This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
We’ve all been there. After a certain amount of time with your partner, it seems that sexual intimacy drops off, and it begins to happen less and less. Don’t fret. This occurrence doesn’t necessarily mean that you and your partner don’t love each other or aren’t compatible.
During the beginning of a relationship, sexual desire is high because of the endorphins that come with a new love. This “honeymoon phase” usually ends up lasting only six months to a year. After that time, intimacy may start to drop off or not exist at all.
If you’re struggling with sexual intimacy in your long-term relationship, it’s time to try out these six ideas to bring back the spark and find passion once again in new ways.
Try New Things
We know… “try new things” is a bit vague. However, there are a ton of new sexual technological advancements that could help you spice up your intimate life with your partner. For example, have you heard of “virtual reality sex?” You can have virtual sex with your partner, even from long distances.
Some more fun ideas include:
- Buying new lingerie
- Buying costumes for roleplay
- Buying new sex toys
- Watching pornography together
- Trying kink
You don’t have to limit yourself to one type of sexual activity. Anything can be sex if you both feel that it is and enjoy it. Remember, always get consent from your partner before trying something new with them.
See a Sex Therapist
If you find that your sexual issues seem to stem more from a mental health problem, trauma, or disconnection in your relationship, a sex or couples’ therapist might be the option for you. Sex therapists are experts in intimacy and mental health and can advise you on where to go next when things start to get difficult.
You can even try couples therapy online these days, with a therapist who can chat with you over video calls, phone calls, or regular messaging at any time of the week. Both you and your partner can come! If you want to learn more about intimacy and treatment options, check out BetterHelp.
Make a “Interests” Chart and Share With Each Other
One great way to increase intimacy is to try an “interests” chart. This chart can be created by you and your partner or found online. To create it, follow these steps:
- Get a blank piece of paper for you and one for your partner.
- Create a table with three columns, each with a different label.
- Label column one “Wouldn’t Do.”
- Label column two “Would Try.”
- Label column three “Would Love to Do.”
- Next, find a list online of sexual acts, positions, and kinks.
- Give your partner their sheet and send them the list you’ve found.
- Now, in your own time or together, go through the list and rank them in your columns.
- For example, if you’d like to try roleplay, put it in the middle column. If you’d love to try sensory play, put it in the right column. If there’s anything you’d hate doing or would never do, add it to the left column.
Once you finish the exercise, you and your partner can share each other’s lists and discuss. You might find out that you have more in common sexually than you initially thought!
Rent a Hotel or Airbnb for a Date Night
Sometimes couples find they hit a stale point in the relationship due to routine. If this sounds like you, sometimes renting a romantic hotel room or Airbnb can give you the spark needed to get in the mood. Having a soft bed with clean sheets that isn’t your own feels great.
Even better, rent a room with a jet tub. Some hotels and Airbnbs have an additional price where you can pay for champagne, room service, and rose petals. Remember, you don’t need a special occasion to treat your partner to something special.
For some people, it’s hard to get into the “love-making mood” after some time because the initial impulsivity of young love has worn off. Scheduling sex can remind you to get into the mood, and you can prepare yourself beforehand. Just remember to set up a safe word in case someone isn’t in the mood or needs to postpone. If you do choose this option, it’s essential that no one gets angry if the other person can’t partake.
Increase Passion and Love in the Relationship
Finally, the best way to increase sexual intimacy is to increase romantic intimacy. If you don’t feel loved in your relationship, it’s likely you won’t be interested in sex.
Some ways you can spark love again include:
- Going on weekly or monthly dates
- Putting effort into your appearance and outfits
- Partaking in your partner’s love language
- Expressing love daily
- Seeing a couples’ counselor
- Traveling together
- Getting alone time with your partner as much as possible
If you are still struggling, it’s a good idea to speak to a couples’ therapist for advice, as they understand the mental health portion of dating and love.