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1. Designate cues for your partner
Partners often display subtle cues when they're interested in sex, but unfortunately these hints can slip by unnoticed. If he's not catching on that you're in the mood, a chat about sexual cues -- both yours and his -- is a must. "It's easier to initiate sex if your partner is already giving you cues. Then you'll know that your signal is going to be received well," says Dr. Teesha Morgan, a Vancouver-based couples counsellor, sex therapist and author of the book Heads Up.
Cues can be simple. If you're craving intimacy, forgo the switch into comfy yoga gear when you get home and stay in your more dressy work attire, or have relaxing music playing instead of the the TV. Letting your partner know that these cues mean you’re ready for action can help you achieve the physical closeness you desire.
2. Be direct
Don't be shy! Ask using direct, simple language. "Do you want to make out, do you want to make love, do you want to get it on -- whatever phrase you're comfortable using," says Rae Dolman, an individual and couples sex therapist at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto.
3. Start writing
If you feel embarrassed or silly talking about your desires, Dolman recommends jotting down your thoughts in a flirty text or email. You can even leave a suggestive message on a sticky note at home, or on a piece of paper in a coat pocket.
4. Develop code words
If kids are in the picture, it can be tough to get the message across that you're keen for sex. To avoid an adult conversation being heard by little ears, adopt the use of code words or phrases. "Your husband can say something like 'Hey honey, are we having something spicy for dinner?' as a way of asking what you'd feel like later [in terms of sex]," says Dr. Morgan. If you're feeling the intimacy vibe, say yes. If you're not keen, you can secretly let him down by saying no -- or mentioning a non-spicy meal -- and the kids won't be any wiser. "It's a way of sussing things out early in the evening so there are no expectations," she says.
5. Take action
For some couples, nonverbal actions and visual clues speak louder than words. "Take your partner's hand and lead him into the bedroom, or be naked under a robe, long dress-shirt or a wrap dress and flash him. Leave the room and see if he follows," says Dolman.
6. Schedule it
If work and the demands of daily life leave no opportunities for an impromptu session, both Dolman and Dr. Morgan recommend scheduling intimacy into your calendars. With today's easy-to-use syncing software, you can book an ongoing "appointment" in both of your phone calendars simultaneously. "If sex is a priority, show your partner that it is -- continuously," says Dr. Morgan. Dolman agrees. "It sends a really powerful message to your partner that you're important to me, that sex and intimacy are important to me, so let's make it happen," she says.
7. Aim for mornings
The morning can actually make initiation easier, when testosterone (the sex-drive hormone) is higher. "Both men and women have the most testosterone in the morning, so if you happen to have a lazy Saturday or Sunday, or a weekday morning when you can make the time, it's a nice time to do it," says Dolman. Not only will you feel more amorous at sunrise, but your partner will, too, making it more likely that your sensuous invite will be accepted.
A relaxed chat recalling past sexual escapades that you've shared together is another way to ignite passion in your partner. "Reminiscing about past sexual experiences -- Remember that time shortly after we got together and we did this -- can get people in the mood," says Dolman. Talking about a mutually enjoyable sexual moment can help get the brain in gear, and allow the body to follow. "Your brain is your largest sex organ and you have to put forward the energy to stimulate it," says Dr. Morgan.
Need more inspiration? Check out the results from our recent Canadian Living Sex Survey and see how people across the nation are expressing themselves in the bedroom.