You’re a little tired from work. The kids have homework that demands your attention. Somebody has to make dinner. Your hungover. Fido spread trash across the living room. No one paid the rent yet? No, I didn’t schedule the oil changes for tomorrow.
Sex? Well, now that you mention that delightful little parlay between two people, that magical moment when we close the door, dim the lights, and turn our focus to re-connecting after a busy, torturous, complicated, involved day–I hadn’t thought about wrestling together! And now you want get naked and roll around? Can’t we watch Game of Thrones instead? I need to chill out, baby. Sorry.
Sex is good. Bio-chemically, emotionally, physically, socially–a healthy sexual experience raises our endorphins, gives the ticker a little juice, and helps us feel loved and needed. But after a long day, in many relationships, one of the partners might experience a teeny bit of difficulty starting the cold car.
Foreplay is nice, too, and works wonders for jump-starting the libido. But if you really want to make your bed (or couch or kitchen table or floor or stairs) the special sanctuary from the day’s other commitments, if you want to keep the sex fresh and present, try these ten tips:
1. Start early.
You’re sitting at your desk, 10 am, and your mind drifts to the little red negligee she wore two weeks ago. Quick: send her a text: “remember that night with the outfit you wore when we….” Psychologist have long understood the power of suggestion, and if you suggest early in the day that you may want to do the dirty later in the night, your partner will also be thinking about the joys you could share later. Or say, “Looking forward to ‘making the house payment’ tonight–wink wink!” Or simply say, “Do you want to have sex tonight?”
If you wait until 9:30 when everyone’s already asleep, your task is more difficult. Imagine planting seeds and watering them in hopes of having salad right now. Instead, cultivate the opportunity by seeding images of your soon-to-be-romp in both partner’s imaginations.
2. Don’t have sex.
Whaaaaaaat? Flirt instead! Sometimes, the only real touching that happens in an established relationship is the kiss-peck good bye or the groping that is intended to lead to sex. Instead, in the morning when you pass in the hallway or at dinner or while unloading groceries, make a pass, hug, kiss, hold hands, tweak a nipple, pat a butt cheek, grind your butt a little in the groin area–hey, previews of coming attractions! Rubbing your fingers through his hair, touching her calf and whistling, nibbling an ear and then walking away generates momentum and makes both partners desirous. Consider the extra touch “extended foreplay”–then, you don’t have to rush when you’re finally in bed together.
3. Do chores.
Choreplay is the new foreplay. Do something nice for your partner and make sure he knows you cleaned the garage so he could go play golf; make sure she knows you took the kids for ice-cream so she could have an hour to read. You know by now what task your partner finds onerous; make yourself a hero and eliminate that task: you’ll be thanked later!
4. Be kind during the day.
Energy matters, and if you’re slinging insults, complaining, whining, or otherwise being unkind to your partner during the day, you best not expect a little something-something later that evening. We all know the line: “No loving for you, buster!” The words spoken just after she asked “Does this dress make my butt look fat?” and he replied, “No. Your fat makes you look fat.”
Instead, bring the positive energy throughout the day, saying kind things, being helpful, offering support when necessary, engaging in conversation when conversation is warranted. The more affirming you are during the day, the more your needs will be affirmed at night.
5. Talk dirty.
Yup. Yes. Don’t use your company’s email or phone service, but break up your lover’s day with a naughty text or email: the randiness of your words depends on your relationship, but research shows men like to talk dirty and women like to hear dirty (men, more than women, prefer pictures; women prefer language). So send a text: “Thanks for polishing my falcon last night!” or “I can’t wait to tackle you silly later!” or “Just thinking about your tassles in my face!”
6. Promise a surprise. And deliver.
“Have something for you later, baby!” And then the flowers appear on the table or the family goes out to dinner or you present a hand-written coupon for a back rub or you uncork a bottle of body oil or….
7. Be naked and ready.
You’re the surprise under the sheet: and you don’t have any clothes on! Sometimes, be direct is very sexy and inspiring, especially if you both think you’re going to bed tired to watch the news. Make sure you smell nice; fluff the pillows: be clear you’ve been thinking about how the experience will be pleasant for both of you.
8. Bring a prop.
Feather’s are nice, ice cubes have a place, and a top hat can turn the gravity of the pillow into the gravity of sexual attraction. Role play. Use a work tie to gently tie him to the bedpost. You have the ingredients; don’t be afraid to mix the drink a bit!
9. Turn on the mood lighting.
Nothing says “I’ve been thinking about you…” like a few candles, a turned-down comforter, and a little Barry White on the stereo.
10. Turn off the TV.
Television is the grand black-hole of a sex life. If you enjoy Dexter at night together, then make a deal: let’s have sex and then watch an episode! If you start watching Breaking Bad, no matter how good the episode, you’ll be fighting inertia an hour later. A body at rest watching television stays at rest. A body aroused before television pursues arousal.
If the television is on already, though, you can put your hand on your partner’s breast or genitals, casually, and then start a gentle massage. See how long you can stay focused on the glimmering pixels when a little jolt of electricity is moving along your spine! DVR is, like SEX, one truly wonderful three-letter word.
So, if you want to have intercourse that includes physical touch, think ahead, make the event special, and keep in mind that keeping sex in mind will keep sex in the bedroom (or on the washing machine, in the backyard, near the hot tub…).