But here's the good news: the holidays are coming, and with them the opportunity to stay up late, take advantage of overnight babysitters (er, we mean "relatives"), and, ultimately, bust out of any same-old, same-old routine you may be mired in.
Try our 10 tips for spicing up your sex life, and you may find the chemistry you create lasts the whole year through!
1. Become a pickup artist
Holiday cocktail parties are a great opportunity to see one another with fresh eyes: properly showered, dressed to kill, and ready to charm.
So why work the room as a couple when you can hook up instead? If you want to give role-playing a try – many sex therapists swear by it! – pretend you don't know each other. Hello, stranger!
2. Stay fit
"Being fit makes a big difference when it comes to enjoying the physicality of being sexual," says Dr. Bianca Rucker, a Vancouver-based sex and relationship therapist and registered nurse. "You can bear your body weight better and you won't tire as quickly, so being fit may mean you'll enjoy sex more and probably have your partner enjoy it more, too," says Rucker.
"Also, the better body image that comes with being an appropriate body weight can equate with feeing more sexual," she adds. When you feel good about yourself, it translates into more mojo! So use the holidays to keep on top of your routine. Or, if you're not feeling your best, join a gym this holiday season – ask the manager if you can get an early-bird deal on New Year promotions.
3. Stay in touch
Sending each other naughty e-mails or text messages can inject an element of excitement into an otherwise ho-hum day spent at the office or in mall lineups.
Tip: Set up dedicated e-mail accounts for your romantic e-liaisons. This extra step ensures your privacy and provides you with a special 'secret' account you'll look forward to checking.
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4. Get a sitter
Long overdue for an overnight date with your sweetie? The holidays are a time when relatives are often in town, so why not ask if a grandparent or a favourite aunt or uncle could mind the kids for a night or two? This will give you a chance to either head out of town for a romantic getaway or enjoy being home alone.
5. Try something scary
The holidays offer the chance to break out of that rut and try something crazy and new for the first time, like skiing, snowboarding, zip lining, or paintball.
"The body responds quite similarly to scary and sexually arousing situations," says Dr. Rucker. "For some people, that can provide a natural sexual boost."
6. Wrap yourself up
Buy some sexy lingerie. If you're wearing something that you feel flaunts your best assets, you'll feel hot. (Dr. Rucker notes: "It doesn't have to be comfortable – after all you'll be in it for less than an hour!") And as for him ... well, it is a truth universally acknowledged that man is a highly visual creature. There's a fairly good chance he'll be dying to unwrap his gift again and again over the holiday season!
7. See your doctor
Doctors' offices are often less busy around the holiday period. If you've been avoiding talking to your doctor about sex-related issues, it's time to stop procrastinating and make an appointment. It's time to see your doctor if:
• Sex hurts. "Sex shouldn't hurt, and even if you've been told there's nothing physically wrong with you, there are a number of conditions that aren't easy to identify, which can be caught with tests by a specialist," says Dr. Rucker.
• Your partner has erectile dysfunction. "Erectile dysfunction can be an indicator of his cardiovascular health – erections require good cardiovascular shape. Diabetes can also be indicated by erectile dysfunction," says Dr. Rucker, so a checkup may be warranted.
• You or your partner is on medication, particularly anti-depressants or anti-hypertensives, both of which can have libido-dampening effects. Your doc may be able to tweak your prescription to lessen this side effect.
• Either of you is distressed by the relationship status quo. If you're unhappy with your sex life, a sexual therapist may be able to help you work through obstacles in a positive, non-judgmental way. See your family physician and get a referral.
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