Spice things up in the bedroom. As with tightrope walking or manoeuvring work-and-play, the key to a healthy and fulfilling sexual life is balance.
Do you think it’s time we learnt to change some of the terminology when it comes to sex? A lot of women—and some doctors—seem to think so. Instead of attempting to always “spice” things up in the bedroom (since when did a ripe chilli do anything good for your love life? And if it did, please don’t share!) it’s time we had a different agenda: To have a healthy sex life. What does that mean, exactly? Relax. We’re finding out at the same time. And it’s not some boring exercise either. A healthy sex life is not necessarily about being able to partake in a bedroom marathon, but it is about being able to strike a sexual balance that fits both your internal desires and the external potential of your partner and you. The aim? To have fun and enjoy your relationship both in and out of the bedroom, instead of just trying to go longer, harder and stronger. (Although that is necessary at times.)
Did we just give you permission to masturbate? Maybe. Do you actually need it? Not at all, right? But let’s make this a bit cerebral: Think of it as more than masturbation—it’s an exploration of your inner self to discover what it is that really turns you on, how you get going, and how your body responds to sexual stimuli. You never know, you may just surprise yourself and find something new (or if it’s something that shouldn’t be there, get to a doc!). “Relationship experts” and sexologists tell women the same thing. You need to know what really gets you going, so you can tell your partner what to do (in a nice, gentle, and seductive way, of course). Try to experiment with new sights, sounds and maybe even smells. A surefire win? Smoked chicken. Supersure fail? Roses.
Keep some time for yourself.
Psychologists say it’s important in relationships that you keep a little slice of your own life. It’s very intimate to share things with your partner, but to keep the conversation interesting—and not feel that you’ve lost yourself—is an important move. It can save you and your relationship, and even help you cement a relationship that’s going great. We’re not suggesting that you head to the pub on a regular basis, but why not try a hobby like fishing or something outdoorsy and hot where you can get her to take her shirt off (sexual fantasy alert!)? It’s fun, it’s spontaneous and great exercise for your quads (the hiking, not the humping, perv).
SAY SOMETHING. ANYTHING.
Let’s face it: This is not going to be your favourite activity by a long shot. That said, we all know that most problems in a relationship come from lack of communication. And most problems in the bedroom—or of a sexual nature—also come from assumptions that follow that lack of communication. When we start a relationship, we may discuss sexual fantasies but keep in mind that these change over the months and years. It’s important—every so often—to check in with your partner and see where they are. Women’s sexuality is fluid and changes over time and something that was off the table when you first met may be back on these days. But how’ll you know if you don’t talk about it? Smart.
Try one small new thing.
When it comes to fortifying things in the bedroom and any other randy location, people often want to go to extremes, grab a costume and turn their bedroom into a dungeon. But all it might take is one small thing to break a tiresome bedroom habit. A blindfold, a new toy, some sexy lingerie or even a simple candle. Use the K.I.S.S. (keep it simple, stupid) principle and get it right without having to go over the top.
It’s something we can forget to do but is often so powerful when it comes to intimacy. We know you’re eager to jump into bed and get on with the foreplay, but just touching your partner can elicit similar biological responses and release various pheromones that make us feel fulfilled and bonded to our partner. Don’t forget to touch her hand, tickle her inner thigh, and hug her whenever you can. But please do it without a sexual agenda, otherwise it’ll feel forced... and may lead to no sex at all.
We can get caught up with comparing ourselves, our relationships and our sex lives with everyone else’s. Please note: Your relationship and sex life is unique to you and your partner. What is right and works for you does not necessarily work for other people and vice versa. So find out what makes you and your partner tick, no matter how crazy or bizarre it may be. Most of all, enjoy the journey but don’t focus on the destination. Maintaining an exciting relationship is not about an end goal, but about a process—and one you should enjoy. You might never be completely satisfied (where’s the fun in that?) But you sure can have fun trying.