We all hear how important it is to “keep the spark alive” in a relationship. I’ve always kind of hated it, but there is some truth to it. In the bedroom, if sex becomes too routine, it can make it feel like a chore instead of the fun thing you and your partner love to do together. Whether you’re spending 24/7 in a small apartment with your partner or you’re long-distance, keeping up a thriving sex life after all this time is quite the feat. But couples are doing it nonetheless, and we’re taking notes. Regardless of your situation, it is possible to have a thriving sex life right now.
1. Spending time apart
As much as possible, try to spend time apart. If you live together, maybe you can spend a little bit of time in different rooms or different areas of the room. Maybe it’s going on walks alone, or going to the grocery store. Getting away from each other a little bit can make it exciting when you are together. Being with each other 24/7 can make life completely routine, and you’re likely to get a little (or a lot) sick of each other. Split up when you can, and you’ll feel even more interested once you’re finally together again.
Aside from your alone time, getting outside together is a good way to spark some extra creativity. We could all use a little more fresh air, whether it’s going on walks, taking a bike ride, opting to walk somewhere instead of drive, exercising outside, or just sitting on a patio.
2. Make relaxation time about closeness
It’s sometimes hard to separate your work from your home life, especially if you now work remote full-time. This is why having downtime and hobbies is so important. But what about when you do them together? Taking time away from work to just “be” with each other is essential for a thriving sex life, and it’s even better when you use that time to get to know each other better. This builds intimacy and connection outside the bedroom, making it easier and more likely for you to do the same with your clothes off (or on—who’s judging!). Maybe it’s watching a new episode of a show every night before bed (more on that later) and discussing it afterward, or sitting down for a meal together when you’re not also watching TV. Couples with thriving sex lives know that sex is about more than just the act of sex; it’s about closeness and familiarity with each other.
3. Playing games
Turning sex into a game is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it works. This can happen in a few different ways. Of course, there are the classic actual sex games, like dice, strip poker, board games, and the like. But there are also other ways to turn your sex life into a competition, such as having sex every day for a week, trying as many new locations or positions as possible, and engaging in a new type of foreplay. This turns your sex life into a fun activity rather than a chore if things start to feel mundane.
4. Watching steamy shows and movies
While watching video erotica (porn, as you might know) is a common approach, simply watching shows and movies that include lots of steamy scenes, great connections, and unbeatable effects (*cough cough* the violin Wildest Dreams in Bridgerton) can do the trick too.
5. Having sex during the day
Sex doesn’t have to be a solely nighttime activity—and this is especially true if you WFH. Having a quickie (or not—we do get an hour lunch break after all) during the workday or on a random Saturday early afternoon makes sex feel new and exciting. Just the simple trick of getting it on outside of your normal hours will trick your mind into feeling like you’re somewhere new.
6. Ask for what you want
There’s no way for your partner to know what you crave in the bedroom without telling them. If you’re wishing for a sex life filled with fantasies and new, exciting things all the time, it’s no surprise if you’re feeling unfulfilled if your sex life actually feels routine and pretty vanilla. Having candid conversations with your partner about what each of you wants out of your sex life gives you two something to go off of. Plus, we can’t forget how sexy it is to talk about what you’re into.
7. Redefine what sex means to you
Sex is about so much more than penetration or even oral. Foreplay, touching, mutual masturbation, massages, sexting—this can all be considered sex based on you and your partner’s definition of sex. Once you reimagine this, a whole new world of possibilities opens up. After a long day, you don’t have to engage in the usual song and dance; you can do whatever kind of sex feels most exciting and comfortable for you in that moment.
8. Play dress-up
On the days you feel like sex is the last thing you want to do, putting on your hottest lingerie is a one-way ticket to a good night. Not only will your partner enjoy it, but you’ll feel so much more confident, and it really sets the mood.
But you can take this one step further by engaging in roleplay. There are so many options for you and your partner to get in on the fun: nurse, teacher, doctor, or even just a stranger (time to come up with your alter ego name!).
9. Schedule sex
Couples with thriving sex lives know that life gets in the way sometimes (or a lot). Sometimes, the best way to make sure you get some alone time together is to schedule it. Mark it off on your calendar, add it to the to-do list in the kitchen, talk about it over breakfast. First, you’ll actually be excited knowing you have some time together coming up. But this is also a great way to implement new things you want to try. Adding sex to your calendar gives you time to prepare for roleplaying or a new location (say, kicking the roommates out for an hour so you can do it in the kitchen!).
10. Take turns initiating
When one partner initiates every single time, sex can really start to feel routine. Instead, make it a point to take turns. One night, you come into the bedroom in some cute lingerie. Maybe the next day, your partner sends a sext to get the ball rolling. If you notice someone is taking the lead too often, talk it through and figure out where you can both, metaphorically, split the bill. It feels good when your partner shows interest in you and wants you, so make sure you’re doing the same for each other.
11. Understand that your sex life might ebb and flow
It’s not sustainable to assume you and your partner will have sex every day until the end of time. Life gets busy; things happen. But don’t take a dry spell for meaning that you’ve lost all connection and have to start over. Know that your sex life will come back, likely with intensity, in time.
12. Create anticipation, even if sex isn’t on the table
Do things your partner will love even if it won’t lead to sex. Touch their leg, kiss their neck, bite their lip—whatever you know they like. It could be at breakfast or just passing in the hall. Even if it doesn’t lead to sex, it builds anticipation and excitement around sex. You feel wanted and sexy just living your day-to-day life, and it makes you want your partner even more.