5 ways to reignite your sex life

After years of living together is your sex life a little lackluster? Getting that spark back can be great for your relationship; here's how!

By Lola Augustine Brown

Better sex, better relationship
Is turning in early more enticing than a hot-and-heavy romp with your mate? After years of living together, it can be challenging to keep the lust alive, but satisfaction with your sex life impacts happiness in your relationship, says sex researcher Robin Milhausen, associate professor at the University of Guelph's Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition. At the same time, feeling emotionally connected to your partner stimulates arousal, so building the bond you have is a surefire way to heat up your love life. Here are five ways to reignite the passion in your relationship.
 
1. Seek an adrenaline rush.
Think back to when you firststarted dating and the anticipation you felt while wondering if he’d call. This uncertainty is exciting. “Once you’re married with kids, most of that danger is usually lost and you need to add some back in,” says Milhausen. It can be as simple as a participating in an activity together that gets the adrenalin pumping—riding a roller-coaster or even watching a horror movie. “Anything that gets your central nervous system aroused will bond couples. If you go through a really intense experience together, it will bring you closer. We see this on The Bachelor all the time. People always seem to end up picking the people they went bungee jumping with,” she says.
 
2. Learn massage together.
Most people enjoy receiving a massage, but men can be intimidated by giving one because they don’t know how, says Trina Read, a Calgary-based sexologist and the owner of sex advice site VivaXO.com. Read suggests watching a massage video together for instruction and ideas, or attend massage school courses for couples. Doing something completely out of the norm together will bring you even closer, says Read.

3. Schedule time for romance.

Ninety-three percent of men and women say a romantic evening enhances their arousal, says Milhausen based on her research. “This is really hard when you have busy lives and jobs, and kids. Some people think that scheduling this time makes it lose some of the romance, but you just need to flip that on its head and make it all about anticipation,” she says. “Scheduling a hot date three weeks from now doesn’t mean it's boring; it means you have three weeks to think about the fun you’re going to have, and text each other and talk about it.”

4.
Develop a new routine.
Alice Kirstead* says she and her husband, though under one roof, were living separate lives. So she made an effort to bring them closer. One way was through playing Scrabble. “This helped us start talking again and feel more connected. It led to more mental and physical intimacy,” she says. “And yes, we’ll sometimes end up making love afterward.” If board games aren’t your thing, create the opportunity for discussions, for example, a walk after dinner. Sitting and watching TV together defeats the purpose, so make sure it's something that facilitates communication instead of inhibits it.
 
5. Update your underwear.
Being in the mood doesn’t always just happen organically, says Read, but you can inspire intimacy intentionally. Try throwing out all your saggy, unattractive underwear and buy intimate apparel that makes you feel good. “Choose something you feel nice in, and while you’re at it, buy him some new undies too,” she suggests. “You could even go underwear shopping together—that could be another fun way to connect.”
 
* Name changed

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