- Despite widespread stereotypes about "bed death," sex can and often does get better as a marriage progresses.
- Feeling emotionally connected can greatly improve a couple's sex life.
- Having fun together away from the bedroom will help partners have fun together in the bedroom.
There are a lot of stories about marriage "destroying" a couple's sex life. Often, I hear that sex is hot and heavy for the first few months, and then things slow down, and then sex disappears altogether. Or the kids come along and suddenly neither of you has the time or energy for sex. Or one (or both) of you puts on a few pounds and the other (or both) of you loses interest. Or one of you wants sex far more often than the other. Honestly, the stories are endless in their variety and depth of despair.
But this doesn’t have to happen. Bed death is not inevitable in marriage. In fact, many couples find that their sex lives get better as their marriage progresses. Here’s how:
1. Take the pressure off.
When you’re first married, the two of you can hardly wait to jump into bed to express your love, so sex is an everyday thing. But long-term, that just isn’t realistic. You’ve got jobs, maybe kids to care for, bills to pay, in-laws, and all sorts of other things to deal with. So forget about daily sex.
And yes, I know that studies generally find that couples who have more sex report happier relationships, but that’s only accurate to a point. For example, one study found that couples having sex four times per week and couples having sex one time per week report the same levels of happiness and marital satisfaction. So when it comes to sex, more is not always better. Rather than aiming for as much sex as possible, try to find a happy medium that works for you and your partner.
2. Focus on intimacy.
There is a mistaken belief that the closer you are emotionally to another person, the less sexually attracted to that person you will be. There are instances where this is true, but only when one (or both) of the partners is dealing with an intimacy disorder of some sort.
For everyone else, feelings of intimacy and trust—the ability to become vulnerable with one’s partner without fear of rejection—increases both sexual interest and enjoyment. When we feel valued and respected, we feel attractive. The same is true for our partners. And that leads to hot sex. So instead of trying to be awesome in the sack, try to be emotionally connected—both in and out of bed.
3. Have some nonsexual fun together.
Do you remember when you were dating? What did you do that made your time together so much fun? Now it’s time to ask yourself: Why would we stop doing those things just because we’re married?
If you feel like your sex life is lagging, go on a nonsexual date night. Create some fun adventures to get the adrenaline and laughter pumping. Do things you already know you both enjoy; try things together that you would never do alone; take a few crazy steps into the wild blue yonder and grow. And be willing to laugh together when things don’t work out perfectly. If you can enjoy being together away from the bedroom, you can rekindle whatever it is you’ve lost in your sex life.
4. Get creative.
OK, we all have things that, for whatever reason, we’re not willing to do. And these hang-ups often manifest in the bedroom. That’s normal, and that’s OK, and that doesn’t have to ruin your sex life. Because in addition to our many hang-ups, we also have many fantasies. As part of expanding and fully enjoying your sex life with your partner, I strongly suggest the two of you discuss those fantasies. If something sounds fun or interesting, give it a go. If it’s hot, that’s great. If it’s not, that’s also great because the world didn’t end and now you’ve got something to laugh about. You might also have a few ideas for what’s next.
Married sex can be great sex. No, it’s not likely to happen as often or be as intense as when you first got together, but it can still be awesome. Having sex when you both want to have sex, exploring fun and creativity both in and out of the bedroom, and feeling deeply emotionally connected before, during, and after sex can easily top the fumbling, bumbling intensity of early sexploration with your partner.
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