall together, but those are happy accidents.
- Get out of the house:
One good suggestion for a better love life is to take regular nights away from home. For couples that have been together for a while, sex can become routine. You’re worn out by the end of the day, after the job, the laundry, the kids’ and the errands. And instead of champagne, you’ve got your same old house and good old ugali and eggs. It’s not exactly conducive to an exciting sex life.
It can be hard to give into the moment when you’re having sex in your all-too-familiar bedroom. Your mind wanders. Did I remember to set the alarm clock? How much will it cost to repair that water damage on the ceiling?
Lovemaking is, fundamentally, a present moment experience. “The best sex comes when you’re not thinking about the past or the future, but only the present. And that can be hard in a room where you’ve always had your grandma’s picture smiling down on you.
Get away to a place that is stripped of these reminders of everyday life. It doesn’t have to be a fabulous spot by the ocean, or at least, not every time. A non-descript place out of town can be just fine.
- Redecorate the bedroom:
Having a sex life that’s wholly dependent on trysts at hotels may be a problem if you’re not fabulously wealthy, childless and unemployed. So in addition to some trips away, make some changes at home.
The bedroom does build up some mundane associations. But if you can do anything to transform your bedroom into something new and different, that can make a big difference. A better love life doesn’t require installing a revolving bed or ceiling mirrors. You don’t need to do something that will freak out the kids or the housekeeper. Lighting a candle is an obvious suggestion. But maybe silky sheets and a new bedspread will make a difference. Also, removing some of the junk (the kids’ toys, the piles of laundry) that tends to accumulate in a bedroom can have a positive effect on your love life. Think about removing the bedroom TV, too.
- Figure out what you really want:
Everyone has sexual fantasies. But for some people, those fantasies can be buried deep. If your partner were to turn to you tonight and ask, “What’s your ultimate fantasy?” or “What do you want to change about how we have sex?” do you know what you would say? If you are not sure, you are not alone.
Some people have to do a little work at figuring out what really arouses them. Figuring out what you want is key to having a better sex life. So, give it a little effort. There are plenty of tools out there to help: books, magazines, videos and so on. Once you’ve come up with some ideas, telling your partner about them could be fun for both of you.
- Find out what your partner wants:
You need to ask your partner the same questions that you’ve asked yourself. What does your partner want from your love life? Most times, one partner wants to have more sex than the other.
Some people may huffily assume that they just have higher sex drives than their partners do (which can be true). But maybe your partner is looking for something different out of your love life but hasn’t felt able to ask. So, bring up the subject. Talking openly might bring you closer to one another, and that is likely to make sex more interesting for both of you.
- Try something new:
Trying something new in the bedroom is a pretty obvious suggestion for attaining a better love life, but it’s one that many people have trouble following. For lots of couples, the longer they’re together, the more they play it safe sexually. You think it would go the other way; that as people get more comfortable in a relationship, they feel more secure to try new things. But that’s not the case.
People resist change, especially intimate change. If you’re in an established relationship, you may feel like you have more to lose. You don’t want to rock the boat. Our advice? Resist the impulse to play it safe. This can mean all sorts of things (maybe lingerie, massage and so on). Mind you, trying something new doesn’t have to be outrageous.
One small change that can have a big effect is to interrupt the pattern to how you usually have sex. If you’re usually the shy one who waits for the other person to begin things, try starting it yourself. Just take a risk, even if it’s a little one.
- Don’t ignore sexual problems:
Sexual problems are a much more open secret than they once were. For instance, thanks to the efforts of pharmaceutical companies and late night shows, there aren’t many people left in the world who aren’t aware of medications for erectile dysfunction.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that everyone who needs help is getting it. People who have sexual problems do often shy away from sexuality because they don’t want to face failure. But these problems need to be addressed, head on.
Erectile dysfunction had received the most attention, but there are plenty of other issues too, like premature ejaculation, a loss of libido, or difficulty reaching orgasm caused by medications or medical conditions.
Women are coming forward in larger numbers and reporting sexual problems too, such as pain during intercourse or an inability to orgasm. Most of them complain about vaginal dryness during sex, which can be painful. Lubrication is important because in terms of how aroused a person is, lubrication for a woman is the equivalent of an erection for a man.
Some sexual problems may need medical attention, while others can be solved by trying different sexual techniques or buying a bottle of lubricant. But the important thing is not to muddle through with problems that are making your sex life worse. Don’t settle for a mediocre sex life. Finally, no matter what you’ve heard, drugs for erectile dysfunction do nothing to increase a person’s sex drive.
- Go slowly:
Some couples find that the longer they’re together, the briefer and more business-like their sexual encounters become. It’s like navigating a neighbourhood. When you move to a new place, you’re always trying out different routes to get to the supermarket or to the closest kiosk. But after time, you decide on the fastest route and only take that one. No more meandering. The same thing happens to couples as they become more familiar with each other sexually.
But the fastest, most efficient route is definitely not what you want in the bedroom. Focussing on the destination (and only the obvious parts of the anatomy) is the worst thing you can do. The best sex emerges from whole body sensuality (leisurely, playful and creative). It has no real direction, a little of this, a little of that.
Men especially have a tendency to go too fast, something that’s encouraged by the down-and-dirty efficiency of sex in pornography. Men find that their sexual problems (like premature ejaculation) subside when they learn to take their time. Leisurely lovemaking benefits everyone. Women get more turned on and enjoy sex more, while men have fewer sexual problems and feel more confident about themselves in bed. It’s a win-win.
- Don’t worry about everyone else:
One of the most common questions couples ask is, “How much should we be doing it?” The question implies that the answer is obvious: more than I am now.
Feeling like you “should” be having a better love life is probably universal. It explains the vast number of titles about sex in the self-help section of the bookstore, and the constancy of articles about sex advertised on magazine covers. The culture we live in (and especially its films, whether Hollywood romances or pornography) encourages us to think that we’re not living it up.
So, how often “should” you have sex? There’s no answer to that. Why don’t you stop trying to decide how much sex you should have and decide how much you want.
- keep trying:
Having a better sex life will take some work. It’s like this: for many people, life is an unremitting guerrilla war with those extra 5 kg’s that ambush you when you’re not paying attention. In the same way, people can fall into a sexual rut, a “blah” love life, unless they’re making an effort to keep things exciting.
You should expect that some attempts will fall flat. A stab at a sexual role-play may be rendered ridiculous by an ill-timed call and rambling answering machine messages from your mother-in-law. Or maybe the aromatic candles make you sneeze violently. Trying something new is always putting you at risk of failure.
But the important thing is to keep trying anyway. Don’t let self-consciousness make you play it safe. You should never accept a ‘just average’ love life. Admittedly, these suggestions are not secrets. Or at least they aren’t secrets like the purpose of Stonehenge. We’ve read the magazines, and watched the talk shows. Many of us know what we’re supposed to do to have a better love life, but we let other things take over.
So, the most important suggestion for a better love life is probably the last one: Just keep trying. Making a constant effort is key.