August 28, 2006

Recharge Your Relationship in One Weekend (part II: Your Sex Life)

Sunday: Your Sex Life

Don't Just Maintain — Nurture

When you start a new relationship, your focus is on nurturing your sex life. You're learning about your partner's body — what he likes and doesn't like — with beginner's lust fueling your curiosity. If you're like most couples, once you think you've got each other figured out, you move from nurturing your sex life into maintaining it. Six weeks into your relationship, the proportion is around 80 percent nurturing to 20 percent maintenance. Six years on,it's more like 0 percent nurturing to 100 percent maintenance.

To keep sex good long-term, you have to continue to nurture. This means putting thought and energy into sex — like you did in the beginning!

  • Take turns with "sex spoil sessions." Every fifth time you have sex, one of you spoils the other with things you know your partner will enjoy. (Note the emphasis on what your partner enjoys, not what you enjoy.) This might be as simple as giving him a gloriously thorough working over with your tongue — or involve you packing a picnic to head off foralfresco sex.
  • Take a sexual inventory. Write suggested sexual activities on two sheets of paper, then each of you rates them from hot (would love to try) to warm, lukewarm and cold. Add your own, but choose from things like spanking, role-playing, semipublic sex, tie-up games, blindfolding, talking dirty, anal sex and watching or making erotic films. When you're done, make note of the activities that scored high(-ish) for both of you. Try one every two weeks or once a month.
Turn Your Bedroom into a Sex Den

Sex in your average bedroom is a yawn. Sex in an erotic, exotic playroom is sexier than that recurring fantasy of your favorite celebrity walking into your bedroom just as you're reaching in that bedside drawer... You get the picture. Some essentials:

  • Soundproof it for kids/roommates/your mother when she comes to stay. Heavy curtains and carpets soak up sound. If you're deadly serious, install sound-insulating board on any adjoining walls. A lazy but still effective optionis to put in a sound system or radio. Music masks all sorts of happy noises.
  • For the most flattering lighting, light from below or at eye level. Dimmers are the next best thing and can match whatever mood you're in. A simple, quick fix in the meantime: Put tea lights on saucers on the floor (keep them a safe distance from bedcovers or enthusiastically thrown bras, knickers or boxers).
  • The simplest thing is to add mirrors to wardrobe doors so they can be angled to provide good views of the bed. Even sneakier: a full-length portable mirror, which you can move into whatever position grabs your fancy at the time.
  • Everyone needs a special drawer within reaching distance from the bed. Fill it with massage oil, stockings and scarves for tie-up, sleep masks from your last plane flight to act as a blindfold, lubricant, condoms, erotic books or movies, sexy clothes, vibrators and other sex toys.
  • A firm mattress makes for better sex. Clean, fresh, good-quality sheets lure you to lie naked on them. Cushions are a must for putting under hips, supporting limbs or making other places around the house sex-friendly.