Wondering how to keep the spark firmly in the bedroom after you've said 'I do'? We're here to help...
Intimacy and satisfying sex is often the glue that holds relationships together.Sure, you both feel like you're marrying your best friend, but what goes on between the sheets will count for an awful lot.
You may not be able to keep your hands off each other right now, but that 'I must have him' feeling can – and will – wane at times.
“Don't make the mistake of thinking that once you're married, the pair of you are indestructible,” says psychotherapist and sex therapist Clare O'Toole. “The truth can be the opposite; if we don't embrace our individuality and our own interests then it's easy to become bored and have nothing new to say to each other.”
And most of us, whether subconsciously or not, do use the amount and the quality of sex we're having as a barometer of our relationship's happiness, yet somehow we let routine and lazy habits creep in. So how can you keep things exciting in the bedroom?
No time? Make time!
“First and foremost, it's important not to take each other for granted and don't give up on those special times so easily – go on dates, have romantic weekends away, enjoy intimate meals together and most importantly make time for sex so it doesn't become a quickie at the end of the night,” says Clare.
Make a conscious effort to be sexy from time to time. It can be something as simple as swapping your greying bra and knickers for something a little more slinky or setting the scene with good food and wine, and be ready and waiting for him to come home by throwing your arms around him and giving his bum a good squeeze.
“Most people would rather come home to a partner who is open to doing something different now and again than a couch potato,” adds Clare. That said, there is room in your life for both spontaneity and planning – so sometimes scheduled sex can be just as thrilling: “We all look forward to planned events – anticipating and fantasising about it can often be as enjoyable as the event itself,” says Clare.
Knowing you're going to be having sex that night can be a huge turn-on, so why not send him a text explaining exactly what you plan to do when you get home tonight?
Take the lead
Fact: men love confidence. “Confidence is key to equality in your relationship, so don't be afraid to assert yourself a bit more and ask for what you want,” suggests Clare. “Feeling confident is about accepting yourself for who you are and not comparing or competing with others, which can lead to feelings of inadequacy. Don't give in to any set way you should look or behave, attractiveness is about who you are as a person.”
Take the initiative now and again, and don't be afraid to introduce different elements into your sex life, be it toys, a sexy striptease, photography, even something as simple as leaving the lights on. He might be surprised, but will love this side of you.
If things really are falling behind, don’t wait for him to make the first move, take control and put the spark back in yourself. Most importantly, your newfound confidence will give you a huge dopamine boost, meaning you'll get the most out of the action too.
If you really feel like things have dwindled, rather than striving to get things how they used to be, focus on the intimacy and explore new avenues of pleasure to create a sex life that satisfies you both.
One of the most exciting things about a new relationship is that initial spark, but being closer emotionally rather than because of sexual enlivenment isn't necessarily a bad thing, be prepared for changes in your sex drive: “Communication is really important,” confirms Clare.
Ladies, we need to be warmed up, right? And our biggest organ is our brain. Cuddles on the sofa while watching your favourite film, massages and even talking about your fantasies can work wonders for bringing you closer together and spiking your libido – a combination that’s a guaranteed route to orgasm, hurrah!