Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How to Spice Up Your Sex Life

by Alicia Guinn

Is your love life losing its spark? Has boredom crept into your bedroom? Don’t despair, what’s happening to you is perfectly normal. Everyone falls into sexual ruts now and then because routines, by definition, are easy and comforting. We discover one way to get ourselves or our partners off, and then we repeat. And repeat (until we put ourselves to sleep!).

Much as we’d like to wave our magic wand over your bed and restore your sex life to its former glory, there really is no one sure-fire toy or quick fix. However, with a bit of inspiration and a willingness to explore, you’ll be surprised at how a few simple changes can get you on the road to a more fulfilling sex life.

1. Know Thyself. In the quest to break out of your rut, consider yourself a private eye assigned to investigate the mysteries of your sexuality. What do you like? What do you fantasize about? Because our society defines sex so narrowly, a lot of people have trouble imagining sexual possibilities beyond their current repertoire. Start your investigation with a little research. Buy a general sex guide like The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex and take a good look at some of the activities that may have intrigued you in the past. Maybe you’ve always been curious about anal sex, or you’ve harbored a secret desire to be spanked. Give yourself permission to explore them further.

2.Talk Talk Talk. Talking to your partner about sex is crucial to developing a great sex life. And practicing your communication skills doesn’t have to be a drag. Taking turns telling each other hot stories is a great way to communicate to your partner what you like or what you’d like to explore. If talking seems too intimidating, consider writing your partner a note detailing one of your hottest fantasies, or agree to meet online and engage in a little cybersex. For more tips on hot talk, read Carol Queen’s Exhibitionism for the Shy.

3.Shake It Up. Take a good look at your usual sexual routine. Do you always have sex at the same place? The same time? Does every encounter consist of the same activities in roughly the same order? Start to imagine possibilities that excite you beyond your usual habits. If you always have sex in bed right before you fall asleep, what would happen if you initiated sex in the morning or on a weekend afternoon when you don’t have any obligations? Think about your sexual patters. Do you and your sweetie always indulge in a good, serious hour of lovemaking? Or do you like it quick and dirty? If you usually put aside an hour or two for sex, try a quickie. And vice versa.

4.Try Something New. In a society that discourages sexual exploration and gives us only a small menu of sexual choices appropriate for “good people,” it takes courage and initiative to try new things. However, one of the best things about exploring new avenues in your sex life is that it builds intimacy between partners. On top of that, change requires risk-taking, which all by itself can set your pulse racing. Make the commitment to try at least one new thing each month. You can start small: masturbate with a new toy or try a new sex position, or go for something more ambitious, like a foray into anal sex or BDSM. Now’s the time to accept your desires and get to work.

5.Sex Dates. That’s right, make a date for sex. By planning sex dates, you and your partner are reaffirming the importance of sex in your life, and you’re actively creating the time and space for sex. Although it seems counter-intuitive, you’re not taking all the spontaneity (and excitement) out of your sex life. By penciling sex dates in on your calendar, you tap into a key ingredient of sexual arousal: anticipation. Sex dates shouldn’t be just another obligation in your already busy schedule; they’re an opportunity to put all of your everyday worries on the back burner and completely enjoy sex.

6.Play Games. Erotic games are a great way to introduce new ideas into your relationship in a fun and non-threatening way. They also take the pressure off either of you to initiate sex. Games like Dirty Dice and the Kama Sutra Game leave the sexual activity up to chance, so you're enounters don't have a pre-scripted quality.

7.Higher Learning. Beyond general sex guides, there’s a fascinating array of sex books and videos available these days. And there’s always something new to learn. Pick up a couple books or videos on subjects you’ve always been curious about or know nothing about at all. If you catch yourself thinking "I'm just not the kind of person who could read a book about sex," remember that videos offer a great way to actually learn and practice at the same time. Be adventurous in your exploration of sexuality. Some subjects that people are generally curious about are covered in books like Sex Toys 101, SM 101, Anal Pleasure and Health, The Good Vibrations Guide to the G Spot, and The Ultimate Guide to Strap On Sex. Some excellent instructional videos are Bend Over Boyfriend and the Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women.

8.Good for a Laugh. And last but not least, try to lighten up in the bedroom. Don't worry so much about performance, timing, or expectations. Just set out to have fun, and don't be afraid to laugh at yourselves. Why not break the ice and start out with a good laugh—try stapping a vibrating butterfly over your clit or a stretchy vibrating dolphin over your penis—and you'll be smiling while getting your buzz on.

Enjoy yourselves! Don't get so focused on change, or unrealistic expectations that you forget to relax and enjoy the ride. Remember, we can tell you how to spice things up, but you've got to supply the main ingredients: enthusiasm, humor, and imagination!

Reprinted with permission of


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