I hate the term “spice things up” — as in, “Hey, love, let’s spice things up!”?— with its simplistic implication that a finger vibrator and a scented candle can relight a sexual flame that has been extinguished by stress, boredom, anger and over-exposure.
When two people get to the point where they can’t be bothered to engage in an activity that was once the highlight of their day, they need more than a back rub to turn them on. Often, the only way that a couple can reconnect in the bedroom is to get the hell out of there. Literally.
Whether they pack a picnic, take a hike and make out in the mountains or meet in a hotel room at noon for hasty sex and lunch from the minibar, the key to keeping sex exciting is changing the script.
When psychologists Arthur and Elaine N. Aron of Stony Brook University carried out a study measuring what happened when couples were asked to participate in “novel and arousing activities” together, they found that participating in “exciting” tasks had a significantly positive impact on their relationship satisfaction.
Aron makes the point that spending time together isn’t enough. You have to change the routine, so for example, “going out to dinner at the same restaurant won’t be as beneficial as eating out somewhere new every time.” The same rules apply to sex. After 10 years, the same recipe week in, week out, is bound to become less appetizing — and yes, different techniques can help, but realistically, there are a limited number of orifices and not everyone is prepared to wear a gimp hood.
The illusion that sex should be spontaneous is also detrimental. When two people are working 50 hours a week and they need to eat, sleep, work out and remain on speaking terms with family and friends, spontaneous sex simply doesn’t happen.
All couples, whether they have been married for five minutes or 15 years, owe it to themselves to have a rational, unemotional discussion about how much sex they can reasonably expect to have, based on both their commitments and their existing sexual frequency. The unanticipated upside to doing something as unsexy as blocking sex time out in a diary is the exponential increase in sexual anticipation. And since expectation influences outcome, knowing that your next sex date involves a limo, a privacy screen and a tour of the one you love pretty much guarantees a happy ending.
–Suzi Godson is editor of Moresexdaily.com and author of “The Sex Book.”
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